Welcome to Singletracks, Mike. 😎
I suggest trying to give each bike a test-ride before buying. The Marin is a very nice bike, and they’ve much improved their Whyte-Link suspension design in 2007.
Anyways, good luck! And whatever you get, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the ride!
Many thanks for the comprehensive reply – that has somewhat put my mind at ease over buying either bike. The Trance X I hadn’t considered until I came across one at a local bike shop, it appears much better in the flesh than it looks on Giants web site. Unfortunately the shop only had last years East Peak to compare against, which felt considerably heavier. They also had the whyte on display – nice bike, unfortunately that would be quite over budget. Considering my original limit of 1500 GBP, both of these bikes are in the 1700-1800 price bracket so would rather no have to spend cash on any upgrades. Will certainly speak to the dealer about a possible fork upgrade though.
I should have mentioned that it will be a UK spec – therefore anything that can handle mud and wet surfaces is a must. I will be moving from a hard tail (Giant XTC weighing around 29lbs) with Marzocchi MX pro ETA forks to a first full susser. Most of my riding is currently cross country trails, however it would be nice to have something that makes riding technical uphill trails a bit more manageable. I’ve been advised that both of these bikes would be suitable for doing small drops – although im slightly apprehensive on this as the Fox F120 shocks are rated for cross country only, according to the Fox website. Any thoughts on what I can get away with on these bikes?
I have a demo ride booked on a wolf ridge in two weeks – although I have almost ruled this out, it should at least give me a another stick to gauge the other bikes by.