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I think I'll get TX1, can get a good deal here and already have a buyer for my TA1.

Looking at the flow preview and the weight, TX1 should be much lighter.

Little analysis:
X2 weighs 15kg with heavy 36 Rhythm (around 2.3kg kg), 2.5kg wheels, relatively heavy cockpit, brakes and groupset.

X1 should have 300gr lighter fork, 600-700gr lighter wheels, 200-300gr lighter groupset and 100gr lighter cockpit.

Take the mrp bash off (150gr), total weight with relatively chunky tires should be around 13.5-13.7kg (with pedals?) which is quite light for such bike.
 

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I won’t be buying a bike for a few more months, but I’m a little underwhelmed by the X 3. I am trying to keep the bike under $2500 which that hits, but I’ve heard so many negatives about the SX Eagle. I wish they did the Shimano drivetrain. The rest of the bike is on point with the 2021 Trance 27.5 which is probably going to be my first choice at this point. To get the Eagle drive train decent with the GX spec, I will be spending almost $2500 on the X 3. Maybe I will bite the bullet and spend another $500 on the X 2. That bike looks very nice. I like the color too.

Now how will I convince myself I need to spend $800 more than the trance 27.5 on this new model!?!
 

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I'm curious about the Trance X1, specs on the Croatian distributor site state it comes with Fox Performance Elite 36 GRIP2, however the photo on the Pinkbike article it looks to be FIT4 variant? It's odd.

Here's a composite I made comparing Trance to Trance X
Trance X is at 50% opacity and orange one is regular Trance.
The bikes have been matched at rear axle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I won’t be buying a bike for a few more months, but I’m a little underwhelmed by the X 3. I am trying to keep the bike under $2500 which that hits, but I’ve heard so many negatives about the SX Eagle. I wish they did the Shimano drivetrain. The rest of the bike is on point with the 2021 Trance 27.5 which is probably going to be my first choice at this point. To get the Eagle drive train decent with the GX spec, I will be spending almost $2500 on the X 3. Maybe I will bite the bullet and spend another $500 on the X 2. That bike looks very nice. I like the color too.

Now how will I convince myself I need to spend $800 more than the trance 27.5 on this new model!?!
SX Eagle is a pretty standard spec on full suspension bikes retailing for under $2500 these days. Before SX was released, you would probably get NX, but the differences between the two seem to be pretty minor. As you stated, GX seems to be a bigger step up. There are a few bikes out there around the $2500 price point that have better drive trains, but it typically comes at the cost of sacrificing on other components.
 

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What a disappointment. TX1 comes with Fit4 damper, shop confirmed it today. This puts a damper on my order (pun intended). Seems like X2 is a better buy and then just get even better wheels, decent fork (grip2, pike or lyrik) and ride the groupset till it wears down. The only trouble is the dps shock which is pretty bad even on regular Trance and I wouldn't use it on anything other than xc bike.

Hmmm I think I'll keep my Trance Advanced Pro, it's fantastic with new Pike 140 and I couldn't care less for few millimeters or half a degree here and there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I mentioned it in the Giant 2021 thread, but I contacted my local dealer and their system is telling them first week of November for availability. I assume if shops had already pre-ordered they'll likely have them sooner.

Also, I added the info for the 2021 Trance X 29 to the Geometry Geeks database. This should make it a little easier for those wanting to compare geometry with other bikes.

https://geometrygeeks.bike/bike/giant-trance-x-29-2-2021/
 

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SX Eagle is a pretty standard spec on full suspension bikes retailing for under $2500 these days. Before SX was released, you would probably get NX, but the differences between the two seem to be pretty minor. As you stated, GX seems to be a bigger step up. There are a few bikes out there around the $2500 price point that have better drive trains, but it typically comes at the cost of sacrificing on other components.

I just would have preferred to see the Deore 12 speed instead. I will wait until my LBS gets a few in and I’ll test ride both 27.5 and X 29er and make my decision then.
 

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Seems a good step forward in geometry and I like the flip-chip. Presumably that's not all they have done though? Giant never seems to give out much information like whether the frame is stiffer or if the suspension performs better somehow. To my semi untrained eye it looks like the linkage has been tweaked to resist pedalling forces and increase anti-squat over the regular Trance 29?


Not sure how much I trust those Flow reviews. I sort of got a Trance 29 partly off the back of their positive reviews and pretty photos. Straight away I noticed a few immediately obvious ride characteristics which hadn't been mentioned, like how on earth did they miss this stuff.
 

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Hmmm I think I'll keep my Trance Advanced Pro, it's fantastic with new Pike 140
Is that the regular trance 29? The paint job on the 2021 29er trance advanced pro 2 looks pretty sick! I've heard a lot of good things about the trance 29. My mate has one and he does pretty technical trails. How does the shock go with only 115mm? Ive heard that it feels pretty plush for what it is. A 140 fork on the trance 29 would be interesting. I'm also been checking out the norco optic which has a 140mm pike and the trek fuel ex. I'm thinking a 29er with 130-140mm of travel front and rear would be more than adequate for my needs.
 

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Care to share what you feel they missed on the Trance 29?

Well, starting to head a bit off topic and this possibly won't be popular on a Giant forum ;) but I had the orange aluminium 2019 Trance 1 and...


- The rear hub slips badly. A fairly common problem, Giant has known about issues with this DT Swiss freehub for at least 10 years but keeps specing it. Took months to get this sorted out. Obviously I'm not expecting Flow to mention this if they didn't have the issue.
- The carbon wheels are harsh and not even particularly light. Seems like some companies, not just Giant, are using carbon wheels as window dressing to attract buyers when there's no performance advantage, at least not with these ones, some carbon wheels are amazing. Probably find in a few years Giant brings out new carbon wheels with 'added compliance'. The money would have been better used upgrading the brakes and having a DT ratchet hub to begin with.
- The frame is flexy around the lower link/BB area. Everything tight and too new for wear. Bikeradar's review noted this as well. Look down while putting some power in and there's noticeable side to side wiggle going on. This is odd as my last Trance was fine.
- The Giant 35mm bars are stiff as hell. I really don't get 35mm bars, maybe for a heavy rider but otherwise a smooth and comfortable rider is a fast rider. The bars combined with the wheels made rattling down usually easy trails a bit of a handful.
- The paint chips very easily.
- Part of the chainstay protector sticks out exactly where my heal passes and taps it.
- The rear suspension is spongy under pedalling. I think this is the result of low anti-squat but not helped by the flexy lower link/BB area and a shock tune where the middle setting does next to nothing so the choice is either soft or rock hard. It's also harsh and way too progressive with the volume spacer in.


Some of these were easy enough for me to fix, some weren't. It looked lovely, the geometry was nice and the suspension was poppy but in the end I sold the bike.
 

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Interesting to hear what you have to say. Doesn’t jive with a lot of use have experienced with the bikes, but we all experience these things differently
 

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Yep, undoubtedly a lot of riders will love the Trance and won't notice those things, even prefer it that way. I also imagine it depends what else people have ridden to compare with. Maybe I'm just a serial complainer. Dunno if the normal Trance got reviewed before Will joined Flow from Singletrack. His reviews since have been very detailed and overly stiff wheels came up in the Fuel EX write-up.

But I do wonder if the Trance X might solve a few of those things. Definitely looks like the linkage is a bit different...but I ain't buying one just to find out.
 

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Here are my thoughts on your remarks

- The rear hub slips badly. A fairly common problem, Giant has known about issues with this DT Swiss freehub for at least 10 years but keeps specing it. Took months to get this sorted out. Obviously I'm not expecting Flow to mention this if they didn't have the issue.
I never experienced slipping, but I upgraded my hubs to ratchet relatively early on. Are you saying DT Swiss 370 is inherently faulty? Because it's specced on loads of bikes and I can't say there are major issues with it.

- The carbon wheels are harsh and not even particularly light. Seems like some companies, not just Giant, are using carbon wheels as window dressing to attract buyers when there's no performance advantage, at least not with these ones, some carbon wheels are amazing. Probably find in a few years Giant brings out new carbon wheels with 'added compliance'. The money would have been better used upgrading the brakes and having a DT ratchet hub to begin with.
I'd say TRX wheels are one of the best carbon wheels I've ridden. All carbon wheels are stiff but the Sapim D-Light spokes offer a bit of flex and I can't say they feel particularly harsh and I ride very rocky and chunky terrain. There's very little difference in terms of compliance between these wheels and previous DT Swiss aluminium wheels I've been riding. Just because their advertising isn't up to scratch like some others mentioning "compliance", it doesn't mean the wheels are too stiff.

Futhermore, I'd gladly take these wheels over any other carbon wheels with some generic pawl hub because these can be easily and relatively cheaply converted to Ratchet System which is fantastic and easy to work with.

I've been abusing them for over a year with numerous rock strikes and they have been bulletproof, and I'm no lightweight.

- The frame is flexy around the lower link/BB area. Everything tight and too new for wear. Bikeradar's review noted this as well. Look down while putting some power in and there's noticeable side to side wiggle going on. This is odd as my last Trance was fine.
I'm riding Advanced Pro 1 so I don't know about alu version, but this one is stiffer than the supposedly stiff Pivot Switchblade that I've had with all the SuperBoost nonsense.

- The Giant 35mm bars are stiff as hell. I really don't get 35mm bars, maybe for a heavy rider but otherwise a smooth and comfortable rider is a fast rider. The bars combined with the wheels made rattling down usually easy trails a bit of a handful.
I can't say they're that bad, but most 35mm bars are stiff and these are generic alu bars that work well. I would've liked if they had specced 31.8mm bars like Specialized does but "standards"...

- The paint chips very easily.
That's true, but so does paint on most new bikes. Not that that's an excuse but I guess that's consequence of general industry penny pinching.

- Part of the chainstay protector sticks out exactly where my heal passes and taps it.
I had issues with that but some multipurpose glue fixed it permanently. The bigger issue is that chainstay protector doesn't extend far enough towards the rear derailleur cable port, but it can be fixed with some 3M tape or rubber adhesive tape..

- The rear suspension is spongy under pedalling. I think this is the result of low anti-squat but not helped by the flexy lower link/BB area and a shock tune where the middle setting does next to nothing so the choice is either soft or rock hard. It's also harsh and way too progressive with the volume spacer in.
I guess it depends on your weight and shock setup, but I found it excellent and very efficient for me. If you're light, go for smallest or no volume spacer in the shock. Generally I don't have very good opinion about Fox DPS shock so it's probably better to use some other shock or have DPS tuned to your weight.
 

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I'm not saying they aren't good strong wheels but they are vertically harsh, no doubt about it. Mostly this is down to the rim but the spokes play a part. I'd be surprised if mine had D-Lights, that would indeed change the feel and drop a good chunk of weight. Looked more like Sapim Race or DT Comp. Maybe you have a higher model wheelset? What I can say is swapping to Traverse SL carbon, Stans aluminium or any other wheels I've had and riding over some roots feels like 5-10psi taken out of the tires.

In the end I upgraded to the ratchet as well. I've had DT 370 before and they've been fine, this time not. Look around the interweb and way too many riders find they slip or fail, including this forum. First I read about them slipping was Grannygear on Twenty Nine Inches 10 years ago, funnily enough also reviewing a Giant at the time. Think they've had long enough to sort it out.

I should imagine your carbon frame is stiffer, the aluminium one not so much. :p

I'm 72kg so not that heavy. Tried a few different volume spacers but ended up taking it out completely. Should really have gotten the shock re-tuned so the middle setting did something but in light of the other issues and the fact that I wasn't short on bikes at the time I decided to sell.
 

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Don't agree on the wheels. The trx1 wheels that came on my trance adv 29 pro 2 are just about as good as the SC reserves I have in my fleet. I have 3 carbon wheelsets at the moment and have ridden many carbon wheelsets in my career. The TRX1's are up there in terms of ride quality and durability. They make some odd resonance and noises from time to time, especially if the chain is slapping them, but they perform admirably. Weight is average, but I haven't broken them yet, so I'd say weight is in line with other durable wheel sets.

Regarding pedaling performance, the trance 29 is a pretty solid pedaler. Maestro has been always a little vague in the mid stroke, but that's what gives it the quality of erasing small trail chatter at mid speeds.

The trance 29 is quite flexy across the board. Not really in a bad way in my opinion, but the carbon model is more flexy then other bikes in the category. the aluminum bike is noticeably more flexy then the carbon model. My only experience with the aluminum model was at the industry launch event here in socal. Since then I've been riding the carbon bike and while I notice the frame flexing when climbing off my megatower and onto my trance, i never perceive it as being detrimental to the ride.

Regarding paint... yeah, this generation of giant is allergic to paint. It's advisable to put frame protection on the bike as soon as you get it if you're particular about that. The choice to use a white primer under a color coat was not a good one.

Regarding suspension tuning and volume reducers... you are 8kg (16lbs) lighter then I am. I too chased removing volume reducers as I was initially tuning my trance 29. Overall, I found that the bike performs the best when I start ignoring the amount of travel used and pay more attention to sag and how hte bike feels. Yes, you can remove volume spacers in the shock so that you start bottoming it out more often and usually that also brings with it starting to feel the bottom out events. For me, It's best if I leave some progression in the suspension and let the shock ride high in its' travel. I only use full travel when I really screw up. In my opinion, after living with the trance for over a year, that's what the giant engineers were going for. They seem to have wanted a bike that hide it's 115mm of rear travel and would allow you to go bigger then the numbers would suggest. To that end, I think they are intending to leave 5mm of travel on the table for when things go completely sideways and you inevitably remember at the last second, that you're on a bike with 4.5" of travel.
 

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I think really the ride quality of wheels depends what else you've ridden to compare them to and personal preference. If you like stiff and built to last then these or the SC Reserves will be great. If you want a smoother feel like aluminium and lighter then carbon Mavic, Stans, the older Rovals I have are a lot lighter and smoother without loosing much in lateral stiffness. A lot of carbon wheels now prioritise durability over weight or ride feel and compliance. I know Santa Cruz did this from the start. Possibly in Giant and Trek's case they've also gone this way due to the large number of failures with the previous generation carbon rims. It's a bit like steel frames, go back a few years there used to be plenty of springy, relatively light frames with a great ride feel. Now they're mostly built like bricks to pass tests brought in a few years ago that are basically based on a 250lb rider treating it like a dirt jumper. As designs and engineering improve ride feel will come back into consideration like we're seeing from Zipp and Crank Brothers. Generally pro enduro or downhill riders don't favour the stiffest wheels.

Yeah I noticed the white primer made scratches look worse than they otherwise would. It seemed to chip or flake off way too easily even for this kind of paint. Once there was a small chip I could pick more off with my fingers, not a whole lot holding it on the aluminium. Bit surprised about this and obviously found out too late for frame protection. I've actually had 5 previous Trance models, most have been anodized or clear coat over brushed, much tougher. So Giant knows how to do things properly lol

Had no problems with the mid stroke support or bottoming out without volume spacers. For me no spacers with the correct sag was about right as it used most of the travel when needed but didn't bottom out. The soft sluggish pedalling is the shock tune, some wasted energy going into frame flex and the slightly low anti-squat. It's just not as crisp and solid to pedal as many other bikes these days.
 
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