I have had this bike for a few weeks and have loved every second of it. I use this bike on tight single track trails as well as more open fire roads. The bike climbs very well with the CTD suspension. For me, unless I am on a fire road, the suspension works best with the rear locked while climbing and I prefer the front left on the trail setting while climbing. This allows the front end to go up and over large rocks or obstacles with ease. I can't believe how well this bike climbs considering the amount of suspension and the geometry it has. Also on a side note the bike I have did come with a float 32 in the front.
I have not yet weighed the bike but I suspect with pedals it will weigh in between 32-33 lbs which is awesome for a full aluminum frame, 27.5 wheels, and long suspension travel. It is awesome that this bike comes with platform pedals included as most bikes do not. However I am sure most people will change to their preferred pedal as soon as the bike arrives.
Now to handling. This bike turns in similar to a 26 inch wheeled bike but with the larger wheels you can roll over larger obstacles with ease. The suspension soaks up larger drops and jumps while still providing an especially damp feel over rough rooted or chopped trails. I find I can ride the same trails as before much quicker with confidence. The brakes work exceptionally well and in my opinion Shimano really does offer the best brakes on the market. Considering that the M447 brakes are middle of the road the stopping power they provide is better than expected. All parts of the drive train, from the wide narrow ring up front to the SLX Shadow derailleur out back, compliment each other. Shifts are smooth and direct without delay.
Really for the money I think you would be hard pressed to find a better build in this price range. Bikes to compare this to would be the Kona Process 134 and Santa Cruz Heckler. In my opinion this bike has comparable components and is priced better. Now hit the trail!