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Small frame MTB for £1000ish?

Strat68Strat68 Posts: 13
edited May 2016 in MTB buying advice
Hi guys,
I'm a total beginner about to start cycling to work and on days out with my son.
I'm looking for a small frame mountain bike for around £1000, likely to be a front suspension as full sus looks to be serious money.
I'd need a small frame (5'6) and a more relaxed ride rather than an all out race type bike.
For that budget what would you suggest?
I'd looked online at a Whyte 805 or Orange 120 - are they good options, they both have small frames available? Happy to buy a last year's model if that works out cheaper.

I'd prefer to try the fit of the bike and support a local shop if possible.
One more question that may sound stupid is what am I looking for when I try out a bike? Talk of slack angles is a foreign language to me :D

My new job offers the cycle-to-work scheme and has a secure place to leave the bike and a shower.
There's no company car park and a full day's parking is a tenner, so the bike will save me a fortune. It's not a long ride but through parks is scenic and safer than risking life and limb on the road!

Thanks for your help!

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