Superlight 29er v Trance x 29er
Looking to get one of the two bikes listed in the title:
either the SLx or the Trance 1
me: 6'3. 210. preference for riding is crosscrounty single track. Not uber technical, I do not have the skills for that. live in spokane WA area and ride Canada, sandpoint, silver, etc.. as well s trails around SLC. NEVER EVER EVER take a chairlift up, EVER.
Current Bike: Gary Fisher 2000 HooKooEKoo. Im aware that either of this will be a significant upgrade.
Obviously, looking at these two bikes, I am concerned about money spent. I have ridden both bikes, albeit around parking lots and up and down stairs, and both are very nice and completely acceptable to me.
1. is there a negative to the single pivot design of the SCSL?
2. is there a negative to the maestro suspension?
3. being the not small fella that I am, would one of these bikes hold up better in the long run.
4.Thoughts, comments, opinions, or other bikes to consider?
I really do not want to buy a bike and then have to rebuy in several years, I tend to run things into the ground (see current bike).
1. Yes. There is no upper pivot so everything hangs off the down tube, which makes the back end a bit flexy; that said, it's not that serious and there are multi pivot bikes that are just as flexy, but at your size and weight it is a consideration.
Also, there is no way around the fact that it will bob quite a bit unless you use a lot of platform damping in the shock. My wife just went from a superlight to a maestro and despite its entry level shock the bobbing is gone. Sure, it took two links and four times as many bearings to do it but it's gone. Plus the brakes and drivetrain no longer wind up the rear suspension so it holds traction on rough ground better going up and down.
3. I'd bet on the Trance, but you see ancient beat up Superlights still going strong. I seem to recall SC having a 220 lb limit on the Superlights in the old days but they're probably beefier now. Just having more suspension travel on the Trance will take some impact loads off the frame. And you.
4. The Maestro design feeds suspension loads sideways into the seat tube whereas the SC feeds them into the top tube. I've never liked loaded seat tubes as it's the skinniest and side loads are hard to spread; however, the only way you're likely to break it is to land a six footer badly with your butt on the saddle and your spine might give up first.
As far as other bikes to consider, there are so many but the Trek Rumblefish looks beefy, affordable, and their warranty is good; it looks hard to break. SC Tallboys seem popular with larger folks but they're a bit spendy. Niner RIP 9 likewise. And regardless of what bike you buy it will need wheels capable of taking over 200 lbs so there's no point in getting pinner wheels only to find they were designed for a 150 lb XC racer. The Giant wheels seem to be pretty tough and economical; if you want tough and light and stiff it will get exponentially expensive.
A friend of mine recently got a trancex29er, and he's a rough rider, and in the closer to 200# category than 150.
The bike has been great for him, and the new 29er trail-type wheels Giant is putting on the bike (p-trx) is much more appropriate than xc-style wheels. I don't know if it alone with is worth the upgrade from the 1 or 2 model (p-trx only lists on the 0 model) but between that and the straight XT kit it's hard to complain about the package price.
For a better comparison of intended-use the SC bike would be the TallboyLT not the SuperLight. The SuperLight is an XC machine and the TranceX is a "Trail" machine. Or compare the SuperLight to the Giant AnthemX 29er. From what you (OP) stated that may be more in your intended use anyway.
Basically the same rim width as a Stan's Flow, for comparison Jury is out whether the lower spoke count is a factor or not (28 instead of 32).
Can't give long-term opinion yet though, he's only had it a bit over a month.
But, +1 on what others said about single-pivot vs Maestro. I'd put my money on the Giant over the SC.
Shoot, I'd probably have a TranceX 29er if they'd brought it to market 9 months earlier or so. I'd already got a different machine by the time it was available though (which I am supah-happy with though, and have no desire to change).
I wouldn't go for the Anthem instead of the Trance because it just isn't as heavily built. The top tube to seat tube junction is marginal and you're sitting on it; the Trance is way beefier there. The next generation Anthem will probably have a bigger junction as seen on the new women's specific version. Don't know what they were thinking when they made the top tube flat like that, but it wasn't you! Looks cool, tends to crack at the welds especially with a long seat post prying on it.
true about the build, but the bike geometry is not the same, and they do not ride the same.
if OP is looking for an XC-whip they may not like the more slack angles, nor the slightly less XC-pedally setup. It's not a gigantic difference, but it is a difference.
Thanks for the great info. Gives me a lot to think about.
There is a great deal on a salsa spearfish right now in the classifieds. According to the reviews, it would fit the bill as well. Opinions on that?
IMHO, 80mm of travel on the spearfish is a bit shallow these days. I do have a buddy in SLC that rides a horsethief and loves it.
SC:12' Butcher (sold)
SC:12' Superlight 29er (sold)
SC:12' Juliana (wife's)
I have just got a SC Superlight. I demoed one set up with 120mm forks and, for me, it seems a good compromise. Reasonably light, yet with the 120mm fork very assured in rough stuff. The geo seems spot on; even with the longer fork it rides well through singletrack but still climbs well. I know it's 'old tech', but the simplicity and standard (not PF) bb attracts me. It is my first proper full sus coming frm a largely rigid, ss background so take that into account.
i have the Trance 29er and I have ridden the SL. The biggest problem i had with the Santa Cruz was brake jack (when the suspension stiffens when the brakes are applied). I assume you're aware of the ride difference so i won't address my personal preferences in that regard. Either bike is very good but I would give the edge to the Giant suspension design because it doesn't bob while being pedaled and has no brake induced suspension lock-up. Honestly though, you really need to ride both bikes... sometimes all the techno babel doesn't mean squat when the bike "just feels right" to you.
"You can become a very fast donkey, but you'll never be a thoroughbred..."
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