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both are great bikes. The XCT 1 is better, but the decision to go with it is mostly semantics about how much you want to spend. A fox fork vs. recon gold, lighter groupset. The 2 will work great for just about everything you do for a litle less $ and maybe a pound more.

Comparing the wheelsets.
http://forums.mtbr.com/giant/giant-p-xc-s-xc-wheelset-thread-675185.html
 

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I'd say get the 2
and save the extra loot for some light tubeless wheelset like stans

the 1 will have slightly better giant stock rims, but still heavier wheels
than a stans wheel setup

the 2016 2 (rides identical, frame is identical)
it's just parts spec the frame is essentially same [friggin fast and nimble]


can't go wrong with either one really.
 

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No way the 1 the extra 400 is worth it for fork alone.
 
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