You know how it is when you decide to spend your hard-earned cash on something like a new bike, and then you can't really talk about it to your family or "normal" friends because they just don't quite get it? Well, that's where you guys come in... I used to think big bikes were dumb (I used to think full suspension was dumb too, but have since realized that *I* was dumb). How could you possibly need more than 5, maybe 6 inches of travel, unless you were doing some stupidly large hits or something? *I* certainly would never want to do that! That all changed after a few recent trips to Whistler and Oregon. I was sold on why big bikes are cool. So I started looking around, but wasn't really finding anything that matched what I wanted or wanted to pay. Then, through being in the right place at the right time, I found a reason to deplete my "emergency gear fund". My friends and family are going to be bummed when their Christmas present this year consists of just a card! If any of you know Z at ABS, this was his bike. Totally sweet setup. Obviously killer for going downhill. I got the granny on it so that I can actually pedal it back up on the local trails, and it pedals surprisingly well. You may laugh at the gravity dropper seatpost, but that thing rocks! Tested it out this weekend on a ride with markk. Finally hit this drop off DC that has been taunting me for a year (BTW, thanks to punkassean for giving me the skinny on how to hit this drop - let off the brakes once you turn into the run-in!): Totally smooth on the new bike. I think it's a keeper. Near the bottom of DC, we saw this guy come ripping by on a full-on DH quad: I recognized his face from somewhere. Then I remembered him from a bike-to-work week tour of the Santa Cruz Bikes facility. His name is Eric, and he does all the frame stress testing and analysis there. Cool guy. I think he was a DH racer before the accident that left him in a wheelchair. Now he's doing the quad thing. Check out that rig - it's got 4 Fox DHX's! He was talking about how he did the quad mountaincross at crankworks this year. Can you imagine 4 of these guys charging down a mtn-x course, trying to knock each other over?!