This bike will inspire more confidence to chose the harder line, take that jump or pin that turn at max speed. The geometry coupled with the tracking and stability of the Fox 36 lends itself to a very controlled ride. I did find myself wanting a livelier, more playful feel at certain points - especially after having ridden the new SB130 - but ultimately that is not what this bike was designed for. The end user should enjoy rowdy descents, will prioritize stability over pop and not care much about weight.
While the Switch Infinity system does well to maximize traction and minimize pedal bob, this bike is still quite a monster truck to push around. In riding a long travel bike with a 51mm offset fork, I finally understood the switch to shorter offsets with the newest crop of enduro 29ers. The front end of the bike tends to wander when riding up technical climbs, which, might not matter to you, but bothers a dirt roadie like me who loves to chase the KOM.
All in all, we offer a great package with this bike but I would make a few key substitutions.
1. Descendant 35mm bars - way too harsh
2. WTB Volt Saddle - way too much cushion for pedaling comfortably. If you plan to tackle a lot of elevation gain, I'd look for a better saddle.
All in all, the SB5.5 is a confidence-inspiring big mountain crusher. You won't be going fast on the way up, but most riders won't care. The reward of the descent will more than make up for it.