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Thread: XCL vs Trance X

  1. #1
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    XCL vs Trance X

    In reference to just the frames:

    These two bikes are in the same price range. The Maestro system has a very good reputation. The Trance X weighs about a pound less and also has great reviews. Giant has lifetime warranties.

    Has anyone here owned, compared, test rode, etc, a Trance X? I'm just looking for some reason other than looks for why the XCL would be a better choice.

    I ride techy XC. Large rock features and rock gardens are my preferred riding. I don't really care about jumps or drops and won't ever be doing any over 3'. Just looking for some insight, before deciding.

    If i find a good deal on an Iron Horse Mk3 i could be interested in that too.

  2. #2
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    Trance X is da bomb digity.

  3. #3
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    Well, I can give you a little background on the history of the XCL. Over ten years of research and development - professionally raced for many of those years by NORBA National Champions and tuned and designed by one of the world's most experienced bicycle designers and fabricators. The development process is unlike most others, we have machining, mechanical engineering, and real-world feedback from top atheletes all integrated into one process where the company is still small enough where everyone involved is just a few steps away.

    As for the other bike - I don't know much about it - but of course, I am just slightly biased.
    Simple | Proven | Reliable

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  4. #4
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    My advice is to bring this to the main boards. The Giant Maestro has proven itself as one of the best, if not, the best performing overall suspension in the game.

  5. #5
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    I too was looking at these two frames, before deciding on the XCL. My home trails are nothing but rock...rock gardens on top of rock. The deciding factors for me were:

    1) Geometry. I liked the higher BB height of the XCL. Important to me for riding in rock gardens.

    2) Beefier looking. Hopefully that translates into better durability. I don't like how EVERY major manufacturer is now using shwoopy tubes on their bikes.

    3) Customer service. That only a small company can deliver.

    4) Unique. It's fairly safe to say that there isn't a single other Chumba within a 400km radius of me. I like having bikes no one has heard of.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wankel
    I too was looking at these two frames, before deciding on the XCL. My home trails are nothing but rock...rock gardens on top of rock. The deciding factors for me were:

    1) Geometry. I liked the higher BB height of the XCL. Important to me for riding in rock gardens.

    2) Beefier looking. Hopefully that translates into better durability. I don't like how EVERY major manufacturer is now using shwoopy tubes on their bikes.

    3) Customer service. That only a small company can deliver.

    4) Unique. It's fairly safe to say that there isn't a single other Chumba within a 400km radius of me. I like having bikes no one has heard of.
    So...how does the XCL perform on your trails? I've sorta got my decision down to the OPs choice, as well, but my trails aren't just solid rock gardens, there's some smoother singletrack and lots and lots of climbing.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  7. #7
    56-year-old teenager
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    I rode Hole In The Ground last weekend on my XCL. Lots of climbing, lots of rock gardens, lots of small drops, but also some great flowy singletrack. The bike handled the combination very well.

    I have not ridden the Trance but I can definitely recommend the XCL as an all-around trail bike.
    Work is the curse of the biking classes.

  8. #8
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    I forgot all about the Ironhorse Mk3 too. That is a pretty solid suspension and the frames are available pretty cheap at the years end when the new models come out.

    What attracts me to the XCL over the MK3 and the TranceX:
    It is made in America, by a relatively small outfit.
    I have never seen one in the NE, and i also like having a unique ride
    The rear shock is mounted up high so you can fiddle with an RP23 while you ride.

    But i'm just not sure if those three benefits makeup for the extra weight. I have to say i'm currently much better at climbing than i am at descending, and i've heard the XCL is a great descender. Than again maybe my climbing is good because i currently ride a Trance.

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    Having just made this choice myself, over the last few weeks (after about 6 months of demos, spec sheets, exhaustive research)....I ended up with the XCL (didn't have a chance to demo, as no one carries them around me, so it was a leap of faith). My wife has a Giant with the Maestro, so I'm very familiar. I like the Geometry FAR better on the XCL, it's more stable in the rocky stuff and not as twitchy. To me, from my demos, the XCL rear hooks up better climbing the steeps and there isn't as much play (laterally) when bombing the DH. I'm still getting mine dialed in, but I was instantly able to tackle much more difficult terrain, at a much faster pace than I felt comfortable with on the Trance. One thing, the Trance is more flickable in the same size (large). The Trance, comparatively in the same size, is a much smaller bike in terms of feel (and stature), and the handling is far more touchy....I did not say responsive, since I feel the XCL is a more stable platform and handling is very responsive and just feels more well translated and planted.

    I also agree that the RP23 up high is great as you can adjust on the fly while riding.

    To the poster above, IIRC the XCL is designed and engineered in the US, made overseas. Which means nothing, just a point of clarification.

    Despite it's MUCH bigger size, my wife rode my XCL after her Giant, and now her 3 month old Giant is for sale, pending the arrival of an XCL. She said there was "no comparison".

    One other point. I have NEVER had as good customer service from ANY company, as I've had with Chumba. They are the gold standard for how customers should be treated.

    YMMV. Good luck!

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    I'm not necessarily in the market for a new bike. I just sold a 2007 5.5 Turner Spot that I had built up instead of going with an XCL at the time. I found that with its slacker angles and beefier build the Spot just wanted to go faster than I wanted to. Of course, the next guy is going to want go bomb DH faster than me and will think the Spot rocks. For him that would most definitely be true. If the poster above bombing constant rock gardens did it on that Spot he'd probably buy one.

    I've demoed a Trance X but never an XCL. For me the ultimate test would be taking each, totally dialed in, to Moab for a coupla weeks. I'm not afraid of the XCL's heavier frame weight, I'm just concerned that it will turn out to be like the Spot was for me, begging to be ridden real fast downhill while sacrificing the flickability and quickness that I find I like in my bikes.

    This trip to Moab I'm taking my 2007 Superlight. It's got a Revelation U-Turn on front, a PUSHed RP23 with an HV can on it, and a heavier freeride oriented wheelset. I call it my Baby Heckler but it doesn't have the slack angles of the Spot or the XCL. In the back of my mind, though, I'm convinced the XCL rides different than my Spot did and I should have built up one instead.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  11. #11
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    1 lb in frame weight isn't a huge difference. You can easily make up for it with smart component choices. Tires alone can make more difference.
    Work is the curse of the biking classes.

  12. #12
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    Well, I've ridden my buddies X2 a bit and it's pretty decent. I liked the Stroker Trail brakes much better than my J7's but that's about it. The bottom bracket is pretty low and I don't like the "flowy" frame design. It reminds me of an old school girls bike with a top tube. Parts mix was pretty decent though for the price he paid.

    He rode my XCL for the first time last night and was really impressed. He said it was super responsive and accelerated like crazy. Funny, I let two guys ride it last week (Rize 1 and Ellsworth Aeon Isis) and they both said the exact same thing! He also liked the cockpit feel and top tube length as well.

    I can tell you climbing is not an issue with this bike. I'm the limiting factor when it come to vertical as I normally give out way before the bike loses traction.

    Flowy singletrack is where the XCL shines. Just point it in the right direction and enjoy the ride. It's not too twitchy but super responsive. I prefer to feed input through the saddle instead of making quick movements at the bars. Ridden this way it just flows down the trails.

  13. #13
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    I'm ok with flow, but i'm more of a fan of tech XC. I really am interested in a bike that can handle big rock features and descents.

  14. #14
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    Well we have plenty of rocks here in San Diego. Everything from loose golf balls, bowling ball sized baby heads, to rock slabs. I've yet to encounter anything the bike couldn't handle. Me, maybe not so much.

    The techy stuff I have safely ridden the bike was fine. While other riders were dragging rings or casing out over drops my bike just rolled over everything. I normally look for the toughest line and let 'er rip. 2-3 foot drops and erosion bar drops aren't an issue even at speed. If I do what I'm supposed to the bike isn't the limiting factor.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian
    I'm ok with flow, but i'm more of a fan of tech XC. I really am interested in a bike that can handle big rock features and descents.
    If you do a lot of all around different stuff with some rock features and descents, the XCL will do the job. If all you're mainly doing is rocks and descents, go with an EVO. Here's a few shots of a trail I've ridden a few times with my XCL. The bike took the rocks easily and I felt confident going through them (and I get more confident each time I ride it).

    DSCN0568a.jpg
    DSCN0570a.jpg
    DSCN0571a.jpg

    My typical rides are between 7 and 10 miles with between 1000 - 1500 ft of climbing per ride depending on the route I take. This bike is super versatile which is exactly what I bought it for.

  16. #16
    Mmmm Rocks Good
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    XCL Loves the rocks!

    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian
    I'm ok with flow, but i'm more of a fan of tech XC. I really am interested in a bike that can handle big rock features and descents.
    I've never been on a Trance but my XCL handles rocks very nicely! I ride western Pa and occasionally WV. Up at Laurel Mtn here in western Pa (one of my favorite rides) there is tons of all size rocks and the bike just holds your intended line so well. It really does well in the rocks! We were at Big Bear Lake in WV over the weekend and I hopped up a rock face that as I was approaching it, I thought "Damn, that's a bigger up than I thought" and promptly hopped up the face pretty effortlessly. I was pretty stunned and so was everyone else who is used to seeing me splat myself into rock faces! I'm a solid fan of Chumba and their customer service is beyond stellar!

  17. #17
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    [SIZE=2]The OP has chosen the wrong forum to do a comparison fairly and the mere fact he posted in this forum suggests he has already made his choice but several of the previous posters have said the geometry is better on the XCL, the Trance X is a very stiff bike, the linkage and pivots are a lot stiffer than previous Trance’s or Reign’s, combine this with a long head tube and expertly done tubing and you’ve got a very stiff bike so just put a longer travel fork on there and your geometry complaints will be sorted because it has a low BB and steepish angles anyway so all it will do is improve for your type of riding.

    The Maestro suspension is as JC said above one of the best and substantially better than the Horst link type that the XCL uses, pedalling efficiency and hitting sharp edge bumps will be noticeably better on the Giant amongst other things.

    If you set the bike up right for how you want to use it then the Trance X is the one to get.
    [/SIZE]

  18. #18
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    EGF, Giant has a much bigger customer base than Chumba. So figured i'd have a better chance of finding peole with experience in both bikes in here.

  19. #19
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    Ricky D, is that Hawaii riding? Looks nice.

    For some reason that first and last shot look they they were shot through Shroom vision.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian
    EGF, Giant has a much bigger customer base than Chumba. So figured i'd have a better chance of finding peole with experience in both bikes in here.
    [SIZE=2]Ah fair enough, don’t forget to post up whichever when you get it.
    [/SIZE]

  21. #21
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    [SIZE=2]A few people have built up their Trance X’s on the burly side if it helps…I’ve seen one setup for SS with a 160mm fork and Rohloff.

    [SIZE=2][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]
    [/SIZE][/SIZE]

  22. #22
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    buy the XCL

  23. #23
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    My .02. I will try to be as unbiased as possible, even tho I own an XCL.
    I live in AZ, where the trails are rockier than just about anywhere else.
    I had a chance to ride an Mkiii last year on a real ride in Sedona.
    Lots of up and down rocky climbing. The next day I rode my XCL.
    The XCL was overall smoother handling in rocky climbing, especially in the granny
    ring. In this situation I found the Mkiii to have a little bit of pedaling torque,
    or pedal feedback, if you will, that interrupted your cadence and made it less smooth. I still think the dw-link is an excellent design, tho, one of the top ones currently available in overall performance. The Maestro is also good but is a copy of an earlier dw-link design, the newer dw-link designs will have slightly better overall performance than the Maestros. Another one to consider is Pivot Cycles Mach 5, a beautiful well executed dw-link frame. The frame quality will be on par with Chumba, which can't be said of Giant or IH, which are mass produced frames.
    So my advice is, is your looking more on the XC side of things and want a bike that can rocky stuff but is more geometry wise and handling wise XC but still trail ready,go with something like the Pivot for the extra efficiency that the dw-link system offers. If your looking more at general trail riding and want a bike that you can feel comfortable and stable on a wide variety of trails and like pedaling
    smoothness on rocky climbs and elsewhere, I would go with the XCL.
    No bike I've ridden is perfect, though, there's always tradeoffs. You give up some
    efficiency going with a HL over a virtual pivot system like the others, but gain
    in other areas. Demo as many as you can

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian
    Ricky D, is that Hawaii riding? Looks nice.

    For some reason that first and last shot look they they were shot through Shroom vision.
    Yep, that's Oahu. It's a trail called Peacock flats. Those pictures are looking back up the descent at the end of the trail. You drop 1200' in about a mile and a half through a series of switchbacks. I've only ridden it three times so far but it's some serious scary fun!

  25. #25
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    To the OP-
    I am also considering the XCL and ride similar stuff that you do. I live for the rocky technical stuff. I also do a few trips to the bike parks every year and I'm coming to realize that I can't have one bike for 90% tech XC AND bike park riding.

    I hear that Chumba demo bikes are coming to town soon and I'm really hoping that I can demo an Evo and XCL. If I feel like I can handle the heft of the Evo, then that's "the one bike". Anyway, I have yet to hear about a bike that I can comfortably pedal for 5 days in a row in Moab and then take to the bike park occassionally for the double diamond runs.

    I think the XCL will serve me well. I think it will serve you well too.

    I'm looking to retire my hardtail as my primary AM/light FR/epic XC rig
    [IMG]Downhill from Dardanelles lake
    [/IMG]

    [IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]

    [IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]

    [IMG]Dropping in at Northstar[/IMG]

    [IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]

    Sorry about the non-chumba photo dump. I just thought this forum needed more riding pictures
    Hey man, wanna go for a klunk?

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