Full Suspension Advice ($2,500)

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    • #216946

      Hi guys and gals,

      I’m looking into getting a full suspension mountain bike and I’ve looked into the Giant Trance 2.  I was wondering what you thought of the Trance 2 or what other bikes would be something else to research. I’m looking in the $2,500 price range!?



    • #216947

      I recently made the jump to full suspension…I looked at Giant…but went with a Raleigh Skarn Comp…I will say this, full-suspension will completely change how you ride…having ridden a friends long-travel bike, I am glad I went with a cross country travel bike.  Instead of pushing around a big bike, I love the traction and low weight of my bike!  Hope this helps!!  Rubber side down!!

    • #216948

      The Commencal Meta AM v4.2 full suspension is a great bike but it has quite a bit more travel and is geared to be more of an enduro bike. The YT Jeffsy Al Two ( comes in both 29er and 27.5, similar builds on each ) and Canyon Spectral AL 5.0 EX are also both very formidable bikes. However Canyon Bikes won’t be available in the US for purchase until the 3rd quarter ( around September Octoberish time of the year ). Another great bike would be the Specialized StumpJumper but it costs around $3000 so I don’t think its in your price range. However, the Trek Top Fuel 8 is also a good bike so its really up to you. Most bikes around the $2500 range are aluminum and if you want Carbon your gonna have to go up a couple thousand dollars. Carbon is totally worth it if your racing but otherwise is not really necessary. Good luck finding a bike and check your local bike shops for closeouts and demo bikes that are for sale.

    • #216949

      I bought a used 2016 Giant Trance 3 as my first full suspension bike and love it. That said, it has a little more travel than I really need for the trails I ride the majority of the time. I now find myself wishing I had a cross country type 29er to use for endurance events and the occasional race or Xterra triathlon. If I had $2500 and was looking for my first full suspension, I’d certainly consider a Santa Cruz Tallboy (or maybe 5010), or maybe look at Specialized bikes – Epic Comp or Camber.  If you go with the Trance, hope you enjoy it!

    • #216951

      That is a pretty good choice really for that price range. Probably has a dropper post, good geo, tires, travel, etc….Giant puts out some value in their offerings, they are truly “giant” sized company, and probably get good components for next to nothing from sram and shimano and wtb…etc…   There are definitely other choices I imagine,  the Rocky Mountain Alloy Altitude 30 is around 2800,  if you are focused on 27.5 wheel size.   You can piece together  or buy used to get most for money, but free tune ups and trusted bike mechanics can be of great value though by buying from local dealer.  Trek Slash 7 is on sale, Kona Process 134, Kona Precept 150, Norco Fluid 7.2, …………………and on and on……the precept is like 2200.  See what brands are offered in the shops, find their 27.5 size trail bike models in that range on the websites then research. Personally Kona’s have been comfortable in their setup, but you should get on a few bikes and see. For me comfort is a big factor. I’m old ish and beaten up.

    • #216985

      If that type of bike is what you are looking I’d go for the Trance 2, as it seems like the best value in its class. I live in Georgia so if I was getting a full suspension I’d go for something with a bit less travel and has 29inch wheels, like a Kona Hei Hei(which is at your price range), that fits our trails a bit better. I know 27.5 is still all the rage and gets all the hype, but 29 seems to be the way to go… even the “bros” are starting to see the light on that now that 29 is having success in the DH arena

    • #217029

      Nothing wrong with a Trance.    But I personally prefer shorter travel full squishers for the more efficient pedaling platform unless I know I need the extra suspension.   What types of trails do you ride?    Gnarly with big hits and jumps or mostly flat singletrack with some roots?

    • #217059

      I’d say Trance is a good choice and great value. And their rear suspension is truly awesome. It’s kinda do-it-all bike. I rode friend’s Trance and was impressed. Even if you think you don’t need that much suspension today you might use it one day in the future. It’s better to have some room for improvement then become limited by your equipment.

      • #217064

        I think it depends on how close the nearest gnarl is.   If the nearest trail that requires all that suspension is 1000 miles away, he can just rent a bike when he is there.     Otherwise, he is giving up everyday performance for that remote chance that he might need all that travel someday.    For example, half the guys around me ride rigid.  I use all of my 100mm of travel maybe once every 10 rides.   I couldn’t keep up with those guys on a 150mm squisher.   But that is for the trails around me.    If I lived in BC, I’d definitely get a Trance.

      • #217068

        I have to disagree, go with the amount of suspension you will need when you need it. When you don’t need it because of the trails you are riding, then adjust it!!!!


        I think the Giant Trance 2 is the best bang for the buck right now in FS. The only mid priced bike I like as much is the Salsa Redpoint but it cost more.

    • #217308

      I love the Trance 2.  I demoed it couple of days ago and it is butter.     Hopefully I will get one within the next month or so…….or get the Commencal Meta TR 4.2 for the same price.  Better spec and only 130 mm in the back and 140 in the front.   I tested the Kona precept 130 (130 mm front and back) and it felt so nice as well.  But the spec on it was not that good.   Anyways that’s my 2 cents.

      Good luck.

    • #236704

      I agree, they are good bikes. I demoed one in flagstaff and it performed great both on climbs and descents. especially on descents..

    • #236714

      I rented a 2017 trance 2 last year in moab, and it seemed like a solid bike although I didn’t care for the geometry. I would suggest also looking at the commencal meta trail v4.2 origin or the diamondback release 2 0r 3. All of these bikes cost less than the trance and have what i would consider to be better geometry overall, which is something much harder to change than suspension or drivetrain.

      • #236723

        Or, if you’re not set on a full-sus you could go for an aggressive hardtail like an orange crush. $2,100 for a very well-equipped bike that can hold up to a lot of abuse.

      • #236735

        The Commencal and Diamond back are cheaper because their rear suspension system is less advanced.  A plain single pivot will not be as good as a progressive linkage like the Evil Delta system, or especially not as good as a multi-pivot/virtual pivot system like the Giant Maestro or DW-Link used on Pivot, Salsa and several other manufacturers. These more advanced systems will allow for less pedal bob. That is how they allow for more travel yet still climb well.

      • #236760

        True, although I found that the giant still had plenty of pedal bob, and pedal bob is why I’ve never owned a full-sus. That and the extra weight, cost, maintenance, etc. In my opinion (opinion, not fact) the best bang for buck bikes under $3,000 are aggressive hardtails. The lack of rear suspension means that more money can go towards higher quality components elsewhere. And if you ride a hardtail enough, you’ll (probably) learn to soak up the trail more with your legs, which work as more sensitive and sophisticated suspension than anything you can buy.

        Also I personally would rather have a bike that feels really good on descents, even at the cost of some pedaling efficiency. I weigh 220 lbs, I’m walking most of the climbs anyways. I used to ride an xc hardtail, and I hated riding it. It climbs really well, but descends horribly. If I get a full-sus it’ll be a dh bike, but i would like to try some more, like something from evil, a new transition scout, something from pivot, and also something like an orange five, to compare the more complicated linkages to a single pivot.

    • #236777

      ummm….you guys think maybe the OP decided on something during this past year? Maybe? And not really checking zombie threads?

      Just sayin’.

    • #239265


      I’m not sure if you bought a bike yet, but if you haven’t, I have to say if you want to up the amount you want to spend by a bit and not have to upgrade your bike in any way for quite a while, I think I have the solution for you 🙂

      I’m not sure if you ride a hardtail right now, but going from a hardtail to a full suspension is a night and day difference. No matter what other people say, you don’t know until you’ve tried one yourself and you can attest to it. There is so much difference in both the climbing and descents when you have the rear suspension to keep that back wheel planted on the ground while climbing as well as to absorb the impacts on the downhill.

      I have a custom Diamondback 5C for sale right now that would fit the bill. This is a custom version of Diamondback’s highest end model bike (similar to say the trance 1 advanced or trance o, I’m not sure what giant uses anymore). It’s a full suspension, carbon 27.5er with a 150mm fork and a 130mm shock that are the highest spec for Rockshox, so it is quite a trail weapon. You can use it for cross country all the way to taking it out to MOAB and shredding everything in between. It’s not a single pivot design, but level link, similar to Santa Cruz’s VPP which means you get very little pedal bob. I’m not hating on Giant, but there is a lot tied up in profit for Giant ie: you are paying more money for the name and not getting the best components. With Diamondback, they are really giving you the best bang for your buck.

      I’m asking $2999 plus shipping for my bike and I just want to say that you should do your research before pulling the trigger on a FS bike! Go to your local bike store that sells Giant/ Norco/ etc. and try one of each model out (anthem, trance, reign, etc.) in this pricepoint ($2500-$3000) and see for yourself how much you will be paying and what you will get and compare it to my release 5C and you will be amazed the value you are getting for the price. You won’t know exactly what you’re getting component wise- but I tried this out before I bought. I went to my local bike shop and test rode multiple models of their Giant bikes to compare to my diamondback and the only thing they have on the diamondback is that they felt a little bit lighter. With the diamondback, you’re getting much better all around components as well as a carbon fiber frame, which in itself is a huge upgrade. If you’re serious into mountain biking, you’ll be thankful to get the best thing you can for your money so you don’t have the urge to upgrade your bike early on.

      Spend some time on this and let me know as I’m eager to help a fellow rider out as well as get this bike off my hands for another build 😛

      P.S. Here’s my pinkbike listing if you want to check it out. I have it listed currently: https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2358401/

      The bike is all set up and ready to ride for the season, so think about it and let me know! Thanks bro 😀

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