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Living Ghetto Fabulous!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This project came about because my brain works too much when it comes to gear and set-up. I owned an aluminum 2009 Giant Trance X and really liked it. Good pedaling, comfy sizing, and great reliability. I had some issues with it, mostly the geometry. I tend to work more to get a good decent than all around ride, and the old bike wasn't cutting it in the steering department for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, it handled the local trails quite well, but had a twitchy feel for my downhill bias.

Lots of people upgrade their Trance with longer 140/150mm forks, but since I ran the XL size, this became a problem. Giant's spec of a 7.5 inch head tube limited my options when it came to upgrading the fork. I already felt my bar height was too tall to corner the way I wanted on certain twisty trails in my area.

So, I started toying with the idea of getting an all mtn. bike to roll some of the parts from my last bike to. The new Reign came to mind, but it started becoming a problem sourcing a frame. Giant wasn't offering the XL in a frame only, and I didn't like the idea of parting another bike out. The new press-fit BB didn't help matters, as I felt limited in chain guide options. I know they have options out there, but not if I decided to run a 2 ring guide of any type... To make a long story short, the option of getting this frame popped up and I hopped on it. The carbon bike uses a tapered head tube, and it was over half an inch shorter. Both of these factors got my gears turning...

When the frame arrived, I was stunned. Giant crafts exquisite carbon bikes. The attention to detail floored me. I was suddenly caught with the notion that putting used, scratched up parts on it was just wrong. I'm not made of money, so I started thinking of a way to build this bike as nice as possible. Luckily, my other job was really busy at the time so funds were easier to come by.

Fast forward a few months, and the snowball of a project is finished. The bike is full-XTR, with carbon rims, bars, and only weighs 25lbs. 11oz. Here's the spec. list:

FRAME= Giant Trance X Advanced SL size XL
FORK= Rock Shox Revelation RLT Ti 2 position 20mm axle
CHAINRING= Ethirteen 34t
CHAINGUIDE= Ethirteen XCX guide BB mount
STEM= Easton Haven 70mm
HANDLEBAR= Easton Havoc carbon bar 29.75 width
HEADSET= Cane Creek Angleset 1.5deg. cup (HA=67.5 with 13.5 BB.)
CRANKSET= Shimano XTR M980
BOTTOM BRACKET= Shimano XTR
BRAKES= Shimano XTR Trail
TIRES= Continental Trailking UST 2.2 (set up tubeless)
PEDALS= Shimano XTR Trail (will have some platforms too, but not yet.)
SEATPOST= Rockshox Reverb
SADDLE WTB= Silverado SLT
GRIPS= ODI Troy Lee
CASSETTE= Sram XX 11-36
WHEELSET= Easton Carbon Havens
SHIFTER= Shimano XTR
REAR DERAILLEUR= Shimano XTR M980 med. cage
CHAIN= Shimano HG-X 10 speed

Ride report to come, but I gotta say it feels a ton better than the alloy bike. Amazing...











 

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wow very nice!

The only thing I'd look into is a an integrated clamp for your shifter, so you can use one clamp for both your brake and shifter lever. I find that cleans up the bar a lot!
 

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Beer Swilling Clyde
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323 Posts
Enjoy Cliffy, looks like it's going to leave smoke on the trail! From the pics the frame looks great, would love to see one in person. Your not kidding about giant having massive head tubes. I was so close on pulling the trigger on a large reign frame until I realized I didn't have a fork that would fit it.
 

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Living Ghetto Fabulous!
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3,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
macming said:
wow very nice!

The only thing I'd look into is a an integrated clamp for your shifter, so you can use one clamp for both your brake and shifter lever. I find that cleans up the bar a lot!
I have yet to find an integrated set-up that I like. As you can see in the pic, an integrated clamp probably wouldn't have the range I would prefer:

 

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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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2,115 Posts
I have only two gripes with the '11 Giant Trance X (non-Advanced), also in the XL sizeway:

1. Pressfit BB, although snug as a bug, it really limits guide choices to the MRP X.1 and E.13 XCX. Having used the X.1 before on a Tracer VP and Spitfire, I can't say I'm terribly impressed and had some issues with the chain dropping through chop with the slightest of back pedal.
2. Standover is crazy high, especially when coupled with a 140mm fork. However, it looks as though the Advanced model gives a bit more clearance. At 6'4" tall on an XL with a 140mm fork my garbage is almost riding the TT when off the pedals. Initially I tried running the fork at 150mm but it put the BB at almost 14" and the I would be playing rodeo on the TT, so it had to be shimmed down to 140.

Having said all that, the new Maestro suspension is the ducks nuts. Perhaps a little on the soft side, but that's ok in my book. Probably the closest thing to my old Mojo DW Link than I've come across in a couple of years of searching.
One potential issue I have yet to explore and Uncle Cliffy eludes to is the crazy long HT length. I built mine up with a 1-1/8" fork, non-tapered, with the idea of running an Angleset if need be. I can't imagine get much offset with that length HT without running a full 1.5" angleset.

When I built this up back in late 2010 I had the chance to dial in it over a long weekend in Fruita and was blown away by how well it pedalled and soaked up all the dinner plate shale/choppy rocks down there. Fast forward through the winter to earlier this week and I had a chace to ride it on the slower, tech stuff down in Moab. Granted, I was bottoming out the susension down there, but it wasn't harsh and the bike did just fine. Only thing was that I was extremely nervous about those exposed carbon crank arms and expensive XO chainrings so I swapped them out for a 10-speed SLX crankset along with a 36 ring and bashring-it was a wise choice.

Is the bike 'All-Mountain'? I don't know. I don't know what All-Mountain is, but regardless it's a sweet, rippin' Trail Bike.

Sweet build thought UC.

Vanity poacher picture post:

 

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Living Ghetto Fabulous!
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3,749 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
slcrockymountainrider said:
I have only two gripes with the '11 Giant Trance X (non-Advanced), also in the XL sizeway:

1. Pressfit BB, although snug as a bug, it really limits guide choices to the MRP X.1 and E.13 XCX. Having used the X.1 before on a Tracer VP and Spitfire, I can't say I'm terribly impressed and had some issues with the chain dropping through chop with the slightest of back pedal.
2. Standover is crazy high, especially when coupled with a 140mm fork. However, it looks as though the Advanced model gives a bit more clearance. At 6'4" tall on an XL with a 140mm fork my garbage is almost riding the TT when off the pedals. Initially I tried running the fork at 150mm but it put the BB at almost 14" and the I would be playing rodeo on the TT, so it had to be shimmed down to 140.

One potential issue I have yet to explore and Uncle Cliffy eludes to is the crazy long HT length. I built mine up with a 1-1/8" fork, non-tapered, with the idea of running an Angleset if need be. I can't imagine get much offset with that length HT without running a full 1.5" angleset.

Is the bike 'All-Mountain'? I don't know. I don't know what All-Mountain is, but regardless it's a sweet, rippin' Trail Bike.

Sweet build thought UC.
You echo all my thoughts about Giant's design here. I must say though, that your headtube seems shorter than mine just looking at it. What's it measure out to? As far as standover goes, I'd have to try your bike to see how bad it is. I've been on a XL Anthem X, and it wasn't terrible with my 34inch inseam, but my 2009 Trance X was worlds better, even with an inch taller headtube.

The Advanced has a 6.875 HT. With my 1.5 cup, I'm pretty sure I got a full degree of angle change. Currently, my ripper bike is an Intense SS1 with a head angle of around 68 according to my phone. I consider it an accomplishment that this bike is slacker with almost the same BB height. :thumbsup:
 

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GAME ON!
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good thing money was no object because i see quite a lot invested there. also, i'll agree that the xl just looks weird.
 

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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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2,115 Posts
Uncle Cliffy said:
You echo all my thoughts about Giant's design here. I must say though, that your headtube seems shorter than mine just looking at it. What's it measure out to? As far as standover goes, I'd have to try your bike to see how bad it is. I've been on a XL Anthem X, and it wasn't terrible with my 34inch inseam, but my 2009 Trance X was worlds better, even with an inch taller headtube.

The Advanced has a 6.875 HT. With my 1.5 cup, I'm pretty sure I got a full degree of angle change. Currently, my ripper bike is an Intense SS1 with a head angle of around 68 according to my phone. I consider it an accomplishment that this bike is slacker with almost the same BB height. :thumbsup:
It's enormous and the photo doesn't do it justice. A full 2" taller than the HT on my XL Spitfire coming in at 6.5", so not quite a half an inch shorter than what Giant lists your Advanced at.
Upside to this is that with the short HT on the Banshee I wasn't able to transfer the fork over to another bike without replacing the entire crown, I shouldn't have a problem with that given the length on the Trance X.
Oh well, I'm still searching for that Holy Grail of a bike. Getting close.
 
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