Can anyone help me out? I want a good beginner bike, that has a good price and will survive a trail, I was thinking about the GT aggressor and the GT avalanche ( I know hard tails tend to be cheaper than full suspension). Any ideas? Thank you.
The number one way to make sure any bike survives the trail is to make sure everything is assembled very well. Proper torque, proper grease on what moves, proper alignment on the derailleurs, loctite on the right screws, etc. Usually the reason Department Store bikes fall apart quickly is that a Department Store employee assembled them. No disrespect to people working at a store, but they are probably not qualified mechanics. If you have any doubts, a bike shop can assemble for you or check out the Park Tool YouTube channel, it is very good.
Specifically looking at the bikes you mentioned, it would be nice if you could get into a Hardtail with 1x (A front crank with one chainring, and a big cassette in the back). It really is a reduced hassle/maintenance option if you can get it with your budget. But I would ride that bike if that was the bike I had. The feature to $ curve is very steep between $500 and $2000. In other words, if you can spend a little more you will get more. But in general, like everything else, you generally get what you pay for.
You don’t say how much you are willing to spend? In general, you need to spend $1300 or more for a descent Hardtail and $2000 or more for a descent Full-sus. Check out Trail Talk MTB on Youtube which does some very good compilation reviews of “best value” bikes.
Here are some Hardtails I like.
Giant Fathom 29
Vitus Sentier 29
Specialized Fuze 29
GT Zaskar LT 29
Rocky Mountain Growler 29
Here are some short-travel full-sus bikes I like.
Giant Trance 29
Here are some longer-travel full-sus bikes I like.
Vitus Mythique 29
YT Jeffsy 29
Commencal Meta TR 29
If I had to pick one bike which I consider to be the best value and the best beginner bike, it would be the $2250 Giant Trance 3. This bike comes with very good spec for the money and is just a good all-around trail bike that really doesn’t need any upgrades and you could ride this bike for years without needing to change a thing. Even though Hardtails are cheaper, I think, in the end, you’ll have more fun riding a full-sus bike. If you buy Hardtail and you like Trail riding, you’ll probably end up buying a full-sus bike before very long anyway.