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I just got back from 3 months in New Zealand, and regrettably did not go to Wairoa (Travelling with baby and partner). However, I rode a lot around Nelson and Rotorua as well as some of the double black (red) trails in Queenstown (outside the bike park, I like more natural trails).
Your preference for the large, I find surprising. I'm 6'3.5" (to be precise) and I ride an XXL 2019 Sentinel Alloy.
Let's be frank, this bike basically copies the geometry Transition figured out years ago (as do most of the bikes in this category) - Aside: The transition could maybe benefit from 10mm more travel in the back though - if anything I am curious to try even more reach. Yes, there was a learning curve of riding more forward on the bike. We are trying to break many years of habit here, especially us taller guys who have not had proper fitting frames. Ever. However, it wasn't long before I was hooting and hollering, descending the steepest trails I'd ever seen, dropping, and rolling the steepest steeps I'd ever dropped or rolled. I attribute it to the long front center and a proper fitting bike. It's like night and day going back to something in 480 mm reach with 73/74 seat tube realm, which was a defacto XL just last year almost.
I truly believe that any rider who gets on a modern longer front center bike will find within three rides they feel like a better rider than they were before.
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