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  1. #1
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    New bike and no love for Giant here?

    Looks like after dealing with some warranty issues I will be buying a new bike. I live in southern lower Michigan and our trails are more of the flowing type with short ups and downs mixed in with small roots, rock gardens and the occasional decent 1 foot drop out here and there.

    My old bike is a 2013 GT Force LE. I picked it up on closeout after not riding for almost 12 years, it's an enduro bike with 160mm front and 150mm rear travel. The bike has a very high bottom bracket and is terrible in corners, like I am turning a semi truck.

    I visited a LBS yesterday inquiring about a Santa Cruz 5010 and the rep there had great things to say about their bikes. They also sell Specialized and Giant and even though he said he loves his Santa Cruz DH bike, he really felt that the Specialized bike he has fits him best. That being said, I told him I want a bike that isn't too much overkill like I currently have and I want it to handle corners a bit better without putting me in a position where I won't have enough travel to get through some chunkier trails. On a side note I have become accustomed to not having to worry so much when I come into rocks and roots with my Force because the long travel on my Fox Factory suspension eats up anything including the steepest drops that I can throw at it here in MI so I don't want to be limited too much

    The shop doesn't stock Santa Cruzs he explained because they are a bit more pricey and before I knew it I was out riding a Giant Anthem SX around their parking lot and I have to say it felt really nice. This was a more basic model and I stressed that I'd like something with better components so he showed me the Anthem Advanced SX on the Giant site explaining they could have one in a week if I was interested. That bike is here:

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/anthem-advanced-sx

    After I got home I watched some youtube reviews and they are all pretty good but some did stress that like all bikes, it has it's limits. I got to thinking maybe I should go for a Trance with a little more travel which leads me to this model:

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-advanced-1

    The Anthem is classified as a XC bike and the Trance is a trail bike. Either of these should allow me to hit turns with more speed than my Force. Given that I only will have 1 bike for doing it all, which should I go with in your opinions? I really have no experience with other bikes on a trail setting except going way back to a early 90's Iron Horse hard tail I had as a teenager which was originally spec'd as a rigid bike that I added a suspension fork to. My biggest concern is ending up with another "semi truck" turning bike that leaves me thinking I screwed up and bought the wrong bike AGAIN.

    This leads me to one other question, I don't see a lot of chat about Giant bikes here as of recent. Is there something I am missing about them that I should be steering clear of their bikes? The reviews on youtube are all pretty solid and the rep at the shop had nothing but great things to say about their customer service so I was surprised when I didn't see many people talking about them when discussing buying a new bike.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith462 View Post
    This leads me to one other question, I don't see a lot of chat about Giant bikes here as of recent.
    oh you gotta be kidding or just didn't find the Giant forum yet, it's one of the most active of the manufacturer forums

  3. #3
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    I rode them both and wouldn't hesitate, go with the Trance. It pedals great and offers the suspension you'll appreciate. On the subject of models IMHO you buy the 1 and get the better/lighter components. When you ride them back-to-back you can usually feel how the lighter model is worth the money, and it's better on the 1st ride, no upgrading latter. All that aside your sales rep is spot on about the "fit". If you get demo rides on a Spec Camber and the 5010 you may have an immediate opinion on a brands feel/fit. If you buy the Giant blind you still will be a happy shredder, great bikes all around.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    oh you gotta be kidding or just didn't find the Giant forum yet, it's one of the most active of the manufacturer forums
    I did see that manufacturer forum but I meant that while I was browsing this 27.5 forum I read a few posts talking about what bikes people would recommend to pick up new and many mentioned Pivot, Intense, Banshee and SC but not much recommendation of Giant. I read another thread a couple weeks back where some specifically said they didn't want Specialized, Giant or Trek so I wondered if it was something to do with these brands using more of their in house components and maybe there was a many drawbacks to those?

    As mentioned earlier, I bought my last bike on a whim without much research, it was a great mix of components for the price, a steal really but knowing what I know now I would have looked further so this time I am asking the questions beforehand so I don't get the bike and say great, I did it again lol.

  5. #5
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    Get the Anthem SX, it fits the intended purpose. I tried the 2016 Modell last year and really liked it

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    I demo'd the Trance Advanced 2 at DTE (not sure if you're SE or SW Michigan). It definitely suited the trail nicely. It was a great balance of climbing and descending. If you're looking to travel at all, or like doing the more technical trails in southern Michigan (for example DTE and Poto in SE), then I wouldn't hesitate to go with the Trance. If you stick to XC style trails and don't intend to travel to larger trails (up north, East/West coast), then go with the Anthem.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    I rode them both and wouldn't hesitate, go with the Trance. It pedals great and offers the suspension you'll appreciate. On the subject of models IMHO you buy the 1 and get the better/lighter components. When you ride them back-to-back you can usually feel how the lighter model is worth the money, and it's better on the 1st ride, no upgrading latter. All that aside your sales rep is spot on about the "fit". If you get demo rides on a Spec Camber and the 5010 you may have an immediate opinion on a brands feel/fit. If you buy the Giant blind you still will be a happy shredder, great bikes all around.
    I appreciate the feedback! It's hard to really see in the youtube videos where the guys are riding the bikes with gopros because the perspective is a bit off from really being there in person but the one guy who really spoke highly of his 2017 Trance Adv 1 stated that he really has to work the bike around some of the corners compared to his XC bike which brought me back to how much I hate my GT in tight corners.

    I do wish that the Anthem had a slight bit more travel, I would instantly take it based on the reviews I have seen. A pro Enduro rider named Richard Drew down in Texas says at the moment it's his favorite bike he has ever owned and he has many professionally done videos on youtube of him shredding some pretty decent stuff with it but I must say he rides it very smooth through some technical stuff being a pro and all, I don't have those same skills so I may end up finding the not so efficient path more often where I may need the extra travel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith462 View Post
    Given that I only will have 1 bike for doing it all, which should I go with in your opinions?
    The trail bike category (which includes the trance) is pretty much synonymous with "one bike for doing it all".

    If you can't rail berms on a 5" bike, then it's a setup or skills issue.

    There are plenty of reasons to opt for a 4.25" FS XC bike like the Anthem, but descending prowess generally isn't one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricTheDood View Post
    The trail bike category (which includes the trance) is pretty much synonymous with "one bike for doing it all".

    If you can't rail berms on a 5" bike, then it's a setup or skills issue.

    There are plenty of reasons to opt for a 4.25" FS XC bike like the Anthem, but descending prowess generally isn't one of them.
    Before I started riding this GT enduro bike I was used to a hardtail that could handle about any turn with speed as if it was on rails. Technical down hills were done carefully but well as long as I picked a good line. In Michigan, many of our trails don't have banked turns so you are on flat ground through a lot of the turns or rolling down into a turn that isn't banked at all which means bringing the speed way down to really work that enduro bike through it without missing the turn and heading off course. A good example I can give as to how tipsy that enduro bike feels is at slow speeds, such as when you are trying to turn around on a trail, if I turn the wheel anything over 45 degrees in either direction I can almost bet that I will be going down. This may be a characteristic trait of that enduro geometry or maybe it's just the bike I have. Either way, it has caused me to associate a bike with 5"+ travel with those tipsy characteristics and that is what I want to avoid getting into again.

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    Do you have a way to test the Trance on trail? I would try to find an LBS that will let you rent it for a day, and take it on the trails that you'd be worried about being too tight for a 140/150mm bike. There is also going to be technique and personal preference involved, and just because someone on here says a Trance is fine for your trails, doesn't mean you're going to like it.

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    The 2016/17 Trance turns as good as what was acceptable for an X/C bike a few years ago.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

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    Quote Originally Posted by acedeuce802 View Post
    Do you have a way to test the Trance on trail? I would try to find an LBS that will let you rent it for a day, and take it on the trails that you'd be worried about being too tight for a 140/150mm bike. There is also going to be technique and personal preference involved, and just because someone on here says a Trance is fine for your trails, doesn't mean you're going to like it.
    I looked for a local dealer that had one and no such luck and due to the bike being a 2017 the supply is very limited as it is. The one thing I have going for me is the dealer I would buy from offers a right bike return policy so I could play that game, I just hate being that guy who takes a brand new bike and brings it back used saying nope, lets try something else.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    The 2016/17 Trance turns as good as what was acceptable for an X/C bike a few years ago.
    That is promising to know because my enduro bike handles nothing like an X/C bike.

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    BTW, a huge thank you to all the feedback you guys have made, it's much appreciated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    Get the Anthem SX, it fits the intended purpose. I tried the 2016 Modell last year and really liked it
    Great information to know, I appreciate it. The advanced version is spec'd a little better but the standard SX felt pretty nice. I just don't want to come up short on travel and wish I went bigger.

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    Are you going to keep your GT? I know you mentioned that the new bike is supposed to be a 1 bike fits all, but is keeping the old bike in the realm of possibilities? I was apprehensive about building a 140mm bike in Michigan until I decided to keep my 100mm hardtail. There are a few tight trails that I know the 760mm bars aren't going to be friendly on, so I can just take the XC bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acedeuce802 View Post
    Are you going to keep your GT? I know you mentioned that the new bike is supposed to be a 1 bike fits all, but is keeping the old bike in the realm of possibilities? I was apprehensive about building a 140mm bike in Michigan until I decided to keep my 100mm hardtail. There are a few tight trails that I know the 760mm bars aren't going to be friendly on, so I can just take the XC bike.
    Unfortunately no, I will not be keeping the GT. After working with GT for a couple months over pivot issues they have agreed to allow me to return the bike for a refund.

  18. #18
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    What do you mean there's no love for giant here? Giant has the best bike frame warranty in the industry. I know a guy who does extreme downhill he broke his frame five times and you got five new frames.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by acedeuce802 View Post
    I demo'd the Trance Advanced 2 at DTE (not sure if you're SE or SW Michigan). It definitely suited the trail nicely. It was a great balance of climbing and descending. If you're looking to travel at all, or like doing the more technical trails in southern Michigan (for example DTE and Poto in SE), then I wouldn't hesitate to go with the Trance. If you stick to XC style trails and don't intend to travel to larger trails (up north, East/West coast), then go with the Anthem.
    I missed this post earlier, sorry. It's funny that you bring up DTE and Poto, I live about 4 miles from Poto. Looks like I'll be ready for it soon too, placed the order for the Trance Advanced 1 earlier this evening, I'll have it in a week.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith462 View Post
    placed the order for the Trance Advanced 1 earlier this evening, I'll have it in a week.
    That is a sweet story
    oops I wasn't clipped in

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugerfan777 View Post
    What do you mean there's no love for giant here? Giant has the best bike frame warranty in the industry. I know a guy who does extreme downhill he broke his frame five times and you got five new frames.
    Why would anyone continue to ride a bike that keeps breaking under its intended use?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotth72 View Post
    Why would anyone continue to ride a bike that keeps breaking under its intended use?
    This guy uses it be way beyond its intended use. Taking off 20 foot jumps and I'll kinds of shit but the bike was never meant to do. He knew he was gonna break it when he bought it but he bought a giant because he knew that they would replace it every time. He's lucky he hasnt killed himself my crazy ass shit he does.

  23. #23
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    Love to see how that conversation went:

    "dude check out this jump, it's huge!"
    "cool, man! Are you going to build a landing?"
    "nah this xc/trail bike has a great warranty"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    That is a sweet story
    I better get it. The shop said they couldn't see it in their system so they called Giant because I pointed out that it was listed as "in stock" on the Giant website. Shop calls back and says sorry but the only remaining available inventory is what is left in dealer stock which meant the closest one was in Philadelphia and outside of that I won't be able to get one. This rep is a Trek guy so he then tries convincing me to buy a Trek demo bike because it was supposed to be pretty comparable in specs, just been used as a demo, I declined because all I can think about is in the past few days I became really excited to get a Giant.

    Being mostly decided on the Trance specifically at that point I was really bummed and explained I had to rethink this and I'd call back. Checked Giant's site, was able to add it to my cart but I was going to have to pay full retail (I am getting it for a significant savings through the shop because it's a 2017) OR the site said I could make a road trip to Phili, literally.

    I called Giant to enquire as to why it listed the Medium as in stock yet the shop couldn't find it to order it and the woman explained that the shop should be able to order it if the inventory status is "in stock", only "limited stock" means dealer inventory only. She calls the shop, shop does not call me. I call the shop a couple hours later and they say nobody called from Giant....um ok? I called the woman at Giant back and she verifies the number to the shop she called, gave me the name of the employee she talked to (she's not lying) and I explain that the shop still is saying it can't be ordered so she calls them AGAIN. 10 minutes later I get a call from the shop starting out with "we still can't see it in our system to order it", I am now irritated but then he says but if you want it, my rep can place the order for us, he has access to a different ordering system. Mind you, this is the store manager I am talking to at this point. He explains I need to pay half up front as a deposit to get it ordered, l agree and pay with my card on the phone and he says ok, I'll let the rep know and after I talk to my boss I'll know if we are ordering it today or in the next couple of days with the rest of our order. I said so, you just charged my card for half the price of the bike right? He says oh, sorry, no I didn't press the right button, charged you for the full amount, do I need to do a refund and run it again for half? No, it's fine, I'd owe it in a few days anyway.

    The following day I was back on Giant's site looking at specs and for some reason I clicked on the availability drop down, now every size is listed in red as "limited stock" and says if I want it I can take a road trip to Phili. I call the shop and the guy says I'd have to check with my manager and rep to see if they ordered it Friday or not. I explain the current inventory status has now gone to store stock only and because I paid in full on Friday they better have done something to secure one for me. I am then told that my order was probably the last one and that one for sure was set aside for me.

    Like I said in the beginning, I better get it lol.

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    I stopped in to the shop to verify that the bike was ordered and on it's way and was told that yes it has for sure been ordered and should be ready by Monday hopefully. It seems like many of the employees are Trek fans there which is fine but as the manager was talking to me about different bike manufacturers and their histories he mentioned that Giant bikes are maybe a B+ which I thought was a weird thing to say to me knowing I just ordered one. Anyway, if I can figure out how to clear my uploads I will post a pic of the new bike when I get it and thank you all again for your input in this thread.

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    Your LBS sounds awful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith462 View Post
    I stopped in to the shop to verify that the bike was ordered and on it's way and was told that yes it has for sure been ordered and should be ready by Monday hopefully. It seems like many of the employees are Trek fans there which is fine but as the manager was talking to me about different bike manufacturers and their histories he mentioned that Giant bikes are maybe a B+ which I thought was a weird thing to say to me knowing I just ordered one. Anyway, if I can figure out how to clear my uploads I will post a pic of the new bike when I get it and thank you all again for your input in this thread.
    Yea, Shop owners are biased too. Giant makes good bikes. Shesh I think all the top Big bike sellers make good bikes. Geometry is all the same anyways. Your just buying how the suspension works really.

    If we can get the Bike Industry to just sell their shocks systems and bolt it on to another bike frame, I bet you be Amazed that other bike frame performs almost exactly like the other bike it was intended for.

    For example, both the Evil Wreckoning shocks on a frame of another brand with close geometry, I bet it would perform almost exactly the same. This would be a Win for us the consumers and make Bike companies more competitive.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith462 View Post
    he mentioned that Giant bikes are maybe a B+ which I thought was a weird thing to say to me knowing I just ordered one..
    Many riders prefer certain brands. Trek has big following worldwide, so it's no surprise to meet someone with opinions. You're still correct how that was a strange way to talk to a customer. He must feel like he is trying to help you see the light.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith462 View Post
    Looks like after dealing with some warranty issues I will be buying a new bike. I live in southern lower Michigan and our trails are more of the flowing type with short ups and downs mixed in with small roots, rock gardens and the occasional decent 1 foot drop out here and there.

    My old bike is a 2013 GT Force LE. I picked it up on closeout after not riding for almost 12 years, it's an enduro bike with 160mm front and 150mm rear travel. The bike has a very high bottom bracket and is terrible in corners, like I am turning a semi truck.

    I visited a LBS yesterday inquiring about a Santa Cruz 5010 and the rep there had great things to say about their bikes. They also sell Specialized and Giant and even though he said he loves his Santa Cruz DH bike, he really felt that the Specialized bike he has fits him best. That being said, I told him I want a bike that isn't too much overkill like I currently have and I want it to handle corners a bit better without putting me in a position where I won't have enough travel to get through some chunkier trails. On a side note I have become accustomed to not having to worry so much when I come into rocks and roots with my Force because the long travel on my Fox Factory suspension eats up anything including the steepest drops that I can throw at it here in MI so I don't want to be limited too much

    The shop doesn't stock Santa Cruzs he explained because they are a bit more pricey and before I knew it I was out riding a Giant Anthem SX around their parking lot and I have to say it felt really nice. This was a more basic model and I stressed that I'd like something with better components so he showed me the Anthem Advanced SX on the Giant site explaining they could have one in a week if I was interested. That bike is here:

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/anthem-advanced-sx

    After I got home I watched some youtube reviews and they are all pretty good but some did stress that like all bikes, it has it's limits. I got to thinking maybe I should go for a Trance with a little more travel which leads me to this model:

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-advanced-1

    The Anthem is classified as a XC bike and the Trance is a trail bike. Either of these should allow me to hit turns with more speed than my Force. Given that I only will have 1 bike for doing it all, which should I go with in your opinions? I really have no experience with other bikes on a trail setting except going way back to a early 90's Iron Horse hard tail I had as a teenager which was originally spec'd as a rigid bike that I added a suspension fork to. My biggest concern is ending up with another "semi truck" turning bike that leaves me thinking I screwed up and bought the wrong bike AGAIN.

    This leads me to one other question, I don't see a lot of chat about Giant bikes here as of recent. Is there something I am missing about them that I should be steering clear of their bikes? The reviews on youtube are all pretty solid and the rep at the shop had nothing but great things to say about their customer service so I was surprised when I didn't see many people talking about them when discussing buying a new bike.
    Didn't read the entire thread but that Trance would make a great all-round trail bike, especially with the new 2.6" tires it will fit.

    Giant makes a good bike. For their price, its a great bike.

    My DH rig is a 2015 Glory and it's been bombproof.

    Their new Reign with the coil shock is really nice, though just a bit off on geo compared to some newer bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Your LBS sounds awful.
    First time dealing with the shop but they have been around a while and now have 6 locations. Also, they are one of the closer shops to me that sell Giant. I do most of the maintenance on my bike but after buying the last bike online it will be nice to be able to take the new bike in without being discriminated against for not buying the bike there which happened to me at other shops before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rugerfan777 View Post
    Yea, Shop owners are biased too. Giant makes good bikes. Shesh I think all the top Big bike sellers make good bikes. Geometry is all the same anyways. Your just buying how the suspension works really.

    If we can get the Bike Industry to just sell their shocks systems and bolt it on to another bike frame, I bet you be Amazed that other bike frame performs almost exactly like the other bike it was intended for.

    For example, both the Evil Wreckoning shocks on a frame of another brand with close geometry, I bet it would perform almost exactly the same. This would be a Win for us the consumers and make Bike companies more competitive.
    I agree, most major brands make great bikes and Giant makes most of there frames too haha. For the money, Giant is a great value and their customer service is supposed to be pretty good from what I have heard so that works for me. I originally looked at Canyon and considered them because of the value but I ended up with more bike for the price with Giant and 3 years worth of free tune ups at the shop for buying it there.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    Many riders prefer certain brands. Trek has big following worldwide, so it's no surprise to meet someone with opinions. You're still correct how that was a strange way to talk to a customer. He must feel like he is trying to help you see the light.
    Let me cleanse your sins for buying this unholy trash! Yeah it was weird, he said it like he didn't even realize he said what he said, I on the other hand caught it right away and thought haha seriously?

    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Didn't read the entire thread but that Trance would make a great all-round trail bike, especially with the new 2.6" tires it will fit.

    Giant makes a good bike. For their price, its a great bike.

    My DH rig is a 2015 Glory and it's been bombproof.

    Their new Reign with the coil shock is really nice, though just a bit off on geo compared to some newer bikes.
    Awesome to hear you haven't had issues with your Glory, I hope I will be able to say that about my Trance in a couple years. I always assumed Giant, Trek and Specialized were higher in comparison to other brands when it comes to price so I never really looked into them very much before but I am happy I did this time around.

    That Reign does look really nice, I like the color scheme. I am sure it rides well despite the geo difference. Unfortunately it's too much bike for any trails near me which sucks because that thing looks like it could bomb through about anything.

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    To be quite honest with you, you can buy any quality frame, name brand or not and the components you bolt on the frame are what is going to make the bike. Mind you unless they COMPLETELY botch the geo. But with that said, nothing wrong with Giant bikes! Nothing wrong with any of the top bikes with a solid component/suspension setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    To be quite honest with you, you can buy any quality frame, name brand or not and the components you bolt on the frame are what is going to make the bike. .
    A lot of posts saying something like this on MTBR, it must be widely held opinion. No truth in my experience. Brands ride a lot different, even when they share geo numbers. Yes Fox and RS forks/shocks feel different, but there's much more going on between Spec and Trek and Kona and Santa Cruz and Cannondale. To name a few awesome fun bikes. Oh and Giant!
    oops I wasn't clipped in

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    A lot of posts saying something like this on MTBR, it must be widely held opinion. No truth in my experience. Brands ride a lot different, even when they share geo numbers. Yes Fox and RS forks/shocks feel different, but there's much more going on between Spec and Trek and Kona and Santa Cruz and Cannondale. To name a few awesome fun bikes. Oh and Giant!
    The only thing that can physically affect that would be the linkage design/leverage ratio and stiffness (of course outside of Geo that was already mentioned). We all know each uses their own design on those two things. What I was saying is that any respectable frame and you won't go wrong!

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    What I was saying is that any respectable frame and you won't go wrong!

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
    Completely agree with you on that. I'd say buy most any bike today and you'll have a shredder. If (a big IF) it's an upper-level model. As example Trance 1 or 2, but if you get a 4 it might be good for slower riders, but most of us weekend warriors want a lighter/stronger component group or it's too much work getting up to speed.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

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