My favourite mountain bike that I've owned was built around a kona explosif frame. It was the bike upon which I felt the most comfortable. It climbed well, handled well, and for 99% of the terrain within a 50 mile radius of home it was close to perfect.
If I wanted to recreate the feel of the explosif but starting with a brand new frame and building up from there what would you suggest adding to the shortlist?
Are the recent (2010/2011) explosif frames a true evolution of the earlier skinny steel models or have they been tweaked so much over the years that they are now very distant cousins, with different characteristics?