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  1. #1
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    Giant or Santa Cruz?

    Hey guys, just want your opinion on these two bikes. I'm torn between a Trance or a Solo. I'm just an average trail rider and don't do any really big jumps, but I want a bike that climbs pretty well for long rides. I'm 5'8' 175lbs and ride about 3 times a week. I keep hearing about the pedal kickback from VPP bikes. How bad is it really? Is it bad enough to scratch those bikes off my list completely? The only time I rode one was in a parking lot, and it felt really plush, but I never did a real ride on one. Any info or opinions would help!

  2. #2
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    I was a bit concerned with pedal kickback of the VPP as well. I got the Bronson and I am still looking for any evidence of pedal kickback. Don't know if its the VPP2 suspension or that I am still in the honeymoon phase with my bike.

    Test ride before you buy. Also you might want to throw the Mojo HDR into the list.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMjunky View Post
    I was a bit concerned with pedal kickback of the VPP as well. I got the Bronson and I am still looking for any evidence of pedal kickback. Don't know if its the VPP2 suspension or that I am still in the honeymoon phase with my bike.
    I've got 5yrs on a Nomad and have never felt any pedal kickback. The honeymoon is long over for me...
    Safe riding,

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  4. #4
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    A little over a month on my Bronson and don't feel any kickback. Its definitely growing on me! I'd like to demo one of Giant's new 650's when they come out.
    I have a black belt in MS Paint.

    2013 Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon
    2013 StumpJumper FSR Comp Carbon 29er

  5. #5
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    I think Pedal feedback was a term invented by Specialized for any bike which didn't squat under power like there's. You'll notice the difference in design philosophy between giant and SC bikes before you'll notice any pedal feed back. The Giant uses conventional progressive suspension, low compression tune shocks with good amounts off antisquat so when you accelerate or push hard on the pedals it firms up. just dawdling along it is pretty active, With both systems sagged SC uses similar amounts of antisquat so you will get similar pedal feedback. The difference is SC uses a regressive to progressive system . So they start at a much lower leverage ratio and so it's inherently less active. Just dawdling along it will feel less active.Some describe it as a more wooden less lively feel. Some like it for climbing better. Some criticize the slight vagueness you can feel when the system moves from regressive to progressive when you are moving over large obstacles. Maybe that's what they describe as pedal feedback? Either way they are different so ride before you buy .

  6. #6
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    I was in the same boat as you as I narrowed my short bike list to the SC Solo and the Giant Trance. The Giant dealers here only let you test the bikes on the parking lot and the SC dealer doesn't even stock bikes, they just order them, so no chance at a test ride. Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to demo the new Trance SX 27.5 today at my local trail and let me tell you, I was blown away!! I can't speak for the Solo, as I haven't riden it yet, but compared to my current bike (a 26r), it was night and day. I normally do 34 minute laps on the loop we used today and I completed it in 26 minutes on the Trance SX. I was going so much faster on some sections it was unbelievable. Stuff that I rolled over on my current bike I was getting air on the Trance SX. There is one concrete obstacle we call the pill box and I have yet to clear it on my current bike; I cleared it today for the first time on the Trance SX. I still would like to demo a Solo, but the Trance SX offers something the Solo will never do, front travel adjustability. I like the fact that I can keep the front suspension on 140mm for my local riding, but when I visit other trails within driving distance that are burlier and more downhill oriented, I have the option of switching the suspension to 160mm with the flip of a switch. I think I found my next bike! Take it for what it's worth, since I haven't ridden the Solo yet, but even if I like the Solo, the adjustability of the Trance SX currently has me sold. Did I mention I never heard a chain slap either and I didn't have the need for other chainrings in the front, which was one of my concerns. If you have the option to test ride both, do. That's the only way to know. In my case, I really liked the Trance SX (can you tell??) and if I can't test ride a Solo, I'm not going to buy one and have the possibility of not liking it. I know I like the Trance SX. Good luck with your decision.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info, but if you do get a chance to ride the Solo let me know how it compares.

  8. #8
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    My only problem with the Giant bikes is all the house brand parts. House brand wheels, bars, stem, seatpost- bums me out.
    More junk I have to get rid of if I get a Giant.

  9. #9
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    Fort Harrison? I rode an anthem

    edit @ #6

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    I think Pedal feedback was a term invented by Specialized for any bike which didn't squat under power like there's. You'll notice the difference in design philosophy between giant and SC bikes before you'll notice any pedal feed back. The Giant uses conventional progressive suspension, low compression tune shocks with good amounts off antisquat so when you accelerate or push hard on the pedals it firms up. just dawdling along it is pretty active, With both systems sagged SC uses similar amounts of antisquat so you will get similar pedal feedback. The difference is SC uses a regressive to progressive system . So they start at a much lower leverage ratio and so it's inherently less active. Just dawdling along it will feel less active.Some describe it as a more wooden less lively feel. Some like it for climbing better. Some criticize the slight vagueness you can feel when the system moves from regressive to progressive when you are moving over large obstacles. Maybe that's what they describe as pedal feedback? Either way they are different so ride before you buy .
    I disagree. What you refer to as anti-squat is effectively pedal feedback used to combat pedal bob. Pedal feedback is quite obvious on many suspension designs. Any time the rear axle moves towards or away from the bottom bracket when the suspension is compressed will display pedal feedback. The exceptions are those designs that minimize bob when pedaling, such as the DW-link. Single pivot bikes are notorious for pedal feedback. Most single pivots are located in line with the middle chainring. Pedaling in the granny ring will firm up the suspension, while pedaling in the big ring will cause the suspension to squat a bit. Most designs use chain growth to control pedal bob/feedback by firming the suspension when pedaling. Most people will notice feedback when in the granny gear over square-edge ledges on climbs. Bikes like the older Banshee Spitfire and single pivot bikes are notorious for that. It feels a bit like the wheel is hanging up. Older VPP designs were known to do that, as well. The never VPP2 design is supposed to be better, but I can't compare the two. Giant's Maestro design is quite neutral, and I never noticed any pedal feedback on my Trance X or Reign X.

    Really, you can't go wrong with either brand. Giant even produces many of Santa Cruz's frames, so the quality is similar. Santa Cruz does have a better pivot design, however, I've never replaced a bearing on a Giant, so it's a small point.

  11. #11
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    For 140mm travel it'd be the Trance any day.

    If you need more, the Bronson is a good choice.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bootsie_cat View Post
    My only problem with the Giant bikes is all the house brand parts. House brand wheels, bars, stem, seatpost- bums me out.
    More junk I have to get rid of if I get a Giant.
    Giant is the top alloy manufacturer in the business, their house brand stuff is lighter and stronger than most name brands. Go put a Giant Connect SL stem on a scale and compare it to a Thompson. It's lighter, and we've sold thousands and never seen one brake. Their dropper post is reliable and smooth and easy to work on. No issues at all with the Giant stuff.

    On another note I would say the 2 biggest diff between the Giant and the SC is one that the Trance sits between the Solo and the Bronson, a bit closer to the Bronson in amount of travel and geometry. So it's a better all around choice for most people. The other is the Giant is over a full pound lighter in the frame. Giant builds the lightest most reliable alloy frames in the business. Carbon is more comparable in weight, but if you are buying alloy Giant is just plain better. In fact Giant's alloy bikes are often as light or lighter than others carbon bikes.

    A full XTR Bronson weights 29 pounds in alloy? You know that's without pedals. really? no thanks.

    I sell lots of Giant bikes- it's fun: no squeaks, easy sus setup, and people ride them for years and years,
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  13. #13
    jrm
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    SC frame and build the rest. YMMV
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  14. #14
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    You should def. go sit on them. From my limited experience, their cockpits felt / fit quite differently in a given size, especially if you're in the grey area between sizes. I love the current B/26 giant I've had for quite awhile now, but liked the SC bikes fit and feel better in the 29 market. YMMV

  15. #15
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    Yeah. Fort Harrison. How did you like the anthem 27.5?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I disagree. What you refer to as anti-squat is effectively pedal feedback used to combat pedal bob. Pedal feedback is quite obvious on many suspension designs. Any time the rear axle moves towards or away from the bottom bracket when the suspension is compressed will display pedal feedback. The exceptions are those designs that minimize bob when pedaling, such as the DW-link. Single pivot bikes are notorious for pedal feedback. Most single pivots are located in line with the middle chainring. Pedaling in the granny ring will firm up the suspension, while pedaling in the big ring will cause the suspension to squat a bit. Most designs use chain growth to control pedal bob/feedback by firming the suspension when pedaling. Most people will notice feedback when in the granny gear over square-edge ledges on climbs. Bikes like the older Banshee Spitfire and single pivot bikes are notorious for that. It feels a bit like the wheel is hanging up. Older VPP designs were known to do that, as well. The never VPP2 design is supposed to be better, but I can't compare the two. Giant's Maestro design is quite neutral, and I never noticed any pedal feedback on my Trance X or Reign X.

    Really, you can't go wrong with either brand. Giant even produces many of Santa Cruz's frames, so the quality is similar. Santa Cruz does have a better pivot design, however, I've never replaced a bearing on a Giant, so it's a small point.
    Like I said they both have simialar anti squat figures at sag so you shouldn't notice any difference in pedal feedback when climbing smooth climbs . Same goes for a single pivot with similar antisquat figures.

    Different when descending though.Where the single pivot will differ is the pivot location doesn't move so unlike a virtual pivot you are stuck with the feedback through it's travel, in most high pivot single pivots, antisquats actually increases. So you will notice the difference in pedal feedback on a single vs a virtual pivot descending rather than climbing unless you are running lots of sag and get hung up on a large obstacle and the suspension compresses lots.
    To a limited amount you will also notice feedback when climbing over large obstacles on a SC bike as the antisquat doesn't drop away quickly like on the maestro. So midway through it's travel the SC VPP still has
    high anti sauat whereas the maestro has dropped right off.

  17. #17
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    Yeah, but Giant parts have no Gucci factor and crap for resale value if you want something else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RallyPunx View Post
    Yeah. Fort Harrison. How did you like the anthem 27.5?
    I enjoyed it a lot, very fast, very stable. Im on a 26" anthem x1 at the moment, so felt very at home. Not sure if it was new bike mojo, but it felt like it tracked better and rolled smoother than my 26".

    Not to go too off topic, but if the Solo and trance are overkill, then the Anthem is one fast bike

    I wonder if SC will replace the XCc with a 100mm 27.5? The 26" has gone from the website.....

  19. #19
    Kaj
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    Quote Originally Posted by bootsie_cat View Post
    Yeah, but Giant parts have no Gucci factor and crap for resale value if you want something else.
    Kind of like selling a 2011 Giant Reign that sold new for $2800, and used in 2013 for $2300. That's crap in some places I guess, but not in the house of reality. The general public has caught on, that Giant's not only are better new, but last longer than the others. I see all the time people getting premium for their Giant's Maestro's used.
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

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