I'm an intermediate rider in my early 40s who doesn't bomb it down hills but likes to bite off more than he can chew.
So I was at Outerbike in Moab this year and here is what I learned...1) Going to one of the top mountain bike riding spots in the world at a point in your life when you're a bit out of shape is not a good idea 2) Invest in a full face helmet 3) FORGET the weight...get a comfortable gel padded saddle 4) clip in pedals are for road bikers...platform all the way. 5) Better to err on the side of smaller frame.
Here's what else I learned...the 27.5 inch wheel will some time in the near future dominate the mountain bike wheel. IMO 29er's are for cross country race types (not all) b/c it's more efficient. It's also good for people who are willing to compromise agility for comfort. Sort of like the type that prefer SUVs over mid engine sports cars. The 27.5 wheel offers a very noticeable improvement over the 26er in terms of stability (especially in resisting washout on downwhill truns) and grip but not a comparable penalty in terms of agility. Almost like it's beyond the half way point between 26 & 29 on benefit but well below that halfway point on compromise. Now on to the Turner Burner.
The Turner Burner was the best bike I tried all weekend...no contest. Was it the most agile...no. Was it the most flickable...no. Was it the most plush on the downhills...no. But it was the most pedal bob resisting platform. Most of all it was by far the most fun! I kept running different bikes around the same 2.5 mile loop. The Burner was the only bike (even when I was exhausted) that made me feel fearless and like a better rider. The only bike no one (not even the tools wearing spandex shorts) could pass me while I was on it. (BTW I tested other 27.5 bikes)
I'm not some mountain biking expert but I've done my homework and tried a good variety of all mountain and cross country bikes. The Burner is a standout. It's not hard to believe the Burner will be a huge success and help usher in a new era of 27.5 inch wheel ubiquity.