I agree with just about everything in the first paragraph! I had an Epic World Cup before the EVO, and it was very aggressively forward. Tires were made for speed, not for durability. On the EVO, however, Spesh upped their game and put GRID protection on both tires.
the Fox 34 Step Cast has room for a 2.6” tire, so I may end up swapping that in place of the 2.3” that’s on there right now. Good idea.
I agree on the geometry comment as well. That’s one of the reasons I’m looking at the Tallboy, Ripley, etc. the Stumpjumper would just have a little more travel, be a little heavier, and slightly less progressive on the geometry.