After 100 miles as a 69er it was time to try something different, so I put a 130mm Manitou Splice on the front and to ride this bike as a single speed hard tail. I also went back to a rear disc brake because I might even turn this into a 1x9 some time soon. For now, however, I am riding it with a different front end, including different bars. I decided to try the Ritchey Comps upfront with the lock on grips I got from my 29er riding buddy. The narrower bars have an interesting feeling to them.
I just pedaled around the drive way and rode down the creek bed along the drive way. One thing I noticed with the suspension fork upfront is that it's definitely a smoother ride, in fact, it feels like it compensates for the shock in the rear, too. Need to try it out on some real trail, next.