I’d be perfectly fine with 26 inch wheels, but 27.5 is also just fine. Internal cable routing is pretty annoying, but the one thing I really don’t care for is the obsession with carbon everything. In my opinion it’s too expensive and too fragile to justify the weight savings. I currently ride an aluminum hardtail with aluminum wheels and no carbon components. My last bike was a carbon hardtail. Guess why I switched back to aluminum. Over the course of a single year the carbon frame had a chunk taken out of the bb shell by a rock strike, and the frame was cracked on the downtube when I went over the bars on a jump and the bike landed on it’s side. Is it unreasonable to expect a bike to survive a fairly mild crash? My aluminum bike has taken many much harder rock strikes and hits, and has had no damage beyond the paint. As for wheels, I’m currently running a Stan’s Flow mk3 wheelset, and the 27.5 aluminum rims come in at a whopping 480 grams each. Not much heavier, if at all, than a comparable carbon rim. And the real kicker here is that a wheelset is about $680 with their neo hubs. Not a bad price. And if you dent a rim? New rim runs around $100. Just this last weekend I smacked my rear wheel on a rock and dented it; completely my fault, the combination of sloppy riding, too low tire pressure, and a hardtail meant that my rim was in for a hard hit. I suspect that that hit would have cracked a carbon rim and rendered it unrideable. When carbon breaks it tend to do so catastrophically. My wheel still holds air and is still rideable, and if I want to replace it I won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to do so. Carbon is nice if you’re a roadie, a featherweight xc rider, or a sponsored racer, but not so much for aggressive riders paying for their own stuff.
Also I’d like to see more configurability on reasonably priced bikes. Having a choice between shimano or sram for drivetrain and brakes would be nice.
Sorry for the rant, my typing fingers got away from me a little bit.