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Guerilla Gravity Pedalhead. I am quite fond of this bike.
Just another you could look into: Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead. I just ordered one and cannot wait for it to arrive!! It’s also a steel hardtail with all mountain geometry. And the cool factor is very high.
For me it’s all about the articles. I like the personal feel of the articles, where other sites feel much more commercialized and corporate. This site is much more relatable. As others have said, I like how everyone here seems to be congenial. I’ll differ from the others, however, when it comes to the maps. I’m a cheap-skate and have not shelled out the $25 per year to see the maps on this site. I can see the trails that are in the database and can read the reviews and look at the pictures, but I don’t have access to the actual topo maps of each trail. Honestly, I haven’t felt like I’ve been missing anything with other great resources freely available on the web, like mtbproject and trailforks. Now granted, I’ve contributed a great deal to the mtbproject database, but I feel that its map is more complete at least in my area.
Oh, and like you, I used to take my bike in for adjustments a lot. I got tired of that and just learned how to be my own wrench. I’ve gotten pretty bike savvy – still plenty to learn, but I haven’t felt the need to visit the shop in a long time.
Wanted to reply because I am in the EXACT same position – meaning, the first ever mountain bike I bought was a Trek X-Caliber 9. That was nearly three years ago. I am still riding that bike today. It got me into the sport, and I am totally addicted now. Like others suggested, I have ridden the living snot out of that bike. It’s got so much character (scratches, scrapes and dings)! I have worn through tires, cassettes, chains, brake pads, even trigger shifters. I’ve replaced each of those components as they have worn out. I haven’t really upgraded, except the cassette I’m running now is a bit better than the stock cassette – but I only upgraded to this one after bending the third gear on two different stock cassettes! Figured it was time to try something stronger. Anyway, I ride that hardtail on any and every local trail I can find (northern Colorado). I don’t hesitate to ride it on the gnarliest rockiest techiest trails that we have. All my friends ride nicer and newer full suspension bikes. They’re all slower than me, too, and can’t clean the stuff that I can. That’s not because of the bike, that’s because I ride a lot more than they do. Their bikes are totally more capable than mine. I dream of someday upgrading to something like theirs, and I fully intend to do so. Until I feel like I can afford it, I just go shred the gnar with what I’ve got. And I’m loving it!