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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Considering price is not much of an issue I'm considering either one of these bikes: The Giant because its suspension set-up seems to work really well. The Ibex because it's just such a darn good deal.

Giant Trance 1

Ibex Asta Pro

Here are my specifics: Weight with equipment about 160 lbs, Riding style as fast as I possibly can and I love technical singletrack, Height 5'7", age 45 and my back is starting to hurt from the hardtail pounding.

Mainly I'm looking for a full sus XC bike that will climb a relatively steep rocky hill without giving away much energy to the suspension.
 

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I would go for the trance personally because of the Maestro suspension, and my own preference for the rockshox reba/fox shock/SRAM x.9 over the Manitou/XT setup on the Asta. The '08 Trance is said to be significantly lighter (check the Giant forum), so I would either wait for the '08 or find a '07 on clearance.
If you plan to race seriously you might also want to look at the Anthem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was originally looking at the Anthem, but I'm not comfortable with the quicker response from the larger head angle. And I've also been reading that the rear suspension is almost non-existent. I'm just going to have to find a shop with each, the anthem and trance, and test ride them.
 

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Either choice is going to offer solid a solid pedaling platform and tight spec sheet. The Giant has a great reputation- while I haven't ridden one yet, the press seems to be delighted with the geometry (and especially the Maestro design).

On the other hand the Ibex (which I have ridden) offers up about as much bang for the buck as any bike I'm aware of. Dealing with Jack and company is always a treat- their customer service is without rival in my opinion.

I guess I would base my decision on proximity to a Giant dealer. Since the Ibex is an order only affair, perhaps you should try to demo a Trance 1. Let your feelings on the Giant determine whether pursuing the Ibex is necessary.
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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havent ridden the trance but i can tell you with my experience with the Asta it's an awesome bike... Proven faux bar design and it's light and can take abuse at the same time with good components and awesome cs to boot...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Test rode an Anthem and Trance this weekend

I test rode both of these and needless to say the local shop had a 16 year old who didn't know his azz from a hole in the ground set each up, so it was really hard to see how each is really supposed to feel. What I did notice while riding is that when I tried to jump off a curb edge when I pulled the front end up as I would normally do on my hardtail the rear absorbed the energy and the front just dropped over the curb, it sort of caught me off guard. Other than that when riding either I really didn't notice that the suspension was there both in hard acceleration and braking hard. Since I haven't been able to ride the Ibex Asta are there any noted flaws in the suspension for acceleration or braking that I should be aware of? Weight wise the Asta Pro appears to be right in there with the Anthem 1 which is about 27 lbs.
 
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