Thanks @kenwrightjr, I have no intention of getting rid of My Precious, as that’s what I call her. An FS bike will happen when the stars align, but for now I will ride her like a rented mule.
So far I put new flat pedals, new Race Face low riser bar, getting new grips, and my new SLX brakes just came in the mail. A new, shorter, stem will complete my projected upgrade and drain my budget. Then onto a new fork and possibly a dropper post. But that’s later down the road. Thanks for the input and I appreciate all the positivity, especially as I am a noob in the MTB thing, but loving every minute of it.
Side note, I played soccer all my life, even played on an international level, and only started mountainbiking after 3 knee surgeries, and no longer being able to run. I don’t ever remember thinking I was superior to anyone just starting to play soccer or not having the Gucci gear I had, and being a “soccer snob”, so I can’t stand when people get “gear snobbish” about someone starting to MTB, like myself. This is not directed at anyone, just a general statement.
So, thank you all for your comments. I am now saving for a new fork……just because th one I currently have is not good. No other reason.
I got my recon from a LBS. It was actually a trek shop where i get my 10 year old sons bikes. They are just nicer and seem to understand the upgradeitis a little better than bikesource. Honestly, i probably would have even went with a sector or 30 but they found a great deal on the recon. Bought it in December so i don’t know if deals are better then or not. Good luck and i rode yesterday and really have fun on this bike. I have also upgraded pedals and grips and its getting dialed in. I still have problems with my 3x system but am holding firm in just having regular maintenance to solve those issues.