Well, that was an experience to say the least... With all the variety and recommendations I was a little concerned this process would become complicated, but a 32km test ride on the Yeti ASR5 has made things much easier. Quite simply blown away. It was the aluminium frame with 140 forks and here are my notes;
Climbing was better, way better, than my old FSR. I'm quite heavy and there was not the slightest bob with pro pedel engaged, but it rode over and smoothed the ride to the point where I was just picking a line rather than looking for the smoothest route. Brilliant.
Descending. Blimey... Much more confident than ever before and quick too. Got myself into trouble a few times and just rode through it. I was more than happy with the amount of travel.
It was fitted with a Specialized command post which I LOVED, used it all day and will definitely have one. Very good looking in black and frankly is all the bike I need. However will need one or two more test rides to see how the competition stacks up. If there's better to be had for the money then wow!
Thanks for the continued recommendations, I'm looking in to all of them however please no more hard tails... I won't buy one as it's not what I want. Cheers though.