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  1. #1
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    Giant Trance vs. Ibis Mojo

    Are any of you Trance owners previous owners of an Ibis Mojo or had a bit of saddle time on a Mojo? Known someone who has switched? I rode a buddies 09 Trance and it felt like it handled and climbed better than my 2010 Mojo that only weighs 25.8 lbs. I was hoping maybe someone else could attest to the same, to eliminate the placebo effect opinion? I am ready to pull the trigger on a used Trance I found, but would like some truly unbiased, factual opinions... Have any of you regretted switching to Giant from another manufacturer? Thanks

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    I hang out/work part time around the #8 Giant dealer in the US. We're also an Ibis dealer. Before I got my Trance,I came VERY CLOSE to building an HD 140. I really didn't want the "big bike" feel of the 160, not did I care for the geometry on the SL. To say I read every article, review, manual, build sheet, piece of internet propaganda I could find is simply stating a known fact about me. I've been a suspension geek for years. And I was around when the Outland VPP first came out. I was enamored by this idea that a couple of small "rockers" under the bottom bracket could emulate a concentric pivot around it... It was a fragile, slightly flawed execution of a brilliant design. Fast forward a dozen years or so, and several iterations of Maestro and DW link and I'd say we've arrived.... Now, let's see just where "here" is. I've been through training on Maestro, an I'll cut straight to the chase. Several people I've set up on a new Giant, who has ridden FSR, 4 bar, faux bar, single pivots, etc. initially thinks it's too soft. When they come back in, I've found as much as 20 PSI over their weight in the shock. Also the activity & isolation from pedal feedback at proper sag is almost weird feeling to them. Conversely, DW link on the Ibis introduces pedal feedback to counteract what I'll call rider induced bob. Basically, I have to tell people that if the suspension is moving while they're pedaling, it's not the suspension. It's because they are bouncing on the saddle, or hammering and being basically "not smooth". It has nothing to do with the chain force pulling forward on the rear axle causing the suspension to compress or extend. Once you embrace this idea, you realize you can stand up and pedal through that which would have hanging on for dear life on another bike.

    Now I'm not dissing the DW link, but I love to point out to one friend of mine (who is a complete Dave Weagle fan-boy) that the anti-squat forces introduced DOES affect suspension activity. It may "feel" better to some riders, but I can always turn on pro-pedal. You can't turn off anti-squat.

    In the end, I decided I liked the Trance more. YMMV.
    Giant Trance Advanced SL0
    Black Cat 26 " SS

  3. #3
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    I think they have softened up the ride on the later Trance X as they use low compression damping and XV sleeve. They used to use med. with std sleeve. So I suspect they don't pedal quite as well as they used to but may have improved the general trail chatter and sharp edge hit performancel?

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    I had mine re-valved (for my fat-a$$) with a med velocity tune and the larger air sleeve. Pedaling IS affected by the application of Pro-Pedal (which I do not use).
    Giant Trance Advanced SL0
    Black Cat 26 " SS

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    Thanks for the input everyone... I truly appreciate it.. I pulled the trigger, My 11' Trance X1 with XT build is on its way here now... I will spend a week or two putting miles on it back to back with the Mojo and hope I decide I like it better, otherwise I will be listing it for sale

  6. #6
    kneecap
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    I'll be interested in your final assessment of those two bikes. I've always lusted for a mojo, but not that unhappy with my trance at all.

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    I've ridden '08 Trance X and Reign as well as Iron Horse MKIII, Pivot Mach 5, Turner DW Spot and now Pivot Mach 5.7.

    Honestly - Giant '08 and later are brilliantly made bikes with very good suspension action and cannot be beat for the money in this regard. But I'm not riding a Trance X now and there's a good reason for this.

    Basically it's the geometry. Firstly, I'm right in between Medium and Large on Trance X (6'0). Second, I've never found the Trance X handling too inspiring. It has both long chainstays (435 mm) and rather vertical head angle (69.5 degrees). IMO this is a really, really strange solution for the 5 inch trailbike. I've ridden a Trek Fuel EX '09 as well to compare and is has a much better thought through geo and handling.

    To sum it up. If you are asking about the frame quality or suspension action - Giant is hard to beat for the money. Supple, fast, quality. If you need good 'trail-like' handling, not so much so. Trek is better here and boutique bikes like Pivot or Turner blow both Giant and Trek out of the water.

    Pivot and Turner are good in terms of suspension action as well but they also have a good geometry that makes them handle and ride well. I've never owned a Mojo but from what I've read it may sound like Mojo is on par with these two and therefore better than Giant and even Trek.

    I had high hopes for '11 Giant Trance hoping they'd fix the geo but nothing changed and that's why I'm not with Giant now. Other than this - very good bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerfred View Post
    I hang out/work part time around the #8 Giant dealer in the US. We're also an Ibis dealer. Before I got my Trance,I came VERY CLOSE to building an HD 140. I really didn't want the "big bike" feel of the 160, not did I care for the geometry on the SL. To say I read every article, review, manual, build sheet, piece of internet propaganda I could find is simply stating a known fact about me. I've been a suspension geek for years. And I was around when the Outland VPP first came out. I was enamored by this idea that a couple of small "rockers" under the bottom bracket could emulate a concentric pivot around it... It was a fragile, slightly flawed execution of a brilliant design. Fast forward a dozen years or so, and several iterations of Maestro and DW link and I'd say we've arrived.... Now, let's see just where "here" is. I've been through training on Maestro, an I'll cut straight to the chase. Several people I've set up on a new Giant, who has ridden FSR, 4 bar, faux bar, single pivots, etc. initially thinks it's too soft. When they come back in, I've found as much as 20 PSI over their weight in the shock. Also the activity & isolation from pedal feedback at proper sag is almost weird feeling to them. Conversely, DW link on the Ibis introduces pedal feedback to counteract what I'll call rider induced bob. Basically, I have to tell people that if the suspension is moving while they're pedaling, it's not the suspension. It's because they are bouncing on the saddle, or hammering and being basically "not smooth". It has nothing to do with the chain force pulling forward on the rear axle causing the suspension to compress or extend. Once you embrace this idea, you realize you can stand up and pedal through that which would have hanging on for dear life on another bike.

    Now I'm not dissing the DW link, but I love to point out to one friend of mine (who is a complete Dave Weagle fan-boy) that the anti-squat forces introduced DOES affect suspension activity. It may "feel" better to some riders, but I can always turn on pro-pedal. You can't turn off anti-squat.

    In the end, I decided I liked the Trance more. YMMV.


    I liked your reply and wanted to ask a follow on question given your knowledge of all things suspension. I too am trying to decide between bikes which include the Trance SL 0 and the Trek Fuel EX 9.9. Can you give me your thoughts on the suspensions, preferences and differences. I am really torn. I have never been a Trek guy, but from what I have been reading, the Trek is a really good bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Evteev View Post
    I've ridden '08 Trance X and Reign as well as Iron Horse MKIII, Pivot Mach 5, Turner DW Spot and now Pivot Mach 5.7.

    Honestly - Giant '08 and later are brilliantly made bikes with very good suspension action and cannot be beat for the money in this regard. But I'm not riding a Trance X now and there's a good reason for this.

    Basically it's the geometry. Firstly, I'm right in between Medium and Large on Trance X (6'0). Second, I've never found the Trance X handling too inspiring. It has both long chainstays (435 mm) and rather vertical head angle (69.5 degrees). IMO this is a really, really strange solution for the 5 inch trailbike. I've ridden a Trek Fuel EX '09 as well to compare and is has a much better thought through geo and handling.

    To sum it up. If you are asking about the frame quality or suspension action - Giant is hard to beat for the money. Supple, fast, quality. If you need good 'trail-like' handling, not so much so. Trek is better here and boutique bikes like Pivot or Turner blow both Giant and Trek out of the water.

    Pivot and Turner are good in terms of suspension action as well but they also have a good geometry that makes them handle and ride well. I've never owned a Mojo but from what I've read it may sound like Mojo is on par with these two and therefore better than Giant and even Trek.

    I had high hopes for '11 Giant Trance hoping they'd fix the geo but nothing changed and that's why I'm not with Giant now. Other than this - very good bikes.
    I agree with the geo.Same reason I also run other bikes with shorter CS. I added a 650b front to mine. Made all the difference. Other option is a 140 or 150 fork as it's 130 travel does feel quite deep.

    Mojo geo isn't that good either IMHO.For the travel, wheelbase is to short and head angle to steep, . it also is enhanced with 650b conversion.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 03-02-2012 at 03:48 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfstar1 View Post
    I liked your reply and wanted to ask a follow on question given your knowledge of all things suspension. I too am trying to decide between bikes which include the Trance SL 0 and the Trek Fuel EX 9.9. Can you give me your thoughts on the suspensions, preferences and differences. I am really torn. I have never been a Trek guy, but from what I have been reading, the Trek is a really good bike.
    I haven't spent enough time on the Trek to give you a good evaluation. I think it's ironic that DW is turning into a complete patent whore on things he doesn't even use in his designs. But the idea is simple. It allows for a wheel path more isolated from pedal feedback and it works. They are relying on shock/fork technology to "perfect" their product.

    At this level, none of them suck. A buddy of mine bought a 9.9 and I have to admit, there are a few features I prefer on it. But my SL0 just feels like "old shoes and jeans". I can say this: the rear end on the SL0 IS stiffer, which surprised me.

    You are going to have to ride them both before you drop $8 large on a bike. If you are in SoCal and ride a large, you are welcome to try mine.
    Last edited by mtnbikerfred; 03-04-2012 at 11:42 AM.
    Giant Trance Advanced SL0
    Black Cat 26 " SS

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kneecap View Post
    I'll be interested in your final assessment of those two bikes. I've always lusted for a mojo, but not that unhappy with my trance at all.
    We share same thoughts, mate!

    Thanks for sharing your anecdote, fred. I may have to think about dishing out Ripley (when it comes out) in favor of a carbon AX29'r or a TX 29'r!

    Pilot, kindly post your assessment here once done! I'd truly appreciate it! TIA!
    Quote Originally Posted by jcatienza
    There was no need to scare potential buyers and burn bridges "buddy"
    Tell me now, what's Product testing all bout then?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerfred View Post
    I haven't spent enough time on the Trek to give you a good evaluation. I think it's ironic that DW is turning into a complete patent whore on things he doesn't even use in his designs. But the idea is simple. It allows for a wheel path more isolated from pedal feedback and it works. They are relying on shock/fork technology to "perfect" their product.

    At this level, none of them suck. A buddy of mine bought a 9.9 and I have to admit, there are a few features I prefer on it. But my SL0 just feels like "old shoes and jeans". I can say this: the rear end on the SL0 IS stiffer, which surprised me.

    You are going to have to ride them both before you drop $8 large on a bike. If you are in SoCal and ride a large, you are welcome to try mine.


    Thanks for the feedback and the offer. I am in Santa Barbara so probably a little far, but really appreciate the offer. I also think it is a good rec to ride both first. I will see what my LBS can do for me on that front.

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    Last edited by zamdrang; 11-12-2012 at 08:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shifterpilot2001 View Post
    Thanks for the input everyone... I truly appreciate it.. I pulled the trigger, My 11' Trance X1 with XT build is on its way here now... I will spend a week or two putting miles on it back to back with the Mojo and hope I decide I like it better, otherwise I will be listing it for sale


    Kind of an old post... just wondering what your Trance vs Mojo verdict turned out to be? I'm coming from a Trance and considering a Mojo. This weekend spent four or five hours over a few days on a 2012 Mojo SLR XT on trails around Moab. Definitely not cut and dry for me, the Mojo is spec'd out with much better components than my Trance (2009 X4...Marzocchi 140mm and Giant shock), so it wasnt really a fair comparison, but enough to form some sort of worthless opinion I thought I would share....

    Initially I found the Mojo kind of a pig on climbs, felt like I was puling a trailer. After some research I figured out this particular Mojo is geared higher than my Trance on the small ring. It also had much heavier tires. Explained a lot. The shock and fork on the Mojo were so much better than my Trance it was an unfair comparison in that regard. I wouldnt say I understand just what pedal feedback and anti squat are...probably feeling it and not able to define it... but I thought the way they pedaled over the rocks and up hills was very similar. I think they both work very well. The DW link felt great to me. I will say that as soon as I sat on my Trance after the last few days on a Mojo, the first thing that hit me was... plush.

    There is also something that about my Trance that just feels more nimble... I cant put my finger on it,tire size maybe, but strange especially when my Trance is 32 Lbs and this Mojo somewhere around 26.

    So my education in this comparison was simple... when comparing bikes, if they are not spec'd very similarly your chasing your tail. Every review or comment online about this is better than that... you have to keep that in mind. My LBS tweaked the Mojo cockpit until it was almost spot on with my Trance... and then it was like a light went on and I really started digging the Mojo..... prior to that I just could not get into it. LBS also installed lighter tires for me, also made it start coming my way. The only thing I was not able to do was duplicate the gearing.

    I found the bikes more similar then different. Geometry is almost exactly the same, the Mojo head and seat post are a half degree more slack. Chainstays..17.1 (Trance) 16.9 (Mojo). If you can feel 2/10ths your a better man than I.

    Im sure you have made your decision, if not you had an agonizing summer.... Just thought I would throw my experience in.

  15. #15
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    have been riding trance x for more than a year. The steep 69.5 HA is really too steep. Tried my friend fuel ex which has 68.5. You can't believe the 1 degree does make a big difference and I don't see any drawback too.

    Tried titus El Gupao which has a 66 HA (it is installed with a angleset headset), it's so much fun. There may be drawback when you climb but you can get used to it within hour.

    When you get a longer travel bike and you find its easier. The extra travel may not be the main reason, the HA is.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by shifterpilot2001 View Post
    Thanks for the input everyone... I truly appreciate it.. I pulled the trigger, My 11' Trance X1 with XT build is on its way here now... I will spend a week or two putting miles on it back to back with the Mojo and hope I decide I like it better, otherwise I will be listing it for sale
    Going on 9 months now...what's the verdict between the 2 bikes?

    Never ridden a Maistro bike and will be demoing a Mojo HD possibly next week. Based on linkage design charts and graphs I've looked at the Giant Maistro seems just a tad better and possibly the best all around design available.

    Now just give me a Reign that can handle my new favorite 2.35" 650B Nobby Nick tires that measure 711mm in diameter (that's 28" guys) and I could see a Giant in my future. 2014 I think it's gonna happen.
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

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