I’m currently riding a Trek Marlin 6 Hardtail but am looking to upgrade to my first full suspension bike. I live in Texas where its pretty flat and technical, but will be moving to California in two months and then Colorado another 6 months after that. I like to ride pretty aggressively, and also want to get into jumping. The three bikes i’m debating between are the Spectral AL 6, Jeffsy Comp, and the Trance Advanced 2. They are all 27.5, and the spectral is the only one with an aluminum frame. The spectral definitely has better components than the Jeffsy and Trance, but is also a couple pounds heavier. All of them are similarly priced, so that’s not much of an issue. I haven’t had the chance yet to test any of them out, but am hoping to go to outerbike in September if Covid-19 allows for it. What would you choose?
If I had to pick one, the Jeffsy would be first, the Spectral second, and the Trance a distant last. The Jeffsy has excellent geometry and the Trance has very outdated geometry with the Spectral somewhere in between. Many 27.5 Mountainbikes have not been updated recently and are not up-to-date geometry wise. 29ers have been getting most of the updates in the last couple of years.
I live in Durango, CO where the mountains meet the desert which is a pretty good example of what riding is like all over the mountain and desert West. 29ers pretty much rule in Durango because 29ers roll over rough ground much easier. In addition, we don’t see many long-travel bikes. We have lots of steep and rough but our trails are so twisty turny uppy downy that you can seldom reach the speeds where long-travel performs best.
Instead of the bikes you selected, I’m going to suggest that you might be happier with an updated progessive geo 29er with about 130mm of rear travel. The Commencal Meta TR 29 with 130mm rear/150mm front travel would be an excellent choice. The Trek Fuel EX 29 with 130 rear/140 front would also be a good choice. If you really want more travel, get the 29er Jeffsy. In fact, you might be quite happy on a bike like the Norco Fluid FS 29 with 12o rear/130 front. Even though the fluid has shorter travel, the excellent progressive geometry and aggressive 29×2.6 tires more than make up for the lack of travel.
I don’t know a whole lot about the YT or canyon but I do know that the trance has very outdated geometry and is not even close to being any real kind of contender these days (I mean it wasn’t particularly good even when it was first launched)