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  1. #1
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    Giant trance advanced sx 27.5, pivot mach 6, or santa cruz bronson what to purchase?

    Having a tough time deciding what bike to purchase out of the three. Relatively same price point of the levels I am looking to buy. I really can't demo any of them. I rode the santa cruz bronson around parking lot and the regular giant trance sx. I would have to order the mach 6 without riding it though. I trust the giant dealer but the other 2 dealers are further away and have not dealt with them in the past. Is there really that much difference between these three bikes. I will be using this for enduro racing in the northeast. I sold my stumpy evo 29er to get onto a 27.5. I am leaning towards the giant advanced sx 27.5 do to the dealer support but read one review that says you can't hammer it through tough lines? Anyone have these bikes and can give me good insight. Would like to hear more than just buy a pivot or santa cruz because they just make mountain bikes lol. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Here ya go...

    ...I rode the Pivot and the Bronson at recent demos over the fall. The Bronson felt better hands down. I have never been a fan of DW-Link bikes and while the Pivot has the best executed example I have ever spent any time on, the Bronson just pedals better. It is a matter of preference as I just do not care for the floaty disconnected feel of the Pivot versus the locked in jet fighter feel of the Bronson. They were both killer bikes, but when it comes to geometry I will give the Bronson the nod again. It's descending ability is fantastic and you can climb up some nasty stuff with it as well. I have not ridden a recent Giant, but the Maestro suspension has often been called the poor man's VPP. It feels similar, but not as well executed.
    the going won't get good 'til I'm good and gone

  3. #3
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    Hellbilly's post from a recent review has some points. It's also clear the reviewer isn't a fan of DW-Link. I personally like DW-Link, and the Maestro is actually much closer to that than VPP. All of that said, if there were nothing involved in this but an outright bike choice, I'd give the nod to the Pivot. However, it doesn't sound like that's the case. A moment of brutal honesty - I have a local Giant dealer I've bought 5 bikes from. There are other choices out there, but they take care of me, my bikes, and my family - they're just good people. And it sounds like you've got a Giant shop you have a relationship with. I'm here to tell you that's priceless. While the Pivot may be a nose ahead of the Trance, so to speak, I'd "settle" for it with a good dealer behind it. I would recommend you look seriously at the Advance (non-SX) in addition to the Advance SX. Having ridden both a Trance SX and a Trance 3, I can say that the Trance 3 is the one I'd want anywhere there was climbing involved, and the 3 would have been better with a talas fork to drop the head a little on climbs. Just something to think about, since dropping the Talas on the SX nets you what you start with before the drop on the rest of the Trances.

  4. #4
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    I have ridden both the Pivot and the Bronson. While I give the Pivot the edge in climbing the Bronson was the best descending bike I have ever ridden. A ton of fun and was no slouch on the climbs either.

    As for the Giant I haven't ridden the trance but agree with Cotharyus as the Maestro is more of a DW link copy rather than VPP. Also agree about the shop.

    Typically I prefer dw to vpp but Santa Cruz nailed the Bronson IMO. If you are doing enduros that's what I would do.

  5. #5
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    Own a Bronson-C and prior a Bronson-A, tested Mach6 on local well-known trails. No experience on the Giant.

    You're going to have a great bike whichever you choose. If you can't test all three, it might come down to: sizing, dealer support or price or some other intangible.

    I, too, do not like DW Link bikes for the types of trails I ride in AZ. Actually, I like it on climbs, but not descents. That said, the M6 was easily the best iteration of DW that I'ver personally ridden.

    Performance-wise, between the two frames that I have experience with, I think it's a dead wash. Both fantastic bikes. The Bronson will ultimately build out lighter and it's probably going to be a few bucks cheaper.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean m View Post
    but read one review that says you can't hammer it through tough lines

    One review……


    I go with the local dealer. The bike and how it rides are important and you are looking at 3 fine machines. But cycling is a life experience and how that machine fits into your life on and off the trail has a lot of value.
    I don't rattle.

  7. #7
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    "Typically I prefer dw to vpp but Santa Cruz nailed the Bronson IMO. If you are doing enduros that's what I would do."

    Atl-Biker nailed it. I never thought I'd go back to VPP after getting off that bus for DW link but SC really has it dialed in it this time and I'm back on board after having ridden a Bronson c! Having said that, every rider I know that has tried the Mach 6 (I haven't) has said that it is the "best" DW iteration they have ridden and that's saying a lot. My decision was easy because of my discount so I didn't even consider the Mach 6. Have not seen many reviews at all on the Trance and the ones I have seen have stated that it was disappointing. Hopefully more riders will chime in or try posting in the Giant forum.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  8. #8
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    I am very late to this thread, and the OP has probably bought his bike already, but if I was looking for a carbon Enduro race bike the GT Force would be on my short list. Dan Atherton has been big with input, his teammate took 3rd overall in the EWC this year, but did it taking the Juniors championship. The kid is 16. I have ridden a customer's 2012 Carbon Force and am always floored by how well the old i-Drive climbs. I don't think the new AOS will disappoint, but I haven't had the chance to ride it yet.

  9. #9
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    I've ridden the Bronson and Mach6. I preferred the Mach6 since it was 'snappier' I found the Bronson to be 'heavy' on the climbs. ie I really felt each pedal stroke had to overcome the bike as well as move up the trail. With the Mach6, as with Pivots in general, it tends to drive forward with each pedal stroke. You are more 'on' rather then 'in' the bike.

    The Mach6 is definitely a snappier, more responsive climber.

    On Descending the Bronson soaked up everything, just plowed down fast and furious. The Mach6, which also pretty linear descender had a more AM rather then FR feel to it.

    I'd say the Mach6 was a more poppier bike to the Bronson.

    I haven't ridden the 650 trance, but if its like the 26 trance vs 26 pivot, it would be just as capable. Its kinda like the guy who could be your best friend, but you wouldn't marry him, but you'd not hesitate to at least pretend to be married to the pivot guy/bike...
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  10. #10
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    Thanks BGrrl!! Does LL feel the same between the two? Seems like most reports have been giving the edge to Bronson when climbing and 6 for descending. Having a hard time deciding between the two (and a TBLT at my 6'2"), especially considering won't be able to try the 6, but must feel similar to my Mojo HD.

  11. #11
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    Hey Rob, I think you'd prefer the Mach6 over the bronson since its more like your Mojo in that it likes to always go forward.

    The bronson is a good climber, like a clydesdale. The Mach6 would be an Arabian ( if that means anything to you...) more lively.

    That seems to me the biggest difference between the pivot and any other bike really, including my Chilcotin. I liked the Pivot over the Ibis for its stiffness and standover.


    Lee was uninspired by both bikes and is jaded by all the 650b hype.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  12. #12
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    I find the above comments interesting since the Bronson is a pound lighter (frame) and a degree steeper head angle. I own an HD and a Mach 5.7c and have owned VPP2 bikes. I didn't find the VPP bikes sluggish (or the DW). I am interested in a Bronson and Mach 6 but can't test ride either unfortunately.

  13. #13
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    To be honest, I couldn't disagree more regarding the above comments about suspension performance. I own a Bronson-C and did a nice test ride on a Mach6 on a very well-known trail.

    Oddly, I couldn't tell much difference between the two in suspension performance. In my experience, the M6 certainly isn't "snappier"; in fact, I'd give the nod to the Bronson, maybe in part due to its lighter weight.

    Honestly, they're so close in performance you really couldn't go wrong either way.

  14. #14
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    I'm with Blatant. In fact the whole reason I bought a Bronson c was because it was the most "poppy" bike I'd ever ridden (you can really air them out even off of little roots/rocks) and when you hammer the bike just launches forward! The only way you'd say otherwise is if you had the suspension sagged too much (only supposed to run 20-25% sag vs. 25-33% for previous VPP designs).

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Last edited by Gman086; 12-28-2013 at 02:20 PM.
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  15. #15
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    OP did you choose a bike?

  16. #16
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    Still debating between the mach 6 and the trance advanced sx. I have ruled out the broson d/t no dealers close to where I am located that are trustworthy. I don't like that the mach 6 has no bottle holder mounts and the cable rubs the frame. I have yet to ride the mach 6 hoping to do so in the next few weeks but I am leaning towards the giant trance advanced sx d/t closer dealer and have dealt with in the past. By end of january hope to have a full decision made and tax return in my hand LOL. 6K is a lot of cash for a bike but you get what you pay for.

  17. #17
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    As much as I really didn't care for the Trance 3 I rode, I haven't heard anything negative about the carbon Trances. I was going back through some video courses and Giant claims that Maestro gives all the travel it claims, where as other bikes need more travel to make their bike work as well. Don't know who they are referring too, but that night be something to feel for. I know nothing of the mach six.

  18. #18
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    I'd also like to say I've ridden none of the OP's bike options. Thanks.

  19. #19
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    Not ridden either but now I've got va process 153 the Bronson looks to have a very short reach and long chainstays

  20. #20
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    Giant trance advanced sx 27.5, pivot mach 6, or santa cruz bronson what to pu...

    Quote Originally Posted by sean m View Post
    Still debating between the mach 6 and the trance advanced sx. I have ruled out the broson d/t no dealers close to where I am located that are trustworthy. I don't like that the mach 6 has no bottle holder mounts and the cable rubs the frame. I have yet to ride the mach 6 hoping to do so in the next few weeks but I am leaning towards the giant trance advanced sx d/t closer dealer and have dealt with in the past. By end of january hope to have a full decision made and tax return in my hand LOL. 6K is a lot of cash for a bike but you get what you pay for.
    Get the Trance. It is from a dealer you know and trust and it is a great bike. The differences between good bikes get less and less every year.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  21. #21
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    Trance Advanced SX vs Bronson C for $1200 more! IMO, it's not like the Bronson is going to feel $1200 better, plus the warranty on Giant is much better. If you have extra cash and want the Gucci factor, get a Bronson C, Intense T275 Carbon, Pivot Mach 6, or Knolly Warden... I actually could have got the Bronson C X01 for the same price as the Advanced SX and I still went with Advanced SX. I guessed that it would be a better fit for me (long upper torso), I preferred that store over the other, and I was able to do a payment plan so I could make sure I got my size early. Love the stealth black, 160/140 Talas, Float X rear, X01 1x11 32 tooth, Trail9 180 brakes... But I had a really tough time deciding, especially since I couldn't try either bike in my size. One of the bikes you are considering may not even be available anymore, in your size, build... at this point. It seems like bikes in this category sell out fast these days, which could make your decision easier. Check out the Devinci Troy, Lifetime Warranty as well, maybe slap a Float X, Debonair, Cane Creek or BOS Kirk on rear if it needs... All great bikes, guess it depends which bike you like most , your local shop, what you're willing to spend and how much you're willing to gamble with warranty? You'd think that Santa Cruz and Pivot could offer the same warranty as Giant and Devinci..? Some will argue that it's all about the bike no matter what the cost but I think service, price, and warranty are equally important since all these bikes are great. Happy shopping! Aren't we SO lucky to even be able to get a bike like this in the first place!!!

  22. #22
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    'sean m', did you end up getting a new bike? If so, what did you get and what do you think?

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