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First full suss (for a hard tail riding weight weenie)

mattrixdesign2mattrixdesign2 Posts: 644
edited December 2017 in MTB buying advice
I have ridden a hardtail xc for years, I like to be able to tackle and get up the hills fast and overcome challenges, then I enjoy the thrill of going down the other side (but not as fast as a lot of people). I always thought I would stick with a HT, but as I rapidly approach 40 and doing longer rides, my body is starting to complain. I also like to mix up some competitive riding (race CX in winter, and a little XC in summer) and would like to try some Enduro events.

So I have started to consider a full suss, with about £2-2.7k to spend. It's not clear to me on what is what, with the Trail V's Enduro and the varied travel in between, I know very little about the Roxshox models up front, even less about the rear shox (I'd rather keep with the brand I know but would also consider Fox).

Obviously these bikes will smooth the trail on the down, what I don't want is one that is overly limited for climbing, I still want to get up those hills and not be the one pushing. This has also had me considering weights, i don't have the biggest upper body strength but do have strong legs for climbing.

The final problem is that I am not going to be able to try any bikes on the trails, best I'll get is the local bikes shops and maybe a ride around a car park.

It's currently narrowed down to 2 models:

Trek Fuel EX 7 29 (29 wheels, ALU frame, ok spec, cheaper)
Rockshox Reba RL Fork
Fox Performance Float Evol Shock
Sram NX 1x11 Drivetrain
Sram Level T Brakes

BMC Speed Fox SF2 Trail Crew (650b, Carbon front, hi spec, more expensive)
Rear Shock: Cane Creek DB Inline (150mm)
Fork: Rockshox Pike RC, Solo Air (150mm)
Gearing and breaking is XT

I also want to see a Whyte, I have not got around to it yet, was going to consider the Cube Stereo but reviews are not always glowing. Seen the Norcos and seemed overly weighty.

I suppose what I want to know, is out of the Trek and the BMC which one would be the best all rounder, including climbing.

Anything else to consider?

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