I sold my sweet 26" Giant NRS1 because it was now obsolete and would cost an arm and a leg to upgrade. As a replacement, I picked up a brand new 29" Giant Stance that a guy was selling because he had hurt himself at work. This is an entry level trail bike. Honestly, it is orders of magnitude better than my old XT/XTR/Fox equipped NRS. It's as if they totally rewrote the book on how mountain bikes are designed (compared to the old 26" bikes).
Agreed. I stumbled across this the other day. Old school mtb vs. gravel bikes .
I am terrified riding my old mtb bike down the trail now, and I swear I was faster 20 years ago than I am now, but don't have Strava data to validate. I'm pretty sure the 49-year-old-me on my current bike would kick the 20-something year-old me's ass in a bike race, uphill and down.