Hoping the MTB crew here can help me wrap my head around the best type of MTB bike for my situation. For background, I’m 49 y.o. male that grew up racing BMX, then ran for 20 years (not continuously, I took breaks for work, meals, etc.), and got back into riding about 5 years ago.
After test riding a bunch of 29er race bikes about 5 years ago they all felt like school buses to me (I’m 5’8" and 150 lbs) and I couldn’t hardly manual over a curb let alone bunny hop over the Sunday paper. So I have a 27.5" XC hardtail race bike that I picked up to do Leadville and MTB races, mostly marathon distance (50 - 100 miles). It’s a great climber and fun on buff trails, but pretty scary on steep or rocky descents and beats me up after a few hours. Has served me well, but it’s time to take another look as I understand 29er geometry has improved since I was in the market.
I’d like to continue doing marathon events and am looking for a full suspension MTB that would be good for that sort of thing and fun for trail rides with the guys. Most riding is in the mid-atlantic, so plenty of rocks and roots, short/steep climbs. I’m not going to be hucking this thing, so don’t need a ton of travel and I’m fairly light so I’d like a relatively light bike. My super competitive days (if I ever really had them) are over and it’s more about fun than placing to me. Price is a secondary concern, not really too limited there.
So, any recommendations on how much front/rear travel to look for or any specific bikes based on this info? Thanks for your help!