2019 Spearfish vs Trance- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2019 Spearfish vs Trance

    First post so bare with me. I'm being pitched on a Salsa Spearfish SLX (~$3700 CAD) and a Giant Trance 29 2 (~$3400 CAD). Looking for all around trail riding. Seems like the build on the Trance is superior (Fox, NX etc..) to Salsa and cheaper (a Giant Hallmark I guess), but I remain intrigued by the Salsa all the same (kind of like a "do you like Blondes or Brunettes?" discussion)
    I'm getting hung up on the rear suspension system...truthfully I'm about to go down the rabbit hole of leverage curves and pedal kickback...but if someone in the know could tell me not to bother I will respect that and avoid paralysis through analysis :-)
    Looking to have my mind twisted on this one, any help would be ideal!

  2. #2
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    "...but if someone in the know could tell me not to bother I will respect that and avoid paralysis through analysis :-)"
    I'm not sure I'm in the know, but don't bother!

    I ended up with a Trance 29 Pro 1, but I demo'd a Trance 2 aluminum. That's what made me decide. I have a pretty tricked out Yeti SB5 that I'm coming from and the demo Trance 2 was just as fast, even though it was 4 pounds heavier. And I liked it better than the SB100 that I also demo'd.

    The two things I think you'd like about the Trance, Vs. the Salsa....the head tube is 2 degrees slacker on the Giant, if I'm looking at the right data. That WILL make a difference, and the 1x12, Vs. 1x11 is something that would be a dealbreaker for me.

  3. #3
    No Clue Crew
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    Those are not even in the same category of bike. Perhaps provide information about your experience, where you ride and what youíre looking for.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  4. #4
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    I live in the City but lots of ravines outside my door. wide range of stuff ranging from wide-open single track, to flowy ravine-wall trails, to tight man-made TTFs. Like to get out of the City to the hills for some longer trial rides. I'm capable but older (40) and slower, so not jumping. Currently on an old hardtail Cannondale. Not racing, but want to build on technicals.
    Is the Trance more trail vs Spearfish is faster (XC)? what's the difference in category. Had not spent any time looking at Salsa before the sales guy (fairly experience guy) out the two together for me

  5. #5
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    Of those 2, the suspension fork on the giant is quite a bit better than the Recon on the salsa. This is of course my opinion.

    They are different bikes intended for different purposes, but they are not really that far apart on the spectrum. The giant is more rough trail oriented, the salsa more XC speed oriented. If you are not racing or overly concerned about being as fast as possible, the giant could be a really fun bike for rough technical terrain.
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  6. #6
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    Here's what to focus on:
    The Salsa Spearfish is an XC Race/Marathon bike. In my opinion, if you're not specifically out to race XC (and win) you pretty much don't want an XC bike for anything.

    The Trance 29 is an all around trail bike. The Maestro suspension is every bit as good as the DW link variant that Salsa uses. It's good for doing just about anything you want to try on it, and if you want to race a little for fun, put some lighter XC tires on it, and have a go. It'll probably even do some Enduro racing if you get a wild hair.

    Full disclosure - the last Spearfish I rode was probably 3 or 4 years ago at a demo event. It was exactly what I expected from an XC bike, and honestly, if that's the sort of thing you're looking for, it's a solid option to compare to the Anthem 29 or the Pivot 429, or even the Santa Cruz Tallboy. If you'd rather look at something like the Pivot 429 Trail or the Santa Cruz Hightower or the Trek Fuel EX, the Trance is the bike that slots in there. It's a little shorter rear travel than most of those, but that's going to let it pedal a bit better.

    Full disclosure: I own a Trance 29 Advance 1. I came off an Anthem 29. Being old school and stubborn I thought I wanted an XC bike when I bought that bike, and discovered after a while that what I really wanted was a trail bike, but I also want to be able to pedal all day, climb steep stuff, then send it down the hills when the opportunity presents itself. To me the Trance does all of that. I have yet to find something about the bike I don't like.

  7. #7
    Downcountry AF
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Here's what to focus on:
    The Salsa Spearfish is an XC Race/Marathon bike. In my opinion, if you're not specifically out to race XC (and win) you pretty much don't want an XC bike for anything.
    This is going a bit too far. It's not like it's a 80/100mm full on race bike. It's way more of an all-rounder than that. Not everyone wants or needs more travel than 100/120.

    The rest of your post I mostly agree with, but saying you need to be winning races to own a modern XC bike is ridiculous.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  8. #8
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    awesome, clears up a lot for me. Demoíing the Trance today so will give it a good go

  9. #9
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    This is going a bit too far. It's not like it's a 80/100mm full on race bike. It's way more of an all-rounder than that. Not everyone wants or needs more travel than 100/120.

    The rest of your post I mostly agree with, but saying you need to be winning races to own a modern XC bike is ridiculous.
    Oh, no, sorry, didn't mean to sound like that - I meant if you're just racing for fun a trail bike might be better. You don't NEED to be winning - I mean if you're TRYING to win. Serious about winning. I mean, for heavens sake, I ride sketchy trail on a hardtail singlespeed. I do it because it's fun. Some stuff guys I know won't ride their 160 bikes on. I would never imply that there are requirements about owning a bike, I'm simply trying to point to the mind set that might make one bike more suitable for a person than another.

  10. #10
    No Clue Crew
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    I own a new Trance and have ridden the Spearfish. While they may appear similar on paper, it would only take about 30 seconds of riding to realize they're completely different classes of bike. Not saying one is better than the other, as they're intended for different purposes.
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  11. #11
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    Pretty sure that despite being not too far off in travel from each other they are different bikes. The Spearfish IIRC is xc. I just built up a Trance frame and am really impressed with it as a trail bike. It is light and snappy but also the rear suspension and angles make it capable enough for very aggressive trail/AM riding. With a simple swap of the tires the Trance, I'd say, could handle all sorts of riding.

  12. #12
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    what tires would you swap for?

  13. #13
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    Meaning with a set of something like Maxxis Icons it would be a good xc bike. With a set of Minion WTs it would be a good trail/AM bike.

  14. #14
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    Let me throw another pairing out there since Spearfish isn't such a great comp.

    Transition Smuggler vs Trance 29 2...thoughts?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ribbs76 View Post
    Let me throw another pairing out there since Spearfish isn't such a great comp.

    Transition Smuggler vs Trance 29 2...thoughts?
    Ridden both.. they are quite similar to ride and both really good all round trail bikes. Both ride better than their rear suspension number would suggest. I own the Trance..it was much better value for money.

  16. #16
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    How much does warranty play into your decision when choosing a bike?
    iím torn between the smuggler and the trance. Transition is only 5yrs vs lifetime for Giant.

  17. #17
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by ribbs76 View Post
    How much does warranty play into your decision when choosing a bike?
    iím torn between the smuggler and the trance. Transition is only 5yrs vs lifetime for Giant.
    A lot. But if I found the right bike I would take it even if the warranty was not as good as a bike that isnít the right one. In other words, Iíd pay a little extra for a better warranty on two otherwise equivalent bikes, but not buy a bad bike because of a good warranty.

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