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  1. #1
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    '13 Trance - X1 vs. X2 (suspension)

    So I'm currently riding a Trek 26er HT, and am reallllly wanting a 29er FS bike. Been doing a lot of research lately, and even though it wasn't even on my radar at first, I keep coming back to Giant.

    I've been reading a lot of great reviews on the Trance and Anthem bikes. The riding I do is pretty technical as opposed to fast, so I'm thinking that considered "trail", and therefore the Trance is what I need.

    Once that decision is made, I'm torn between the X1 and X2.

    I'm looking at the 13's, as Giant has a factory store nearby and I can save 400-500 off of 2013 list.

    X1 has a dropper post - cool, but I've never had the need for one so far, so I can't say I'll ever use it.

    X2 has Sram X5 shifters & RD, with X7 FD, and Shimano disks. Shimano disks on my other two bikes have been flawless.

    X1 has X7 shifters & FD, with X9 RD. Avid Elixer 3 for brakes. I don't hear many good things about Avid (need to upgrade to XT's right away?)

    Other than maybe a little weight, will I notice the diff between X5 & X7 stuff? I feel like those are both pretty mid range. I've never used Sram MTB stuff, although the Rival on my 'cross bike has grown on me.

    On either bike would these just be "upgrade when it breaks" items?

    X1 has P-XC29 wheels
    X2 has S-XC29 wheels. Big difference between the two?

    The real question:

    X2 has RS Recon Silver/Monarch R suspension.

    X1 has Fox CTD suspension.

    Is the CTD a big step up and therefore worth the extra money? That's my main concern with choosing between the two.

    It seems like most people are upgrading either wheelset anyway, and IMO the components are midrange (and I can't say I wouldn't want to just upgrade to Deore/XT stuff anyway).

    Dropper post is "meh" at this point, and I think I like the color combo of the X2 (black/gray/neon yellow) better than the X1 (black/red/white). I like those both better than the '14 bikes though.

    Actually, the Anthem in X2 in black, white. grey looks the best.

    Here's the pricing:

    Trance X2 - $1,540
    Trance X1 - $2,220

    And for kicks, Anthem X2 - $1,880 (Spec'd pretty similar to the Trance X2, but has a RS Rebal29RL and Elixer 1 brakes)

    Any thoughts on which way to go?

    Most of my trails are rather slow but very rocky, rooty, and generally bumpy. Not a lot of huge drops, but rock gardens and fallen logs are common, as are parts of the trail covered in fist )or larger) sized rocks. Climbs are usually steep but short, as are the descents. Considering how much a get banged around on my HT, I want something with a soft ride (w/out constantly bottoming out). I don't normally jump, but will bunny hop off of rises to get a foot or so off the ground. I enjoy fast, smooth singletrack, but it's rare here. My last ride I averaged 7.9mph on an hour ride, if that tells you anything.

    Any thoughts on which way to go?
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
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  2. #2
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    The Trance X1 is an exponentially better bike and easily the best value in Giants 2013 line up. You will only regret getting the X2.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    The Trance X1 is an exponentially better bike and easily the best value in Giants 2013 line up. You will only regret getting the X2.
    What's so much better about it though?

    The wheels?
    The fox suspension?
    the dropper post?

    Thanks.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
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  4. #4
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    Yes. Everything. Seriously.

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    Eh, I disagree. I got the X2 and added a dropper to it. So far I have no complaints on the Monarch or the Recon. Wheels would be nice to shave some weight off of but honestly, I really feel the best value is the 2. The extra $700 for the 1 was just not justified. (when I bought mine the difference was more like 800 I believe) It only weighs about a quarter lb less, and the Fox suspension was suspect for me. Not much difference between the two wheelsets. I would get the 2, (looks better as well) and upgrade the bits you want. For me that was dropper post, swapped the stem for 70mm, Ergon grips and some Gusset Slim Jim pedals. My XL X2 weighs just at 29 lbs with the extra bits on her.
    Last edited by musikron; 10-18-2013 at 12:32 AM.

  6. #6
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    The difference in the wheels, I think, is that supposedly the S-XC is not tubeless compatible, and the P-XC is. That's duff, I put some stans tape on the S-XC wheels on my '13 Anthem x2 and run them tubeless. I'll let you look at the componentry on the Trance and the Anthem and sort this out for yourself - but I figured to replace/upgrade stuff when it broke, but it really looks like I'm going to wear out the components first. Lastly, the CTD platforming on the Trance is basically useless, you'll find yourself with it in either Trail on Descend, set up a certain way, all the time and never changing it. Local opinion is that the RS suspension works better, as a whole, but the Fox feels more plush. Personally, I'd pick up the Trance X2 and go from there.

  7. #7
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    I selected the X1 because I wanted the Fox suspension and the fairly nice wheels. I paid about $2800 in March 2013. Was it worth it? I don't know but I am happy with the Fox and Giant wheels.

    Best wishes,
    Terry

  8. #8
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    Glad you guys like the X2 but the X1 has much nicer wheels (lower weight, better hubs/bearings, much better tubeless), Much better components. Nicer house brand items and the Fox suspension works much better on the Trance than RS (I am a HUGE proponent of RS on the Anthems). The dropper is very nice and when you figure that it makes up about $200+ of the difference between the bikes, the X1 is a much better value. I would even recommend the X1 over the X0. There is a big price difference between them and within that difference you could upgrade the wheels and brakes and have an equal bike for less. Do NOT get the X2 if you can afford the X1. It would cost you more to upgrade to an equally outfitted bike than the initial difference in price.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the input.

    Musikron, what made the Fox suspension suspect? I was doing more research and found mention of problems with the '13 CTD, is that what you meant?

    And how do you like the RS suspension? Does not being able to change settings like with the CTD stuff have any drawbacks that you can tell? How's it ride?

    Silentfoe, thanks for the clarification. I see your point, but am still torn between the two. I'm not going to lie and say the price difference isn't making the X2 very attractive. I think I also like the look better. But as you said, the Fox and to a lesser extent, the wheels, make me want to carefully consider the X1. As far as the dropper post, that doesn't really do anything for me. I'd give it a shot, but I've to this point I've never felt the need for on.

    Do you think I oculd get 200 bucks for it if I decided to sell it?

    And I watched some reviews of the X1 on 29eronline, they all loved it, but one thing they mentioned was upgrading the wheels.

    You X1 guys, how do you like the Avid brakes? To me that's a negative point, as I always hear bad things about Avids.

    I was starting to think I'd go X2 and eventually go 1 x 10 with XT rear shifter/derailer and be pretty good spec-wise. It already Shimano brakes so I'd be good there. I'm just torn between the Fox and RS.

    As far as Fox, how does it handle small impacts, and do you notice a diff between the CTD settings? As Cotharysus said, I can see myself setting it to "trail" and leaving it there. The climbs and descents here are mostly short and sudden, not worth messing with suspension settings. I read in another thread that it is very harsh over small bump, that it needs to hit a larger bump to actually start working. With all the little rocks and roots around here, I want something that will soak that stuff up.

    Thanks again for the info!
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
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  10. #10
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    Just about every review on just about every bike, ever, will say to upgrade the wheels. Think of the P-XC2s as an upgrade already in the bag over the X2.

    Fox shocks (rear) have a deeper feel on the maestro with less platform. That is why they work better on the Trance than the RS. The CTD helps with platform but you may not find yourself flipping between modes very often. Another benefit of the efficiency of maestro.

    The Shimano brakes on the X2 are pure **** so don't get too excited about them. The Avid 3s on the X1 aren't much better. They are the weak link on the X1. Avids are great brakes so don't worry about that.

    No, you won't get $200 for a take off seat post. The Trance screams for a dropper. If you haven't used one, you should. If you really don't think you'll use a dropper, get an Anthem. Seriously. The Trance can handle trails that are a step up over what the Anthem can. These situations pretty much require a dropper. I've run the same dropper on my Anthem and while it was useful, it was really outside of my scope of riding.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Thanks for the input.

    Musikron, what made the Fox suspension suspect? I was doing more research and found mention of problems with the '13 CTD, is that what you meant?

    And how do you like the RS suspension? Does not being able to change settings like with the CTD stuff have any drawbacks that you can tell? How's it ride?




    As far as the dropper post, that doesn't really do anything for me. I'd give it a shot, but I've to this point I've never felt the need for on.
    I tested both out, and the small bump compliance on the Fox was lacking. A more complicated shock with settings I never would use just seems like more to go wrong and the Fox has a higher cost of maintenance. At my weight (150) the thicker stanchions on the fork did me no good over the recon, and honestly I actually preferred the feel that the RS setup gave me over the Fox. I do agree the P-XC wheels are slightly lighter, but not by much, and if you are concerned with counting grams, you're going to replace those with something lighter than either offering. And the brakes are more than adequate, pretty flawless in my opinion after a bleed. Never faded on me in my rides, dead quiet too (except when wet) I did have to bleed the back brake once though. They ain't the sexiest, and if you are a weight weenie, then maybe not light enough for you, but if that's the case the trance may not be your bike anyways.

    And on the dropper, I had never had one either. I like you was also torn between the 1 and 2, I like the 2s looks better and everything just like you (in fact this could have been me 9 months ago) but I really wanted to try a dropper post. I asked my LBS if they would add the dropper on the 2 for cost, which they gladly did, adding a grand total to $75 dollars on my out the door bill, and even installed it routed internally for free. And I still have the stock post as a spare!
    I use that thing ALL THE TIME. Get one, it's the best thing since camelbacks for improving the flow and quality of your ride.

    I LOVE how my X2 rides. If I do anything to it I haven't already it will be going 1x10, possibly a wheel upgrade so I can go tubeless, but honestly it's a low priority. I love my bike, how it rides, and the smiles I get from it.

    I had the money for the X1, but instead got the X2, made a couple minor tweaks, got a new helmet, camelbak, lights, kneepads, shoes, shorts and gloves and still came out $150 less than the price of the X1. Thats winning the battle in my mind right there.

    I am not saying the X1 is a bad bike (I almost bought it after all), but in the real world on the trail, the specs on the paper just don't translate to the dollars spent in my experience.

  12. #12
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    If you are going to upgrade the brakes/wheels/drive train anyways, then it is all about the fork and shock. Personally, I paid the extra just for the fork and shock, but admit I never test rode the X2. I did read a lot of professional reviews and shopped a lot of other bikes, it just didn't seem like I could find anyone who raved about the RS Recon Silver and Monarch R. Fox on the other hand, is on just about every high end bike and plenty of rave reviews about it.

    As for the dropper, once you try it, you won't go back -- assuming it isn't flat where you live.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the info.

    I'm still torn, so I need to try them both. Which ever one rides better is the one I'll go with.

    I'm warming up to the dropper post. I was talking to a guy at a LBS yesterday who was showing me the one on his bike, and he said the same thing; never felt the need for one, but after his first ride with one, he loved it, and finds himself reaching for the switch even when riding bikes w/out it. He does the kind of riding I do, so looks like I'm sold on that.

    I'm also starting to get interested in the Santa Cruz Superlight. I like the simplicity of it.

    I rode a Camber Comp and it did nothing for me, while I liked the Trek Fuel and Superfly I rode. They were both just a little spendy to get the good parts though.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
    '11 Ridley X-Ride

  14. #14
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    I have the x2 and am a little biased towards it. I got mine for 1500 otd at my lbs. The 13s also have better equipment. I've gotten pedals, bars, and a shorter stem and a seat. The only thing I want really or miss us the dropper. But for the maintenance required and the stories of issues people have I hadn't gotten one yet. I love mine and I'll upgrade in the future for not much of a difference between the two bikes. I can get takeoffs cheap. It's up to you but the rock shoxs feel good so far.

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Still looking. I've ridden a few other bikes, but haven't gotten to ride either of the Giants yet.

    I'll still make the decision after riding, but at this point I've decided I'll prob go with the X1. Better components (possibly) better suspension, tubeless ready tires, and the dropper. After talking to a few local guys who ride the same trails as I do, I'm sold on the dropper.

    Right now the other main contender is the Scot Genius. I rode one the other day and I really liked it, plus it has a better component spec with Giant, it has SLX/XT, inc. SLX brakes.

    Also, if I were to go Giant, is it possible to change the gearing on the 2x10? IIRC it's 38/26. That 38 big gear is too big. I converted to 2x10 on my current bike by losing the 42t gear, and I find that the 32t works GREAT with the 11-36 cassette. Very rarely do I need to shift to the 22t granny ring. I'd want to run a 32t on the Giant.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
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  16. #16
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    Yes you can swap the chainrings to fit your needs.

    A couple things on Scott vs Giant. Scott has a 2 year warranty vs. Giants lifetime (big deal)

    Scott uses a faux bar suspenison (glorified single pivot) and requires proprietary shocks and lockouts in order for it to climb efficiently. Giant uses the Maestro DSL without any needs for "band-aids".

    I am a Scott HT fanboi so I am not bashing Scott here, just pointing out that if I was looking for a FS bike, I wouldn't include Scott in the mix. JMO.

  17. #17
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    Hmmm, I didn't realize the warranty was only 2 years. I was thinking it was five. Still not lifetime, but I figure if I haven't broken it in five years I prob won't, plus at that point I'd prob be looking for an excuse to get a new bike. Not after only two years though!

    I'm not big on proprietary stuff, so the rear shock IS a negative. I don't know that I think the single pivot is all that bad though, simple isn't always bad. I like the lockouts, band aid or not they seem to work.

    But the warranty and the fact that I haven't read many good things about the DT shock is deterring me. Too bad, it's a really nice bike otherwise.
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  18. #18
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    I'm agree with "Silentfoe" on this one. If you can afford it, get the X1.

    I learned the hard way when I purchased my previous bikes, and upgraded all these parts after a few months. It ended up costing me way more than if I had just went with the higher end model. Lesson learned, it will cost more money upgrading individual parts vs buying a bike that is built with better components from the manufacturer.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by parkp81 View Post
    I'm agree with "Silentfoe" on this one. If you can afford it, get the X1.

    I learned the hard way when I purchased my previous bikes, and upgraded all these parts after a few months. It ended up costing me way more than if I had just went with the higher end model. Lesson learned, it will cost more money upgrading individual parts vs buying a bike that is built with better components from the manufacturer.
    Yeah, I agree with that mindset as well. In fact I was just explaining to a friend today how spending more upfront is usually cheaper than upgrading later.
    I should prob just go with the X1 and stop looking at other bikes....the more I look, the more confused I get, haha. I keep finding more bikes that look like they'll suit my needs.

    It's a shame about Scott. I wish I could get the X1 with the SLX/XT kit from the Scott. That'd be perfect.

    One other option that is tempting is that my local Santa Cruz dealer has a '13 Tallboy Carbon demo that will be going on sale for $2,350. It has the D XC build kit from the Superlight, basically Deore/SLX 3x10 with Recon silver 100mil and Elixer 3 brakes. They go through the demo's there and sell them as new with full warranty. At this price it's like buying the frame and getting a build kit thrown in for free. I'm just not sure if the 100mil travel will be enough.

    Any ride both a Tallboy and a Trance that can compare the two?
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
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    My two-cents: I was in the market for either a '13 Reign 1 or a '13 TranceX1 29 earlier this year. I without-a-doubt was going to buy the X1 over the 2. Just better parts overall.

    Silentfoe nails it, and I would HIGHLY recommend having an open mind regarding a dropper post. Holy crap they are so good - I've had 3 of the Giant Contact Switch posts and they've all been solid.

    As far as the Fox CTD, I personally have had issues with it - just personal preference stuff. I've ditched the Talas function for a Float air spring kit to add more initial-travel-plushness that I felt the CTD Talas hugely lacked (I'll go as far as to say I hated the fork). Fox has been great with their support helping me get it dialed in.

    Re: the Avid brakes - yeah they suck - they will get you by, but I'd just get on the lookout for a set of SLX brakes. Reasonable upgrade and a big improvement.

  21. #21
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    I'll say this about the Tallboy. I've ridden several of them and on each one I could feel the pedals "tugging" as I coasted over rough. The VPP is the worst of the dual short link designs. It works better than a single pivot, for sure, just not my favorite.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I'll say this about the Tallboy. I've ridden several of them and on each one I could feel the pedals "tugging" as I coasted over rough. The VPP is the worst of the dual short link designs. It works better than a single pivot, for sure, just not my favorite.
    Thanks for the input. That's interesting, I've been reading tons of reviews of the Tallboy, and I'm pretty sure you're the first to say anything negative about it. From everything else I read I thought VPP was created by God himself.

    KG, I'm pretty much sold on the dropper at this point. After talking to a few guys who ride the same trails that I do I'm sure that I'd use it.

    I need to ride this bike soon! The more I look, the more my budget creeps up, so I'm definitely on board for the X1 now.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    A couple things on Scott vs Giant. Scott has a 2 year warranty vs. Giants lifetime (big deal).
    Actually I'm on the Scott site now. Warranty for frames is 5 years, forks 2 years.

    However, on Gambler, Voltage Fr and Volt-X the warranty period is limited to two years. Maybe that's where you saw that figure. I'm not interested in those bikes though.
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
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  24. #24
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    My bad. I meant to check. Thanks. I had a Scott Scale RC that weighed 19.5lbs and loved it. I could have sworn the warranty was only two years. Anyway. I love the peace of mind it gives me to have a lifetime warranty and a company that is known to stand behind them. Good luck in your search.

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