So I really want to get into mountain biking, so I'm looking at bikes. I have a pretty hardcore BMX background, and experience with a lot of other similar things like snowboarding so I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to be doing with the bike. I've done a lot of searching on the forums, but for AM hardtails everyone recommends custom built bikes, which I'm not up to yet. I'd really like to get an off the shelf bike, that can be upgraded later.
Most of the time I'll be riding cross country, although I will definitely be attracted to the very technical trails - places where I can do drops of a few feet, hopping over things, small jumps, all that sort of thing. I guess that's typically called all mountain riding. If the trail I'm on isn't very technical, I'll probably be going pretty quick. I'm not racing anyone though, so I don't care if the bike is ultra light or ultra fast or anything.
I would like to be able to take it to the lift assisted place somewhat near me (Diablo), even just to do the smaller features. If I got to the point where I was riding there a lot I'd probably change bikes to a more downhill oriented bike, so for now this is a minor part of my "riding profile", if you will.
I'd like to be able to take it dirt jumping, but this again will be a minor part of what it's used for - and I'll never be hardcore about dirt jumping I don't think.
I'm pretty decided on a hardtail, since I don't want to spend a ton of money on a bike when I've never even mountain biked before, and it seems that the components are much better in my price range ($600-1000) on hardtails, plus coming from BMX I think full suspension would be odd for me.
So basically I want a bike that can do it all decently, with technical trails being its strong point. The other thing I really would like is to use it on increasingly more technical trails, and therefore be able to upgrade it. I know from searching, there's a lot of talk of putting a high travel fork on a bike like this - I want something that will accomodate this in the future.
Any input would be appreciated!
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