Now with all of the choices of mountain bikes, I love this question. In fact, we were just having this discussion during a recent group ride. To think of all of the options: 27.5, 29er, fat bike, full suspension trail bike, hardtail xc bike…and on and on. What started most of us was a rigid steel bike! My first bike was a 1994 Giant Iguana. I paid $400 for it from a bike shop in Northern Virginia. The bike was totally rigid with a steel frame…the thing was a tank! I still have it today as I just can’t part with it. I did some minor upgrades like brakes and levers, handlebars, and saddle, but kept it rigid. Although I loved this bike and rode plenty of miles on it, I purchased my next bike in 1998, a Specialized StumpJumper Comp. I rode this bike until recently when I finally upgraded to a full suspension Specialized Camber 29.
Thanks for posing the question. Ride on!