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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to upgrade my 2018 timberjack slx HT to a full suspension. I'm leaning towards the 2021 giant trance 3 29. It seems like the best deal out there but would like to consider other options as well. I ride NE Ohio and some western PA with rooty and rocky trails. Just looking for something that will climb well and take some of the beating my butt and back takes on the bumps. Looking to stay under $3000 if possible. Thanks
Here's a link to my comparison
 

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Stock 2021 Giant Trance 29 3: Deore, Bomber Z2
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After much research and perseveration, I bought a Trance 29 3 as it seemed to be among the best values in short travel trail bikes with dealer support. I’ve enjoyed it and have no regrets. I’m on roots and rocks in CT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks. I don’t like buying a bike site unseen and not being able to ride before I buy. I have to buy through giant and ship to store for assembly. Not many options if I want something now. I may wait til spring but can get the trance in a week or 2. Do you know the weight of your bike? Any weak points on the bike? I think almost everything will be an upgrade from what I currently have.
 

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I don’t know the weight. If you were asking about weaknesses, there really aren’t any as compared to the price and bike class. They’ve done a good job choosing what to spend on and the components match the bike.
 

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Get the weight. From somewhere. I'm seeing 30.5lbs. plus pedals. So pretty light for the price.
You'd have to spend more for a Spec Epic Evo at $3800 and upgrade the Reba fork damper for one better option. Link.
I'd prefer that long-term if I were keeping the bike 5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ok that’s a good option and I do intend to keep it for a long time hopefully. But is it $1400 better than the trance? That’s what I’m seeing. It’s a big jump in price to get a better spec bike. Appreciate all the responses.
 

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Back around 2016 or so, I was looking at getting a new bike. At the time, I was pretty underwhelmed at 29ers and got a Yeti SB5c with a 160 fork for Utah riding. I got the weight down to about 26.5 pounds. A couple of years later, my wife made the mistake of going to Europe with my daughter and leaving me alone with the check book!

Really, out of curiosity, I decided to demo some 29ers again (around 2018, when the Trance 29 came out) and was pretty impressed at the improvements in design and geometry as it had evolved. I'm approaching the age of 70 and have kept track of climb times for the purpose of keeping track of my fitness and to quantify differences in gear, so I have years of data.
Anyway, one of the heavier and fastest of the bikes I demo'd was a Trance 29 3. think it was 31 pounds or so. Pretty close to 4 pounds heavier than my Yeti. I set a PR on a local climb (about 45 minutes of climbing - about 1000' as well) on the bike on my first demo ride.

So, a couple of takeaways were that the 29" wheels do the job and weight, while a factor isn't completely decisive.
There were a couple of bikes that were slightly faster on the climb that I demo'd, but not as much fun on the descent.

I ended up getting a Trance 29 Pro 1, but that's just because I need to spend the kids' inheritance, and I ride with my 30 year old son and need to try to keep up. It was funny, because he was on a 26" and I killed him on the climbs until he bought a Ripmo! Then the playing field was leveled and I've been in his wake ever since.

I don't think you can go wrong with the 29 3.
 

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Keep in mind the terrain differences between your location and a western Rocky local.
You're not dealing with 45 minutes of climbing and long downs. You've got shorter ups and downs with rocky/rooty technical ground and trees with sharp turns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is exactly my local terrain:
You've got shorter ups and downs with rocky/rooty technical ground and trees with sharp turns.
What do you think is the perfect bike for this type of trail?
The trance seems perfect for this to me. Shorter travel to take some of the chatter out and not beat me up. I want to ride a little longer and more often but on a HT I feel it in my back, knees and shoulders for a few days. I’m not as young as I used to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Any concerns with the press fit BB on the giant? I hate creaks! I have threaded now and have read the debates when I was looking for my current bike and threaded was a must then. Any changes in the last 3 years?
 

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This is challenging terrain because you don't need that much travel. Imo extra travel takes the challenge out of trails that don't have long high speed runs. And weight is a facter on the steep ups. So every part on the bike contributes to comfort and lightness.
This is a good value available at Costco. $60 for a year membership. Refundable.
INTENSE 951 XC Bike | Costco

Press fit hasn't been a problem for me.
 

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2021 Trance 29 3 size large. 100% stock but for a phone holder, bottlecage, pump holder, and some dirt. Even has tubes. Flat, composite pedals.

33# exactly.

And the Trance 29 is a big long bike compared to older bikes, but I believe it is considered to be pretty nimble by today’s standards.
 

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The Trance 29 only has 115mm of rear travel. But really, any bike in this category these days is probably good. It did seem that around 2017, designs caught up with potential on 29ers. They've probably only gotten better, but if your budget is $2400, the Trance is hard to beat.
If your budget is over $3000, then you could include other bikes, for sure.
I really like the Maestro suspension.
The only time I had a BB that creaked was on a Shimano threaded BB years ago. I've had 5 bikes with PF's and none have ever had a creak at the BB/bike interface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the replies. More info to consider. Budget is around $3000 and the trance at $2400 seems like the best bet but don’t mind spending a little more to get the perfect bike. Well as perfect as possible for the trails I ride. Was also considering the YT izzo for $1000 more with carbon frame. I’m not great working on my own bike so was one reason why I was leaning towards the giant since I have a local dealer. Not sure when any of these bikes will be in stock. Might have all winter to make a decision.
 

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Thanks for all the replies. More info to consider. Budget is around $3000 and the trance at $2400 seems like the best bet but don't mind spending a little more to get the perfect bike. Well as perfect as possible for the trails I ride. Was also considering the YT izzo for $1000 more with carbon frame. I'm not great working on my own bike so was one reason why I was leaning towards the giant since I have a local dealer. Not sure when any of these bikes will be in stock. Might have all winter to make a decision.
If your budget is 3k, I'd continue to research and plan on buying this winter.
Just based on a quick look at the YT, it appears that it's essentially a single pivot - in that the lower link is just rotating around, well, a single pivot point.
I don't know anything about the Costco Intense, but their other bikes are more of a multilink design that would probably be well suited for your trails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok so sounds like I should rule out the YT based on pivot point. What is the best suspension for my type of trail riding? Maestro is good. Any others I should be looking at? Any recommendations on rim width and tire width? I have 40mm and 2.8” now which is 27.5 plus and I know the 29er will be narrow but how narrow should I go? Seems like 30mm is in a lot of bikes. 2.3-2.4 tires.
 

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I’ve been riding a 2021 Trance 29 3 for the last four months and it never seizes to impress me. Absolutely enjoy riding it. I have upgraded all the contact points (handle bar, grips, seat, pedals) and went to an oval chainring. I think it’s an incredibly versatile bike and has a great parts spec for the money. I have no complaints about the drivetrain and the brakes stop me. The Marzocchi rivals quite a few forks that I played around with that cost MUCH more. For the 2 % of the time that the bike was chattery in the rough stuff I still felt it was confident. Many riders in my area are very over biked and have even commented on me be better off on the smoother trails. I respect opinions but there is nothing wrong or lacking with the Trance IMHO. It’s a fun bike if you like going down AND up.
 
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