Project Leadville - 2013 Race Rig

It hasn't even been a full week since Leadville, and I'm already thinking about next year. Overall I think it's a wonderful race series, so I'm hoping to do all of them. That means a lot of expensive traveling, but having done the Tahoe qualifier as well as Leadville I think it's worth it. I'm realizing I'm more suited for endurance/marathon racing. I also realized that races are won in the climbs and lost in the downhills, having most of my downfalls going too fast downhill. Having said that, I'm thinking about changing my Leadville/2013 race rig back to a hard tail. I'm hoping to get something sub 19 pounds. Right now I have my eyes on two bikes, a Santa Cruz Highball Carbon and a Niner Air 9 Carbon RDO. Both frames come in at 2.5 pounds, and have both received great reviews. I'm gonna do a custom build, hopefully with the new SRAM XX1 drivetrain and perhaps their new SRAM Rise 60 wheelset.

It's just a thought right now. I'm not looking to build one up till next spring, but it's always fun to build a virtual dream race bike. Having done Leadville I think having an Epic is perfect, however it is a bit more weight to carry up and over the hills. It's super comfortable and reliable, but I think I could shave off considerable time if I were on a light hard tail.

What say you? What do you guys think of either brand? Any other frame sets I should keep on eye out on?