I'm trying to get back into biking after a 15 year hiatus. I'm trying to decide between several entry level mountain bikes. Leaning toward Specialized, but not 100% decided.
My immediate question is regarding switching out the standard equipment, specifically the suspension forks and possible other components. Can a new bike be ordered with non-standard equipment? If not, do most bike shops offer credit for the standard equipment to offset the purchase price of upgrades?
My specific concern is selecting and equipping a bike to match my unusual body geometry (short and fat with a 28 inch inseam). Factory specs suggest that either a Hardrock Disc 26 or a Myka Disc 26 will accommodate my short legs. However, I don't trust the standard suspension forks (SR Suntour SF13-XCT 26" or SR Suntour XCT-MLO 26" respectively) to handle my current weight.
I'd also welcome any suggestions on other bikes that might be suited to my short and heavy body. Sadly, my budget is only around $600.