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The noob is back and looking to pull the trigger on one of these two.
Your learned comments please?

I have NEVER ridden a mountain bike. Nice eh? Heh! But I am going in...... I have to get active.
56 yo and not in shape I have lots of places to ride off road convenient to me. Lots of inclines too.
This will most likely be my 1st and last purchase and unless there is a complete failure or I have no other choice, I will not be tricking the bike out.

I'm 6' - 1.5" tall bare footed with a 32" inseam @ I fluctuate from 208 to 215 pounds max. I'm looking at the largest size available in both bikes.

I'm waiting for the 2011 Cannondale Trail SL 29'er 4 to appear since I cannot locate it in an XL.
I'm also frothing over bikes direct 27 Speed 2010 Fantom 29PRO. So wen the 2011's appear maybe the 2010 Fantom Pro will ease up in price?

I am technically and mechanically minded and have been reading all I can gobble up on both of these bikes. They are both at the top of my price range.

Bikes direct is one option and a Rome GA dealer 24 miles away "Cycle Therapy" carry the Cannondale's.

Any and all of your experienced and generous comments will be heavily anticipated.
 

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Having not ever ridden a mountain bike, I'd definitely go into the store. Once you've ridden for a while, you'll know what your size is and what components are important to you. The specs on the Motobecane are definitely better, but the Cannondale parts aren't bad either and will definitely be a good platform to start on and get you into the sport. Just remember to ride before you buy, and not just around the parking lot! You can't tell a lot about a mountain bike unless you ride it on a decent amount of trails.
 
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