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New Frame/forks + old other bits? Newbie help please

Inn0v8Inn0v8 Posts: 4
edited August 2012 in MTB beginners
Hi folks, I'm new to the forum, and looking for advice (and trying my best not to annoy with newbie questions :wink:)

I have been on & off with my cycling, and though I enjoy it, but haven't made a habit of going out regularly. Now, however, I've decided to take up cycling as a sport (not competitive... yet :) ). All the cycling I have ever done has been on road/cycle paths/smooth off-track, but as I don't particularly enjoy the traffic that comes with on-road cycling, and I've decided to go down the MTB route instead. Luckily, there is a group that goes out on to the nearby common, who I hope to join in with.

Now to my question. I have an Apollo Outrage, which I know isn't going to cut it, so I'd like to get something that actually weight less than a ton!

Given my limited budget – ideally under £200, max £250 – I know, from reading all you wise posts :wink:, that I need to get a hardtail.
Would I do better by spending my money on a complete bike such as a Rockrider 5.0/ 5.1/ 5.2, or would it be possible to get a decent frame (Handsome Dog?/Merlin?/On-One?) + front forks, and (in the short term) get the other bits from my Apollo? I know the Apollo's components wouldn't be great, but I could upgrade around the better frame, as I could afford it.

Any advice will be both appreciated, AND LISTENED TO (unlike some... http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40028&t=12816513) :lol:

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