Deacon, the Specialized manager person, agreed that the idea had merit and so this is on its way, so I have been told.
I love the BB set-up on this thing. It was trouble free before, so we shall see what a longer visit brings. A fork is coming from RockShox...not sure what it is, but I suspect it is a new Recon 29er. We shall see...could be a Tora or Reba. There may be some new brakes from the latest line of hydro stoppers...that is pending as well.
Other wise I will be moving over parts from the SS Jabberwocky, which for the last year has been faithfully taking me everywhere that I asked it to. The Jabber is a fine bike, but there are some plusses to the 'Hopper...and some minuses too. I know it will be lighter, so that will be good. I am pretty sure I will prefer the handling of the 'Hopper as well, but the past test bike did not quite ride as well as the steel-is-real Jabber. Aluminum, ya' know.
Anyway, more details to come when the big brown santa comes to town. It should be a fun build. I may even play with a different crank set-up if I can come to a cheap and clean solution. I am torn between staying old school with a tapered BB Phil Wood style and some version of a matching crank...or...go new school with a external BB (maybe a Chris King) with some kind of older XTR...or...just keep running the XT Octalink II cranks I have now. Meh! We shall see. Suggestions?
Meanwhile, the clock ticks.