As a satisfied owner of an '04 VT2, I thought I would check out the Maestro suspension... figured if I liked the frame, I could pick up one fairly inexpensively off of somebody wanting the new '06's... so I rode the trance, rode the reign (both "2" models)... went back and rode the trance again, and played around with the suspension settings quite a bit. Convinced me to get a Reba for my singlespeed, but honestly I can not say either is better than my VT. With the mods I have made to my VT, it is lighter than both (especially the reign), and the ride is right in between both of them. Better downhill than a trance, better uphill than a reign (in my opinion because of weight - the reign hides it well, but it is a heavy bike). Surprisingly, it convinced me to wait on another bike or frame purchase. Maybe the new reign will be lighter?... I will admit to being a novice at full suspension bikes, but thought this would be an interesting topic...especially with all the cheap deals on VT frames out there. Am looking forward to everyone's opinions.
I just went from an 03 Stumpjumper FSR to an 04 VT-3. It is basically stock except for the addition of my 05 REBA team. I havent had a chance to ride it much (at all!) but when i demo'ed the VT i really liked the way it pedalled compared to my stumpy. I think i was just too heavy for it at 230lbs.
The VT seem more up to the task of dealing with the extra weight. I was really suprised that the VT also seems lighter.
What mods have you made to yours?
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My VT is an 04 aussie 16.5" frame. It weighs a tad over 28lbs spec'd as follows:
04 Giant VT w/ Manitou Swinger 3-way,
05 Manitou Minute 1 100-130mm SPVE,
XT Hubs - 6 bolt,
XT HN GS Rear Derailleur,
FSA Platinum Pro MegaQuad BB,
EA50 30.9mm Seat Pole,
Shim PD-M520 Pedals,
Shim HG-73 Chain,
SRAM 7 Cassette
I think it is even lighter than a similiar spec'd Trance! Reign is heavy though, but is aimed for more abuse than the VT. I am very pleased with the VT and have no plans to consider either the Trance or Reign.
I appreciate the light weight uphill and seem to find great traction. Downhill I have no complaints. Overall, the VT is a bargain.
I think your comments are right on the money. Even though Giant still offers a ton of models, I think the absence of the VT in the US leaves a significant hole in the lineup -- a long-travel trailbike that can be built under 30 pounds relatively inexpensively.
Im sure the Maestro bikes perform as billed, but a singlepivot is lighter, and the SPV shock is a lighter way to filter out pedaling bob, more so than the opposing link designs.
2004 VT3 frame (Wheel World special)
Marzocchi MX Comp ETA 120mm
XT 6-bolt hubs
Mavic X317 rims
WTB Mutanoraptor 2.2
Avid mech discs
Race Face Turbines w/SRX BB
Thomson stem and post
Easton Monkeylite bar
WTB Laser V saddle
The Maestro suspensions should pedal better than the VT standing up. However, this isnt true for me as the way I pedal (around, not up/down) makes almost all FS's have no pedal bob anyways. No hands-on experience but I do want to test-ride a Trance and Reign next time im at the LBS.
One of my friends recently died of a coke overdose and it really got me thinking, "damn, maybe I should start drinking pepsi"
Yeah, pedalling technique makes a big difference. I would not trade my VT for a Reign, and really enjoy my 5.75" of lightweight travel. The VT is a solid lightweight frame. Trance is a heavy frame for only 4" of travel. Might be good for 4X. To a large degree, a bike is really only as good as its rider.
Here are my mods currently: Thomson stem (100mm) and seatpost, WTB pure saddle, candy pedals, '05 Minute 3 with the IT thing, ergon grips, Conty survival 2.3's f&r. I think that is it. Weight came out to 29.4 lbs on the scale. 18.5" size.
Well seems quite a few of you guys have your VTs w/ the XT wheels (but I will be using the heavier Mavic 321 rims) so when I get mine built up I'll weigh it and see what weight I get. Just remember though I'm riding a 22"/XL frame so it will weigh a bit more since it's the largest frame.
Right now my mods to what was a Trance3 are...............
XT HT2 cranks
XT M750 FD
Shimano LX/HG 53 chain
Shimano LX/ CS HG70 11-32 Cassette
Bontrager Race Light HB & Stem 100mm
RS REBA SL @ 115mm travel setting
Shimano M520 pedals.
CyclePro stubby bar ends
I'm guessing the weight will come in somewhere around 28-29lbs. Love how my Trance rides, especially DH I have so much confidence it isn't even funny - can get you in trouble sometimes Superb bike, but really only my 1st real FS bike - can't count the POS I had b4.
Well I have put quite a few rides on my VT now.
For the most part I really like it particularly the rear end going downhill. Doesn't ever seem to bottom out on me. I would really like to have rear end lockout on it but I can't see paying more for a new rear shock than I did for the whole frameset with rear shock!
Other than the lack of rear lockout the only thing that I have noticed is a little rear end side to side flex when transitioning from a low to high spot.
I surprised my Cannondale Jeckyl friend with a rebuilt lefty, by being much faster than him on the fireroad downhills. I do think the zokes xc in 120mm mode along with more rear travel were the ticket to that success.
In the saddle pedaling action is very good and being able to stay in the saddle through the rough stuff is very nice.
Very glad I added this bike to my stable, AND I JUST LOVE THE COLOR SCHEME!