I am looking to get my first "real" mountain bike, and am thinking an XC rig. I come from a road riding background, but want to get into some single track trail riding (nothing super technical, but typical roots/rocks) and the odd XC race. I am looking for a bike that I can grow into and not feel the need to upgrade immediately. My budget is roughly $3,000CAD ($2,500USD), but can be flexible for the right bike.
I am torn between a HT and FS rig. Given my road riding background, a HT feels the most natural but I am unsure if I would regret not going the FS route.
I am looking at the following bikes and would love some recommendations, either within these options, or others. Thanks in advance!
2017 Norco Revolver FS 9.3 $3210
2017 Revolver 9.2 HT $2,880
2018 Trek Procaliber 8 $2,899
2016 Cannondale F-Si Carbon 3 - $2,899
2018 Specialized Chisel Comp $1,999