I'm a newbie just getting into mountain biking and could use some direction. We will be riding mostly dirt trails with an occasional pavement outing. I was given an older (1997) Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, but after taking it to a couple LBS the cost to return it to it's glory was too high..about $300. So I began looking for a new bike.
I have come across three 29er's in my price range that I could use some help in narrowing it down to. Here are some of the specs:
Felt Nine 80: front derailleur Shimano FD-M310; back derailleur: Sram X4; Sram X4 shifters; Mechanical disk brake; Suntour SF-XCT forks no lockout
Marin Alpine: front derailleur: Shimano Alivio; rear derailleur: Shimano Deore; Shimano Alivio shifters; Hydraulic disc brakes; Rock Shox XC28 forks w/ lockout
Fuji Nevada 2.0: front derailleur: Shimano Alivio; rear derailleur: Shimano Deore; Shimano Alivio shifters; Hydraulic disc brakes; SR Suntour XCM forks w/ lockout
I really like the Felt, but both the Marin and the Fuji seem to have better components. I am leaning towards the Marin. There is only about a $50 - $75 difference between them. I would really like to know your thoughts.