As a former (and current) roadie whose only been riding off-road seriously for a year I'm still trying to get to grips with what I actually want from an MTB. Living in Scotland I like to ride natural stuff on "proper" mountains (so rocky trails, steps etc with lots of climbing) but am not averse to the odd trail centre.
So I want something that climbs well but also inspires confidence on the descents. When it comes to descending I'm not really interested in getting down faster; it's much more about what I can get down than how fast. I'll keep working on the skills (coaching etc); that's a given. But I still wonder what the ideal bike should be. Basically I want a big skill compensator that also climbs well and I also like full suss (for comfort and just because bouncy bikes are fun). So, what would you recommend?
To make this more fun could you try and recommend at least one bike that you don't own.