I'm a fairly avid roadie and my stable of 2 consists of a road bike as well as a time trial bike. I'm looking for a change of pace this year, and I've been thinking about picking up mountain biking to help cross train and also just as something else that's fun to go out and do.
My budget is fairly limited, ideally something less than $1000 since I just want to see if I like it. I'm a bit intimidate by all the different options out there. So here are a few starting questions:
What wheel size? It seems like the main tire sizes are 27.5, and 29er. It seems like fat bikes are becoming popular but I think that might be a little too specific for me.
What style? It seems like the main differentiator is hard tail vs. full suspension in this space. It seems like this is further broken down into Cross-country, enduro, downhill, trail etc. etc. Is there a particular style that would be better for a roadie to transition with? I feel like a hardtail might lead me to riding trails that would be a little more endurance oriented than skill oriented, but I'm also a bit worried that I might be limiting myself, and giving myself a less forgiving ride.
That's about the limit of my knowledge, any further recommendations on components, brands etc. would be much appreciated!
Pictured: The Specialized Men's Pitch, which is an entry level option I've been looking at.