Originally Posted by BigmountainVMD
My one bit of advice from someone who is new to the mountain biking scene... If you know you want to do some legit trail riding w/ rocks, branches, etc., definitely just save up for a good full suspension.
I saved up some cash and dropped it on a Trek Cobia 29er hardtail, and while the bike rode great, as soon as I started getting in to some legit trails I was wishing for some forgiveness in the back end.
Ever since it was stolen I've had my eye on a Trek Rumblefish... I just can't find a gently used one near me!
As much as I would love to drop $$$ on a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR.... you can easily do "legit" trail riding with rock gardens, logs, etc with a hardtail.
you don't need a Full Suspension for getting over branches.
A full suspension won't be you up as much as a hard tail.