As the owner of a hardtail with caliper brakes, who has ridden full suspension and discs, I want to agree with everything JJ said. Definitely look at  XC bikes only, since you're not looking at being Mr. 'Core.

I think the most important thing is that you'll find full squish and disc brakes much less tiring than hard tail and calipers.

You can  find a bike for closer to $1000, but you will probably get less of a wheel, which is not really a good trade-off.

Which bike?  Ride every bike in your price range at all your local dealers.  When you get on the right bike, you will know it instantly, because it will feel right.  Be sure to ride a higher priced bike as well, so you can get a comparison between the bikes you're considering and a high-end bike.

On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 8:16 AM, Jumpin_Jimmy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hey Denis,
My 2 cents: Keep the cross bike for road riding. You won't get anything for it if you sell it, so
make it a dedicated road rig. As far as the mtb, buy a full sus rig with disks. The benefit of
the suspension is that your back and internal organs get a big rest from jarring motions on a
hardtail--and your traction climbing is improved as the rear wheel stays contacted more with
the ground. Plus, it is fun to feel that sus thing soak up stuff! The disks are a huge
improvement too--rarely need servicing and the bike handles soooo much better--something
to do with the brake action closer to the hub instead of on the outside rim. Make sure you
get a Cross country type bike. These are lighter, have less travel, but climb and road ride
better. Oh, my Santa Cruz Superlight has a little lockout switch on the rear shock--so when i
hit pavement or a dteep dirt road climb, I just reach down while riding, flip it, and presto--a
hardtail. Pass the other dudes, then flip it back for the drop. As far as money...maybe 1500
-2000 would be my guess,

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