I slightly exceed the 200 lb. barrier (w/o gear) but I'm working hard at getting back to the 175 - 180 I weighed before I got lazy. I'm currently riding a Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc but want to go to FS. I want something that won't be too painful for general XC (not racing, I'm more interested in durability than weight) but can handle drops (mostly in the 4' - 6' or so range and rocky where I ride). There aren't many killer climbs or super-nasty descents around where I live, mostly rolling singletrack with rocky, droppy sections. So far I've been skipping the drops because I don't want to break my current bike but I don't like doing that. I was considering a Heckler but I'm not sure if it's designed for the drops I want to do at my weight. I'm also not sure at this point if I want to drop $4000 (Canadian) on a bike which is about what I'd be looking at for the Santa Cruz bikes through the LBS. My LBS (5 hours away but it's the closest one to where I live) has the 2005 Specialized Enduro, Devinci Jalapeno and Trek Liquid 25 at clearance prices and the 2006 Trek EX6, EX7, Cannondale Prophet 400 and 800 at decent prices as well as a demo 2005 Specialized Enduro Pro for about 1/2 original retail but I'm not sure about those for what I want to do. I'm not real big on the idea of buying a demo bike, there's no way to know what's been done with it and I'm not experienced enough at the tech stuff to be able to properly check it over myself. I'm probably what would be classified as low intermediate skill wise but I'm somewhat aggressive and not always smart enough to not do things I probably shouldn't. So should I take the cheap-lock off of my bank account and spring for one of the bikes I had in mind? I'm open to any suggestions that fit what I'm looking for.
P.S. Sorry for the long-winded post but I was trying to cover as many questions that are likely to come up as possible.
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