^^ This 100%. You can ride two of the same exact bikes with slightly different components and they'll feel completely different. You can't really get a good feel for how you like a bike until you've ridden it for a few weeks not a few minutes or hours. For me as long as I can duplicate the cockpit feel I'll adapt to everything else. Besides bikes are getting so good now the differences are splitting hairs. It's really hard to buy a turd of a bike nowadays.Demos are overrated. Of my last 4 bikes I ordered all 4 of them site unseen. It doesn't particularly bother me. I can usually ride two different sizes of bikes and I pick based on the geo chart and what I am after out of the bike [ie. high speed stability or playfulness]. If I have questions I ask the company what they'd recommend.
I was at a demo a few years ago and because my buddy wanted to try the bike I was riding I swapped with him and rode the bike he was demoing. It was the same bike I owned and loved. The demo bike was awful and if that was the only info I had about that particular bike I would have told you it was a poor choice for me. In reality it was a great bike I rode for 4 years. I don't get too worked up about demos.
If you are unsure about bike fit contact the company and give them all your info [measurements, what you are riding now, etc...] and take their recommendation. Firstly they've sized a lot of people on their bikes and secondly if you were to have bike fit issues they'll be more sympathetic to helping you out.
I agree with this 100% for instance I got to spend a bit of time on a Ripley recently and I just didn't gel with that bike even after 2 days of riding and setup. Meanwhile I rode a trail429 from pivot with similar numbers and both running DW-Link and I found the pivot to suit me and was a much more enjoyable experience. If I just looked at numbers I would have easily picked the ripley no questions asked but I am glad I had an opportunity to ride it 1st.Yeah that's pretty much it. Not only does the sizing need to work, but the suspension kinematics too. It all has to come together to feel just right.