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Andrew, so nice to finally find another who understands my disdaine for silly steep STAs and the why of it. You said and explained it all, so I won't bother to try.
Really surprised that you went for the Large with that 470mm Reach, can't fathom how someone that's only 5'9" can ride such a big bike, while me, 6'2" would run anywhere from that to about 485mm Reach using 40-50mm stems. I think that you would have been better suited and happy getting the Medium and a 9point8 dropper with the setback head to open up the seated pedaling aspect.
As to how you got your review sample, I think that's how every reviewer should get frames for review, because you're reviewing the frame, not the parts someone happened to choose to hang on it. Then like you have, you try different parts and evaluate it independently of the parts and find out what works/helps it perform good and what doesn't - FOX X2 it would seem.
Will be interesting to hear what you think when you mullet it. I've run 650B 2.8" on my Prime to see what it was like and I definitely didn't get that normal feeling that regular width 650B tyres get compared to 29ers of hanging up on stuff. The one thing it did do was make it more of a monster truck, which it really didn't need any more of for how I like to ride and the terrain we have.
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