I am very much in the same boat. I have 2 bikes - a 26" element (with a 140mm fork), and a 26" norco sight (with a 150mm fork).
I am looking to split the trail and AM category with something that can handle the shore, squamish and whistler (outside the park). Also thinking that 29 might be an option for me as i am 6'3" and 210 (on a good day). I ride from home, so climbing is important.
Bikes that have caught my eye:
- Rocky Mountain Instinct or Altitude (or possible thunderbolt)
- Giant Reign
- Specialized Enduro 29
- Trek Remedy 29
Open to suggestions and pro's and cons of each category.
Have you test rode the Enduro29? I recommend you do and your mind may be made up. I was looking for a much lighter bike with less travel, but once riding that machine yesterday I was grinning ear to ear and in love. I think I will be going to buy it today. It climbs surprisingly well. I had better XC times with the E29 compared to my current stumpy 26, and it was way more fun!
I compared it directly to the stump jumper 29 evo and found that the marginal climbing benefits with the stumpy weren't enough to justify less ability going down - which I found to be a pretty significant difference. The shorter chainstay on the E29 makes a big difference going down.