I've been riding a 2015(?) Willard 2 for about a year now. I picked it up from Jenson for $999 and it came with a $300 "money card" that I used to buy Mtn bike parts. A good deal, I think.

I mostly ride it on the road with the occasional foray onto gravel trails/roads for some training miles and when I can't mountain bike. This year, I've raced a few cross races, and while I wouldn't mind something with sharper handling, I can't really say the bike is holding me back.

I wouldn't mind hydraulic brakes, but the TRP Spyres are surprisingly good. I'd like a second set of wheels so that I'm not swapping tires so often, and I'll probably go tubeless on those.

At some point, I may move to a cross bike as my "only" and live with the compromises, but I'd have trouble letting go of this Willard. Once you get into the realm of Shimano 105, you can really get a lot of bike for your $$. I wish dollars would stretch as far when buying a mountain bike!
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I'm a big fan of Raleigh bikes, great value.  I had a steel Furley, which was very flexy, and several RX, RXS and an RXC.  The geo fits me really nicely and I have money left over for nice wheels (the best place to shave weight, too).  They are my go-to for all riding.

I just got a new RX2.0 and bought compressionless housings for the Spyre brakes, only to find out that the bike comes standard with Jagwire compressionless already.  Very thoughtful touch.

If anyone needs stealth black housings for their mech brakes, I have a brand new set going to waste!  
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I have a Willard, it's good, but I quickly upgraded the wheels and tires and the gearing. And I REALLY hate the brakes. They're the noisiest, weakest brake I think I've ever ridden.
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