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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Purchased a 2009 Trance X3 locally a few months back. It is my first "real" modern mountain bike and I've begun riding 5-6 times a week and hitting my trainer on my road bike as well. I've also gotten into a couple of cross country type race situations etc.. In short, a lot of situations I wasn't really anticipating when I purchased this bike. My expected use was more toward the end of hanging out with friend's riding single track and hitting some jumps.

I love the bike (obviously it has been the catalyst for all this riding I've been doing) but I'm tempted to pick up a hard tail in order to be more competitive on the cross country type trails that hold the races here in MN. If i went that route I would also likely be looking to pick up another bike stricly for "downhill"/"park" type activities.

What are your thoughts?

what could I sell this bike for? $1400-1500? if I sold it what could I really move into that would be a huge improvement for my usage without breaking the bank? I watched a very nicely equipped XTC alliance go for $1500 yesterday... but I know if i had one of those I'd also need another bike for screwing around on.

What could I hit on this bike for reasonable $$$ that would greatly improve it's single track cross country performance? (aside from running some skinner/faster tires- I've already picked up 2.5" timberwolfs for mud/winter and 1.9 nevegal lights for "race")

lastly, why doesn't Giant offer a 26-28 lb 29er cross country bike... might not get the support to go 29" from the Giant crowd, but it might be the logical step?

thanks a lot
 

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I'm much faster in every situation on my 08 TX2 than I ever was on my hardtail. It's light and very efficient, and much easier to carry speed through the rough stuff. Plus it's much cheaper to improve your legs than your bike.

If you are really serious about racing get an anthem or something like that, IMHO.

I ditched my slow rolling nevagl tires in under 2 weeks, so you could just look into a more efficient faster rolling tire (high roller, SB8, hutchinson spider, tire of your choice ...). My 2.3 spider out rolls the 2.1 stic-e up front with ease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Craptasticycle said:
I'm much faster in every situation on my 08 TX2 than I ever was on my hardtail. It's light and very efficient, and much easier to carry speed through the rough stuff. Plus it's much cheaper to improve your legs than your bike.

If you are really serious about racing get an anthem or something like that, IMHO.

I ditched my slow rolling nevagl tires in under 2 weeks, so you could just look into a more efficient faster rolling tire (high roller, SB8, hutchinson spider, tire of your choice ...). My 2.3 spider out rolls the 2.1 stic-e up front with ease.
i will do what i can with my legs. i guess- is there a reasonable $ upgrade? whats the weakness of he bike now?
 

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2silent said:
i will do what i can with my legs. i guess- is there a reasonable $ upgrade? whats the weakness of he bike now?
I guess if you are racing flat out you could probably use a shock with a lock out, I've never really noticed but others say the feel some bob when they are really putting down the power.

Haven't checked the specs of the 09's - but since the TX3 is roughly the same as my older TX2 I'd assume you could get some much better wheels, but that's not necesarily a cheap upgrade.

I also had to replace the cheap POS sram 950 cassette on mine, the pin that holds it together had backed out / got lost and the whole thing was flexing, but I don't think they use the same one anymore so maybe not an issue.

The race face ride components aren't horrible, but they aren't necesarily lightweight either and seatposts, handlebars, stems are cheap enough that it might be woth the $/gram if you want to loose a little weight.
 

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Before you go selling your dual suspensiona and buying a hardtail, I'd see if someone you know has a spare hardtail they could let you ride a few times. Then see if you really want to get into that or not.

If you plan on getting task specific bikes, keep the Trance and buy an Anthem. If you just want to have one versatile machine, get a lighter cogset, and some lighter wheels. That's where you are going to feel the weight the most. Does your fork have travel adjust? It might be a good idea to get one with that feature so you can dial it down an inch or so to attack climbs better in a race. I wouldn't really worry too much about having a super lite bike for amateur racing. Its more about fitness in that class than it is about having the lightest bike out.

A dual suspension is going to be more versatile than a hardtail. The maestro system is already very efficient. If you really feel like you need a firm rear and you don't have a lockout, just put a bunch of air in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In all honesty I've never "noticed" any bob or lack of response out of the bike on a sprint or climbing- I'm very impressed with the suspension dynamics of the bike.

Maybe it makes sense to get a lighter wheel set- what would be a significant upgrade over my laser disc "trails"? I did have two sets for my last bike as well- but one of them was a "cross" style.

how can I get more of a performance handling "feel" out of this bike? As much as anything else that's what I'm looking for. I don't want to loose the stability/comfort of the bars and stock geometry (I am 5'11" and ride a medium with the stem lowered 1/2" below stock to help me climb) but I'd love to feel like I could be quicker/more accurate through tight single track sections.

I realize a large part of the above is likely mostly to be iproved through increasing skill and seat time- which I hope riding as much as I have been and in the winter will also help with.

What would be some lighter bars/stem etc. that I could swap to which would maybe improve the handling without hurting the stability too much?
 

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2silent said:
In all honesty I've never "noticed" any bob or lack of response out of the bike on a sprint or climbing- I'm very impressed with the suspension dynamics of the bike.

Maybe it makes sense to get a lighter wheel set- what would be a significant upgrade over my laser disc "trails"? I did have two sets for my last bike as well- but one of them was a "cross" style.

how can I get more of a performance handling "feel" out of this bike? As much as anything else that's what I'm looking for. I don't want to loose the stability/comfort of the bars and stock geometry (I am 5'11" and ride a medium with the stem lowered 1/2" below stock to help me climb) but I'd love to feel like I could be quicker/more accurate through tight single track sections.
Well the laserdisc are already a solid medium weight trail tire. So going lighter probably means a race specific higher dollar wheel-set that you only put on for race day. If you don't already, you could get some really light tires, too. And don't forget about that rear cassette. Even a high-end/lightweight casette (XT or X9) is a relatively cheap upgrade that you WILL feel the difference.

If you want quicker steering you could do a couple of things:

Drop front wheel travel an inch. For this, It would make sense to get a travel adjustable fork.

Or, you coule play with stem lengths. Off hand, I don't know enough about that to suggest it right here, but plenty of people here do. You could also probably go to your bike shop and work with them. I'm sure they have a bunch of stems lying around that you could bolt on real quick until you find what you like, then buy a quality stem in that length/angle.

Another thing that could liven up your bike's feel are grips. If you don't have this style already, you could try some of those thin grips that are kind of popular now. Some people really feel it allows them more control and they like the more "connected" feel. I personally get hand numbness from thin grips, so I run Ergons. But if you can take it, you might like it.

I'd say a good starting combonation would be getting a lighter cassette, some lighter tires, and dropping the front an inch (with a new fork if you can't do that with your current fork). Those things combined should definitely make your bike feel more responsive and it actually will be, too.
 

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chameleoneel said:
Well the laserdisc are already a solid medium weight trail tire. So going lighter probably means a race specific higher dollar wheel-set that you only put on for race day. If you don't already, you could get some really light tires, too. And don't forget about that rear cassette. . .
I agree with this completely.

You can also quicken the steering by cutting your bars, or buying flat narrow bars, as well as getting a shorter stem (IMO, Giant tends to spec "too long" stock stems on their bikes).

You can also make your Trance X feel more "responsive" by lowering the bars further (lowering the stem, or even flipping it). This will allow you to weight the front end a little more, helping you carve the bike through turns a bit better. There's always a compromise, though. In this case lowering the front further may make it a little harder to pop the front-wheel over obstacles, and may make riding gnarly descents a little more challenging. The changes will likely be subtle, but real.

There are advantages and disadvantages to any of these changes, so use the search function on mtbr before you try any changes.

BTW - Maestro is very efficient and the Trance X frame is fairly light, IMO. I think it is worthwhile to play with your set-up and purchase a light wheelset before you decide to sell your ride.

What is your current set-up, btw? Stem length? bar width? # of spacers beneath the stem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
antonio said:
I agree with this completely.

You can also quicken the steering by cutting your bars, or buying flat narrow bars, as well as getting a shorter stem (IMO, Giant tends to spec "too long" stock stems on their bikes).

You can also make your Trance X feel more "responsive" by lowering the bars further (lowering the stem, or even flipping it). This will allow you to weight the front end a little more, helping you carve the bike through turns a bit better. There's always a compromise, though. In this case lowering the front further may make it a little harder to pop the front-wheel over obstacles, and may make riding gnarly descents a little more challenging. The changes will likely be subtle, but real.

There are advantages and disadvantages to any of these changes, so use the search function on mtbr before you try any changes.

BTW - Maestro is very efficient and the Trance X frame is fairly light, IMO. I think it is worthwhile to play with your set-up and purchase a light wheelset before you decide to sell your ride.

What is your current set-up, btw? Stem length? bar width? # of spacers beneath the stem?
i am running all stock parts up front with the stock stem dropped 2 spacers (about half an inch). i found i could climb much more effiiently with just that littlele change. i do have a few non-stock sets of tires and will run something light for races. i dont really want to lose travel- as if this continues to be my only bike it will get used for some jumping and park riding as well.
 

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What are the stock stem length and bar width on a medium? Just curious.

For reference, I'm 5'10" and ride a medium. When using the stock F120 fork, I run a 90mm 6 deg stem, 27" Easton lo-rise bars, and run about an inch of spacers over the flat headset cap (not the cone cap). I'm pretty happy with the sharpness of steering with this set-up.

BTW - I also wouldn't lower the fork travel. I'd get a new bike designed around a shorter fork before I did that.
 

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Since you're using this bike for jumping and park riding as well as serious cross-country, you will be better off buying 2 purpose-built bikes, or at least purchasing a hardtail like a STP for jumping and park. You will waste that Trance X frame by jumping it too often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yeah- that is a good idea for sure.

I guess maybe I need to shift my thinking a bit and accept this bike as "cross country" (although i do want to clean up the handling a bit in the tight stuff still)--- then look for something more appropriate for the free ride end of things.

I guess my initial thought was that it made more sense to replace this bike with a bike more in the cross country end of things AND with one more free ride oriented. However, the more I think about it I may not need to go more "cross country".

I am coming out of riding a 1996ish Marin Pine Mountain (old school hardtail obviously) and I think i'm so used to that traditional geometry feel that i'm biased against thinking of this bike as a good cross country bike... despite all evidence to the contrary (I am certainly much faster on this bike than the old one).



I've got a nice snow ride planned for tomorrow- will probably be pretty serious with the amount of snow we've had recently.

-Drew
 

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Was in the same boat as you

I also got an 09 TX3 back in Aug and for a few weeks there wished I'd got the anthem x. But for the type of riding I do the TX is most appropriate and I am going to stick with it for another year at least.

I switched to SB8s some time ago and it's a whole new bike. I'll prob try the crossmarks next for slightly better cornering. Oury grips are far better than stock. I slammed the stem also and that's a huge diff..
I'm going to wait a bit to get a 2nd set of fast/light race wheels but shortly I'm upgrading to the following:
XT cassette (prob XT chain too)
XT shifters (the crap stock ones don't allow moving the brake levers to the inside and they're heavy I'm sure)
Thompson elite post and stem
Monkeylite SL bar

I figure the above will make quite a diff in the weight dept and drivetrain perf.

After that I'll build a wheelset and get XT cranks. If you want a race bike get one but keep the trance..it's a great bike..and it'll do fine racing unless your expert/pro and really serious about a few seconds here and there. I found that at first my lap times really hurt coming from a lighter more aggressive hardtail but now that I'm used to the bike I'm just as fast and a hell of a lot fresher after (and during long rides).
 

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OK, I'll answer the 29er question first ............ Who the fcuk knows :madman: I was happily rocking an original Trance2 upgraded to full XT until I found out about 29ers and switched to a niner RIP9 and am so glad I did :thumbsup: It rides just like the Trance, but with just slightly better suspension and the 29er wheels and advantages.

On the racing and Trance X3, here are my thougts...........The TranceX is a 5" trail bike and is a very worthy AM bike and can be built up from lightweight more XCish to more AM/light FR and work very well in either. My advice would be to look at picking up a nice light HT if that's what you think you could use for racing, kit it out as light as you can afford, try to spec it with at least LX/X7 if not higher end components - although not too found of them, if you can wrench on your own stuff check out Bikes Direct for one of their very cheap, but well specd out HT's. That bike right there is ready to race, right out the box and prob around 24-25lbs.

Treat yourself to a nice set or race day only wheels that could be swapped between both the HT and FS for race day. Something like American Classic hubs laced to Stans ZTR355 rims, coming in somewhere around 1500g and tubeless capable - go tubeless, it's huge, sorry I waited as long as I did.

Next, ditch that boat anchor excuse of a casstte called the PG950 - that thing weighs in just shy of 1lb @ 448g, ditch it and buy a XT cassette and loose 1/3lb right there. Don't go XTR as the very slight weigh savings is not worth the more than double price of XT, also don't go SRAM as their PG990 is about 50g heavier than XT and normally costs more.

Next, ditch the Nevegals. While they are a FANTASTIC tyre for trail riding and really give tonnes of grip, they suck down like you're riding on fly paper and roll like crap - I loved them on my Trance as a trail tyre. Go for something race oriented in the form of a Schwalbe Raacing Ralph or Furious Fred, HUTCHINSON Python, MAXXIS Crossmark, KENDA Karma or Small Block 8. You'll loose prob 1/2lb+/200g+ going to the lighter race oriented tyres and rotational weight is where you notice lost weight THE MOST.

Last and not totaly nescessary, upgrade your shifters on the Trance to XT's, the difference in shifting quality is huge and it'll make riding that much more enjoyable.

If you're serious about it I think going this 2 bike route will work out well and not completely break the bank. As for where to get this stuff, well Bikes Direct for a reasonably priced, well specd HT and then I recomend you contact [email protected] for the wheels and other stuff, tell him LyNx told ya to check him out. My guestimates price wise......wheels should run about $600-$650, XT cassette about $60, tyres=$60-$80 depending on what you chose, XT shifters $80-$100 (if Larry can find the older M760 version they'll be cheaper and I personally prefer them).

Highly recomended....Ergon grips :thumbsup: I won't ride a bike that doesn't have them ;) I use the GX1's on my RIP9 where I ride more technical stuff and the MAG R2's onmy commuter/rigid Karate Monkey and will switch to a bar end type on the RIP9 if I'm endurance racing. So worth the money it just isn't funny.

Hope this helps.

2silent said:
.......................................
I love the bike (obviously it has been the catalyst for all this riding I've been doing) but I'm tempted to pick up a hard tail in order to be more competitive on the cross country type trails that hold the races here in MN. If i went that route I would also likely be looking to pick up another bike stricly for "downhill"/"park" type activities.

What are your thoughts?

...................................................................
What could I hit on this bike for reasonable $$$ that would greatly improve it's single track cross country performance? (aside from running some skinner/faster tires- I've already picked up 2.5" timberwolfs for mud/winter and 1.9 nevegal lights for "race")

lastly, why doesn't Giant offer a 26-28 lb 29er cross country bike... might not get the support to go 29" from the Giant crowd, but it might be the logical step?

thanks a lot
 

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Shimano's top of the line components are XTR, under those are XT. Under XT was for a time LX but those were re-engineered for the European crowd. SLX is now more of their base decent derailleur, its not bad but I would look at XT or XTR if its your price range.

I can also tell you I came from a FS bike (Giant NRS) to a hardtail bike after getting back into it, and I can already tell you im going faster than I ever have while having more fun doing it. There are definitely times I miss that rear shock, on the downhills especially, but the majority of the time im glad my bike is as light as it is, the thing flies.
 

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I think you might have missed the point.......start at the outside and work your way in to drop weight that makes a diffference. Start with the wheels, tyres and casssette. Then move on to what ever other components are bolted onto the frame itself. I won't kid you, having a nice, fast, smoot shifting drive train is nice, but not nearly as nice as having a nice, well built, light set of snappy wheels & some light tyres.

As nrs said, the SLX is in position where LX used to be, so I'd hold on to that until it breaks. The biggest thing on your drivetrain that "needs" changing is that cassette and it won't cost much to do. Also in my experience the crankset isn't very good (if that's the same one that uses the ISIS BB) I had a bad time with mine, BB went bad in no time and the rings were crap. Best deal right now you could do on a decent, light enough crankset is the older M580 external LX Hollowtech2's.

Forgot to mention if you're going to race the trance, that yes having a lockout/PP to me helps alot and I can feel the difference when it's engaged on flat/smooth terrain - especially when climbing. So maybe look about for a well price/used RP2, RP3. If you won't be racing it or will only race it on the rougher courses, no need to replace the FloatR.
2silent said:
thank you very much!

I think I am going to swap as much of the drivetrain as possible-

how bad is my SLX rear derailure?
 
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