Originally posted by Tag
Thanks for all the input guys...
As far as a road-bike or hybrid - we live out in the boonies, so this thing will almost never be ridden on pavement. Always trails. So full-on MOUNTAIN BIKE it will be.
Now it's just a matter of finding the right shop I suppose. Slightly OT, but I was in Walmart the other day, and they had MONGOOSE bikes there! I couldn't believe it. Mongoose was a pretty respected name when I was into BMX in my youth. (5 years ago. ) Seems like they sold out to the man?
Yes, Mongoose was a respected name back-in-the-day...even though I rode a GT Pro Performer , 'goose did make a very competitive bike.
Even a couple years ago, the Mongoose MTB was not bad. I had a DX5.3 as my intermediate bike (now I ride a 2000 Schwinn Moab 3, the last of the American-made Schwinn's) but a couple years ago Mongoose, along with many other big-name bike makers) shifted their focus from semi-pro and intermediate riders to the beginner and entry-level rider with a price point aimed at Wal-Mart, Toys-R-us, K-Mart, etc...really, really sad.
From my perspective, Trek, Giant and Specialized are the few brands I would look at for an entry-level/mid-level bike.
The framesets are usually good on most every low-end bike but the cheapness shows up in the shifters and derailleurs. Poor shifting can take what could be a great riding experience and turn it into hell.
That said, make sure the bike you choose has a decent shifter set (Shimano Deore and Truvativ are not bad for the money, imho) and know that you can always upgrade to DX or LX components (or whatever else is hot thesedays).
Best of luck in your search.