Hello,

need some help and advice. I am looking to purchase my first real mtn bike. I will use it for a ton of things, but primarily riding gravel/ paved trails pulling a chariot kids trailer. At the same time, I want to be able to take the bike on the great technical trails in and around St. Louis, mo without a problem. Once or twice a year, we go to Colorado and do all mountain stuff. I would like it to hold up here as well, but will sacrifice it falling short since most all riding will be done in home area.

I want high grade reliable components that will serve many purposes. With that in mind, an HT may serve me best? I have my LBS offering me a screaming deal on a 2012 spesh sj ht for $1540! My only holdout is the avid elixir 7 brakes being unreliable vs the maguras on the 2013. I can get a very good deal on a 2013 for sub $1900.

I am 5'9 154 with a decent background in triathlon. I usually ride 120mi plus per week.

any advice is welcome! You guys are awesome! Thanks!