a Cross Country Rider
from Dillon, co, usa
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2011
Strengths: Awesome bike fits perfect, great suspension and the brakes are amazing...upgraded to all xt components, mavic wheelset
Weaknesses: pricey but worth it
Awesome bike...find it used and ride the piss out of it. So great on climbs, downhill, xc, everything. The geometry is spot on for me I'm 5'6" and 125 lbs...riding the women's med frame size. Great bike for anyone wanting to step up their riding...very durable and well thought out/designed.
Favorite Trail: kessel's, monarch crest, anything in moab
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Purchased At: private seller
Similar Products Used: gary fisher hardtail
Bike Setup: 2008 giant cypher, fox float and mavic wheelset, hayes stroker brakes, xt components.
a Cross Country Rider
from Boise, ID
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2010
Strengths: First and foremost, the Maestro suspension is FABULOUS!! The fit for this bike (compared to a Small GIANT Reign which I owned previously) is much better for me as a 5'4" woman. Also love the Shimano XT shifters, lock grips, Fitzik seat, XT 170 crank arms, shorter distance to the brake levers for my smaller hands, etc.
Weaknesses: The biggest weakness I see--as a XC racer--is the weight. It's still VERY LIGHT (27 lbs) for a full suspension bike with 5 inches of travel but I'll be curious to see how it races.
I was debating between the Cypher 1 and 2 and opted for the Cypher 1. I'm so glad I did that because of the light weight and Shimano XT derailleur system. Previously, I was riding a Specialized Era (which is about 1 lb lighter) with a SRAM x-9 setup but I MUCH prefer the maestro suspension and the shifting on the Cypher. The Specialized "brain" shock doesn't work nearly as well as the lockout system on the Cypher and when the shocks are engaged, the travel is smoother on the Cypher. I was pleasantly surprised because I was experiencing MORE pedal bob on uphill climbs with the Era than with the Cypher. Anyone who says Shimano didn't "UP THE ANTE" with their new XT system is nuts!! I really like it. I was also pleasantly surprised with the XT hydraulic braking system. I haven't raced the Cypher yet but I'm expecting it to be slightly slower uphill and much faster downhill. Can't WAIT for racing season!!
Similar Products Used: Giant Trance, Giant Reign, Specialized Era
Bike Setup: XT derailleurs, Fitzik seat, carbon seatpost, Shimano SPD pedals, Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes,
a Weekend Warrior
from Pleasanton, CA
Date Reviewed: August 2, 2008
Strengths: Pro-Pedal is nice when climbing up the typical East Bay Fire Roads. It keeps the suspension from eating up all of your energy on the climb. Good Geometry. The bike fits like a glove after a few modifications.
Weaknesses: RaceFace bars were pretty bad. Too much upsweap. I swapped them out with Titec Hell Bent Bars. Also, the bike was outfitted with Deore parts. Not the lightest parts. I destroyed my rear deraileur on my first ride along with bending my rotor on the disc brakes. This bike didn't come with a quick release seat post clamp either so I had to purchase one of those as well. Hayes disc brakes aren't the best but definitely better than rim brakes. Oh.. the grips were pretty bad as well. I changed them out with some lizzard skin grips.
The suspension setup is great. I love it. The bike handles really well. I think this is a great bike and I can see myself enjoying it for many years to come. the 5" of travel is pretty cush and despite the slack geometry, the bike climbs up really well. I would suggest this bike to any female looking for a good all around mountain bike!
Similar Products Used: Ventana El Chamucho, Redline Flight Monocog 29er
Bike Setup: Fox RL, Fox Float RP2, Hayes Disc Brakes, Titec Hell Bent bars, Shimano XT, Hope quick release seatpost clamps, DMR Mag pedals (REALLY NICE) WTB Diva saddle.
a Cross Country Rider
from Rock Island, IL 61201
Date Reviewed: March 23, 2008
Strengths: Almost everything! The bike's geometry is what sold it for me. With the decreased headset angle (shorter rake), shorter cockpit length, and light weight (for a full suspension bike), handling and maneuverability is very responsive. The bike is well balanced. The bike is comfortable to ride and feels as though it sits more upright. The suspension is plush yet doesn't feel like pedal efficiency is compromised. The Hayes Stroker Ride brakes have a new piston design. While they look a little different, they work quite well. The Kenda Navegal tires are nice.
Weaknesses: The Rapidfire shifting isn't a concept I care for. The shifting is reversed from what I am used to (it shifts to an easier gear with the forefinger, and shifts to higher gears with the thumb). I have other bikes and want them all to shift the same way. To me, it makes more sense to shift quickly to an easier gear versus to a more difficult gear as the Rapidfire does, but that is probably because that is what I am used to. I switched out the Shimano Deore rear derailleur with an XT to go back to comtemporary shifting. The grips aren't very soft and seem pretty cheap. I replaced them with a set of Oury grips. The handlebars were slightly wide for me, so I cut half an inch off of each side. Much better!
I love this bike! I had test ridden a variety of other full suspension bikes (Specialized, Trek, and Gary Fisher) and I also own a Giant Anthem 2. This bike blows them all away! Its handling is so superb to anything else I have ridden. It's is light, surprisingly quick for full suspension, and a blast to ride!
In 2011 and before, the women's version of the Trance was called the Cypher. Starting in 2012, it is called the Trance W. I'm considering getting one of these for my kids. They are young, so standover height is important. What's confusing me is that the Giant webiste lists very different standov ... Read More »