Not sure if you have been to JRA in Medford, you might be able to take out a Scalpel and/or the Rocky for a day of riding. They do have a fleet of demo bikes and I know they sell both of those, just not sure if they have demo's of these two. I love my 29er! I have a Kona Satori, bought from JRA. It's probably a bit of pig for what you a looking for, but there are the Kona Hei Hei bikes that are lighter, and start at 2K with what looks like a decent brake/drive train combo. From what I remember when checking out reviews, they compared the Tallboy and the Satori stating they were similar bikes. I never tested the Tallboy so no I don't know for sure. Mine has 130mm of travel front and rear and weighs in at just over 30 pounds. Good luck on your search!