Specialized or Giant?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Specialized or Giant?

    I am looking for a middle of the road ($$) Full-suspension MB. Down between Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 100 (Women) or Giant Trance 2. Both bikes same price ballpark. Noticed that Trance 2 is reviewed many times while Specialized in notta, although mens is.

    Any recommendations?

    ME

  2. #2
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    giant vs.specialized

    I'm also looking at the giant trance 2 but against the jamis dakar xlt 2.0. A local shop has a 2004 jamis for $1699. I found a 2005 trance 2 for $1710. I'm currently leaning towards the Giant.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thanksohio
    I am looking for a middle of the road ($$) Full-suspension MB. Down between Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 100 (Women) or Giant Trance 2. Both bikes same price ballpark. Noticed that Trance 2 is reviewed many times while Specialized in notta, although mens is.

    Any recommendations?

    ME
    The specialized hasn't been reviewed much since Specialized has had the same design for awhile now, they just bumped the travel to 120 so you'll see reviews of that. Check out the last couple of years of reviews. The trance firms up a bit under pedaling whereas the specialize isn't as affected. So the trance will work better for fireroad/steeper climbs, but not as well for technical climbs since the wheel won't follow the terrain as much.

    You really need to ride both. Most importantly get a bike that fits you.

  4. #4
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    Fit

    As the earlier post said, you need to get the bike that fits you the best. They will both be good bikes, but will fit differently. That being said, I have a few friends that all love their specialized bikes (stumpys, epics, etc) but don't ride with anyone with a Giant. Have fun deciding.

  5. #5
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    Idea! go with the specialized

    I would buy the specialized. They have been in the game for longer and make great bikes and even there low end line si still decent. the same can't be said for Giant though. I think there is a reveiw of there bike in MTB Action "Stumpjumper frames use a twin-tube seat tower that allows for better shock placement. The air shock is made by Fox and can be switched from lockout to stable-platform, or normal damping mode. The top and down tubes are flared and bent to add stand-over clearance and strength. Stumpjumper frames are said to weight 5.6 pounds, have about four inches of suspension travel and are intended to fill the gap between the racing Epic and the longer legged Enduro series. To this end, the Stumpy痴 head angle has been slackened to a more stable-steering, 70.5-degrees." although this isn't a review I do recall the editors mentioning several times in numerous issues that the stumpjumper is one of there "all-time favortie trail bikes" there is also an article in the june issue comemorating the 25th birthday of the stumpy. good luck with your choice. if you can test ride both bikes on a trail if you can before you buy one.

  6. #6
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    Giant has the better suspension

    Quote Originally Posted by thanksohio
    I am looking for a middle of the road ($$) Full-suspension MB. Down between Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 100 (Women) or Giant Trance 2. Both bikes same price ballpark. Noticed that Trance 2 is reviewed many times while Specialized in notta, although mens is.

    Any recommendations?

    ME
    Giant has copied the Dave Weagle "DW-Link" suspension design produced by Iron Horse and Independent Fabrications but called the Weagle design "Maestro".

    The DW-Link design is just as bump compliant as the Specialized FSR but doesn't bob when pedaling at all. The Specialized FSR is very bump compliant but is squishy pedaling without locking out the shock or using and Epic "Brain" inertia valve auto-lockout platform shock. Squishy suspension pedaling saps rider energy especialy on longer rides.

    Try to get test rides for fit and comfort. You will notice the difference in pedaling efficiency on pavement. They both are equally bump compliant on the trail. The DW-Link and Maestro copy by Giant conserves rider energy better overall.

    - ray

  7. #7
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    Looking for FS bike also.
    I'm down to three on my list: Trance 2, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 120 and Jamis Dakar XLT. Jamis was the most comfortable bike I tested but I change my mind after reading user reviews. Seems like Jamis owners start to complain after few months and company do not stand behind warranty. So now is Giant or Specialized. I'm leaning towards Stumpjumper but that is base on parking ride only. I will have to test again.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    Giant has copied the Dave Weagle "DW-Link" suspension design produced by Iron Horse and Independent Fabrications but called the Weagle design "Maestro".

    The DW-Link design is just as bump compliant as the Specialized FSR but doesn't bob when pedaling at all. The Specialized FSR is very bump compliant but is squishy pedaling without locking out the shock or using and Epic "Brain" inertia valve auto-lockout platform shock. Squishy suspension pedaling saps rider energy especialy on longer rides.

    Try to get test rides for fit and comfort. You will notice the difference in pedaling efficiency on pavement. They both are equally bump compliant on the trail. The DW-Link and Maestro copy by Giant conserves rider energy better overall.

    - ray
    The Maestro bikes have a much steeper initial angle to the upper link and the upper link is quite a bit shorter than the DW link bikes' upper link. The ICRs as the bikes move through their travel wind up in very different locations although they do move in a similar manner; I imagine the CC/axle path differences are significant as well. Have you plotted path/CC?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    Giant has copied the Dave Weagle "DW-Link" suspension design produced by Iron Horse and Independent Fabrications but called the Weagle design "Maestro".

    The DW-Link design is just as bump compliant as the Specialized FSR but doesn't bob when pedaling at all. The Specialized FSR is very bump compliant but is squishy pedaling without locking out the shock or using and Epic "Brain" inertia valve auto-lockout platform shock. Squishy suspension pedaling saps rider energy especialy on longer rides.

    Try to get test rides for fit and comfort. You will notice the difference in pedaling efficiency on pavement. They both are equally bump compliant on the trail. The DW-Link and Maestro copy by Giant conserves rider energy better overall.

    - ray
    Hello ray,

    A couple of posts above yours, someone mentioned the FSR bike's suspension remains more active while climbing, making it better for technical ascents. I have read this same comment before. I have ridden an FSR and do agree that suspension action while climbing is great, but cant compare with the DW because I have not tried one....yet.
    Do you agree that the FSR remains more complaint while climbing?

    cheers

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by meak
    Looking for FS bike also.
    I'm down to three on my list: Trance 2, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 120 and Jamis Dakar XLT. Jamis was the most comfortable bike I tested but I change my mind after reading user reviews. Seems like Jamis owners start to complain after few months and company do not stand behind warranty. So now is Giant or Specialized. I'm leaning towards Stumpjumper but that is base on parking ride only. I will have to test again.
    Haven't riden the Dakar, but I road both the Sumpy 120 and Trance 1 (same frame as 2) on the same course back-to-back (Sea Otter classic) and the Stumpy was really mushy and wallowed in its travel, didn't matter what "Septune" setting it was in. It was more cushy, but for the riding I do I don't need that much travel and wanted a suspension I can stand and not bounch up and down.

    The Trance on the other hand frimed up nicely on climbs, but not so much that the wheel didn't track ruts/rocks. Unless I was on a longer fire road climb I probably wouldn't bother setting the PP to anything but plush (-).

  11. #11
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    Jamis XLT and Giant

    I have heard some great things about the Jamis Dakar XLT. Its a solid bike, especially for the price.

    However, I will vouch for Giant on customer service if people are worried about that. I broke the driveside chainstay on my Giant AC last year. I went to LBS, sent it back to Giant and they returned it to me in two weeks with a brand new rear triangle and fresh pivots. It rides better now than it ever did. No charge other than the shipping. I was very pleased.

    I appreciate customer care so I vote Giant.

  12. #12
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    Now there's the BLT

    I've gone back and forth between the Blur, Stumpjumper FSR 120, and now the Blur LT...
    Now, I've narrowed it to the Stumpjumper FSR 120 (a lot of great reviews) or the Blur LT.

    Head tube and seat tube angle along with BB height will have a lot to do with my decision.

    COnfusEd?

  13. #13
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    I am also trying to decide between the trance 2 and th SJ comp disc but I cant find anything wrong with either bike...both bikes felt really comfortable, both are priced the same, both have active suspension designs.....I wish I had a good reason to choose one over the other

  14. #14
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    Keep in mind that the Jamis is a linkage activated single pivot, while the others are true four bar designs (the Trance is a four bar, just like the Blur and the DW-link). Personally, I would choose the Specialized in 100mm, as I find it to be a nice compromise between plushness and bob, but I live in a area that doesn't require a lot of travel.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  15. #15
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Go wiyh the specialized.

    I'll go with the specialized. i got a giant ac and had a few problems with it. the hanger for the rd broke 3 times i'm on my 4th in just over a year. lately is been ok but i don't ride the ac that much anymore. the hanger broke just doing some xc riding. that bike is meant for some real hard core riding! the shop has never figure out whats wrong with it along with the guy from giant. i called giant direct and they don't do anything.they wash their hands.i'll never go giant again.last year a was thinking on getting a new lighter bike for this year and was thinking about the giant vt, but then i started having them problems and was not getting any concrete help from giant so a spend 2500 bucks on a gary fisher cake dlx1. i had then narrow to the cake or the enduro(spacialized), went with the cake cus is a bit lighter and i already owned a fisher before a sugar model, rode that rig over 3 years( and thats riding to work 3-5 times a week as well as my weekly rides) and still going strong 5 sets of tires and a new set of components later. so you can see why i trust my gary fisher. what happened to my giant rig may be an isolated problem, and i'm not putting giant down, i'm just saying i'll NEVER buy giant again, but thats based on my experince. good luck on your decision.
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  16. #16
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    Good job! Test was done.

    First, before any test or demo ride I had to check what's proper size for me. I'm 6'2" and 245 lbs and same people with my size ride on Large and same on Xlarge. My local LSB salesmen have told me that I'm on borderline between L and XL size (20" and 22" in Giant case). I test ride on parking lot both sizes extensively, having GS between parked cars , just to find out that Stompjumper Expert 120 XL and Giant Trance 2 22" is without any doubt my size.

    With Giant dealer I was able to have a demo bike for all day Friday.
    LBS Specialized didn't have any bike for demo, but next day I got lucky and found suburban Spec dealer, who (because of good weather at this time) let me ride in City Park just behind dealer building "...so you can test this bike and do few rock jumps...".
    Both bikes are very nice and fit me like a glove. I didn't go with price negotiation at all, because I want my opinion or decision to be base on my test ride only but is hard not to mention that Stompjumper Expert 120 show up with a better components than Giant Trance 2 (breaks, front shock, rear shock, nice finished frame).

    Test time.
    Trance 2 was tested first, and I end up with 255 PSI to rear shock to have rear suspension properly response (lower pressure, or Giant recommendation didn't work in my case).
    In SJ case I return from park to ask dealer to add more pressure and set rear shock as firm as possible (so much adjustment settings on this shock and... no lockout?).
    After return to Park with SJ I found little if any change in rear shock.
    Now, I can simply copy previous post of "spinjocky" in this thread, who nicely describe both suspensions in action and I agree with 100%. Thanks.
    For anyone who is coming from hardtail like me and rides on hills covered area (New England in my case) pedaling on SJ, squeezing up and down on climbs may become annoying or at least less comfortable. That will more or less be noticeable depend on surface you are riding on.
    Giant on another hand, have incredible climbing abilities, is more firm when going up and in some moments makes you think that you are riding on hardtail and all that with standard Fox shock without pro-pedal or lockout ability, and this same time, that shock was plushy and soft on all bumps.
    I have to mention also that somehow I noticed better maneuverability or balance stability with Giant that was very weird, because that bike has bigger frame size available 22". Also, holding both bikes in air seems like Specialized weight less but during climbing, Giant is the one, which feels much lighter (even with those really nasty stock tires Giant have mounted on).

    I spend over a month in my spare time for research, test ride on every available bike.
    I have only tried XC full suspensions bikes, which are available in my area thru dealer that included: Haro, Cannondale, Gary Fisher, Jamis, Santa Cruz, Trek, Kona, Giant, Specialized and K2 with a sticker prize up to 3K and narrow my search to Stompjumper Expert 120 and Giant Trance 2.

    For me both bikes are great, and both fit me same, perfect, but with my riding style (20 years hardtail veteran and past Fuji, Cannondale and Gary Fisher costumer) Giant Trance is a bike that rides not only better for me than Stompjumper Expert 120 but also better then I expected.

    Now I got to go, to see Giant dealer.

  17. #17
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    MBA reviewed the Trance 1 in this month's issue and loved it. They said it was 'the ultimate trailbike'. Go for the Giant.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark_hoppus16
    MBA reviewed the Trance 1 in this month's issue and loved it. They said it was 'the ultimate trailbike'. Go for the Giant.
    Mountain Bike Action isn't the Holy Grail of mountain biking. Whlichever bike performs and fits the best should be the one you chose. If anything to keep in mind, the Giant is a new design this year whereas the Specialized has been a proven design for many years. A very tough call, but ride them both and see how they feel.

  19. #19
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    What bike to buy?

    I am having a hard time deciding between Giant Trance 2 and the Trek Fuel EX 8? Can someone help me?

  20. #20
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    One thing to consider with the Giant bikes is the integrated headset. It puts a lot of stress on the frame as opposed to the bearing of the headset. For more info on this, check out the Chris King website on why they don't produce one.

    Other than that, these bikes seem pretty equally matched. I'd say get the one with the best component spec. so you won't be replacing crappy parts early on.
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  21. #21
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    Both are good brands.

    Quote Originally Posted by thanksohio
    I am looking for a middle of the road ($$) Full-suspension MB. Down between Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 100 (Women) or Giant Trance 2. Both bikes same price ballpark. Noticed that Trance 2 is reviewed many times while Specialized in notta, although mens is.

    Any recommendations?

    ME
    I've got an Epic with an IQ shock that works great for a light (26lb) XC/road ride and a VT1 (31lbs) that eats up the trails with tons of travel front and rear. I've never had a lick of problems with either of them. I wouldn't worry about the integrated headset, despite King's advertising propagana. I haven't heard of any problems with them and this is my second bike with one.

    Danny

  22. #22
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    Holy crap, I was facing the exact same dilema (almost) a few weeks ago myself. I started a few threads you might could find where I debated wheather to get a Stumpjumper FSR Comp 120 or Giant Reign 2. I got to ride the Stumpjumper for a week in Moab and absolutely fell in love with it (being the first full suspension I had ever seriously ridden). I knew I was getting a new bike this summer so I was gonna get a Stumpjumper. Then I started to hear all this good stuff about the Reign, so I studied it a bit and started leaning away from the FRS and towards the Reign. Reasons being these... 1. It is $500 cheaper... 2. It has an extra inch of travel... 3. The maestro suspension gets rid of petal bob (which was the biggest complaint I had about the FSR)... 4. I felt the FSR bottom out a few times on some of the bigger drops, so I figure I need that extra inch. The components on the two bikes are pretty much the same quality, so for me it all came down to price and travel. The Trance travel is comparable to the FSR Comp 100, so Im sure they would handle pretty much the same terrain, but the Maestro suspension would have me sold on the Trance. It all depends on how brutal your riding is going to be and how much money youre willing to throw down.

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