I have a Iron Horse Azure and a Vagrant. My Iron horse is a 3.5 inch travel XC race bike. The Vagrant is very different. The biggest difference is climbing. The Vagrant has a very slack headtube and a tall front end (mine has a 7 inch single crown). The Vagrant feels clumsy on slow technical climbs. You really have to concentate of keeping the front wheel on the ground on climbs.
Besides the climbing charactersitics, it is a blast to ride through tight singletrack. The lack of rear suspension takes some getting used to. But the frame is very torsionaly rigid - you can pick a line through a rock garden and the bike is very stable.
If you plan on building a Vagrant for some XC/trail riding get a long seatpost and don't run a short stem. My stem is a 60 mm, and I plan on going up to an 80 mm.
I was planing on trying to go more slopestyle/AM/DH and Im going to be able to drive this year so.... Although I still want to be able to rail some XC trails once in a while. Now I just need to convince myself to sell my XC bike!
Go with a 150-160mm fork as recommended, and it'll make climbing a lot easier. Especially if you get a fork with travel reduction. It's a great do-all bike, if a bit heavy. The slack angles may take you some time to get used to, but IMO it has near-perfect trail riding/shredding geometry.
I enjoy having a hardtail, but honestly wouldn't want it as my only bike. But then again I'm getting older (33) and riding w/o rear suspension makes my back hurt when I ride it for 12+ miles.
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