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  1. #1
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    First impression; Trance SX

    First off, my opinion is skewed as I have been riding the same Stumpjumper FSR since 2001. It was wired for it's time. Psylo fork, Avid brakes, Mavic wheels..... Anyway, back in the day...

    So the Chumpjumper received a fatal blow. Time to go new.

    I knew things had changed but damnnn! I did the research, asked around and received like responses. 27.5 was the way to go and the Giant Trance SX fit my check list.

    Wow! It does EVERYTHING better. It eats Texas babyheads and roots, attacks corners, soaks up drops..... BUT, it climbs! The "climb" settings on the shock and fork allow for very quick acceleration and in "trail" you can charge up rock climbs and the suspension just tracks.
    1 x10? What were we doing with 3 x 9? Dropper post with bar controls? Its almost embarrassing. Almost. Fork and shock feel very balanced and dampen in ways my old bike just couldn't comprehend.

    Again, my last bike was 12 years old but this bike is sick. I cant think of a place this bike would not work.

    Just my 2cents.

  2. #2
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    So I take it that you like it?? ;-)

  3. #3
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    Several leaps in bike frame and suspension technology alone from a 2001 to current bike, I'm sure its like another world.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  4. #4
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    Finally someone has ridden one! I have a demo in two weeks although I am pretty much set on buying it already.

    Brakes and drivetrain feel ok? They are lower spec'd than the Trance 1.

    What size did you go for and how tall are you?

    The fact you enjoy it so much makes me happy

  5. #5
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    good to hear that plan of getting one too,.

  6. #6
    JCL
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    They're a bit square aren't they? Had a spin around the other day. I'd want a medium seat tube on a large front centre.
    Last edited by JCL; 09-27-2013 at 08:26 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sil3nt View Post
    Finally someone has ridden one! I have a demo in two weeks although I am pretty much set on buying it already.

    Brakes and drivetrain feel ok? They are lower spec'd than the Trance 1.

    What size did you go for and how tall are you?

    The fact you enjoy it so much makes me happy

    I am 6' even, 32" inseam. I have a long wingspan though, so the Large is a great fit. Could downsized but it felt a bit cramped. The stand over is good for a 6" bike.

    Zero drive train issues after 3 rides now. I did pack the chain guide full of greasy mud (because it had rained since I got the bike over a week ago and I needed to ride it) and that caused some noise....
    That said, a quick hosedown and chain lube and I was good to go.

    I always ran XT and XTR on my old rig. This SLX shifts crisp and direct. No complaints. Probably shifts better than XTR of the day.

    I always liked the Avid BB7's, now that the Deore hydraulics have seated there is no comparison. One finger can modulate a stopppie on command. Cant see how $300 brakes could be 300% better (or even 30%).

    As noted the suspension is light years ahead. I haven't ridden any of the Factory level stuff and I am sure its great but I cannot fault this build at all.

    I can only assume ZEE or SRAM are better and last longer but at this point so no need at all.

    As I get a better feel for it I will add on. Both positive and negative. For now, the best thing I can say about it, after three rides I feel like I have been on this bike for years.
    Last edited by Scubae; 09-23-2013 at 04:28 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    They're a bit square aren't they? Had a spin around the other day. I'd want a medium seat tube on a long front centre.
    What do you mean by "square"? New reference for me.

  9. #9
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    Just a follow up after 10 rides.
    Bike is still sick.
    Couple of issues;
    1) Slow leak from rear tire/tube. This is not a build issue. The tire is compliant and sticky. It is also very light. The high rollers I used to run NEVER got punctures but I am pretty sure that those tires in 26 weighed more than the complete wheel set on this bike.
    2) The seat did roll back (rotated) after some harsh hits but i attribute this to break-in (and being a fat f*&ker). After going through the whole bike after 10 rides i found some hardware starting to loosen. I would have to call this normal.
    3) I have found this bike to be very intuitive. The 27.5 format is easier in almost all aspects. Almost all. I have seen a couple of places that that have been an issue. The wheel base of this larger frame and larger format has caught me out. In particular, a 2ft deep creek bed. I meet the creek from a 90 degree side trail. The short wheel base of the 26" bike would roll into the creek and as the front hit the far side the rear would drop in. With the new bike the rear was still on high ground as the front stalled on the far bank.The added travel of the new fork.... Over the bars. I don't think of this as a bike issue. Just a rider learning the new format.
    So in other words, this is an incredible machine, well thought out and still exceeds my expectations. I have no complaints. I cannot point out any faults in design or function.
    Go get you some.

  10. #10
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    Rode one at MBO

    The Trance SX I rode was the "Enduro" build. Single 36 tooth chain ring with 11-34 cassette. Equipped with Fox 34 160 mm Talas fork and CTD Fox shock. I enjoyed the ride and found it comparable to my 2011 Trek Remedy equipped with at Fox 36 Talas. These bikes have slack front ends and while climbing steep hills really benefit from the ability to lower the front end with the Talas fork. Descending and cornering was excellent. Climbing with only a 36 tooth chainring is too hard for my old legs. That said it was an "Enduro" build and was spec'd for going down not up. For riding at home I would need a double chain ring or the new XX1 with the 10-42 cassette. It's a sweet ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Miller View Post
    The Trance SX I rode was the "Enduro" build. Single 36 tooth chain ring with 11-34 cassette. Equipped with Fox 34 160 mm Talas fork and CTD Fox shock. I enjoyed the ride and found it comparable to my 2011 Trek Remedy equipped with at Fox 36 Talas. These bikes have slack front ends and while climbing steep hills really benefit from the ability to lower the front end with the Talas fork. Descending and cornering was excellent. Climbing with only a 36 tooth chainring is too hard for my old legs. That said it was an "Enduro" build and was spec'd for going down not up. For riding at home I would need a double chain ring or the new XX1 with the 10-42 cassette. It's a sweet ride.
    It's no CC bike or hard tail but it climbs way better than my old FSR. That said, there are provisions for a front derailleur and a cable stop tacked to the frame.

  12. #12
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    A couple of nitpicks;
    1) I run reversed brake levers. (years of motocross and street bikes). The switch requires a bleed kit or a trip to the LBS. Also, the cable routing is very clean on this bike but the rear brake cable is off set to the left of the frame so there is a bit of weird angle to the line now that it wraps around the headtube to the left lever. How many people will do this? Not many I think.
    2) The geometry, suspension and tires size tends to conspire against those that have been riding trails on old, 26" bikes. Speed is so dramatically increased and the perception thereof so diminished that old braking points go out the window and corner apexes drift by in a panic induced blur.
    3) The 10 speed cassette got a bit finicky. Thumb a gear in the middle range under load and the shift would be delayed or simply not there. Thumb it twice and it grabs 2 gears just fine. A little lube took care of it, no need for adjustment. Just thought it odd that it required lube so quickly but the gears are much closer and the alignment that much more finite this may just be the way 10 speed sets work(?). No big deal though, I tinker as much as I ride.
    4) the bars are way wider than I am used to and the local trails are covered in oaks with narrow gaps. I have banged bars a few times. I will take the trade off as the bars are square to my shoulders and the added leverage is awesome in rock gardens and at speed.
    Thats all for now. another 15 miles tomorrow.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracieisz View Post
    it's great! and it's in shonen jump!



    Welcome to ignore.

  14. #14
    JCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scubae View Post
    What do you mean by "square"? New reference for me.
    Meaning that the seat tubes are long relative to the reach/top tube. Compared to the medium Specialized I ride the medium Trance feels short but the large Trance had great reach but felt like I was sitting over my road bike. The current trend is long and low sizing but I think Giant are a little behind the times sizing wise.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    Meaning that the seat tubes are long relative to the reach/top tube. Compared to the medium Specialized I ride the medium Trance feels short but the large Trance had great reach but felt like I was sitting over my road bike. The current trend is long and low sizing but I think Giant are a little behind the times sizing wise.
    Got it, thanks.
    Maybe its just my body type or riding style but the bike fits me perfect.
    My 2001 Stumpjumper was a warranty replacement for a 99 I crushed. The frame on the 99 was medium and fit great. The 01 was a new frame style and always felt cramped.
    I am used to sitting high as I ride dirtbikes and street bikes so this thing feels pretty slack and roomy to me but I would not speak for anyone else.
    Thanks again.

  16. #16
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    I think three weeks is good enough for a "first impression" so this will be the final post unless something major happens.

    Still cant say enough good about the bike. I will focus on the bad things.

    >The chain guide broke. It may be from getting mud packed but i thought is was odd it would break without impact. Either way a new one is coming under warranty. If it happens again i will go with a Narrow-Wide front ring and dump the guide.
    The guide is very noisy now that it is cracked. It was a bit rumbly before. Not bad just noticeable.

    >The long travel has led to pedal strikes. This is more about a new ride and style. I find myself charging rocky climbs like never before. This has led to much higher speeds and more suspension action. The more I find the limits of this rig the more it happens.
    This will just require learning when the BB will and is going to be at its lowest range. Still allot to learn about how to ride this thing.

    >The front brake pads picked up something and lost their bite. If have hit the pads with emery cloth and brake spray and they seam to be coming back.

    >The bar end caps fall out if you look a them wrong.

    Thats it. 16 rides and that is all I can think about that is not perfect!

  17. #17
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    Good news then.

    I have put down my deposit on one. Won't be with me for a few weeks though.

  18. #18
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    I enjoyed my short ride on the SX. It's very well-balanced, but the wheelbase does make it harder IMO to get on the real wheel to hop or manual over features. It was SO MUCH FASTER than the Reign X I frequently ride.

    OP, there's a big difference between pedal strikes from climbing rocks and hits from your suspension bottoming out. Make sure your suspension is set properly and at the right pressure now that you've had a little break in period. I'm a bigger guy, too (6'3", 210), and I've had issues getting the shock jset ust right on my Giants. The shock you're on is much better than the dhx air I'm on, but I'd still advise running slightly more pressure than recommended and then letting the CTD settings do their thing.

    The chainguide breaking is disappointing news. I had hoped MRP got their act together. I had their guides on two bikes but got tired of them constantly breaking. I put an e13 guide on my Faith and it's worlds better. I'll look to them in the future since I don't like running without at least an upper guide and bashguard.

    I'm glad you're enjoying the new ride. I have some serious lust issues with the Advanced Trance SX. I'm getting married this year and starting a new job which means it could be quite some time (if ever) before I get to enjoy that $6400 dream...

  19. #19
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    Yes, been running pressures about 10% over suggested. Pretty much leave the CTD settings on "T"rail.
    The bike I had before was a 3" bike. The climbing technique was more, well, precise. I find with this rig I can charge alot harder into rocky uphills and use much more momentum on the way. That coupled with the longer travel was initially leading to strikes on the down stroke. I have since learned the new speed and travel and it no longer is an issue.
    I dumped the guide for a RF NW ring. The stock SLX rd is clutched so it should work ok. And it does! Have not dropped a single chain. Highly recommend the setup. Clean, simple and easy to service.
    I also converted to tubeless. Dont know what I was waiting for.
    Suspension is much smoother with initial stroke now. Wasn't much of an issue before but is noticeably better now.
    Brakes also seam to have become even better with age. Great bite, great modulation.
    To be honest, outside of the chainguide, the bike has had ZERO issues. None. The build spec has really held up.

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