The saddle's where it is because that's where I pedal best (when seated at least - I stand up a lot). If I stayed seated when cornering or descending then it would be too far forwards for good handling but I don't so it's just more out of the way when I need to drop my hips behind it. Isn't the fork length more problematic?
Spinning out hasn't been a problem, can hit about 25 mph before my legs are going too fast and then gravity and pumping can take over! It's actually 1x9 but as I need some gears for old frame it's going 1x10 and the old parts will shift onto that. Don't need the extra low ratio of 1x10 normally but it'll be useful on the one XC race I have planned this year (Big Dog!)
I have to say I'm ridiculously thrilled with it - just rides SO well! Part of me wonders if I should have bought a BFe but I'm not that brave or heavy a rider. Working on basic jumping with the forks locked on my commute but normally it's ragging singletrack as fast as possible.
The new tweaks are feeling very nice - I can't believe how much stiffer the Haven Carbon bars and Renthal stem are - I had no idea how much the old bars and stem were flexing when stomping uphill or pushing it downhill. At a guess I'd say they feel about five times as stiff! Top tip for Renthal stems - grease the faces where the upper and lower halves meet to avoid hideous creaking.
And the Hope Race Evo M4 brakes are a masterpiece - they work even better than they look. Tons of power but so easily modulated, I have never skidded so little as I have these last three rides. Finished last night's ride feeling like a riding god (which anyone who knows me can confirm is many many leagues from the truth). Still, in my own little world my just under 26.5lb hardtail was whizzing uphill like I had someone better's legs and downhill, round the bends and over the jumps and drops like I was properly in the zone. Even saved two completely tail out slides which would normally have ended very messily...
Thanks to Freedom Bikes for many of the bits and much of the spannering (I spend my dayjob wielding tools and thus fiddling with bike builds is a bit too much of a busman's holiday).