Well, after months of resisting the urge I'm now properly tempted by a full suss!
As a 5'3" woman choices are definitely limited but there do seem to be a few gems out there...
It's worth explaining that my plan is to buy a whole bike then strip it down (apart from forks) to sell the new parts - transferring the bits from my HT to the new frame, which I will convert to ss using the parts from my ss - and sell my ss frame. (Anyone follow that?!) Anyway, that should offset the cost a fair bit.
It's also worth explaining that I'm set on the idea of a 20/15mm bolt thru fork, so if a bike doesn't come with that I'd want to strip the fork off and sell that to fund a new fork. (Bit pricey and a hassle though I know but it makes sense to do the upgrade at the same time as going full suss I reckon)
Anyway, at the moment I really like the look of the Trek EX8 wsd (it's only lacking the bolt thru). The Marin Mount Vision 5.8 also seems pretty good but they don't do a women's spec so I'd have to get the 5.7, which (unlike the men's 5.7!) doesn't come with a bolt thru either.
Then, there is this mad part of me that really fancies an Orange 5 pro! But I'm not convined it'll fit me. They do a diva version I know, but I'm pretty sure that would be too short, but I think the standard 14" may well be too long! (How frustrating!) I really like the idea of the five though, especially as it comes with a bolt thru fork. Do any short-ish women own a five?
Additionally, I'm not sure if 140mm be overkill for me - especially if it's that bit heavier too. I do ride trail centres a lot though, and do like going downhill fast - I just don't want to have to drag my bike to the top first!
Anyway, I know I need to test ride them (and hopefully will get to try out the Marin 5.7 and Orange 5 Pro soon), but I'd be interested in your opinions or alternative suggestions. Especially from women!
Also does anyone happen to know how the frame weight of the Trek or Marin? Would the Trek/Marin build up much lighter?