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  1. #1
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    2018 Anthem vs Trance 3 for novice

    Hi people. I'm ready to go FS! Currently have a HT Fuji. Based on LBS availability and value for dollars I'm leaning towards Giant. I have the Trance 3 and the Anthem 3 in my sights.

    I'm asking for guidance so that I don't over or under bike myself. I'm still a beginner and ride blues in GA, mostly at Big Creek. I don't jump (yet). Absolutely no lift riding. I'm hooked into the sport so I hope to get better and more aggressive over time.

    Thoughts?

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  2. #2
    NedwannaB
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    Without knowing trails, go Anthem if more XC, Trance if more downs than ups.

    As for value, if you have a little more in your budget, go with the 2 models. Either bike better value with the components.
    Last edited by JMac47; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:43 AM. Reason: Typo
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  3. #3
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    Both are great bikes, especially at the price that Giant sells them. The 27.5 Anthem is a Trail to XC screamer. That bike is fast. The Trance pays off I you ride somewhere with longer downhills. We sell a lot of Trances in northern UT, but we also have big mountains.
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  4. #4
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    Trance is a more of do all bike. I'd go Trance all day. My wife has one. It covers so many bases.

  5. #5
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    I have a 2014 Trance and 2017 Top Fuel (roughly equiv to an Anthem). Get the Trance. Hands down. Particularly given you are a novice. I demo'd an Anthem last weekend. I've never been on such a stiff bike before. Bit harsh for my aging body. Locking out the suspension was a 100% complete lockout meaning I would never use it unless I was traveling via paved trail.

    With the Trance, you get a dropper and the bike is SO forgiving and takes the harshness out of any trail. Interestingly enough the new top fuel is in the shop and my old Trance just got me PR. It is no slouch on the speed department. It's just a fun bike.

  6. #6
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    Anthem ;-)

    Rode w/ a fellow on Sunday... Who was riding an Anthem down stuff I was struggling to get down on my Reign o_0

    PS - an Anthem is a very capable mule.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by us338386 View Post
    I have a 2014 Trance and 2017 Top Fuel (roughly equiv to an Anthem). Get the Trance. Hands down. Particularly given you are a novice. I demo'd an Anthem last weekend. I've never been on such a stiff bike before. Bit harsh for my aging body. Locking out the suspension was a 100% complete lockout meaning I would never use it unless I was traveling via paved trail.

    With the Trance, you get a dropper and the bike is SO forgiving and takes the harshness out of any trail. Interestingly enough the new top fuel is in the shop and my old Trance just got me PR. It is no slouch on the speed department. It's just a fun bike.
    The new 27.5 Anthems (2017 and newer) are not anything like the Top Fuel. The new 29er is very close to the top fuel though. They are really two different bikes now. The new 27.5 anthems are 120+ travel and come with droppers. I think the OP was probably talking about this Anthem, not the 29er.

  8. #8
    WillWorkForTrail
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    I think, in spite of its capability, the Anthem is still an XC to light trail bike. If you have any designs on racing XC, the Anthem merits serious consideration. If you don't want to race XC, get the Trance. It pedals well enough it will not be a liability climbing even the most technical of the north Georgia climbs I've seen, and it will certainly be a more capable bike when pointed down.

    As far as being over biked? I used to worry about that. I've now settled the argument for myself. All of the trails that I ride on a regular basis I can ride on a rigid single speed. With that as a benchmark, using this "over biked" school of thought, adding suspension and gears to anything is technically "over biked" for those trails, isn't it? You can also look at it from the point of where the bikes in question "come to life" and cease to be something you're dragging down the trail, and become something that pops with you, and supports you in turns, etc - this is related to speed. Typically, the more suspension, the higher speeds required to bring the bike to life. That said, I've demoed Trances on trails where my Anthem 29er is at home and plenty capable (I have trails I have to hold back on with the Anthem, because it gets overwhelmed, these aren't those) and the Trance is very lively on those trails, easily getting to speeds where it "wakes up" and it was not overwhelmed on the trails that get the Anthem at higher speeds - by which I mean, I go through all the suspension, not just once, but at least once a minute. When the Anthem goes, I will be replacing it with something more Trance like. Over biked is something I no longer worry about. Get the bike designed for the way you want to ride.

  9. #9
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    Real men jump their bike. If you struggle with jumping either learn it with the Trance or get an Anthem, but your riding skills will soon hit a class ceiling and you will eventually ride like a woman, hence no jumping.

  10. #10
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    Real men jump their bike. If you struggle with jumping either learn it with the Trance or get an Anthem, but your riding skills will soon hit a class ceiling and you will eventually ride like a woman, hence no jumping.
    "White women can jump!"
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  11. #11
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    I think, in spite of its capability, the Anthem is still an XC to light trail bike. If you have any designs on racing XC, the Anthem merits serious consideration. If you don't want to race XC, get the Trance. It pedals well enough it will not be a liability climbing even the most technical of the north Georgia climbs I've seen, and it will certainly be a more capable bike when pointed down.

    As far as being over biked? I used to worry about that. I've now settled the argument for myself. All of the trails that I ride on a regular basis I can ride on a rigid single speed. With that as a benchmark, using this "over biked" school of thought, adding suspension and gears to anything is technically "over biked" for those trails, isn't it? You can also look at it from the point of where the bikes in question "come to life" and cease to be something you're dragging down the trail, and become something that pops with you, and supports you in turns, etc - this is related to speed. Typically, the more suspension, the higher speeds required to bring the bike to life. That said, I've demoed Trances on trails where my Anthem 29er is at home and plenty capable (I have trails I have to hold back on with the Anthem, because it gets overwhelmed, these aren't those) and the Trance is very lively on those trails, easily getting to speeds where it "wakes up" and it was not overwhelmed on the trails that get the Anthem at higher speeds - by which I mean, I go through all the suspension, not just once, but at least once a minute. When the Anthem goes, I will be replacing it with something more Trance like. Over biked is something I no longer worry about. Get the bike designed for the way you want to ride.
    Given the comments on reviews I've seen the current 27.5 Anthem is less of an XC race whip and crossed over into aggressive trail category and the newly revived A29r is the target race machine now.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  12. #12
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    I'm in lower Michigan and just went through this same decision 4 days ago. I am not a beginner and I was choosing between the 2017 versions of the Anthem Advanced SX and the Trance Advanced 1. The Anthem is very capable especially in the Advanced version from all the youtube videos I watched on it but I chose the Trance simply because it is more of a do-it-all kind of bike.

    OP, if your LBS has a demo of the Trance then try it and see what you think, down the road you may be happier you went with the more capable bike. The shop I ordered from has a 60-day right bike guarantee so check with your shop and maybe they offer something similar.

  13. #13
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Given the comments on reviews I've seen the current 27.5 Anthem is less of an XC race whip and crossed over into aggressive trail category and the newly revived A29r is the target race machine now.
    I won't argue this - I'll just point out that the Anthem 29er won a UK MTB magazine's "Trail Bike of the Year" award in ...2013? - which is a joke. The Anthem is traditionally Giant's XC/Marathon bike by name. I don't care how aggressive a bike they market it as, it's the least aggressive (steepest/shortest) FS 27.5 bike they make, so to me, it means that's their XC bike. Also, if you actually talk to Giant about what sort of use voids the warranty on a given frame, they will actually tell you what the design intent is on that frame. I think if you're jumping or hitting (significant - say 3 foot or better) drops on a regular basis, they will tell you the Trance is the minimum bike you want if you expect warranty coverage. My point is, yes, everyone wants their bikes to be more bad@$$ than everyone else's and how do you do that? You show your XC whip winning enduro races......


    And of course the Anthem 29er is the target race machine now. Because everyone knows serious XC racers only want 29ers. Even the world cup racers went to the smaller wheels then came back to 29ers.

  14. #14
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    I think size wheels have matters when you want race in competition. Most of the people buying bikes to traditional ride and fun. I have the same problem with buying Anthem 2 27.5 2018 and Trance 2 2018.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart27 View Post
    I think size wheels have matters when you want race in competition. Most of the people buying bikes to traditional ride and fun. I have the same problem with buying Anthem 2 27.5 2018 and Trance 2 2018.
    I think I'm heading to trance land.

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  16. #16
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    I also choose Trance probably. I want ride without fears of travel fork and shock.

  17. #17
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    Ignore the bad information above, the 130/110 27.5 Anthems are most definitely not XC race bikes and are plenty capable for the type of riding it sounds like you're interested in doing. They're super nimble and playful and have surprisingly excellent high speed stability. Compared to the Trance, though, they're much more likely to try and kill you if you take a bad line at 20 mph. But that's the trade-off: Nimble/playful vs. forgiving.

    Do try and scrape together the extra couple hundred bucks for the 2 model of whichever bike you settle on. The parts are significantly better and the "upgrade it later" approach just results in paying 2-3x more than OEM pricing for those components.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbr4527 View Post
    They're super nimble and playful and have surprisingly excellent high speed stability. Compared to the Trance, though, they're much more likely to try and kill you if you take a bad line at 20 mph. But that's the trade-off: Nimble/playful vs. forgiving.

    Do try and scrape together the extra couple hundred bucks for the 2 model of whichever bike you settle on. The parts are significantly better and the "upgrade it later" approach just results in paying 2-3x more than OEM pricing for those components.
    What he said^
    If you want the quickest way around a trail, Anthem. If you want to feel confident on the techy stuff (and most of us go faster eventually when we feel confident) Trance.
    The extra money for the 2 is a value.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  19. #19
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    In the future, I can upgrade rear shock from 110mm to 130/140mm? And maybe fork change for 140mm in Anthem?

  20. #20
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart27 View Post
    In the future, I can upgrade rear shock from 110mm to 130/140mm? And maybe fork change for 140mm in Anthem?
    Not likely on the rear shock mod....and 140 up front would most likely void any replacement warranty.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  21. #21
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    Rode all of them today. Def going trance. Likely trance 3. But man do I want trance 2



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  22. #22
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    Did you felt differences between Anthem and Trance? Can you describe your feels?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabbibus View Post
    Rode all of them today. Def going trance. Likely trance 3. But man do I want trance 2



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    I strongly recommend Trance 2. It comes with 1x11 drivetrain and better components all over the place. The 2017 Trance 3 doesn't even have a dropper post and the 2018 model comes with 1x10 and limited range.

    People who buy the Trance 3 or 4 usually upgrade components over time which is very costly and still end up with a more expensive yet lower spec bike than what they would have gotten with the Trance 2 in the first place.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    I strongly recommend Trance 2. It comes with 1x11 drivetrain and better components all over the place. The 2017 Trance 3 doesn't even have a dropper post and the 2018 model comes with 1x10 and limited range.

    People who buy the Trance 3 or 4 usually upgrade components over time which is very costly and still end up with a more expensive yet lower spec bike than what they would have gotten with the Trance 2 in the first place.
    Trance 3 2018 is actually not terribly set up. I agree that 2 is much nicer though. Thank you for the input

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart27 View Post
    Did you felt differences between Anthem and Trance? Can you describe your feels?
    Anthem felt nice but sort of twitchier. Trance felt more confidence inspiring. It's also prettier haha. Anthem seems like a great bike but I also think the trance will grow with me as I get better and more aggressive.

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  26. #26
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    the Trance 3 has the Ebike/+bike version of the "Aion" fork which uses the beefier 35mm (vs 34mm) this makes the bike stiffer and more capable than the Trance 2 in fast technical descents. Note: the Aion 34 comes installed with 2 volume spacers, so i'm guessing the 35mm version does too). The fork will also except 3.0" tires being a + fork



    i wouldn't worry too much about drivetrain, as it can easily be upgraded in a year or two for a 1x11 XT setup for about $200 on chainreactioncycles

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclgallant View Post
    the Trance 3 has the Ebike/+bike version of the "Aion" fork which uses the beefier 35mm (vs 34mm) this makes the bike stiffer and more capable than the Trance 2 in fast technical descents. Note: the Aion 34 comes installed with 2 volume spacers, so i'm guessing the 35mm version does too). The fork will also except 3.0" tires being a + fork



    i wouldn't worry too much about drivetrain, as it can easily be upgraded in a year or two for a 1x11 XT setup for about $200 on chainreactioncycles
    Thanks for the info. What significance do those spacers have? Is that good or bad? Also what do you think about the shock vs trance 2?

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  28. #28
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    Having ridden both bikes, both are great and both could do the job. I sold the Anthem and now have a Trance. I would rather ride the Anthem on my local trails and a lot of the places I go. It's most playful at slower speeds and turns better. And it can be pushed if need be.

    But, sometimes I go to real mountains. That's why I have a Trance. On my local trails, the Trance is still good and still fun. Climbs well.

    If you're not the best rider, you may want to go Trance to give you more confidence.

  29. #29
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    More spacers = more progression ( better for heavy riders/ aggressive riders)
    No spacers = linear progression (better for lighter riders/ riders who are having issues using full travel)

    the ability to tune your fork using spacers is awesome. (ask your LBS to open up the air spring side of the fork and check if there's any spacers) my GF 2017 trance 4 Aion 34mm had 2 spacers installed (i removed both since she weighs 110 lbs)


    the shock on the Trance 2 is more adjustable but better? this is entirely subjective.
    The 2018 trance 3 is using the newly redesign RockShox Deluxe R which uses the new "counter measure" technology. This is supposed to improve small bump sensitivity. not many people will have experience with the new shock because it's so new, but it should be better than the previous gen. if you find yourself needing more adjust ability down the road keep en eye out for sales on Jenson/chainreaction. the stock shock is more than adequate.

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