If you look on Steve Potts' website, he calls his bikes cross-terrain bikes, differentiating subtly from cross-country. I think we have quite a lot of fire road/hard pack actually, although obviously not as much as the USA. But the thing is that there's hardly anybody on those trails, because mtb fashion in the UK has moved away from that sort of 50+ miles in a day mode to technical riding without travelling far mode.
I think the Potts looks very suitable for x-c as well as x-t, and I'm not sure what is so relaxed about the geometry. The head angle is over 70, the offset isn't that large, maybe the chainstay is a little longer than modern bikes, but within the limits of a rigid fork, that looks a pretty usable bike to me. Except that I'd be a bag of nerves riding a bike with such a sublime paint job that I could so easily damage!
Somehow I get the feeling that people think I'm slagging the Potts bikes off in some way................I'm not, they just don't suit me.
There may well be Loads of fireroad and hardpack over on your part of the island, but my local trails are Mid and North Wales and it's been a very long time since I've been able to manage anywhere near 50+ mile loops in that kind of terrain. It's kind of hard to avoid technical stuff round here.
Modern: Cotic Solaris | Cotic Escapade
Retro: 1988 MF Explorer | 1991 DB Apex | 1992 DB Response | 1994 GT Zaskar LE
WANTED: RS Mag 21 with 1/18" unthreaded steerer | USE Stealth forks or spare parts