I am looking forward to purchasing an actual mountain bike now that I have saved up some money. The plan is riding local NW Florida Trails, but also weekend trips into mountainous areas. I am 46 years old 5’8 and 193 lbs. have narrowed down my bike to three selections but am stuck here.
1. Scott Genius 930; 2. Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Expert; 3. Canyon Spectral CF9
I think the Spectral will give you more bang for your buck (make sure it’s the 2021 version), but the new Stumpjumpers have gotten great reviews as well.
I’d also make sure you know what terrain you’re riding, that you’re comfortable with your price point, and that you know what’s in inventory these days. Just starting out, you can certainly get a very adequate bike for much less.
I’m wondering why you want a bike with so much travel. For Florida, I would think a shorter travel bike like the Specialized Epic EVO, regular Stumpjumper, Giant Trance 29, or the Transition Spur would be better. These bikes will be nearly as capable as the longer travel bikes but much lighter.
Your title indicates that you might be a newbie to trail riding? All the bikes you identified are very good bikes and can easily take on aggressive trails. Have you test ridden these bikes? If you are a newb, you might want to consider a middle to high end used bike to save some $$ while you learn and get experience.