I am looking to buy a cross country mountain bike and start dabbling in some XC racing to have fun and help me with my bike handling. I do not have a budget to accommodate a top of the line bike but could swing some carbon hardtails out there or aluminum full suspension bikes that are around the same price (looking to not go over 3k USD). I have been looking at Specialized Epic Comp (full susp aluminum frame) and the Epic Hardtail Comp (carbon framed hardtail).
I originally was leaning toward carbon hardtail so I could use it for gravel as well. Also, not sure if it matters, but I am a bigger fella - 6’3" and 185lbs
I am not brand loyal but those were the two I have been comparing when thinking al full or carbon hardtail.
Would love to hear your thoughts, cheers!