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I would like some advice on which bike I should get. I am going to return the road bike I bought $1500 and exchange it for mountain bike. I got the road bike at performance so I will be getting the mt.bike there. They carry GT, Mongoose and Iron Horse. I am 49 year old female and a good athlete and a high school coach. I will be riding trails not any risky stuff but also not just flat clear trails.Blanket Creek in Canton Ga is less than 5 mile from my home. So couple of questions... Do I want a xc or all mountain? Which brand GT, Mongoose or Iron horse. I have 1500 to spend and do not mind putting a few more bucks in if necessary. I am pretty sure I want full suspension.

Thanks in advance
 

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What type of off road riding are you planning on doing?

GT Avalanche is a nice bike, IMO. Although it is XC, which is fine unless you are planning on doing some crazy dirt jumping or shuttle runs to do downhill. Even if the riding you do is tight, curvy, over small rocks, up and down, etc an XC bike is going to be fine. Plus, depending on what your definition of risky is, an XC bike is probably going to suit you just fine.
 

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XC and All-Mountain kinda blur the lines between the two. I assume most of your riding (due to it being GA) will be XC. Go for a low-weight FS bike. Both GT and Iron Horse are pretty well trusted brands. You might want to look elsewhere though, if you're willing to drop $1500. Giant, Specialized, and Trek offer some great values for that price.

Really, all I can suggest is get demo bikes. That will give you the best feel for your money. Then, come back here with the bikes you have ridden and we'll give you our opinion.

Best of luck!
 

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When i went to performancebike today, they told me that all the ironhorse bikes are going on clearance/sale because they won't be carrying the brand next year. You might want to check them out first! My shop had a iron horse 5.5 i believe for $689 and i believe the msrp was close to $1100. The lifetime tuneup still applies.

On the other hand, i just bought an avalanche 1.0 and it's a beautiful bike.
 

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I'd look at the Mongoose Canaan Elite. They carry it at Performance and I've seen it down around $1500 at one time. All Deore XT. I was looking seriously at that bike but came across a deal I couldn't pass up. Picked up a 08 Stumpjumer FSR Comp for $1560 at another LBS.
 
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