Want to buy yourself some credibility with the hardcore mountain bike community (and do it cheaply)?
This is a Bontrager Privateer from the 1990’s. It was a great handling mountain bike then, fast and light. The Privateer label meant that Bontrager picked light and tough components, suitable for a bike racer paying their own way to the races.
A couple of decades later, this is still a fantastic mountain bike. We have pulled the reach to the handlebars back with a shorter stem, and instead of bar-ends for leverage out of the saddle you get a modern wide handlebar, but most of the components are vintage 1996 (and showroom new) except for the new tires and platform pedals. The bike is 24 pounds as it sits.
This is a good size for someone 5’5” to 5’8” tall, and it’s only $549