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  1. #1
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    Trance vs Reign vs Heckler

    I'm an all mountain rider who loves climbing and descending. I love the climb because it's always a challenge making it to the top without stepping off the bike. I love the descent because it's exhilarating going as fast as possible, while choosing the lines to do so.

    I'm currently have a '08 Specialized Hardrock with V brakes. I ride rough terrain with friends who have Butchers, Nomads, Specialized FS 29r. For example, last Sunday we rode 18 miles and climbed 3200 ft. This was mostly hard packed single track. Yesterday, we rode 12 hard, rocky miles and I truly felt my Hardrock was holding me back in all aspects of riding.

    Although, I am glad I started on a $150 bike off CL. It has taken me everywhere I asked it to. I have gained stamina and experience, but the time has come to get a new bike.

    So here I am, asking the AM gurus their opinion. Here are three bikes in my price range. What do you guys think of these bikes for my kind of riding?

    '12 Trance X1

    '08 Reign X1

    '11 Heckler

  2. #2
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    I don't thing you can shoot wrongly with any of these great bikes :-)

    I would go for Heckler and as second option Trance

    Why Heckler:
    - easy to change between AM/trail level, so you dont need to change bike if your trails change
    - year 11
    - great price

    Why Trance:
    - year 12
    - I love colors for this one :-)

    Why not Reign
    - year 08 (4 years old technology)
    - I dont like colors
    There is no man living that can not do more than he thinks he can. Henry Ford

  3. #3
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    As the trance is the lowest up front it will be the best for climbing, the maestro suss is imo the best on the market, with no bob at all when riding if your not real heavy, i have ridden a trance on many occasions n liked it alot.
    i have a 2012 reign n its a great bike on the downs, can soak up anything you throw at it n more, its actually great on the ups aswell, you can ride it all day..
    Ive ridden a mates Heckler on some long runs n its a great bike aswell, but its a single pivot n i find its not as good as the maestro on the giants, theres no way i would swap my reign for one..
    if you get the heckler or the reign you will be able to ride the bigger stuff well n really find new skills n you wont be held back by the bike, but the trance is no lightweight either.
    HOLD THE PHONE, i just have seen your talking the 08 reignx, i would not buy that at all, to many lower link dramas, its a poorly designed bike, read the 'broke my link on reignx thread..
    why arnt you looking at a standard reign, it will be a tougher bike than the trancex, and imo better.

    i dont think you need the reign x buy the sound of it, a standard reign is in the same class as the heckler, the reign x is in a diff class altogether.. its a bit closer to a free ride bike not the greatest on the ups but a killer on the downs..
    maybe you need to tell us why you are looking at these 3 very different class of bikes, cheers mate
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  4. #4
    endo
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    Id second other people's opinions and go with either the trance or heckler. Whenever I ride my buddies trance it is always a pleasure, only thing is that it cant quite soak up the crazy downhill stuff like our all mountain bikes can.

    It looks like you are considering used bikes, other bikes I would add to the list are...

    Specialized Pitch, Inexpensive, especially for the performance, you can find them for super cheap (if you can find one) and in great condition. I just picked one up after riding a friends and I have no regrets, I've test ridden all the bikes you have mentioned and this one fit my needs best, which include budget.

    a newer Reign- dont go with the 08 for the reasons specified above.

    Specialized Stumpjumper FSR EVO- IMHO the best combination of lightweight, ruggedness, components and travel out of the box. My idea of a dream AM bike. The '12 are cheaper now and I'm envious of every one I see on the trail.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disdom View Post
    Id second other people's opinions and go with either the trance or heckler. Whenever I ride my buddies trance it is always a pleasure, only thing is that it cant quite soak up the crazy downhill stuff like our all mountain bikes can.

    It looks like you are considering used bikes, other bikes I would add to the list are...

    Specialized Pitch, Inexpensive, especially for the performance, you can find them for super cheap (if you can find one) and in great condition. I just picked one up after riding a friends and I have no regrets, I've test ridden all the bikes you have mentioned and this one fit my needs best, which include budget.

    a newer Reign- dont go with the 08 for the reasons specified above.

    Specialized Stumpjumper FSR EVO- IMHO the best combination of lightweight, ruggedness, components and travel out of the box. My idea of a dream AM bike. The '12 are cheaper now and I'm envious of every one I see on the trail.
    I can agree on Specialized Pitch - great frame and used bikes come very cheap. Most likely because everything except for frame and rear shock mostly is very low end parts.
    But that is not a problem, you get superb frame and rear shock and slowly can upgrade other parts as they break. Basically perfect start for long friendship with your bike :-)
    There is no man living that can not do more than he thinks he can. Henry Ford

  6. #6
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    i think the reign n the heckler have the pitch covered pretty easy, the brain is not great on the pitch, i would tend to go with a standard reign, heckler or if you want a lighter bike capable of a bit less of the heavy stuff but a good climber the trance.
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  7. #7
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    Just FYI that Trance is an X2 not a X1... if you are comparing build specs/price.

    Have you ridden any of these somewhere? I didn't like the single pivot for climbing. I have a Trance X and really like this bike. Maestro suspension works very well, both up and down. I moved from a HT to it and it really allowed me improve my riding skills.
    Last edited by abeckstead; 08-17-2012 at 08:53 AM.

  8. #8
    endo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's L'axeman View Post
    i think the reign n the heckler have the pitch covered pretty easy, the brain is not great on the pitch, i would tend to go with a standard reign, heckler or if you want a lighter bike capable of a bit less of the heavy stuff but a good climber the trance.
    The pitch doesnt have the proprietary brain, it has pro-pedal. Perhaps you are thinking of another bike?

  9. #9
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    It's hard to tell, but if the '12 Trance has the Kashima coating on the shock/fork, it really is an improvement and a newer fork will have more life in it before a rebuild is needed. Since you like the climb as well as the descent, I'd vote for the Trance.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disdom View Post
    The pitch doesnt have the proprietary brain, it has pro-pedal. Perhaps you are thinking of another bike?
    your right mate, i thought they did but i was wrong ,cheers
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  11. #11
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    Don't worry about the lower links on the Giant Reign X. The issue started in 2010 with the new design. That said, it's probably more bike than you'll want to carry, as those frames were heavy! Fun bikes, though. Since you want to do a lot of climbing, I would stick with the Trance or Heckler, as everybody else has said. Buy new to get the warranty. The Heckler will be more versatile than the Trance X, but the Trance does have slightly better suspension, albeit with increased maintenance. I personally love single pivot bikes. They don't bob badly like some people say they do if they're set up correctly, and the maintenance is almost nonexistent. I did like my old Trance X, so if you live in a drier climate, I'd say go for it. Since people are throwing other options out there, why not the regular Reign?

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the good info in your replies.

    These three caught my eye as far as price range and the fact that they're in the AM category. I don't really have my heart set on one yet. But these bikes seemed like they would fit my style of riding.

    I haven't looked into the Pitch, but I've seen a nice FSR EVO build but it was 2k.

    I have ridden a '12 Reign 2 and '12 Trance 3 in the parking lot at a LBS. The guy there was super informative about the Maestro system. I really like this design because I actually enjoy challenging myself up the climbs.

    I'll add a little more info about myself and my riding. I'm 5'6'' and a fit 120lbs. I think I'll be looking along the lines of more suspension travel because I want to do a little bit of resort riding, too.

  13. #13
    endo
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    Quote Originally Posted by sillywantos View Post

    I'll add a little more info about myself and my riding. I'm 5'6'' and a fit 120lbs. I think I'll be looking along the lines of more suspension travel because I want to do a little bit of resort riding, too.
    Hmm, well this bit of info may indicate to me that the trance may not fit your needs, depending on what type of resort trails you are talking about.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sillywantos View Post
    Thanks for all the good info in your replies.

    These three caught my eye as far as price range and the fact that they're in the AM category. I don't really have my heart set on one yet. But these bikes seemed like they would fit my style of riding.

    I haven't looked into the Pitch, but I've seen a nice FSR EVO build but it was 2k.

    I have ridden a '12 Reign 2 and '12 Trance 3 in the parking lot at a LBS. The guy there was super informative about the Maestro system. I really like this design because I actually enjoy challenging myself up the climbs.

    I'll add a little more info about myself and my riding. I'm 5'6'' and a fit 120lbs. I think I'll be looking along the lines of more suspension travel because I want to do a little bit of resort riding, too.
    well if your only 120lb you will get a reign or trance dialled in sweet, i have the 2012 reign 2, i just love it, its one hell of a bike if you want the longer travel up front, being your size you will have no probs at all with the rear shock being soft, n if you get the reign you will be able to tackle any DH you can throw at it being your size.
    just beware, im 5,7 and i ride the medium, the small was way to small for me, they are a small make, n if you get a shorter stem n wider bars which you will cause the stock bars are way to small n stem to long imo, it will make the bike even smaller, cheers n good luck
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  15. #15
    Flying in High in the Sky
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    That model Reign is going to be heavy. I know cause i have one. Same year, just that mine is a Reign X0. It will climb as long as you have the lungs to make it to the top, but decending down moutains is where it really shines. I would suggest something lighter if you are into 20+ mile rides. Maybe look into Trek Fuel EX models or the Specailized Stumpjumer. Both are great light weight bikes that will get the job done just fine.

  16. #16
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    get the heckler

  17. #17
    endo
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    just got back from an epic ride with my brother, both us on pitches, with 3k in elevation climb and technical decent. Felt the need to chime in and say that, I love my bike.

  18. #18
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    The reign x is a beastly bike, basically a freeride bike. You'd be better off looking at the normal reign, which is an excellent bike.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's L'axeman View Post
    As the trance is the lowest up front it will be the best for climbing, the maestro suss is imo the best on the market, with no bob at all when riding if your not real heavy, i have ridden a trance on many occasions n liked it alot.
    i have a 2012 reign n its a great bike on the downs, can soak up anything you throw at it n more, its actually great on the ups aswell, you can ride it all day..
    Ive ridden a mates Heckler on some long runs n its a great bike aswell, but its a single pivot n i find its not as good as the maestro on the giants, theres no way i would swap my reign for one..
    if you get the heckler or the reign you will be able to ride the bigger stuff well n really find new skills n you wont be held back by the bike, but the trance is no lightweight either.
    HOLD THE PHONE, i just have seen your talking the 08 reignx, i would not buy that at all, to many lower link dramas, its a poorly designed bike, read the 'broke my link on reignx thread..
    why arnt you looking at a standard reign, it will be a tougher bike than the trancex, and imo better.

    i dont think you need the reign x buy the sound of it, a standard reign is in the same class as the heckler, the reign x is in a diff class altogether.. its a bit closer to a free ride bike not the greatest on the ups but a killer on the downs..
    maybe you need to tell us why you are looking at these 3 very different class of bikes, cheers mate
    I think you've mistaken. The pre-gen Reign X models don't have lower-link issues like the one you have. I've seen reports on all 2010-2012 Reign models breaking lower links reguardless if it's a X model or not. 2009 and lower year models are excluded, at least that's what I'm seeing from my research.

  20. #20
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    of the 3 you listed, the Heckler is the do everything well bike.
    it'll climb better than the Reign X if for no other reasons than it's much lighter, and has a more climb friendly geometry.
    It will descend better than the Trance if for no other reasons that it has more travel and is built to take more of a beating.
    Everyone likes to hate on the single pivot, but a well designed single pivot can rival a multi link bike in plushness descending and in activness climbing.
    BTW, the Heckler is a well designed single pivot.
    Of the 3, for what you want to do, there is a clear choice from where I sit.

    If "I" were choosing between the 3, "I" would choose the Reign X, because for me the climb is nothing more than what needs done to get to the descent.
    But "I" and not choosing for myself.
    My opinion is that the Heckler is going to best suit your requirements of the 3 bikes listed.
    My bikes, Slayer 70 and Switch 2

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by James_spec View Post
    That model Reign is going to be heavy. I know cause i have one. Same year, just that mine is a Reign X0. It will climb as long as you have the lungs to make it to the top, but decending down moutains is where it really shines. I would suggest something lighter if you are into 20+ mile rides. Maybe look into Trek Fuel EX models or the Specailized Stumpjumer. Both are great light weight bikes that will get the job done just fine.
    I own a standard 2012 reign, its not a heavy bike, you can ride it all day long, im not talking about the x model, that wouldnt be great for him imo, but he said he wants a longer travel bike, so imo the reign would be a great choice imo.cheers
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by James_spec View Post
    I think you've mistaken. The pre-gen Reign X models don't have lower-link issues like the one you have. I've seen reports on all 2010-2012 Reign models breaking lower links reguardless if it's a X model or not. 2009 and lower year models are excluded, at least that's what I'm seeing from my research.
    if you have a good read through the hundreds of replies to 'i broke my link on reign x' in the giant forums you will see it has effected all models but your right more so the 2010,11, mate i own a standard 2012 reign 2, its a great bike, n ive only ever seen 1 broken link ever on one in here never in real life.
    the standard reign is not much heavier than the trance, n having riden a Heckler many times, imho i think the maestro is a much better systen, i agree the heckler is a great bike for a single pivot, but i like the reign more, before i bought mine i used both for very long rides n just found the maestro to be superior in plushness, stability, less bob, just a better all round system, thats why i bought a reign, cheers
    im not saying im right, its just my opinion, not all will agree, cheers
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  23. #23
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    Having experience with both the ReignX and the Heckler, and looking at the 3 bikes you posted and taking into account your local rides and your desire to take your bike to a resort, if I were in your position, I would purchase the Heckler you posted.

    The Trance is a great bike but for bike park use, even on the rare occasion, takes it out of the running.

    The ReignX and the 2011 Heckler are both solid bikes. The Maestro suspension design has a proven track record of small bump compliance and the ability to take big hits as long as your suspension is dialed. Based upon the description of the trails you regularly ride, day in and day out, the weight penalty of the ReignX, at least to me, is a liability that will affect every local trail ride.

    The Heckler is a very versatile frame design and SC has dialed in the pivot placement and leverage ratio and addressed the lateral flex from previous models. The climbing ability of the Heckler, with the rider seated, is on par, in my opinion, with any suspension design.

    The versatility of the Heckler will allow you to climb and descend the trails you will ride 95% of the time without the weight penalty of the ReignX. Suspension set-up on the Heckler vs. the ReignX comes into play. In order to dial the Maestro in for XC trails and occasional technical climbs will be a compromise of what the ReignX is designed for.

    If shuttling and resort riding is the intended purpose for your bike choice, I would choose the ReignX. If trail riding and the occasional trip to the park is the intended purpose, the Heckler will never let you down. In my opinion, of course, based on riding both bikes.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Pilot View Post
    Having experience with both the ReignX and the Heckler, and looking at the 3 bikes you posted and taking into account your local rides and your desire to take your bike to a resort, if I were in your position, I would purchase the Heckler you posted.

    The Trance is a great bike but for bike park use, even on the rare occasion, takes it out of the running.

    The ReignX and the 2011 Heckler are both solid bikes. The Maestro suspension design has a proven track record of small bump compliance and the ability to take big hits as long as your suspension is dialed. Based upon the description of the trails you regularly ride, day in and day out, the weight penalty of the ReignX, at least to me, is a liability that will affect every local trail ride.

    The Heckler is a very versatile frame design and SC has dialed in the pivot placement and leverage ratio and addressed the lateral flex from previous models. The climbing ability of the Heckler, with the rider seated, is on par, in my opinion, with any suspension design.

    The versatility of the Heckler will allow you to climb and descend the trails you will ride 95% of the time without the weight penalty of the ReignX. Suspension set-up on the Heckler vs. the ReignX comes into play. In order to dial the Maestro in for XC trails and occasional technical climbs will be a compromise of what the ReignX is designed for.

    If shuttling and resort riding is the intended purpose for your bike choice, I would choose the ReignX. If trail riding and the occasional trip to the park is the intended purpose, the Heckler will never let you down. In my opinion, of course, based on riding both bikes.
    Owning and riding a Trance-X and a Reign-X and having had a few rides on Hecklers, I'd agree with this. A Heckler or regular Reign IMO would be a better one bike do it all.

    I like my TX, but it is certainly not the bike I'd take for the lift rides. I like my RX a ton as well, but it's not a daily driver XC bike by any stretch.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  25. #25
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    Not sure what size you are, but Santa Cruz is unloading left over inventory. I would've recommended a Butcher over the Heckler, but they're ll gone. Brand new Heckler frames for $550! Limited inventory
    Santa Cruz Bicycles

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