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  1. #1
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    How well does the Trance SX climb?

    Was ready to pull the trigger on a Trance Advanced SX. It checked all the boxes for me in terms of geometry, bb height, and part spec for the price.

    I am on a Pivot 429 now and like the DW link. I have always heard that Maestro is very similar to DW link, so thought the SX would be perfect for me. More recently, I have heard some reviews of the Trance (non-SX) that are less than complimentary of the climbing efficiency. Not seeing much on the Trance SX, but reviews are very limited at this stage. Maybe the Float X overcomes the pedaling deficiencies, but I have never liked designs that rely on the shock. Anyone that can give me some insight specifically about pedaling efficiency? Many thanks.

  2. #2
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    I guess folks have better things to do on a Saturday night than cruise the forums? BikeRadar mentions that Giant changed the pivot location of the lower link 8 mm this year. That may explain the increase in small bump compliance and decrease in pedaling efficiency.

  3. #3
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    Read this carefully.

    I've ridden a medium sized SX around a parking lot (which includes a nearly fire road like alley with a hill) but not on a trail. I HAVE ridden a regular Trance 27.5 3 (size large) on trails. Since the back of the bike (frame) is the same on an SX and a 3, really the only thing different is the shock.

    I should be on a large bike. Neither bike I rode was an Advance, so remember, part spec will be better, weight is significantly lower on the Advance. The impression I got was that the Trance is going to be a fine "Enduro" climber, by which I mean if your idea of climbing is grinding out a fire road, or maybe just a long single track climb, fine. It will never, and I mean ever, compare to your 429. My brother has one of those, and yes, it rides VERY similarly to my Anthem 29er. I'm considering something Trance like for a bike to take places that are just ...too much for the Anthem. By which I mean any place my 1x10 and light weight XC style brakes cause pain and suffering on the way up or on the way down.

    Now, having the platform adjustment on the SX shock may make all the difference in the way it climbs. So, my advice would be, if you CAN, find some place to ride one to see if it meets your expectations. Depending on how high you bar is, it may or may not do the trick for you.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Cotharyus. Read the review of the Mach 6 in Pinkbike. Pivot went the same direction of reducing the anti squat on that one as well. More reliance on the shock to keep things in check when climbing. I have signed up for two different demo days with Giant and they have both been cancelled because of weather. That said, setup means a lot and a couple hour demo doesn't always tell you the whole story. The guy setting up the bike for you may have more to do with liking a particular bike than the bike itself. Took me a month or so to get the Pivot dialed in. Like my current 429 pretty well, but wanted something more playful in the twisties and small jumps/drops. However, this will be more of a trail bike than enduro bike for me. It's critical that it still climb efficiently. Plan on selling the 429, so this will be my only bike.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadmcmichael View Post
    It's critical that it still climb efficiently. Plan on selling the 429, so this will be my only bike.
    Just as below, it depends on what you consider efficient.

    I have the Trance 27.5 2. Same frame as the SX, only with shorter travel up front.

    Agree with Cotharyus. If you want to climb a rooty, broken, rocky climb, then the Trance finds traction everywhere and makes it a good climber. The SX would be a little less efficient than the normal, because the longer fork and more relaxed geometry putting more weight on the rear.

    If you do a lot of pavement or fireroad climbs, then the frame benefits from some sort of pedal platform. More so if you stand on the pedals a lot.

    As for geometry and such, Giant did a very good job on this one.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks Warp. I don't mind setting the rear to trail mode for most of the riding, just as long as it climbs efficiently. Does it do pretty well in the Trail mode in the rear? I plan to keep the front at 140 for 95% of my riding. The new TALAS gives you that option.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadmcmichael View Post
    Thanks Warp. I don't mind setting the rear to trail mode for most of the riding, just as long as it climbs efficiently. Does it do pretty well in the Trail mode in the rear? I plan to keep the front at 140 for 95% of my riding. The new TALAS gives you that option.
    I'm still getting familiar with the bike and I have done a few short tough climbs, but not extended fireroad or middle ring climbing, so take it for what it's worth.

    I only use the Trail setting on pavement, to be honest. I don't get along well with platforms. I prefer full traction, but then I forgot years ago how to stand on the pedals. Much of my climbing is seated in the granny and prostate-to-saddle-nose if it is too steep.

    Also, I spent many years (2004-2014) on Horst-Link bikes and I never felt they were prone to bobbing, but many people think they are. So my view may be biased towards a compliant, cushy rear end. Many people don't like that.
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  8. #8
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    One thing to seriously consider if it's going to be your primary bike is this: I have a friend, who has a friend who is a mechanic for a Giant sponsored rider. My friend's friend claims that the Advance 0 (not SX) can actually be raced XC with the platform stuff on the shock, and the fork at 120. As a primary bike, you may look at the 0, as I believe that would actually be a lower priced option for you, and my work better as far as meeting your expectations.

  9. #9
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    The Advance 0 does look like great bike. However, I would rather have the Float X and the Fox 34 on the front. Would the Float X control pedal bob pretty well in Trail mode?

    Obviously the Advance 0 is going to have lighter wheels and tires and would climb better because of those factors. If the SX controls pedal bob in trail mode, I would be happy.

    I guess another option would be an Advance 0 and change the fork if I don't like it. Don't like the OD2 one bit because it would make it very hard to sell the Revelation.

  10. #10
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    I'm currently riding a 2012 X 29r, with the 1 build kit. This bike Trance X1 (2012) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States but older. And it climbs better I can power it. Only time I use the climb settings are for fire roads, or extremely smooth single track. 90% of my time is in trail setting and it pedals extremely well, doesn't punish you if you stand up and power up and over obstacles. You can spin it right over damn near anything if you commit. I'm constantly surprised by how good this bike was out of the box (except the Elixer 3's) my bud has the comparable Spesh Stumpy and has already replaced a rim, rear der, cassette, and brake pads. I'm biased as an owner, but I can't imagine anyone not being happy with this bike, especially as a single bike to do damn near anything.

  11. #11
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    My advance sx climbs better than my anthem x1 FWIW.

    Better shock (and platform), 2.5 lbs lighter. The only hiccup is SUPER steep grunts, where the 18"+ chainstay length 'helped' the anthem. Which also makes for worse handling in every other situation.

    Virgin ride today but beyond happy.

    Originally I thought 160mm front ends were for park bikes (ala the SX) but after riding this thing down telonics and art school today (some techier laguna stuff) I'm completely sold. Makes the trails feel like 50% easier, with less pain by the bottom.

    Total game changer.How well does the Trance SX climb?-20140217_094733.jpg

    [e] What sold me on the sx over the regular was the kashima and rear shock upgrades. Originally I was going to just pike the regular, but then thought more about how nice 1x11 would be, and how great the float X is. Kashima was just icing on the cake.

  12. #12
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    Pike looks awesome, but a few issues reported on the forums quality wise. The 2014 Fox 34 looks pretty solid. TALAS looks much improved also.

    Wanted the feedback on the climbing because there was a SX I was watching on eBay. Just wasn't sure it was the right bike for me. Only went for $3050 and looked very clean, but the guy had zero feedback. Now kind of regretting passing it up. Obviously worth it for the parts alone at that price.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadmcmichael View Post
    Was ready to pull the trigger on a Trance Advanced SX. It checked all the boxes for me in terms of geometry, bb height, and part spec for the price.
    What is the BB height? That number seems to elude my searches.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokiebrett View Post
    What is the BB height? That number seems to elude my searches.
    335mm (13.2") on my Trance 2. The SX should be a bit higher with the 160mm fork.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    335mm (13.2") on my Trance 2. The SX should be a bit higher with the 160mm fork.
    Confirmed this yesterday. 13.2 for the Trance, about a 1/2" higher for SX. Which falls in line with similar bikes that have the bb raised due to a 30mm a2c change. (20mm in travel, 10mm in fork length)

    Really debating pulling the trigger on a Trance frameset as a builder... But the anti-squat of the Maestro is what I want and now I'm reading it was relaxed for 2014.

  16. #16
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    It's still a very poppy bike. Carbon frame + good shock + maestro. Unless you're Mark Cavendish trying to win a sprint finish, the 'de-tune' isn't going to ruin your ride.

  17. #17
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    Found a guy on the pinkbike forum who sells Giant and Pivot. He had a fair amount of time on the Trance SX and the Mach 6 (another bike I am considering). Here is what he said:

    Hey,
    The Trance, when equipped with a good shock like a Float X or a Monarch Plus, is pretty solid and supportive. Their mid range bikes that have the standard Float CTD feel fairly soft, probably due to the tune.

    The Mach 6 has a firmer pedaling feel in relation to the DW Link anti squat curve, but the added travel makes for a pretty plush ride. It feels solid when pedaling hard up and over a rock but is a tad squish when just cruising up an easier trail.

    Over all it sounds like the Trance would be the right call for your riding.

    Kris

  18. #18
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    How well does the Trance SX climb?

    I've ridden both if the sx models and they are both great bikes. I still like my stumpy better but the sx in carbon is just bad ass. My buddy bought the gold one. And loves it. He rode the Carbon model after he got his and said if he hadn't already got his he
    Would have bought the nicer one.


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