I'm looking to upgrade my entry level FS 26" XC bike for some bigger hoops and better components. I do mostly XC riding, minimal drops, no racing. I'm looking for a short travel trail bike, under $3K. Here's what I'm looking at, suggestions?
• Santa Cruz Tallboy '12 - Tested it, seemed like a great bike. Really like the ride, very confidence inspiring.
• Spec Camber Comp '12 - Tested. Similar ride to the Tallboy. Bit lighter, maybe more responsive. Currently have a Spec and it's been a great bike.
• Cannondale Scalpel 29er 3 - Haven't tested (can't)
• Rocky Mountain Element 930 - Haven't tested (can't)
I tested a Trek Fuel, which I didn't particularly care for.
I'm not sure if I really want to test other brands too much. I know Giant and a few others make great bikes, but I don't live near a shop that sells them.
Would love to hear if people have these bikes, how they like them, and what was the deciding factor.