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  1. #1
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    Trance 69er Conversion?

    Forgive my ignorance of conversion details.

    I have only found one old thread with limited information about converting a Giant Trance to 69er/96er whatever. I would like to put a 29er front on my 18" Trance. The current shock is the Recon which is 80 - 130mm travel. So if I went with a Reba 29 I would get how much additional rise out of my new 29 front end? Has anyone on here done a Trance conversion?

    I don't want to go with a rigid front end because I already have a full rigid 29er SS. I was looking at a FS 29er, but not really crazy about FS 29ers and I don't have that much cash to work with. The thing that I like most about my current 29er is the ability to roll over obstacles much easier. After riding my SS 29er I have a real hard time riding the 26' wheels again. Most of the 26" trouble comes from the front wheel not rolling through stuff as easily. I like having the suspension at times when I rider tougher terrain or my back thinks it feels better on FS.

    Thanks in advance for any useful info. on this future project.

  2. #2
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    My front raised 1.75 inches when I put replaced tne Fox 100 fork with a Reba and 29er on my
    Raleigh. See my post "enough pondering...."

  3. #3
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    I've got a Reba 29 on the way. Here we go with the conversion of the Trance. I'll take some before and after photos along with a few measurements to document the changes. I may not be able to test it out for quite a while. The weather has been very wintery lately.

    We will see!

  4. #4
    TNC
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    I claim no knowledge of how some of the 29'er forks out there will ultimately work out on a given 69'er conversion, but aren't most of them going to really jack up the front end?...at least those with any appreciable travel? The only one that I'm personally familiar with is the use of a Maverick DUC32. It's a really low axle-to-crown height to start with, so it seems a good platform for a 69'er. We did a Maverick ML8 in this setup, and it didn't screw up the geometry to any noticeable degree while still providing at least 4.5" of travel. As jmjones is indicating, it seems like a 1.75" rise in the front end is going to be rather dramatic for many bikes...all else remaining the same. I'm just asking, as we've only had the experience of the ML8 experiment at our shop.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    I claim no knowledge of how some of the 29'er forks out there will ultimately work out on a given 69'er conversion, but aren't most of them going to really jack up the front end?...at least those with any appreciable travel? The only one that I'm personally familiar with is the use of a Maverick DUC32. It's a really low axle-to-crown height to start with, so it seems a good platform for a 69'er. We did a Maverick ML8 in this setup, and it didn't screw up the geometry to any noticeable degree while still providing at least 4.5" of travel. As jmjones is indicating, it seems like a 1.75" rise in the front end is going to be rather dramatic for many bikes...all else remaining the same. I'm just asking, as we've only had the experience of the ML8 experiment at our shop.
    Not really.

    For example - this is an older Schwinn Rocket 88 that I 69ered last summer. Only 3.5" of rear travel and the Reba was set at 80mm - perhaps the ICBM headset helped keep the front end down a bit, but in no way did this conversion feel too tall up front. Just my two cents. It would vary frame by frame methinks.

    This was actually a pretty fun set up:


  6. #6
    TNC
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    OK, I agree with you when using an 80mm fork. But do most folks really want to lose a notable amount of travel up front for the sake of a 29'er wheel? Please understand that I'm not arguing with you here or slamming your setup or preference. I'm just curious as to what people are running and the resultant numbers after the conversion. The OP is currently running a fork with up to 130mm of travel. I was assuming that he was going to run a 100 or 115 Reba on his 69'er setup. My understanding is that a 29'er wheel can be like something as much as an inch of relative travel impact. However, I'm not so sure about that when I was riding that ML8/DUC 32 69'er which had an actual 4.5" of travel. It didn't really feel like a 5.5" fork, despite the influence of the wheel. This didn't satisfy me with the bike having 6.5" of travel in the rear. I guess my problem is my riding experience and preference with long travel forks. The big wheel on the front of a long travel bike only seems to go so far as it applies to slamming into things on the trail. In fact to my surprise, it was the turning performance of a bigger wheel that really stood out and impressed me. As I've stated before, it seems like a 6" fork will already allow a wheel to roll over some pretty big obstacles.

    Again, understand that I'm only bringing this up for discussion, as I'm obviously relatively new to the big wheel concept, and I find it pretty darned interesting. The OP has a Trance, and I'd wonder if he'd be happy with an 80mm fork and 4" of rear travel regardless of the 29'er front wheel. Then on the other hand, if he went with a 100 or 115 Reba, how tall would the front end get and how would handling be affected? This is just my observation and concern...not trying to attack someone else's preference here. I realize nearly everything's a compromise to some degree. I'm just trying to get my head around the whole concept. I haven't ridden any shorter travel 69'ers, so I'm pretty limited in that area. I guess that's why I went with the 650B on the front of my Nomad, as I could tell that I wasn't going to get too far outside the "envelope" of known geometry effects. This is a fascinating new area, and the 69'ers may be the most daring experiments, as they seem to offer the biggest geometry impacts...for good or bad possibly.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    OK, I agree with you when using an 80mm fork. But do most folks really want to lose a notable amount of travel up front for the sake of a 29'er wheel?
    i strongly believe that a 29er front wheel is too large for a 26er rear wheel for the majority of bikes out there right now. it just goes way beyond the bikes design...my personal experience was far from ideal but the size difference between the 26 and 29 is enormous.

    i am a 29er fanatic but there is no way the big wheel makes up for travel, no way. i would never give up 20mm of travel just for the big wheel....

    now stick a 650b in the back with 29er up front (and a 120mm fork) or a 650b up front with a 26er rear, and it starts to make more sense.

    YMMV as always...
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  8. #8
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    Some might argue that it is acceptable to have the better roll over capabilities of the 29er wheel with less fork travel.

    Here's another cool example:



    Perhaps it doesn't equate as well when you get into long travel bikes. But I've never tested a long travel 69er.

    Lately I've been thinking that these types of mismatched combos make the most sense however:

    A) 24:26 - maybe for kids or pure on North Shore type freeride
    B)26:650b - freeride/all mountain/trail riding
    C)650b:29 - XC, long distance epic riding, just riding for fun/weekend warrior

    But honestly - with regards to short travel 69er experimentation - that Rocket 88 wasn't half bad. Maybe it is the rear suspension design that helped it - as it was somewhat ahead of it's time in my opinion (sort of the pre-cursor to VPP/ dw_link designs).

  9. #9
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    Well I just happen to have a XL Trance frame sitting donw in parts and now ride a RIP9 29er and was thinking for along time (even before I got the RIP) about trying a 29er fork on the front of the Trance. As fate would have it I had stripped it down to get it PC'd, but funds are kind of tight right now and I may have a riding buddy who could use it so I'm about to build it back up and will prob try it out with the REBA 29" on the front.

    As to it being to high a fork, I don't think it will be as there are lots of Trance owners who run as much as 140mm forks on them and like them. Oh well I was a bit bored of late, guess this is something to keep me occupied
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    The Trance is based on 4inches, so 100mm fork, okay you can go to 120mm easy, push it out to 130mm but it's not going to climb well, descend great.

    Reba SL29 +29" wheel your going to add 57mm's ( from memory ) 1/2 above 1/2 below, so 85mm Reba + 57mm = 142mm so stupidly slack angles, 2 degrees slacker than stock.

    BUT you can strip the Reba fork and drop the travel to 70mm ( 127mm ) or even 55mm travel ( 112 ), ride well with 55mm travel angles wise.

    BUT a 112mm fork + 26" wheel, in most cases i think will ride better than 29" + 55mm Travel IMHO.

    Don't get me wrong, 69'd my GT 150mm fork down to 105mm Reba and rides much better in all cases except landing drops then not much worse, but reba in 85mm was harsh, so 55mm damn harsh.

    If you don't land any drops at all, or rarely ( like me, very rare ) then fine, try Reba in 70mm and 55mm modes!!

    * DO NOT over inflate the negative to reduce the travel, run the Negative @10-15% less than the Positive on the Reba SL *

  11. #11
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    Heck, if I didn't have the RIP9 and 29er fork and wheels already there's no way I'd spent the money to experiment 69ing the Trance, BUT since I do I will give it a shot and see what it's like. With regards to my thinking about a 29er REBA for the Trance, it was for mud clearance as the clearance isn't the greatest on the 26" REBA or 29er for that matter. So plan was to buy a 29er REBA and run the 26" wheel in there and have loads of mud clearance and slacken out the HA a bit and give an even better DH ride.
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  12. #12
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    I'm planning on running the Reba @ 80mm. I run the current Recon on it at around 80 - 90 mm. Riding a Mary SS in full rigid so any suspension on this full squisher feels great, but I tend to keep it pretty tight because of riding full rigid more than FS. I'm not real worried about the amount of travel since I ride XC only and we don't have a lot of real narly stuff that requires big suspension.

    This is more of an experiment in trying to make my Trance something I will like riding along with just tinkering because it seems like something interesting to try. If it doesn't turn out like I hope then the Reba may make it onto the Mary and then onto a Dos Niner which I ultimately would like to own for my suspended ride unless this Trance 69er thing really turns out to be just the geared bike I was looking for.

    Thanks for the feedback and thought into this project. It helps to here what others think about what the setup may turn out to be and keeps my mind thinking about what to look for. All these computed angles, tracking, travel figures make my brain hurt when I start trying to figure it out. Just gotta build it and see what I think about the ride.

  13. #13
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    Just a small update............got the frame and bike put back together, everything operational and did a small bit of riding about the place. Damn it feels weird to be back on a 26" wheeled bike, HT is so long, top of the tyres/wheels are so far away and small. Right now bars and saddle on both the Trance and RIP are the same height, which makes the wheels seem so far away on the Trance - feels like I'm really up in the air not sitting "in the bike" like on the 29er. Haven't done anything but around the yard for anything rough and 4 miles of road, but I am not 100% sure I'm looking forward to the re-test of it as a full on 26er first.

    Anyways, hopefully this weekend I will give it a whirl if I can guaranty the brakes are working 100% as the ride will be very DH intensive I plan on taking it on. Once I get a ride or two in on it as a standard 26" wheeled bike I will then try it as a 69er and see how it goes. I'm kind of thinking that maybe a 650B front wheel would work bets on this frame with it's very long HT, but we'll see when we make the swap if I can get the bars low enough.
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  14. #14
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    I got it put together last night. The temps were in the single digits last night with a snow storm tonight so I have had no chance to try it out other than some very tight circles in one stall of the garage. Not real great for getting a feel for it.

    I need to flip the stem to drop the bars and take the spacer out as well. The bars are way up there! I may put my carbon riser bars on as well. Got the Origin8 Mary knockoffs on there right now.

    Everything pretty muched raised up 1" - 1.25". There was only a 10mm difference in crown race height on the forks. I guess my Recon must have been running around 100mm. The Trance is a trail bike so it already sits up there pretty high. I do get some of the 29er feel from the big wheel out there, but I don't know if it will be the same feel like LyNx said, "in the bike". That is a great description of riding a 29er.

    I'll update on ride characteristics when the weather throws me a bone. Not looking good for a while.



    Dimension photos here: https://s135.photobucket.com/albums/...Trance%2069er/
    Last edited by Baldy88; 01-30-2008 at 07:29 PM.

  15. #15
    TNC
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    Good job, Baldy. BTW, what's wrong with the bar height? You ought to see all my bikes...LOL! Looking forward to hearing your assessment on the ride.

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    Well, we threaded the needle this morning and got a great 10.5 mile ride in. Frozen dirt was awesome traction and great trail for testing the Trance 69 out. It rained immediately following the ride turning the trails into a mud pit. Luck was with us.

    Going into this I didn't really think that it was going to be a great conversion bike because of the already slack head tube angles of the Trance. I figured that there would be the flip flop effect of a slacker angle and bigger wheel. There is a hint of that at low speed. This is the worst part of the conversion. Once I got used to it I knew what to expect in handling and I didn't notice it several miles into the ride. Once the bike is up to speed the gyro effect keeps it rolling with a solid feel. The initial configuration with the handle bars way up and being set back a bit from the angled stem it was very noticeable. I flipped the stem and brought that angle way down. This extended the stem a bit more and got rid of almost all of the flip flop feel. I am going to try out some riser bars instead of the Origin8 Mary knock offs to see what that does to the steering. I could be very happy with the current state of setup, but I do want to try some other options just to see what happens. Experimentation is pretty much what this rig is all about.

    The steering is slowed compared to the 26" setup. Personally I like that. I always seemed to run into problems on that bike with the quick reactions to steering or lack of steering on my part. It is much more forgiving when I screw up.

    The 1-1.25" rise in BB is awesome. I can clear stuff now that I would catch on with the 26 setup.

    Climbing seems to be a little light in the front, but we don't have a lot of sustained stuff around here so it is difficult to judge. I did have to move my seat up all the way. The center of the bike has moved forward quite a bit. I really like that because I was never that comfortable being so far behind the pedals on the 26 setup. The trance seat tube is angled back pretty good compared to some bikes. I would like to put a straight post on to be able to adjust the seat position a little more to see if there is an even sweeter spot than I have it in. Going downhill was excellent due to having the head tube slacker than original setup. It was nice for going over obstacles as well because I never felt like I was coming over the bars or wheel. Overall the climbing and descending performance was improved for me over the 26 setup.

    Speed? It felt about the same. I can't say that it was any slower or faster than the original setup.

    Overall I am surprisingly pleased with this setup and I will keep it around for the next season. I was going to part it out and build something else if it didn't work. For me it gives me the mental confidence that I can get over and through obstacles like my 29er SS does. I get the 29er feel that I really like without spending a lot of extra cash on a new bike setup.

    Success

    Updated photo with the stem flipped and bars readjusted.


  17. #17
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    Baldy88, nice write up and review there, makes me a bit more confident to give this a try, but still not looking forward to testing as a stock 26er I did throw the 26" wheel on the RIP9 the other night and it did feel a bit snappier to accelerate, but will need to get out on the trail on both bikes and give them a proper go to come to any real conclusions.
    Did you feel the bike to be more "squatty" than usual and you had to pump up the rear shock more than usual? Was something I noticed/felt even on the RIP9 on the brief spin around the yard with the 26" wheel - didn't add more air just used the PP, but if it was the Trance with no PP I would have to pump it up some.

    Actually have thought about building a 650B rear wheel to try out on the RIP9, but not sure with the minimal tyre selection available right now that it's worth it.
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  18. #18
    TNC
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    Lynx, the NeoMoto is an excellent tire IMO, unless you were looking for more of a really lightweight XC tire. A minimal tire selection at the moment, yes...but a truly excellent tire. I've been riding this tire in many varying conditions except for mud, and it has performed as well as the best tires I've used over the years...even in tubeless setup.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    Baldy88, nice write up and review there, makes me a bit more confident to give this a try, but still not looking forward to testing as a stock 26er I did throw the 26" wheel on the RIP9 the other night and it did feel a bit snappier to accelerate, but will need to get out on the trail on both bikes and give them a proper go to come to any real conclusions.
    Did you feel the bike to be more "squatty" than usual and you had to pump up the rear shock more than usual? Was something I noticed/felt even on the RIP9 on the brief spin around the yard with the 26" wheel - didn't add more air just used the PP, but if it was the Trance with no PP I would have to pump it up some.

    Actually have thought about building a 650B rear wheel to try out on the RIP9, but not sure with the minimal tyre selection available right now that it's worth it.
    I don't know if a 650B will fit a Trance. I'm running a 2.3 UST Ignitor on this one and there is not much clearance. Tough to get the wheel off and on. I was thinking the same thing. It would be the ultimate big wheel convertion setup for this platform I think. Let me know if you or anyone tries. I would be game for going that route. Just not interested in the 650B for anything else so it would be a waste for me if it didn't fit.

    I didn't feel like I needed more air in the rear shock. I run it pretty high anyway just because I like the responsiveness . I have always wished I had a Float RP on it for stand up climbing. The PP would be nice at times.

  20. #20
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    Wasn't talking about trying it on the Trance, as is the Trance has enough trouble with tyre clearance for 26" tyres. Always something that annoyed the crap out of me with the Trance - and sadly same sort of thing with the RIP9 and why I'd give the 650B a go in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baldy88
    I don't know if a 650B will fit a Trance. ........................................
    Thanks for the vote on the tyre, but it's also a bit of a expensive experiment for me as I definitely wouldn't be able to build the wheel and tyres aren't exactly mass produced in quantities to get the price down.

    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    Lynx, the NeoMoto is an excellent tire IMO, unless you were looking for more of a really lightweight XC tire. A minimal tire selection at the moment, yes...but a truly excellent tire. I've been riding this tire in many varying conditions except for mud, and it has performed as well as the best tires I've used over the years...even in tubeless setup.
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  21. #21
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    I put a 650B up front on a trance

    Over Christmas I rebuilt my old Stumpy FSR as a single speed with a 650B up front. I loved the ride so much I had to try it on my Trance. I just finished the swap today and went for a quick ride. I think that the trance responds better to the 650B than the Stumpy did. I used the old Fox fork from the stumpy on the trance. The Reba on the Trance does not have enough clearance. My dilemma now is that I do not want to go back to 26" on the either bike but I only have one fork and 650B wheel and tire. I guess I will have to go back to beg the wife for more money.

    I will post some pics and a better review of the Trance once I get it dialed in.

  22. #22
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    Good job! My 69er Trance

    So, I finally was "coearsed" (my RIP frame cracked on me) into a situation that left the Trance 69er project ripe for the picking. So I threw on the 29er REBA (but had to swap the steerer/stnachions between the 29" & 26" since the 26" had a longer steerer), dropped the travel to 80mm to help accomodate the gain from the 29er fork and wheel and keep my bars lower than the saddle.

    Got to say I was a bit hesitant about trying it, but with the REBA dropped to 80mm the front end is at a decent height - Boy am I glad I gave it a try!! I only built it up last night, road it doing some commuting today and then took it for a short spin to a close by, very tech, rocky climb and gave it a whirl. First up, not sure exactly what/why, but it's easier to wheelie drop/pop the front up than the RIP9 - not sure if this is the shorter chainstay or smaller wheel. Rides pretty sweet, climbs just as good/easy as it did in full 26" configuration, yet has that big ol 29" wheel out front for rollin over stuff. Got to also say that it also somehow felt/gave more confidence cornering, not sure why, but it just did, but it was a short ride.

    Tomorrow should give me a better idea of if I really like it or not. I am thinking that maybe a 26" rear and 650B front would be the ideal combo for this bike, so will be odering up a 650B Blunt to build up a front wheel and give it a shot. Maybe then strip that wheel down and build up a 650B rear wheel to try with a 29" front on the RIP or another 29er frame. Oh and FYI I just threw on an old wire bead Kinetics tyre I had around on the rear and kept the really worn CrossMark 29" on the front.

    Sorry for the crappy pic, sun was pretty much down and hidden behind clouds, should get a better one on tomorrows ride - I'm really digging the silver frame, fork, cranks etc. Only problem is claculating what length spokes I will need to build the 650B wheel
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
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    I betcha it was a combination of both shorter chainstays and smaller diameter wheel that led to that feeling or actuall ability to wheelie drop/pop the front end.

    Did the bb height rise a little bit as well?

    People around these parts in New England complain about the low bb height on the Giant FSers.

    That looks like a cool set up Lynx! Nice job.

  24. #24
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    Yuppers, sure did from my recollection with stock 26" wwheels the BB was somewhere around 12.5-12.75" and now it's 13.5". YES I to do greatly appreciate the increased BB height, although in stock configuration it did teach me about pedal stroke timing.

    Was thinking about the new abilities this 69er Trance has over the 29er and it could also be that the cockpit is almost an inch shorter on the Trance, so easier to move about on/in. We'll see how it goes for the next 10 days or so and then once I have my new frame built back up do a comparo and see if maybe it also isn't a bit of placebo/new bike effect playing it's part. Don't think the smaller cockpit will lend itself as well to the longer rides though.

    Here's hoping that Senor Pancetti gets that damned tyre ready before I head up and I can get one to pair up with the Blunt wheel I'll be building.

    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    ........................................Did the bb height rise a little bit as well?

    People around these parts in New England complain about the low bb height on the Giant FSers.

    That looks like a cool set up Lynx! Nice job.

  25. #25
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    I guess 80mm + 29" is @ the same as just running a 130mm fork which lets face it I'd do, you've only lost 20mm travel on standard so sweet

    Seat Forwards and slightly longer stem 10mm's to both I bet I can put Reba 120mm forks on my GT ID5 and still climb ( got to push stuff forward for climbing ), Hope they do a U-turn 29" Reba then I can keep the weight back and just adjust the travel, hmmmm and COIL to

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