I attended a skills course this weekend at a rough, rocky trail, and I can honestly say that the slacker geo and extra 20mm of travel I had compared to the mostly XC bikes in attendance made me a lot faster, while also safer, and they didn't simply ride away from me on the hills either. I was lucky enough in 2016 when I was ready to upgrade from my R6k cheapy to a better bike to demo an XC (Epic), short-travel trail (Camber) and trail bike (Stumpy) on the same trail and on the same day. Based on that I purchased an alloy Camber which I still ride and love. I believe that if more people attended these kinda days (Spez does Test The Best and Trek does something similar) a lot more people would be on short-travel trail bikes having experienced their calm, composed nature, and all the confidence that they inspire. I wonder however, if the problem doesn't sit partially with us buyers. When we walk into a shop, do we express our needs and desires properly, or are we lead by the salesman, and what he wants to sell? I rather doubt that if we walk into shop and explain we want something slack, capable and comfortable, that the salesman will insist on selling us an XC machine, or are we telling them we want something light and fast? Or perhaps we don't actually know what we want. As to the new Stumpy, I have to admit to being a little conflicted between an Epic Evo and Stumpy if something happened and I had to replace my beloved Camber. On rough trails it's an absolute no brainer win for the Stumpy, on smooth singletrack however an Epic Evo does the job with less effort, albeit not as smoothly.