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  1. #1
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    Santa cruz bronson vs giant trance 27.5

    Anybody ridden both of these bikes? They seem like an almost similar bike on paper though the Trance is longer and has slightly less travel.

    I am thinking about getting a bronson but the trance is a lot cheaper, though I am concerned about the length of the Trance and I Don't like the proprietary parts.

    What are the differences in how these 2 bikes ride?

  2. #2
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    Buy the Santa Cruz, your getting a better bike for sure, talk to your local dealer, maybe he can help you out on price, spend a little more bucks, for a better bike is worth it.

  3. #3
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    Funny...when I was going between the Heckler, Bronson, and Trance, I was told by my LBS that's sells both brands that all of them are great bikes and it came down to personal preference.

    I ended up buying the Trance 1. Love the bike. Not sure what the problem is with "proprietary parts", because frankly the bike so far does everything well. It's a true enduro do-it-all bike.

    However if you like the SC brand and feel it's somehow built better...go for it. Both bikes are made of essentially the same stuff, and in the same place. Both bikes have good warranties...with Giant's lifetime frame and SC's lifetime bearings you have some slight differences to think about. But both companies do well to stand behind their products regardless.

  4. #4
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    I did forget to throw in test ride the bikes first, you will know from there what to do, I have done a lot of test rides, reading reviews and looking at spec's, as a x racer I know what I am looking for in a bike.

    At the end, your looking for the best bike for the best price, after I made my choice, went to the dealer and got 900 bucks off on the bike that I wanted, never know until you ask.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by VERT1 View Post
    Anybody ridden both of these bikes? They seem like an almost similar bike on paper though the Trance is longer and has slightly less travel.

    I am thinking about getting a bronson but the trance is a lot cheaper, though I am concerned about the length of the Trance and I Don't like the proprietary parts.

    What are the differences in how these 2 bikes ride?
    on paper the Trance's TT is a bit longer, but not by much, I wonder about the long wheelbase myself.

    if you mean the Giant brand parts, most people are saying the Giant dropper posts are pretty good, and apparently the wheels are made by DT (not sure about the cheaper ones).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by VERT1 View Post
    Anybody ridden both of these bikes? They seem like an almost similar bike on paper though the Trance is longer and has slightly less travel.

    I am thinking about getting a bronson but the trance is a lot cheaper, though I am concerned about the length of the Trance and I Don't like the proprietary parts.

    What are the differences in how these 2 bikes ride?
    What models are you looking at?
    When I looked at the Aluminum versions, the Bronson was cheaper.

    When I looked at the carbon XT kits, the Bronson was $500 more, but keep in mind the Bronson is a full Carbon frame, the Trance rear is Alumimun. Trance- giant wheels, the Bronson, DT swiss hubs with WTB rims. Trance- Press fit BB, Bronson threaded.
    OG Ripley v2
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  7. #7
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    I was looking at the trance X2 or the bronson alloy frame. If I got the bronson I would need to build it up. I already have a group set, bars, stem etc but would have to purchase wheels and a fork. If I got the Trance X2 I would swap out the groupset etc for the bits I have. By proprietary I mean the pressfit BB, the 1.25/1.5" fork and stem. Stems in 1.25" are hard to find here and very expensive if I wanted a shorter one.

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Just wondering the differences in how these bikes ride compared to each other. I am pretty much set on a bronson but if the Trance rides the same - it's a much cheaper option.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by VERT1 View Post
    I was looking at the trance X2 or the bronson alloy frame. If I got the bronson I would need to build it up. I already have a group set, bars, stem etc but would have to purchase wheels and a fork. If I got the Trance X2 I would swap out the groupset etc for the bits I have. By proprietary I mean the pressfit BB, the 1.25/1.5" fork and stem. Stems in 1.25" are hard to find here and very expensive if I wanted a shorter one.

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
    Oh yeah, the 1.25" stem is a big negative for Giant (definitely proprietary), and I also like that Santa Cruz still uses threaded BBs.

  10. #10
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    If you really want to save, get a used Blur LTc frame. You will limit yourself some as far as rear tire selection but not too much really. Most prefer a smaller/lighter rear with larger/fatter front anyway. Other than that it is for sure a guessing game unless YOU ride both frames similarly equipped.

    Fred

  11. #11
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    What about a Heckler instead, if you want to save money, as it is 27.5"?

  12. #12
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    I already have a Blur LT that I am selling and I don't want a single Pivot bike

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  13. #13
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    Trance is gonna be a better climber, less squat in the design.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    Trance is gonna be a better climber, less squat in the design.
    Another "theory" jockey... good luck with that.

    Have FUN!

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

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Another "theory" jockey... good luck with that.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    I take it you're a SC fanatic then...

  16. #16
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    No, I've actually ridden both and OWN the Bronson. My subjectivity is based on reality. Those that know me certainly know I'm not an SC fanboy as I came back only after having owned several other suspension designs including DW link which Maestro was modeled after. I go for best current technology, not brand (fact is I've bashed SC as much as anyone). The Trance was actually highest on my list because of affordability - simply isn't as good of a bike as the Bronson (for the way I ride).

    Have FUN!

    G MAN

    PS - Your statement coudln't be further from the truth. The pivot points of the Bronson (and Solo) were tweaked vs. VPP2 and they climb better than any bike I've ever ridden.
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  17. #17
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    G MAN is the best!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    G MAN is the best!
    NOW you're making sense!

    Merry Christmas,

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

  19. #19
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    Re: Santa cruz bronson vs giant trance 27.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    No, I've actually ridden both and OWN the Bronson. My subjectivity is based on reality. Those that know me certainly know I'm not an SC fanboy as I came back only after having owned several other suspension designs including DW link which Maestro was modeled after. I go for best current technology, not brand (fact is I've bashed SC as much as anyone). The Trance was actually highest on my list because of affordability - simply isn't as good of a bike as the Bronson (for the way I ride).

    Have FUN!

    G MAN

    PS - Your statement coudln't be further from the truth. The pivot points of the Bronson (and Solo) were tweaked vs. VPP2 and they climb better than any bike I've ever ridden.
    Why did you find the Trance to be not as good as the Bronson? Which bike did you find was the best at climbing, decending, cornering etc. Did the long wheelbase on the Trance make the bike feel long?

  20. #20
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    Bronson is a killer bike. Can't comment on the Trance. Previously rode a 29er with 150mm fork and similar geo to the Bronson and was concerned about a loss in confidence by going to the smaller wheel. Not the case at all. I've been riding in Sedona the last few days, also the first rides on the Bronson, and never gave anything a second thought. The bike is super stable, climbs rough rocky tech great, and flat out rips.

    I've got a new fox 27.5 fork I'd make you a really good deal on if you went the build route.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    if you mean the Giant brand parts, most people are saying the Giant dropper posts are pretty good, and apparently the wheels are made by DT (not sure about the cheaper ones).
    Actually the wheel is made by Giant, the hub internals are DT, but that is only on the nice wheelsets. All the other are formula hubs.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by VERT1 View Post
    Why did you find the Trance to be not as good as the Bronson? Which bike did you find was the best at climbing, decending, cornering etc. Did the long wheelbase on the Trance make the bike feel long?
    Both climb and corner great (slight nod to Bronson for climbing). I have a long torso so I actually like the long wheelbase of the Trance but the Bronson is rather generous for the size too (unlike most of SC's previous frames). Biggest difference was in the "poppyness" of the Bronson - you can boost nice air off of even little roots and rocks. That really caught me off-guard as I had no intentions of ever getting back on the VPP bus but it's the funnest bike I've ridden. The Trance felt "dead" in comparison, even after turning up the rebound and dialing in more LSC. Now granted this was NOT a fair comparison as I tested the carbon Bronson and the aluminum Trance. The difference very well may have come from the lighter and stiffer frame of the Bronson C. The cost of the carbon Trance frame tho was ridiculous so that was not an option. I would have bought the aluminum Trance if I didn't ride the Bronson C. Try both if you can - a lot of riders didn't like the Bronson at Outerbike so it's not for everyone.

    Have FUN!

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

  23. #23
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    Cheers for the info Gman.

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Try both if you can - a lot of riders didn't like the Bronson at Outerbike so it's not for everyone.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    So, then why did you jump all over me for giving my opinion earlier in this thread?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    So, then why did you jump all over me for giving my opinion earlier in this thread?
    I would venture that it has to do with your "theoretical" input vs. real-life experience. Have you ridden both bikes in question? Your initial response makes it sound like you've ridden neither.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazclrint View Post
    Actually the wheel is made by Giant, the hub internals are DT, but that is only on the nice wheelsets. All the other are formula hubs.
    Do you know which make/model rims they use?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    Do you know which make/model rims they use?
    Atleast for 2014 they make the rims, hub bodies, and assemble them inhouse. Remember, Giant is one of the worlds top alloy manufactures. Even last year's rims that came with DT Swiss tubeless kits I think were made by Giant, but designed by DT Swiss, but I am not certain. But I am referring to the TRX or XCR wheelsystems. It's all a bunch of grey area that even the US Giant and DT Swiss folks I talk too don't seem to be able to keep completely straight. Either way, even if the rims are made by DT Swiss, I don't think they are a standard rim off their shelves, but something made to Giant's specs, which would make them Giant components. But having the DT Swiss internals is nice because you can do that engagement upgrade.

    If you are referring to the less expensive wheels, I think those rims are made in house.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Both climb and corner great (slight nod to Bronson for climbing). G MAN
    I really need to get another ride on the Trance, as I thought it climbed horribly. What is your definition of climbing well? What kind of climbs did you get to do on it? How much sag were you sunning?

    Thank you

  29. #29
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    I'm in the same boat as the OP. Wish someone had direct comparison of the alum Trance and the alum Bronson. From my reading the Bronson weighs 2#'s more and that sure seems like alot to me.

  30. #30
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    So far I have demo'd the Trance, Bronson, Solo, Pivot M6, Sight, and Remedy.

    I am pretty obsessed with getting a boutique bike but I will say that both the Remedy and the Trance pedaled very well considering before I put a leg over them they were way down the list.

    Of those I am leaning right now toward the Remedy and the Sight, however I still have yet to get on the Yeti SB-75 as well.

    The Trance was definitely a surprise but in all honesty I would put it toward the bottom. While it was a VERY good climber, I thought it lacked a little bit on the downhills compared to the rest of the fleet.

    I will say the Giant Demo I did was pretty shitty and they did a terrible job of setting me up. Santa Cruz, Trek, and Pivot actually spend some time in setting up the bikes and making sure you had a good fit (especially Santa Cruz as they were unbelievable actually). The Giant folks just said the last guy was about your size (WTF?). Either way that could have negatively affected my overall opinion.

    With that being said each and every bike that I have been on has been pretty amazing and I doubt you could go wrong with any of them.

  31. #31
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    I'm eyeing down a Trance advanced SX, with 160mm of travel and a 66 degree head angle. Really curious how one of these ride.

  32. #32
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    @atl-biker. Could you compare the bikes Ina bit more detail. What are your thoughts on pivot m6 after the test ride. What terrain was the test ride in?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilyam3 View Post
    @atl-biker. Could you compare the bikes Ina bit more detail. What are your thoughts on pivot m6 after the test ride. What terrain was the test ride in?
    Remedy 650b- was a pretty darn good climber but I definitely noticed the suspension a tad more than most of the other bikes I have ridden. It wasn't much at all but I did notice it. However going down it was also probably the most fun and I felt like I had more control. Had a really plush feel to it. Overall when I rode that bike 1 thing came to mind fun.

    Mach 6- Awesome on the descents and the best climbing F/S bike I rode. The best of both worlds really. It was the first F/S bike that I have ridden where I really realized how far suspension technology has come. The fit for me was pretty amazing as well and quite frankly it's just one bad ass looking bike. If this bike was in my budget hands down I would be buying it. Unfortunately they don't have a lower specd model right now (supposedly one in the future but I can't wait anymore as I'm not getting any younger Lol).

    Solo 5010- Really liked the feel of the VPP suspension. While everyone at the demo was raving about the Bronson, I much preferred the Solo. It seemed more "playful" to me and it felt like I was going a lot faster than on the Bronson which I loved as well. (ironically my strava times were identical). Good climber and a fun bike though.

    Trance- The Trance I rode was the 3 so it was no doubt the lowest spec'd model which is rare compared to the other demo's. I was pleasantly surprised with how it performed overall. I enjoyed the ride and you could tell that the suspension design was very similar to the DW link that was on the Pivot. IMO though the DW link had a clear advantage although I could not point my finger as to why. I liked the bike but I didn't love it. For some reason the brakes were not very good on the 3 and they don't stock the 2 in the USA (although I wish they did) so it's really on the outside looking in.

    The terrain I rode in was a cross country type single trek flow style trails with some technical worked in. I made sure to take the more technical section in each and every trail I rode though if that helps. It definitely wasn't a Pigsagh type ride though lol.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atl-Biker View Post
    Remedy 650b- was a pretty darn good climber but I definitely noticed the suspension a tad more than most of the other bikes I have ridden. It wasn't much at all but I did notice it. However going down it was also probably the most fun and I felt like I had more control. Had a really plush feel to it. Overall when I rode that bike 1 thing came to mind fun.

    Mach 6- Awesome on the descents and the best climbing F/S bike I rode. The best of both worlds really. It was the first F/S bike that I have ridden where I really realized how far suspension technology has come. The fit for me was pretty amazing as well and quite frankly it's just one bad ass looking bike. If this bike was in my budget hands down I would be buying it. Unfortunately they don't have a lower specd model right now (supposedly one in the future but I can't wait anymore as I'm not getting any younger Lol).

    Solo 5010- Really liked the feel of the VPP suspension. While everyone at the demo was raving about the Bronson, I much preferred the Solo. It seemed more "playful" to me and it felt like I was going a lot faster than on the Bronson which I loved as well. (ironically my strava times were identical). Good climber and a fun bike though.

    Trance- The Trance I rode was the 3 so it was no doubt the lowest spec'd model which is rare compared to the other demo's. I was pleasantly surprised with how it performed overall. I enjoyed the ride and you could tell that the suspension design was very similar to the DW link that was on the Pivot. IMO though the DW link had a clear advantage although I could not point my finger as to why. I liked the bike but I didn't love it. For some reason the brakes were not very good on the 3 and they don't stock the 2 in the USA (although I wish they did) so it's really on the outside looking in.

    The terrain I rode in was a cross country type single trek flow style trails with some technical worked in. I made sure to take the more technical section in each and every trail I rode though if that helps. It definitely wasn't a Pigsagh type ride though lol.
    With the range of bikes you have tested the Trance 27.5 SX (or SX Advanced) should be the model to compare to the Mach6, Bronson, Sight, Remedy etc. The Trance X3 is a $2K bike? The 160mm Fox 34 up front on the SX models transforms this bike.

    Good review here... 2014 Bible of Bike Tests: Giant Trance Advanced SX 27.5 - YouTube

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmal26 View Post
    With the range of bikes you have tested the Trance 27.5 SX (or SX Advanced) should be the model to compare to the Mach6, Bronson, Sight, Remedy etc. The Trance X3 is a $2K bike? The 160mm Fox 34 up front on the SX models transforms this bike.

    Good review here... 2014 Bible of Bike Tests: Giant Trance Advanced SX 27.5 - YouTube

    Thanks for that. That's all they had to demo in my size. FWIW thought the basic model Sight compared to the Trance 3 (I know, I know not equal but the spec is close) IMO the Sight was a much better ride, and it really wasn't close.

  36. #36
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    no hijack intended but since you do such a nice job describing the others you rode - i believe you rode a sight as mentioned above? your thoughts? thanks

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    Is it me or do the Trance and the Bronson not really seem to be comparable. I'd say it be the 5010, and the trance or the Reign and the Bronson.

    With that being said the Trance is what took me off the 29er bandwagon trying to shoehorn myself into a bike I'd like.

    I really have no complaints with the Trance, and like it, but I feel you could (if you anticipate utilizing Bronson's increase travel) definitely reach a peak on what you'd feel comfortable doing on a Trance before a Bronson.

    Now I know this is off topic but I road a Trek Remedy which lead me to my current Slash vs Bronson situation (I found the Bronson after the Slash). I'll be riding a Slash this Sunday, but with the Bronson's price range and feature availability I think that's going to be the way I'm going to go unless this Demo is mind boggling.

    So TL;DR Trances are good for XC/low end enduro (from experience), but Theoretically (and from the general consensus) the Bronson will be better with more extreme enduro/Downhill and is also good at XC.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by navysarchris View Post
    Is it me or do the Trance and the Bronson not really seem to be comparable. I'd say it be the 5010, and the trance or the Reign and the Bronson.

    With that being said the Trance is what took me off the 29er bandwagon trying to shoehorn myself into a bike I'd like.

    I really have no complaints with the Trance, and like it, but I feel you could (if you anticipate utilizing Bronson's increase travel) definitely reach a peak on what you'd feel comfortable doing on a Trance before a Bronson.

    Now I know this is off topic but I road a Trek Remedy which lead me to my current Slash vs Bronson situation (I found the Bronson after the Slash). I'll be riding a Slash this Sunday, but with the Bronson's price range and feature availability I think that's going to be the way I'm going to go unless this Demo is mind boggling.

    So TL;DR Trances are good for XC/low end enduro (from experience), but Theoretically (and from the general consensus) the Bronson will be better with more extreme enduro/Downhill and is also good at XC.
    Trance SX = 160F/140R, so that's pretty similar to Bronson, no?

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