Looking to get more into XC racing in the south-east United States. I have a Jamis XLT 2.0 2004 for my trail/fun bike. I am really happy with Jamis and can get a good deal on one of their steel hardtails, the Dakota XC or Dragon. Or I could go with their Dakar Expert or Pro for a full suspension XC bike. On the other hand, for a little more money, I could get a Racer-X.

The first question is, I want to race Sport XC, should I run full suspension? I really like the way the full suspension really grabs the trail and also lets you crank downhill if you need to instead of just chattering while you hold on for dear life (on a really bumpy trail). On the other hand, hardtail is less weight and somewhat better climber on non-technical stuff.

Next question...Jamis dropped the horst link on their Dakar series but all the XC bikes have pro-pedal shocks and I am really happy with my Manitou SPV rear shock on the XLT. The bikes are nice but if I am going to get full suspension, should I wait for the Racer-X or go for on of the Dakars? I can get a pretty good deal on the Dakars where on the Racer-X I am probably just paying normal price.....Let me know what you guys think. Thanks for the help.