It's interesting (to me at least) how one's riding requirements evolve over time. When I started this in about 2011 I was riding an old 26" hardtail and loved it. Having given the poor thing a tough life I bought a Superfly FS 29" and absolutely adored it. 110mm r and 100 front suspension at the time. Went through the whole "must be fast and XC" so bought a race hardtail (raced it once in the years I had it!) and then bought a range of different bikes along the way. It eventually dawned on me that what I actually like to do is have fun on the trails rather than just go for KM's and elevation. So, I sold the race hard tail to an XC racer, and sold my beloved Pivot M5.7c because (and yes you were right JD) it was just too small. The XL frame was 2 inches shorter in reach compared to my XXL Fuel EX 29 which I'm keeping. Didn't think I'd ever sell them but they're bikes, not children so just moved them on to new homes and I trust they're being loved as I did. I scoured about looking for frames to build up the way I wanted and damn it's hard. XL frames are rarer than the proverbial, and some are SOOOOO expensive. I took into account previous experience, LBS, availability, warranty (yes Transition, Canfield and Banshee, I'm looking at you) and costs as well as the usual reviews (owners, not magazines). All of that then leads me to this bike which I have to say is SO much more fun than every other bike I've owned / ridden. Trek Remedy 9.8 XL Only changes are; 1x conversion with 32t XT Praxisworks chain guide 160mm air shaft on Pikes (up from 150mm) Dropper post lever changed to a Wolftooth type Carbon Bontrager wheels (at home waiting to be fitted) Lovely blue ESI grips... This thing handles and descends like an animal. It fits and feels very comfortable and the climbing is actually pretty good, that could just be new bike stoke so we'll see. With the new wheels + tubeless cutting ~0.7kg off the rotating mass it should feel stellar. It's making me question the Fuel EX now given that feels very delicate by comparison. Happy to give up a little climbing ability to be this comfortable everywhere else.