Yup, another "which bike" thread. Almost exactly one year ago, my children joined a local MTB club. I bought the kids Specialized Pitch Experts. They've loved every minute on those bikes. I realize that they are "good" but not the best; however, but I could just see a child riding the thing for a few months and then having it abandoned in the garage. I knew absolutely NOTHING about bikes, hadn't ridden myself in about 15 years, and had never been off road. I was interested in perhaps riding along with them. At the suggestion of the shop employee, I bought a Specialized Jynx and it's sorta fun, but a year into it, I already feel that it's not the right bike for me. My rode my daughter's Pitch and I like it more than my Jynx. We rented Trek Fuel EXes on vacation and I loved that but I want to stick with hardtail. So, in a case of buyer beware, I am looking for a new ride. My budget is $1,000 - $1,500 (I'd like to stick to the lower end, but maybe I can get something for my Jynx. I'm looking at some version of the Rockhopper or a Trek X-Caliber. Any other thoughts?