Thanks for all the willingness to share and answer questions.
I purchased the frame last winter, slowly bought parts from online and LBS sources.
The bike's been together for a few weeks now, and I just got pics up in the setup database thread and also in a thread showing some build pics.
This is my first FS mountain bike, bought the frame without ever riding it, based on two factors. One that there's pretty good agreement that the suspension technology has reached a point where all the good FS bikes are good, two that the reviews of the ML all said it was a fairly stiff FS bike residing in the XC end of the trail continuum. I also liked the idea that I could switch between 4" and 5" travel, although so far I've been using just five. I do have one local trail in mind where I think four will be a hoot, it's more smooth clay with few rocks, loads of whoop-di-doos.
I have the bike set up with a TALAS 100-140 with 15QR, mostly running it in 120, 100 for few climbs I do. Haven't really played with 140 yet, need to get further afield to some areas with more extended downhills.
What I've found so far is that the full sus lets me clean more than I could before, and makes technical climbing a little bit easier. I'm still getting used to the difference of an active rear, but overall I'm very impressed. I also like how it responds to standing, I enjoy some climbs that for me require some standing to finish.
I will post more thoughts as time and experience permit, but I just wanted to let you all know I'm now on the Motolite and loving it. Check out my pics in the two other threads I mentioned.
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Thread: Lovin' my Mango Motolite