So after taking a few years off from riding DH with injuries I got back into riding last year when I bought a 2015 Trance 2 27.5. I actually really like the bike a lot and I've been pleasantly surprised by how capable the bike is on almost all trails. As a family man in my late 30's I don't push as hard on the downhills anymore and enjoy the pedally bits now more than ever. We bought and moved to the Sunshine Coast early this year and I have been riding now more than ever. The trails here are nice and mellow compared to the North Shore but I would like a bike with a little more travel that I could take to Coast Gravity Park while still getting out and doing some XC'ish laps in between Sechelt and Robert's Creek. The Trance has been awesome but it's definitely let down by it's entry level suspension. I've tried to work with stock Fox CTD Evolution suspension and it always feels sketchy when things get fast and loose. I would consider upgrading the suspension but once you look into what I'd be into the bike for it probably makes the most sense to sell it and get a new better all around build. That's my justification anyway.
The two bikes I'm considering are:
Commencal Meta V4 Race - Currently $4400 with a built kit that I can't seem to fault. Anyone had any time on it and care to share their experiences? All reviews on it seem to be top notch and the value seems excellent. I'm totally happy with an aluminum frame. Never owned carbon/composite.
Giant Reign Advanced 1 - Currently $5300 also with a nice build. I am partial to Shimano and the XT kit is pretty much impossible to fault. Also hard to find a negative word about the Reign. Never owned carbon and it is appealing but it's not something that will sway me to buy it especially when the Reign is $1000 more expensive. For it's carbon frame and build I don't know of another bike that can touch it in terms of value and performance.
Any other good value AM/Enduro bikes in the $4000 - $5000 range that I should be considering? The YT Capra Comp 1 AL is intriguing but the build doesn't seem to be on par (shifting and brakes) with the Giant or the Commencal.
I haven't had a brand new bike since I was a kid. It's time.