Welcome from one newb to another. I got into this after trying some trail riding on an old touring frame and realized that 1.This trail riding is a BLAST!! and 2.Riding them on an old touring frame with 700×32 tires ain’t gonna cut it, not to mention the downtube shifters.
So I went and bought a Scott Aspect 29 Tour as a present to myself for 5 years of being tobacco free. See what you can get yourself for a reward 😀 And you can go farther faster and still come back after a trip feeling goooood!
Loving the Scott, nice ride for not a whole lot of $$$ and I have heard great reviews on the Raleighs.
Go get it and ride it like you stole it!