Lurker, very occasionally posting swiss based scot with a question which I am hoping for some opinions on.
I am in analysis paralysis. Blue Pig or Niner EMD. I am aware these are somewhat different, but let me outline my riding and needs and see what you think.
Current ride: large 08 Stumpy FSR. competent, good for long days out, but not really that good at anything in particular. fits me OK but might be better with XL, would probably keep. Bit flexy though (fork, wheels and back end). Also got a very old Marin Nail trail in 22" or something that is my commuting hack.
Me: Tall and fat. 6'4" 120kg, 35, long suffering bike/ski widow wife, 2 kids (young), get out 2x per week. 1x evening night ride 1-2hrs, 1x weekend rides, normally v early (dark) for a bit longer. Bigger trips in summer.
Want: responsive hard tail, for out of the saddle honking and hooning about in local forest, but also on longer rides, esp in the alps where it needs to climb (hence honking out the saddle), but also manage the bloody ridiculous steep singletrack switchbacks, but also happy to bomb down the bigger, faster, wider trails that are only ridable at a decent clip so the baby head rocks are not so much bother. Not a big air/drop kind of guy.
Consider-ing/ed, Blue Pig, Soul (too flexy i reckon, maybe not slack enough), BFe (bit small perhaps) etc etc. thought cheap-ish steel was the way to go. Blue Pig seems to answer most, but then.... I don't know if I want a gate proportioned 26er, when perhaps I should aim for a 29er which might just all be a bit more in proportion. Really got this in my head!
Also want to get a frame as I really fancy building it all up myself. And I can't test ride, as I am in Schweiz and I have not seen any 29ers nearby, and they are not really into the whole HH HT thing here.
Your opinions hugely valued, especially if you think I am a total muppet!
Any answers will undoubtedly lead to more questions on kit choice.. Thanks!