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Hi all.

I have asked this question before but I am looking for a few more answers if possible (thanks to the guy who answered my previous question though!)

First time user here. I am looking at getting my first Hardtail Mountain Bike but I am having a hell of a time deciding. I am looking at spending around $600 so I understand with that price I will be getting a low end model- which is cool. My needs are like many's: light, efficient, fast etc. Mostly flat road riding but bush riding too. I have been looking at the two bikes below:

http://www.mcbains.com.au/index.php?q=node/1043

http://www.avantiplus.com.au/products/sc520a113/title/scott-aspect-60

(possibly this one too): http://www.avantiplus.com.au/products/av520a111/title/avanti-montari-1---blue

Any advice on which way to go and any advice on the best brands?
Thanks everyone. Any help would be great!
 

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Just from a quick look at the links...

The Boulder has a 28-38-48 crankset. That higher gearing is better suited to roads instead of trails.
The Scott is 7sp and I don't know if those are double wall rims
The Avanti - gets the nod by process of elimination
 

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Truly Doneski
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I think that you can get a Trek Marlin 29er for in the mid 600's. My roomate just got one and it's a lot of bike for the money, and has big wheels to boot. I'd check out something like that, something from Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc, at an LBS.
 

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Truly Doneski
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I realized my post was kind of incomplete and wanted to add something.

Just about any good LBS will have a couple different hardtail mtn bikes that are relatively similar but different brands/models. They will have these at a wide variety of pricepoints.

So, you should really just go to your LBS with a budget in mind and communicate with them. Tell them your budget and what you want out of your bike. They'll fit you on a few different bikes. Get the one that fits the best!
 

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Shipping to Australia will bust the budget on the Jamis.

Echoing the LBS advice above, someone new to mountain biking and with little knowledge of brands/components probably shouldn't buy their first bike over the Internet. The savings you see over comparable bikes in an actual bike shop may seem tempting, but should be weighed against your ability to try the bike beforehand to make sure you fit and are comfortable, to get any questions you may have about your new bike answered face to face, and service/maintenance after the fact.
 
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