So I've been looking for a new full-squish bike for some time now. I've been doing the research, etc. and talking about it non-stop to my wife. Finally, this past weekend, she got sick of me talking about it and said to "go get a damn bike." She and I agreed on a limit of $3K
I rode the Yeti SB-66 and thought it was awesome. Lots of fun on the descents but also a pretty solid climber. It was listed for 3300 and I figured that I could stretch my budget a tad. Of course, this weekend also marks the point when Yeti decided to update their bike kits and prices. Now, it is listed at 3700 and too much of a stretch past my limit. If I placed my order only two weeks ago...
So, what should I look at instead in the $3K neighborhood? I'm looking for a "do-it-all" bike. Great climber, great descender. I'm definitely someone who does the climbing so I can enjoy the descents. I also want to be able to keep up with my XC buddies well enough so that they'll keep riding with me. I haven't been overly excited about 29ers but I also haven't ridden enough of them to rule them out completely. I can be convinced by a solid test ride.
Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thanks for your input.