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  1. #1
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    Trance v Sight v Range v Reign - decision time

    Hi, I'm in Australia. Handing my near 10 year old Specialized Enduro to my 12 yo son. New bike time. After a bunch of reading and a few quick rides here is what I have arrived at based on availability and prices;

    2015 Trance 2 ($2300) Trance 27.5 2 (2015) | Giant Bicycles / Giant Bikes | Australia

    2015 Reign 2 ($2800) Reign 27.5 2 (2015) | Giant Bicycles / Giant Bikes | Australia

    2015 Sight A7.2 ($2100) m.norco.com

    2015 Range A7.2 ($2380) m.norco.com

    I'm 5'8" (175cm) and a fit 185lb (85kg). Shortish legs. Looking at medium size.

    I rode a medium Trance 2 around a dirt car park with a few bumps and mounds for 10 minutes and it felt pretty good. At the same place they only had a large Reign and I could tell straight away the large was too big for me. I could also tell that yes, it didn't pedal as snappily as the Trance. However something about this totally different style of bike attracted me. I reckon it would be mucho fun on any descent. Plush and stable. However I felt maybe it was just a bit too much like a chopper as my local is lots of single track with fire trails. It doesn't have a lift so what goes down must go up. I also ride 5km on tar to get there. Something between the Trance and Reign would be ideal.

    i then checked a Sight at another shop and the claim was made that it might not be specced like the Trance but the frame and suspension was better and the frame stiffer and tougher. It rode nice around the carpark over a few obstacles. When I got home I checked the Norco site and found the Range. Based on head angle it seems like the Range might actually sit nicely between the Trance/Sight and the Reign. I have to travel 2 hrs to check the Range out.

    My head says the Reign is a bit silly as single track climbs may be not only be a little slow, but a pain in the butt. Fire trails may be a chore? But the devil in me says I could casually point and shoot a Reign even on single track and have a blast. Note I haven't ridden a correctly sized Reign for me. Maybe the Norco Range would just drop the silly factor back a notch with a slightly steeper head angle and better pedalling/ascending.

    The Trance and Sight seemed similar to each other. I seek your opinions on the differences. The specs of all four bikes are a blur of numbers and letters to me that I don't have six months to decipher. Maybe for example the forks on one are a heap better than another. I noticed the Trance had internal cables but the Sight didn't. There would be many other differences that I would never notice until well after purchase.

    Here's an analogy. I play heavy rock guitar with friends. Many say to buy a big 100 Watt amplifier and big 4 speaker cabinet is silly overkill unless you are playing live at decent sized venues as such gear only works properly at high volumes. I have a big Marshall amp in my bedroom and when awoken it blows the doors of anything that the "sensible salesperson" would recommend. It just sounds SO much better and in actual fact still does a good job at low volume surprisingly. Not listening to reason was the best thing I ever did in this context.

    Any advice appreciated

  2. #2
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    The Reign2 has a really nice spec for the money (Pike RC fork and Monarch Debonair shock are better than all the other bikes listed). Big bikes can be fun but sometimes it gets too easy just rolling over everything, but it you're ok with that, it would be a great choice, and not that much bigger than the Range anyway (a tad slacker though).

    The Trance is a great Trail bike, but, the Trance2 comes with Fox Evo fork and shock, which are not great and may need upgrading eventually. The Sight is specced pretty similar, but with different fork and shock, so either one isn't a bad choice for the price.

  3. #3
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    I owned the Trance 2 for about a year before I bought my Ibis HD3 and it was a great bike, but once the fork was broken in it left me wishing I still had my old X-Fusion Velvet. Even with the fork issue I'd still buy the Trance, but with an upgraded fork.

    The Reign is a bit overkill for most trail riding unless you're hitting the really nasty trails on a regular basis, but a fantastic bike none the less.
    The Truth will set you free.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    The Reign2 has a really nice spec for the money (Pike RC fork and Monarch Debonair shock are better than all the other bikes listed). Big bikes can be fun but sometimes it gets too easy just rolling over everything, but it you're ok with that, it would be a great choice, and not that much bigger than the Range anyway (a tad slacker though).
    Thanks all. I guess the burning question is would the Reign border on unenjoyable in a single track tech climb? If not, I'm more than happy to sit back and crush the trail.

  5. #5
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    I've ridden all four of those bikes, and ended up with the Norco Range 7.2 (alu) w/ Pike.

    All are fine for aggressive trail riding…if you care more about climbs go with sight/ trance if you plan on bike parks as part of the equation get the range or reign. the wheel set on the range 7.2 isn't great, i replaced the rear wheel with a dt350/ stans flow ex combo right away.

  6. #6
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    I've ridden the Sight (and own it), Trance and Range. Honestly all are great bikes. I'm certainly pre-disposed to the Sight and have owned if for nearly 2000 miles in the rocky mts of CO. Its a great do it all Trail bike and can punch above its weight. I will say that a Pike at 150 makes the bike even better. I could own all three - and IMO comes down to Fork, wheels, shock in that order to make any of em all better than stock build. And of these three - maybe the shop can hook you up with a swap deal for any of the stock forks towards the Pike. The Trance has the better overall build kit IMO... just needs a fork.
    FWIW - the range doesn't pedal as well as the other 2, but is a fun machine and so easy to simply point and go straight like a monster truck on the way down.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by enuenu View Post
    Thanks all. I guess the burning question is would the Reign border on unenjoyable in a single track tech climb? If not, I'm more than happy to sit back and crush the trail.
    I had a ReignX1 which was ~35lbs, and it was still amazing on technical climbs, I just had to keep the pedals turning and it would rock crawl up anything, but it took a lot more effort than my <30lb XC/Trail bike. So, you'll have to decide if the weight (I think Reign2 is ~32lbs) matters enough to go for a smaller bike.

    I agree with Kamper, all 4 of these bikes are pretty damn good, but at this price point there are differences in spec, that's why for value the Reign and Range are good since they have good fork and shock, which are the most expensive parts. All of them have ok-but-not-great wheels but that is one upgrade that can be very personal (weight vs strength vs width etc).

  8. #8
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    Thanks a lot everyone. Trek Fuel EX 8 at $2650 looked at today. More $.

    Also checked a GT Sensor at around $2700. Why GT have cables exposed beneath down tube eludes me. Small point but to a non tech person like me seems a no brainer to tuck them away somewhere safer. My thought process is if GT overlooked this obvious design flaw, what else have they scrimped on or overlooked? Nice bike though. Weird that the large actually seemed to fit me better than medium. First time that has happened.

    I wonder about the real differences between rear suspension designs between all these bikes. Trek salesman pitched theirs as the best system, something to do with totally floating rear shock and something about the way the rear brake and suspension work together.

    Overall the Norco Range looking the goods as fun to blast downhill and probably ascends a little better than Reign. Cheaper for me too.
    Last edited by enuenu; 07-09-2015 at 12:02 AM.

  9. #9
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    If you're in between the Reign and Trance, is the Traance SX available there? Or if now, how about getting the Trance and putting a burlier 160mm travel for on it?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    If you're in between the Reign and Trance, is the Traance SX available there? Or if now, how about getting the Trance and putting a burlier 160mm travel for on it?
    Can't find one in my size. Had a quick look online. Only SXs available are 2014 models that I can see but look nice.

  11. #11
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    I've owned a 2015 Trance SX for 7 months. I demoed a 2015 Reign 2 and 2015 Trance 1 at a demo day in my regular forest trails. I also rode the reign 2 for 3 hrs at a gondola assisted bike park. I haven't ridden a Norco due to unavailability
    Going down the reign is a monster truck and smashes most trails going down. However I found it fairly heavy when peddling up. In my tight forest single track I found it slow in steering noticed the lengthy wheel base.
    If you can find a 2015 Trance SX ii'd seriously consider it. It comes with a dual position travel Pike (140-160mm) and SRAM X1 drivetrain. As other peeps have said, the pike is an amazing fork and I think transforms the Trance. I run it at 160 95% of the time. It's a trance with more muscle. Avoid in my opinion the 2014 Trance SX (bronze colour). Giant really improved the spec in 2015 with the fork and drivetrain. Cheers, goodl luck😊

  12. #12
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    Yeah it's a shame they seemingly stopped producing the Trance SX (to probably push more Reign sales), but that sounds like exactly what you are seeking.
    But, you can essentially make your own version of SX with a bigger fork swap onto a regular Trance, maybe down the road when budget allows.

    Hard to go wrong with any of those bikes you're looking at, but I'd say Trance; it will be super fun all around.

  13. #13
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    I'm at a crossroads myself between a reign or keeping my extensively modded 14' Trance SX. It's been rattling as an option to just pick up a reign advanced frame set and doing a component swap. The reign better suits my travel riding that involves shuttling but I too am afraid of losing some peddling since I'm on the saddle 3x a week. Anyone make the jump?

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    I had a trance before picking up a nomad and I definitely dug it. It pedaled excellently and held up better than I thought it would on fairly sizable drops/gaps, I'm a light fellow at 6'0 160lbs though. That said I think people underestimate the ability of bigger bikes to climb well. My nomad pedals up fire roads as well as the trance ever did. The only downside I have to having a bigger/slacker bike is handling in tight forests. I've ridden the nomad on quite a few 40+ mile rides without issue. Still have the trance as a back up/loner bike and rip on it from time to time. Maestro suspension is excellent. I can't speak to the component specs as I rode my trance with a 150 pike and monarch, which performed brilliantly.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayboarder View Post
    I'm at a crossroads myself between a reign or keeping my extensively modded 14' Trance SX. It's been rattling as an option to just pick up a reign advanced frame set and doing a component swap. The reign better suits my travel riding that involves shuttling but I too am afraid of losing some peddling since I'm on the saddle 3x a week. Anyone make the jump?
    Demoed before settling on the trance SX. The Reign was just to much bike for most of my trails around here. Climbing was nt the issue the Reign climbed fine its just the trance was more nimble and more fun on some very technical riding. IF it was steeper and faster I guess the Reign would be the pick.

  16. #16
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    I like the suggestion of a Trance or a similar 140mm frame that can take a 160mm fork and still ride well. I have a Transition Bandit with an X Fusion Sweep fork that came at 160mm. The Bandit's geometry is meant for 140mm but the BB is low and the seat and head angles are a little on the steep side so it rides just fine with a 160mm fork. However, the front wheel definitely wandered at times during technical climbs so I ended up changing the fork's internals to lower it to 140mm. Having a bike and fork that ride well at 140 or 160 travel was super helpful to learn exactly what is best for me.

  17. #17
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    FWIW I did exactly that. Unable to get the 32 140/120 evo to feel right, picked up a 34 K 160/140 factory. Bike feels great, climbs as good as ever, and is an absolute monster on the chunk and downhill.

    Almost too much so, frankly. Confidence and speed have risen a lot, and crashes sure hurt a lot more now.
    2012 Specialized Camber Comp
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    2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle242gt View Post
    FWIW I did exactly that. Unable to get the 32 140/120 evo to feel right, picked up a 34 K 160/140 factory. Bike feels great, climbs as good as ever, and is an absolute monster on the chunk and downhill.

    Almost too much so, frankly. Confidence and speed have risen a lot, and crashes sure hurt a lot more now.
    Yeah, I still can't understand why Giant sold the Trance with 140/120 fork while also selling the Trance SX with 160/140 fork. I never drop my 140/120 fork and since I'm light I'd like the slightly plusher Solo Air over the Dual Position.
    At least for 2016 the normal Trance seems to have 140mm fixed travel forks.

  19. #19
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    My head says the Reign is a bit silly as single track climbs may be not only be a little slow, but a pain in the butt.
    Nope.This bike climbs like a beast.Of course it won't be fast as other light travel (120-140) bikes (based how much technical climbs are) but for it's angles and travel it's doing it's job very good.Not to mention that it's crushing downhills like dh bike.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    I never drop my 140/120 fork ...
    Likewise. I tried it a few times, thinking it ought to help climbing. Nothing noticeable. In fact, once I got the bike fitted properly at 160, going to 140 threw everything off. Every once in a great while I'll lower it just to shift my body, but that's done about as often (and in the same vein) as riding on the flat with the seat dropped.

    It was convenient putting it to 140 for my 13yo to ride, but I hardly think that's the design intent.
    2012 Specialized Camber Comp
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  21. #21
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    Thanks. Been lured tonwards a Mondraker of late as sold locally and got to test. Nice. Rode Crafty, Foxy, Dune (2015). Also checked out a Remedy 29er. Have to admit when I rode the Crafty 29er it started to make me lean towards the bigger hoops. It was just so relaxing to ride and climbed low speed rock and root infested trails so much better. Went downhill fine.

    A factor holding me back right now it that it seems like 2016 will herald a lot of changes across all brands with boost 148 and + wheels/tires.

    However from what I read at Remedy - Trek Bicycle
    Trek are only using Boost in Remedy 29ers and no + size wheels/tires anywhere in the range. I thought as the "inventors" of Boost 148 they would have used Boost 148 and + wheels/tires more extensively.

  22. #22
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    Try to find a used 2014 Trance Advanced SX !

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