I know another which bike forum but i need some info. I am starting to race and eventually going to do some xterra events. I live in Indiana and ride mostly skinny single track with a few climbs and technical sectoins. climbing really isnt an issue. I am 5' 10" 165# 31" inseem. My skills are average by that i mean i usually hit the dirt a few times., need somethind durable. I like to get out and ride fast for a few hours and call it a day mostly due to babies and wife. My intrest in 29ers has also ben sparked by the GF Xcaliber and Cann. 29er 2. 'My lbs doesnt have really any of these bikes in stock, judst similar lower specd models. No money for a light FS rig. Every one here thinks they need a FS for our rough Indiana terrain and plus i got diapers to buy.
I have the 2009 Trek 8000 and it's been a great bike. It's a fast light hard tail and all the components have held up fine under my 190lbs. Shifting is very smooth and once you break in the hydro's it has great stopping power. The Rox Shox Reba did have a small problem at first, the negative air cartridge developed a leak but warranty paid for the repair. After another 1k miles there have been no more shock issues. It climbs well, is super fast on the flats and down hilling is a blast. I'm 5'10 with a 32in inseam and I have the 18.5in size. The cock pit did feel a little tight so I put on an 130mm stem and Thomas set back seat post. I'm at work so I can't post a pic but go to the Post your Rigs version 3.0. thread and I have a pic posted. Good luck on the search.