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One question, is that your actual saddle angle? If so, I can imagine why slacker STA's robbed you of power as you seem to need a serious anterior tilt to your pelvis. I think your *comment that "not everyone get's on with the same bike shape" is an important one. I think modern mtb geo has a lot to do with bikes being designed for people with limited to moderate back/hip flexibility. Previous geometry was built around a fit, young racer. It's no wonder it doesn't work out for the masses.
I agree that the weight of the bike is not all that critical. I certainly don't climb faster with empty water bottles rather than 2 filled ones. I also find that suspension bikes (even with plenty of travel) often climb faster for me, even on machine built climbs as the suspension allows me to just sit and pedal. On a hardtail, I often have to use a harder gear so I can take some weight off my saddle to absorb the bumps. The "efficiency" of a hardtail is a bit of a myth I believe for everything except out of the saddle climbs. A power meter on a road bike can teach you a lot about your efficiency. Personally, I don't get more efficient or power moving forwards on the saddle. I do get a lot more efficient when pedalling 90-100 rpm - something I am only able to do on trails with a full sus mtb.
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