The new donor bike showed up a day early, so I started swapping parts. Smooth install. Everything slid/bolted/threaded right up beautifully. Got a buyer lined up for the old frame, and the stock bike parts pulled of this thing are being sold on local forums. Even getting a few new shiny bits for this bike, I'll at the least break even, and may even come out a bit ahead.
To do: awaiting the 8.5" x 2.5" DHX 5.0 Air to go on, and a King 1.5 reducer headset. You can probably guess what color was ordered on that one. Spendy, but nice, and gives the option to easily run a 1.5 fork if wanted later. That'll take a 1/4 pound of the front right away. The FSA Pik reducer set is a freakin' tank.
The shorter shock will slacken things and drop things a bit. I'm estimating about another half degree at the head angle, and about a half inch at the BB height. Cheapo angle finder says 67* right now. Wheelbase just a touch as well; it's spot on 43" right now. BB height is about 14.5" now, unsagged. Wish someone made a 8.25" x 2.25" decent air shock that wasn't a custom arm and a leg cost. Either that or I have to look into having a shuttle made to run a 7.875" x 2.25" on here - that'd take the back down to 5.7". Hmmm... The DHX shock should be about a half pound less, if not more. I've no problems running an air shock.
Yes, the bars are up there. Likely will get rid of a bit more steer tube/spacer stack eventually too (there is a 10mm spacer on now) but wanted to leave it as is until getting some ride time in. Feels good, though all I was able to do was zip around a little bit on some pavement stuff this afternoon. The fit and feel stuff I didn't like about the Preston it felt like won't be an issue at all on this one. I like tall front ends. to keep the slackness and drop more height, I could always run a flush upper headset cup setup, though doubt I'll want to.
Huuuuge tire clearance in back. Slacker, lower with the upcoming shock - that'll give me about 6.3" rear travel. 180mm dropping down to 140mm up front for climbing when needed; something not used much on my rides, but a feature I like to have for those times when needed. Probably giving up a bit of rear end stiffness from the Preston, but that is less an issue at my size, and I feel the fit/geometry is more important anyhow.