Hello,

Newbie here. I need some advice on a couple of used hardtails. My story is that I'm trying to get back into racing.. the only trail bike I've ever owned is a heavily upgraded ten year old Brodie Energy, which is obviously now an old beast. The goal is to get a decent middle of the road race bike on a very small budget. If I find that I'm enjoying racing again, then maybe something higher end later in the season or next season. So my main question is: Is it worth the extra $300 for the XTC Alliance? Anyways, here are my choices with the specs. Any advice would be appreciated! All amounts in Canadian $.

1. 2008 Specialize Rockhopper Pro Disc - asking $700

Seller describes the bike as "mint" - here's the setup:
A1 aluminum frame
Marzocchi drop off SL 130 mm 32 mm
stantion tube (black)
Sram x-9 rear derailer, x gen in front.
sram x-9 shifters
single track sun rims with specialized hubs (mint)
specialized enduro tires (2.3) good shape.
oversized rise bar
Hayes sole hydraulic disc front and rear

2. 2009 Giant XTC Alliance - asking $1000

Also described as "mint" and rarely ridden. Stock setup:

frame Alliance Composite/Aluminum Technology
fork Rock Shox Recon SL Air, 100mm w/ lockout
shifters Shimano SLX, Rapidfire
front derailleur Shimano Deore
rear derailleur Shimano XT Shadow, top normal
brakes Avid Juicy 3, 160F/160R
brake levers Avid Juicy 3
cassette Shimano HG50 11/34, 9-speed
chain Shimano HG-73
cranks Race Face Ride XC, 22/32/44
bb Race Face X-Type, external
rims Mavic XM 117 Disc
hubs Shimano Deore 32H Disc
spokes Stainless Steel
tires Kenda Small Block Eight, 26x2.1/1.95
handlebar Alloy low rise
stem Alloy, 10 Degree rise
seatpost Alloy 350x30.9mm
saddle WTB Silverado Race
pedals Crank Brothers Smarty