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  1. #1
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    2011 Trance X or Anthem 29er?

    Looks like I may upgrade my bike from a 2008 Trance 1. I am looking for some feedback from people that have ridden both the Trance X and the Anthem 29er? In reading every thread I could find on the forum it seems the Anthem 29er gets rave reviews and most people do not regret giving up their 26er. Any reason not to go for the bigger wheels. I am 6'1 and a clyde if that factors into the decision. I ride in Eastern Pennsylvania where the trails are quite rocky and full of roots. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    One additional question - does the 5 inch suspension of the Trance remain an advantage? Or is the extra inch mitigated by the 29 inch wheels?

  3. #3
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    I was going through the same dilemma a few months ago and ended up going the 29er.

    As XC and/or trail bikes I think the 29er is great at both (especially if you are willing to swap tires, stem length, etc) whereas the Trance is a great trail bike and an average XC bike. The extra flexibility of the 29er is why I chose it over the Trance (and Spec Epics and Cambers).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobDMB View Post
    full of roots.
    ...and the 29er will eat these for breakfast!

  5. #5
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    I ride a 2011 TX1 and Mrs Bloodpuddle rides a 2011 AX129er, so I get to ride both bikes pretty often.

    They are both awesome bikes but very different IMO.

    The trance is way plusher - its not so much the extra inch of travel (don't think I've ever bottomed out the anthem) but how that travel feels. The trance absorbs everything and feels bottomless, where the anthem skims over the top of things feeling very taut. As a result, I find the trance encourages me to play around more, go bigger etc.

    The anthem is just plain FAST. I would say that on any given track I'm probably 10% quicker on the anthem than the trance. The less technical the trail, the bigger the difference in speed.

    Personally I enjoy the trance more and accept that I need to work harder to go fast on the easy bits.

    Ride both if you can.

  6. #6
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    The Trance X and the Anthem 29er are two very different bikes. I have a number of bikes in my stable however when I go out riding I almost always pull out the Anthem X3 29er, it's a killer bike. However the Anthem X 29er does have one prominent weakness:the brakes,especially if you're a Clyde. A full suspension 29er is capable of hitting some insane speeds and the stock Elixir's just don't cut it. In fact I had a chance to ride a Tallboy with 160mm XT's and felt the bike just couldn't stop. However once you upgrade the brakes there isn't alot that the Anthem X 29er can't do I've hit three foot drops and rock gardens with that bike it's pretty remarkable.

    If you want to see what the Anthem X 29er can do in high speed turns here's a great video:

    Giant Anthem X 29er - YouTube

    As you can see by the video if you buy an Anthem X 29er,you're going to need some serious stopping. Since you are by own admission a Clyde I would suggest Code R's with a 203mm front rotor or Saints with a 180mm front rotor. I run Saints on my Anthem X 29er with a 180mm front rotor. Even at my weight of 180+ lbs the Saints don't feel like overkill and allow me to push my bike hard.

    I also have a Trance X2, it's a great bike too but I feel that the stock fork let's it down. One day while riding down some stairs I came to the conclusion that the my XTC 29er1 felt more stable down that same set of stairs. I ended up replacing the stock fork with a Fit 140 RLC,which is a huge upgrade. The Trance is also a much more agile bike than the Anthem X 29er in especially tight slow turns. However once you crank up the velocity the Anthem X 29er can be very agile bike. Especially with the 140mm fork the Trance X is much more flickable and tossable than the Anthem X 29er, note that in my case my Trance X is also one size smaller than the Anthem X 29er. Unfortunately at my weight 180+ pounds I feel that the Trance X's rear suspension needs some improvement ,it's simply too easy for me to blow through travel even with pro pedal on. Note that I don't jump very much with the Anthem X 29er so I can't compare its jump performance.

    If you want to ride around and hit some jumps (and are lighter than 180 pounds) then I would say go for the Trance. However if you want something that will climb well and rip on the high speed downhills I say get the Anthem X 29er. With the Anthem X 29er there's nothing more fun than hitting the gas on a high speed downhill and pulling so far ahead that your friends are out of sight.
    Last edited by mefistofeles; 03-01-2012 at 05:39 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mefistofeles View Post
    ...
    Unfortunately at my weight 180+ pounds I feel that the Trance X's rear suspension needs some improvement ,it's simply too easy for me to blow through travel even with pro pedal on. Note that I don't jump very much with the Anthem X 29er so I can't compare its jump performance.

    If you want to ride around and hit some jumps (and are lighter than 180 pounds) then I would say go for the Trance.
    ...
    I am 220+ fully kitted up, and haven't found this with the TX rear suspension. Not sure whether X2 is running the RP23, but would be surprised if that was enough to make such a difference.

  8. #8
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    I am 220+ fully kitted up, and haven't found this with the TX rear suspension. Not sure whether X2 is running the RP23, but would be surprised if that was enough to make such a difference.

    It may be a size difference in the bikes although I normally ride a medium bike I prefer riding a small Trance X because of it's tossability. It's quite possible that a small Trance X shock simply isn't setup for someone of my weight. Most of my jumping with the Trance X has been down small flights of stairs,around six steps. The Trance X has wonderful geometry for a jumper,it just blows through travel. It's quite possible that the Trance's RP2 shock may need a higher compression setting,I'd love put a Monarch Plus in the back. Other people on various threads have also complained about the Trance X's rear suspension. I've discussed this issue a few times with the people at the bike store but they just tell me that if I really want to do some jumping I should use one of my other bikes ,i.e. the Claymore 3 or the Faith 0. Although I don't like their answer I agree with their perspective that if I want something that really catches air well then I should use a bike that's more suitable for it.

  9. #9
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    Ride both. On timed runs. Trance x is slightly faster on a rough trail[ 650b front wheel though] with smooth steep climbs.Ax feels good over rough terrain but TX is deeper when seated pedalling and more flickable. My Tx is similar weight to Ax 1. Any heavier Ax than that and you may regret it. it's much easier to get the weight down on the Tx. Haevy bikes are a drag. no wheel size can fix those woes.
    I climb better on the TX. The Ax is harder to keep on top of the gear with the bigger wheels. Just as well it's 10 spd . i'm constantly changing gears.

    My Tx is 09 so has more compression damping and a smaller sleeve shock. i've ridden later Tx and they bob more. Nicer through the rough stuff though. Personally I don't like the later shocks and of the 2011 models the Ax feels better. The Ax actually has 110mm of travel and the F100RLC on my AX1 swallows hits amazingly well for 100mm travel.

    Try both if you can. Watch out for 650B next year if you can hold off. I wouldn't ride the TX without a 650b front wheel now.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 03-01-2012 at 07:16 PM.

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