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Hi
New kid on the block (well, 47 yrs old!)
"Discovered" cycling 18 months ago, bought a Dahon (folding bike), been loving it though it's only good for tootling around town, roads etc. I want to get off road, 'the guys' have persuaded me to buy a more appropriate bike. I still intend on riding on the road but want to join them off road....I don't think heavy, serious mountain biking, probably more XC.
I like the 650Bs but think I might be better off, as still going to ride on the road, sticking with the hardtail 29ers.
Bottom line, as a beginner, do I need to spend £1,000 plus on the likes of a Trek Superfly 5 or 6 - looking at the 6 because it has a RockShox Reba RL w/Solo Air spring...is that madness? would I really be able to tell the difference between that and the Recon Silver?! Also looking at the Trek X-Caliber 9 but, again, OTT for me? Would I be ok with a 6 or 7? Looking at the Trek Stache 6 as well. Also, thinking Specialized Rockhopper but agonising over which one, the basic one, the Comp or the Pro Evo. Finally (until tomorrow when other ideas come into my head!), thinking Giant XTC 27.5 (though 29ers probably best for me). I've been told to stay away from the hybrids as they are apparently neither one thing (road) nor the other (MTB). This research is taking too long and is driving me mad! Help, please...
 

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Any of the buddies have a spare bike? Have you test rode any of them?What about used?Need is one thing ,getting the right bike for what you want to do is another. What's your budget? You could have fun on any of them ,being happy with them after 6 months or a year might be different. Don't over think it ,decide you budget ,find one that fits ,go ride. If you get into it ,you will be looking to upgrade parts or the bike anyway.
 

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What is your budget?
How tall are you? If you are super short a 29er would be a bad choice.
Do you want to buy from a Bike shop or online?

My advice would be to buy the best mtn bike you can within your budget. and then drop a small amount on a used commuter. I got mine for $60

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Sounds like you have a 'flexible' budget.
You aren't going to get the most out of the differences between a Reba and Recon Silver right away. Could take a season of development. Get the correct size frame and a good fork. The 9.6 Superfly would be a long-term choice. An alternative is the Canyon Grand Canyon CF SL 6.9.
Both have compliance you will want later.
 
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