Really cool site here and I was wondering if I could ask ya'lls advice on some things. So I got into mountain biking this spring and in may decided to get my own bike finally. I ended up getting a K2 Shadow nine. Unfortunately as you probably guessed, I didn't do much research. The bike was used and had a lot of upgraded components on it and I've really had a blast this summer taking it out a couple times a week and exploring trails around the Dallas Fort Worth area. Sadly however, and I had seen that this was the case online, my fork has started to bend. I talked to the helpful folks at Richardson Bike Mart and they said if I really like the bike a new fork would be worth it, otherwise I'm better off saving up for a new bike. I'm just here for second opinions, if anyone has any experience with the type of bike I have, I'd love your help! I won't be able to ride that much this coming fall as I am starting medical school so I'm willing to count my losses and save up. I really would like a reliable basic 29er hardtail that I can keep on hitting the trails with next summer and if I have time, in the spring. Would anybody be willing to make a recommendation or two about what to look for or point me to a good resource to find out? Thanks guys. Hope to be a regular here.
I'm of the opinion that if you're gonna do something, you should do it right. Not saying you need to blow a couple grand for a more experienced riders bike, but if I were you (which I am actually in the process of buying my first bike!), I'd save up enough to get an entry level bike with one of the several reputable names in mountain biking. Specialized, Trek, Giant, etc all have good entry level options.
I also feel that once something starts breaking, especially with used equipment, a lot of the other components have likely had quite a bit of wear as well. That will start adding up quick, if they get to the point where they actually break. If you're mechanically inclined, you could probably prevent / fix a lot of that, but I think you'd do better putting that time and money into a new ride.