Ready to move to the next level


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    • #73527

      Looking to buy a new bike. I want to keep it under $1800.00. I have been looking at the Giant Trance and Reign Lines. Any suggestions. I have been riding for awhile now. Looking to progress to more tech. trails.

      thanks :?:

    • #73528

      Welcome to Singletracks, & congradulations on deciding to take your riding up a notch!

      I’ll throw a couple suggestions as to bikes I think you should consider. But to really make an accurate judgement on which bike might be ideal for you, I’ll need to know a few things first.

      ~ You’ve been riding for a while now; how much experience do you have with full-suspension rigs?

      ~ You’re looking to progress to more technical trails & riding. What kind of trails & riding; slow & twisty, fast & obstacle-strewn, steep & switchback-riddled, or a combination of those?

      ~ Do you prefer pedalling efficiency, or a plush suspension?

      But for right now, I’ll cover the Reign & Trance since you’re interested in those two lines, along with another option that I think you’ll be happy with.

      The Reign has had many permutations since it’s introduction back in ’04-’05. It went from a 6" travel "All-Mountain" bike that leaned towards XC, up to the current ReignX with almost 7" of travel and definite downhill manners & geometry. But with the only ReignX model having a $3800 MSRP, that’s a bit out of your stated price bracket.
      The standard Reign with 6" of travel has a much steeper geometry; still in keeping with the AM set, but as with the earlier Reign, having tight XC maneuverability. The Reign2’s MSRP is $1900, but I’m sure you can pick one up for less than that.
      The Reign2’s component spec isn’t entry-level, nor is it high-end. The SRAM X7 & Raceface drivetrain is dependable & effective, easily comparable to (and I’d say slightly better) Shimano’s LX offerings. The suspension is set up with a proven Fox Float RP2 air-shock & a Marzocchi 600 TST2 fork. I did find a discrepancy in Giant’s fork description though; their website states that the 600 TST2 fork has 140mm of travel. So it could be either fork, so just check it out on a Reign at your LBS.
      ~ The Marzocchi 600 TST2 fork only has 4.7"/120mm of air-sprung, non-adjutable travel; the TST system provides high/low speed compression damping adjustability, and an air preload.
      ~ The 600 ATA2 has 3.9 – 5.5" / 100-140mm of infinitely adjustable travel between those two limits. The ATA2 is essentially a simplified ATA system. A single air fitting controls the beginning-stroke spring rate. This fork is also equipped with the TST2 tuning circuit as well.

      The Trance has also worn a couple different guises since the first model. Again, Giant has a long-legged version, the TranceX with 5" of travel; the Trance Advanced, which is the high-zoot XC carbon-composite 4" travel model; and the basic Trance, a more affordable alloy-framed XC ride with 4" of travel.

      The Trance2 $1175 MSRP is way below your price limit, so it’s very possible (and advisable 😮 ) to upgrade some components if you choose this as your next bike. This ride is squarely in the XC capability range, with tight steering for climbing & tight/twisty trails and efficient pedalling.
      I found the OEM component spec to be wanting in all areas. This is where the roughly $600 you have left over from your $1800 bankroll comes in.
      The Marzocchi MZ Supercomp is a purely entry-level fork, as is the Giant shock. Both have rebound-adjust only, with the ‘Zoki fork being coil-sprung, and the Giant shock is air-sprung. I would guess the rear shock as being a Giant-branded X-Fusion or Manitou. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it could lengthen the turnaround time if you have to send it in for warranty work; unless Giant has the customer send his/her shock directly to the manufacturer. Otherwise it’ll go to Giant first, and then get forwarded to the original maker.
      And the Hayes MX4 mechanical disc brakes aren’t stellar; Avid BB5 & BB7’s are much better.
      Anyways, I’d take that extra $600 or so, and invest in a better everything. SRAM X7 & Truvativ can take up residence for the drivetrain & shifters. A set of Magura Julie hydraulic disc brakes are light, very affordable, and offer plenty of stoppage. Ask your LBS for a Fox R100 take-off fork, or look for one on sale online. I think you can live with the OEM Giant shock initially, but look for a Manitou Swinger 3-Way air-shock or Fox Float later.

      The TranceX2’s MSRP is $1900, but as with the Reign, you should be able to get your LBS to knock $100 off the price; if they haven’t already for a last year’s model. The X2 has a geometry that is a tick slacker than the standard Trance, and an inch more travel. This is a trail bike that can venture into the AM world; yet still pedal with vigor and not sap the strength out of your legs due to an overly plush suspension, or because the thing is just heavy. I’m not too happy with the Shimano LX & Deore drivetrain, but the RaceFace RideXC bits are acceptable.
      For suspension duties on the ReignX2, Giant has tapped the Fox 32 F120R fork and Fox Float-R shock. As an air-sprung, trail/XC fork, the 4.7" travel Fox 32 up front is adequate, if basic. Only rebound and air-pressure is adjustable here. The same can be said about the Float-R, with rebound adjust only.
      Braking is handled by the new Hayes Stroker Ryde hydraulic brakes. I’ve never used or tested these, but I’ve heard only good things about them. So I doubt you’ll go wrong there.

      The Giant Maestro suspension system is proven & effective at providing bump-absorbtion, yet being efficient to pedal as well. From what I’ve experienced, it is very similar to IronHorse’s DW-Link system; in that the linkages rotate in the same direction, whereas a VPP design’s linkages rotate in opposite directions. The VPP provides very stiff pedalling and firms up the suspension while being hammered. This accounts for the Blur’s excellent climbing credentials. Pedal-feedback is encountered only when in a granny-gear and hitting many small bumps.
      I found the Maestro system doesn’t firm up under power, and isn’t as plush as the VPP for some reason. But the difference is nearly negligible. All of the floating-pivot designs are active with proper braking habits.

      So there you have my rundown on the Giant Trance & Reign. 😀

      I also [i:zg7kag42]highly[/i:zg7kag42] suggest you consider the Gary Fisher Hi-Fi.
      The Hi-Fi is the lightest 5" travel alloy trailbike on the market (AFAIK). The base model Hi-Fi MSRP is $1699; innovation & quality abounds in the frame & suspension design.

      Fisher has updated their effective Genesis geometry, introducing the Genesis2 design. This was a move to improve the bike’s handling at low-speed, technical maneuvering. By increasing the fork’s offset, they reduced the amount of trail; or distance between the steering axis and wheel axle centerline. This greatly improved the bikes ability to stick a line while carving tight & twisty singletrack, without comprimising high-speed handling, downhill manners, or climbing ability.
      The 4-bar suspension acts in a very similar fashion as a single-pivot, but that doesn’t hold the bike back in bump-absorbtion, braking, or pedalling efficiency. This setup is easily as effective as the standard 4-bar rocker (Kona) system. Earlier problems with active braking and suspension while under power have been alleviated through shock technology and pivot placement. While not as plush as a VPP or as active as a Horst-link, the Fisher 4-bar is no slouch in either department.

      The basic Hi-Fi is outfitted with a range of capable Bontrager components in the wheels & cockpit, while Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes stop the bike nicely. A RockShox Recon fork has plenty of adjustability & a lock-out, and a Fox Float RP2 is out back; featuring ProPedal and rebound adjust. The entry-level Hi-Fi easily out-does the Giant Trance2 in all component categories. Even the Bontrager JonesXR 2.25" tires are excellent performers, far better than the Kenda Komodo’s for trail & XC riding combined. For $1700 you get a helluva lot of value in parts.

      I’m not simply recycling Gary Fisher advertising & press-releases here. My wife has owned two other Fishers, the Cake2GS & the FatPossumXO. While she enjoyed both bikes, the Hi-FiGS Deluxe transformed her ride; it seriously upped her ability & confidence, allowing her to rail descents, carve singletrack, and blast climbs like nobody’s business. The Hi-Fi is a rocket on the trail, and she easily outpaced myself and other riders with more bike & more experience; in all areas, climbing, level, and downhill!
      I had to try a Hi-Fi for myself, and after doing so I’d not hesitate for an instant had I the money to buy one, even in a market & sport with a plethora of capable bikes. As a base-model trail bike it is more than adequate; it provides a level of confidence, dependability, and capability not found in many high-end bikes. While the standard Hi-Fi does that and more, once you move onto a high-end Hi-Fi with some highly tuned riding skills, it can demolish pure-bred XC bikes and dedicated AM bikes. Seriously. 😼
      Not only is the Hi-Fi top-notch in all those areas, Gary Fisher’s customer and warranty service is top-notch as well. Riders have even called the company for questions or help, and got Gary himself on the line! How many other mountainbike manufacturers can offer that level of interest & service from the owner(s)?

      Try out a Hi-Fi. If you’re considering a Trance or Reign, I think you’ll pleasantly forget about them once you get going on the Fisher. 😎

    • #73529

      My God, Bomb….I think the OP’s head just exploded…. 😆

    • #73530
      "Rebus" wrote

      My God, Bomb….I think the OP’s head just exploded…. 😆

      Hey, he asked for it. 😼

    • #73531
      "Bombardier" wrote

      [quote="Rebus":3bylmd40]My God, Bomb….I think the OP’s head just exploded…. 😆

      Hey, he asked for it. 😼[/quote:3bylmd40]


      One thing I’ve learned in my short time here is that Bomb comes with the thunder when someone asks a question about bikes / equipment. I really appreciate these forums and also the information that is provided. Good stuff…

    • #73532

      Thanks for the info. Me and my friends will be hitting alot of places up in the Ozarks Mts. Was thinking of building a bike. What are good websites to order parts from. thanks

    • #73533

      Holy cow, that was a ton of info. That’s awesome.

      If it were me, i’d be all over the Reign. But i ride uphill simply because i love to flow downhill. I’ll give up pedaling efficiency and lightweight bikes so i can rail turns, fly through rocks, and jump down the trails without worrying about my bike being able to handle it. I don’t like second guessing my equipment while i’m flying downhill.

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