Originally Posted by Corbet
Everyone is going to have a slightly different riding style and ability making each bike different for each individual.
Yup. ultimately its a highly personal and expensive decision and the only thing that really matters is that you get out and have as much fun as possible.
everybody has their own personal benchmarks in the sport, and its up to you to decide what that idea of 'fun' really is. its also an overly fashion conscious sport with a nearly unlimited level of bling available and its easy to get sucked into that.
no matter what bike you choose, it will have notable advantages and disadvantages depending on where, how, how often and with whom you ride and i would not take anybody's advice as gospel.
if your racing, obviously the clock is the only thing that counts.
otherwise, fun is the only metric that matters!!
to add: without a doubt the single best thing i've bought to enhance my DH/FR ridding experience of the last couple of years has been a Leatt brace. Do invest in quality safety equipment, the potential for some horrendous crashes exist and having quality safety equipment should definitely be factored into your purchase decisions. on top of the obvious protection, the psychological aspect is pretty huge.