This is the second hardtail I made for myself. It sports 27.5×2.6 tires, a 1x drivetrain, MRP’s lovely Ribbon fork with 140 mm travel, and OneUp Components’ excellent 170 mm travel dropper post.
After riding my original hardtail for awhile, I knew I wanted to make some changes. For one, the seat tube angle was too slack. I struggled to keep the front wheel on the ground on steep climbs. By steepening the seat tube angle on this frame, I was also able to push the front end further forward. Climbing is now much improved at the slight expense of more weight on my hands on flatter terrain.
The original frame also had fairly long chainstays (430 mm) for its size. I had a hard time lifting the front end up for bunny hopping. With version 2, I decreased the chainstays to 420 mm. The bike is now a bunny hopping demon. This makes for a very playful ride. However the short stays impact front wheel traction. I have to more consciously keep my weight forward or the front end can wash out. My third bike will eventually split the difference and use 425 mm chainstays.
The 27.5×2.6 tires are a great size. The added volume and subsequent lower pressures add a bit more cushion to the rear end, which is nice on a hardtail.