Technical Report Dropper post length:
I'd highly recommend fitting the Madonna with the longest travel dropper post possible. That's due to the steep seat angle - the seat doesn't get as far out of the way when it's lowered as it would on a bike with a slacker seat angle. My test bike came with a 150mm Fox Transfer post (a 175mm post is offered as well), and it wasn't enough drop for my liking, especially on steeper trails.Tire combo:
It's hard to beat the tried and true Maxxis DHF / DHR II tire combo. In this case, I would have liked to see a thicker casing, non-dual compound tire in the rear. Yes, that harder rubber lasts longer tire, but the tire itself isn't going to last that long if there's a hole in the casing. A MaxxTerra EXO+ tire would do the trick, and a DoubleDown version would be even better. XT M8120 brakes
: By now the wandering bite point of the M8120 brakes is old news, but it's worth a brief mention. Theses brakes have almost everything going for them – there's tons of power and the lever shape is excellent, it's just that even with a perfect bleed the bite point can change from one pull of the lever to the next. XT M8100 drivetrain:
With quick, precise shifting, impressive lever ergonomics, and an adjustable clutch the XT M8100 drivetrain is one of the best options currently on the market. In fact, I'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between XT and XTR in a blind test – it's really only the weight and price that separates one from the other.