Hey women/mountain bikers... I'm a newbie writhing in indecision. NO mountain biking experience. In fact, I haven't had a bicycle since I was a teenager in the 80s, yikes!

Ridden both (plus a few GTs, which I didn't care for). Like the shifting and color scheme a little better on the Specialized, but not sure it's worth the slightly higher price. Liked both bikes a lot. I think I may like the handling a little better on the Trek, but honestly not sure my opinion is worth much since I'm such a total novice. I was pretty thrilled at how much fun they both were to ride - they made me feel very competent instead of terrified.

Any experience, opinions, cautionary tales? Advice on HOW to make the decision? Thanks in advance for any feedback you may have to offer!