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HI

I posted in the "thinking of buying" thread and was advised to repost in the Giant section...so, here goes:

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Hi all

I'm a first-time poster and thought I'd start in this section, as I'm in the market for a new ride. I have some ideas of what I want to get, so please send me whichever direction you feel is appropriate, given my questions....just getting a feel for the site...

I've been riding for about 4 years. First had a HT and then got my current bike - A Gary Fisher Sugar 3+ disc in 2002. The Sugar is set up as follows: Manitou Black Elite shock (hate it), Cane Creek AD-5 rear (ok), Mavic Rims, XT wheels, Avid mechanical disc brakes, and mostly unremarkable stuff from there. It's been a good bike, but I'm ready to upgrade.

Here in Chico, CA, we ride a lot of lava rock and technical stuff. Personally, I am not one who enjoys going fast downhill and usually ride with people who blow past me on the down, then I catch up on the uphill. So, something lighter but can still take a decent hit from time to time would probably be good. Again, I can spend about $2k.

The main reason I picked that amount is that I've been loyal to this one bike shop in town that has treated me quite well. I am NOT a "tinkerer" at all and the bikes I"m bought from them have come w/ free lifetime maintenance which I have been more than happy to take advantage of.

So, the bike they are raving about is the Giant Trance series. I've ridden the Trance 3, but there are no 2's in stock - especially to demo (e.g. on a real ride and not on the pavement). They also deal in Santa Cruz and Gary Fisher.

I'm open to not buying from them, but the circumstances would need to be right. My main questions - aside from general recommendations are these:

(1) What sort of improvement will I see in real-life riding between my Sugar and something like the Trance 2?

(2) Do people actually dump thousands of dollars on a bike without taking it on a "real" ride? There are so few demo's available, I guess I was lucky that I got to take my Sugar out on the dirt...what's the normal practice?

(3) What are your opinions on the $2k price point? I picked it because I was willing to spend it on the Trance 2....but would I be better off a few hundred more or less?

(4) I eventually would like to post about how much I can expect to get for my Sugar and where to best post an ad...do I discuss that here or in another section?

Thanks for your time. I look forward to reading your replies!

matt
 

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Bought a Trance 2

Matt-

I researched for about 9 months. Looked at Cake 2, VT1, Epic, Jekyll, Reign 2 and then Trance 2. They say save the best for last. The bike seems pretty solid. It got the bike of the year award and the warranty is pretty good. My shop had a demo but it wasn't in my size so I didn't take it out for a dirt ride prior to purchasing. It was a concern at first to drop that kind of money without a "test drive" but you could just feel it even in the parking lot. The head angle is steep enough that it gives a tight feel to it when going around objects. I actually haven't ridden "my" bike yet because they are assembling it as I write but the Trance 1 in my size was the one I rode in the lot and it felt good. I also got mine for under the $2000 msrp ( about $1750) and my shop has a similar lifetime adjustment policy. These bikes are backordered here in MN so if you are interested ride one and buy one
 

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well Matt, you may not liking "going fast downhill" right now but if you get a Trance you soon will come to love it :D I have a Trance3 and am very happy with it. The suspension design is excellent and it rides like a dream, decends like a mountain goat and climbs just as good (rider technique excluded ). Takes the odd drop pretty nicely, especially if you commit properly to it :D Did launch off a 1ft rise on a trail this weekend, ended up at the take off for the 2nd rise-about a 10-15ft length to landing, doing about 20-25mph on hardpack clay/mud- Pre-Loaded the suspension before I hit the rise and the bike landed solid.

I bought my bike without even seeing a physical bike- don't live close enough- but the rave reviews people were giving them and the Reign's I figured they had to be good. Price was good (got same deal as you $1400 for T3 and offered $1750 for T2) I went with the T3 cause of availability and didn't want to wait 3-4 more weeks, components on the T3 were good enough to use right off and just upgrade as they wear or break, or I get spare cash :D

Trance 2 is a great bike and well worth the money, can't comment on any other design - no one else has 1 down here.
 

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kiva said:
(2) Do people actually dump thousands of dollars on a bike without taking it on a "real" ride? There are so few demo's available, I guess I was lucky that I got to take my Sugar out on the dirt...what's the normal practice?

matt
Thousands? Well no, at least not me. I've actually been ready to buy a 2004 NRS 2 for about 9 months now from LBS, but they won't let me so much as take it for a spin in the parking lot. The upside is the bike is STILL in their showroom and has been discounted a few dollars. The downside is now the Trance 2 is also in the showroom now and I wonder if maybe that's the bike for me instead of the NRS 2. Too bad for LBS, $1500 to $2000 could be theirs if only...I really had my heart set on that NRS, but now another shop has a 2004 Kona Kikapu deluxe also discounted, maybe they will win the "can I ride it" sweepstakes.

Currently riding a HT, but FS is starting to look real good to my 34 year old bones.
 

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Have Trance2 Love it so far

I rode the Trance2 last fall not long after they were released and had one of those "moments" where you think you are in bike heaven. I rode it on a wet snowy day at -5 C. Being that this bike was the only one of its kind in many miles and it was very slippery, I was very cautious at the start about where and how I rode it. Two hours later I was hammering up hills and jumping sets of stairs, completely confident in the bike's handling of the conditions. When I returned to the bike shop and waited for the Trance to drip dry, the owner asked me what I thought about the bike? I told him, I think I want this bike. However, being my friend, he pointed out half a dozen other bikes which cost $500 more and said ride those before you decide. A week later, I asked him if he had any other T2's on order. He said yes, but delivery was "whenever". I put a deposit on the bike and have not looked back since.
The ride is so plush that I cannot believe how efficient the bike is to pedal. I have been riding it every day for the last three weeks and have improved on my best times from last fall on every trail I have ridden. It is nimble at slow navigation through rocks, yet seems to be perfectly stable soaking up bumps and dips at 40 kph on the fire road hills.
I replaced the pedals with CBros. Mallets and the shifters with SRAM Rockets and have been impressed with both changes.
I still think that a test ride is in order, because you can see how much more money you can spend to get the same ride.

Good luck,

BTLG
 

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I took a Trance 2 for several "urban test rides". My LBS didn't have one in stock, but luckily the guy I was working with at the shop owned one (though a 16" - I ride an 18") and he let me take it for several rides over the course of about a week. During this time I also was able to ride the owner's custom build Trance (18" - all Fox suspension w/ full XTR). At the end of the week it stood head and shoulders about the rest of the bikes I had ridden on my agonizing (or so my wife says) two month stint of researching what bike to buy. I placed my order last week. Now I just have to get through the next seven weeks (so I'm told) before I have it in my hands.

Just for comparison sake, during this time I looked at the Gary Fisher Big Sur Disc, the Gary Fisher Cake 2, the Specialized Stumpjumper Disc, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Disc 100, Kona Dawg Primo, and several others I can't remember right now. I pretty much had the door open too everything.
 

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I just rode Foresthill and Clementine yesterday with a friend that was riding a trance 2. He put a taller stem and bar on it and it fit like a perfect all around trail bike. I was riding my vt2. He passed me on the uphills and was right with me on the down hills. I was impressed with the components and the fit.
 
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