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Discussion Starter #1
first time posting, long time user. Looking for advice. currently ride 2016 anthem 27.5=xcountry bike. trails i ride in ny are more techy=rocky, rooty, hilly. not a social rider. ride for the speed, thrill, and exercise. looking for a 29er trail bike between $2k-$3k to go faster and soften the blows more than my anthem. have it narrowed to giant trance 3, salsa horsethief sx, and kona process 134. also, looked at yt izzo and jeffsy but not sure about buying cd. anybody able to compare any of these? thanks and stay healthy.
 

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WillWorkForTrail
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I can compare the Trance to the Horsethief, albeit in higher end trims - in other words, I'm talking about the characteristics of the bike, not the parts on it.

Disclosure: I almost bought a Horsethief. My brother DID buy one (carbon) and I bought a Trance 29 Advance 1. The Horsethief is a little tighter bike - by which I mean it's a little snappier in the steering, a little stiffer in the rear end. You might think of it as halfway between the Anthem you're on and the Trance. Don't translate this to think the Trance is a slow steering bike - used properly it has snappy enough turn-in that it's surprised a lot of my friends that jump on it expecting a tank. What both of the bikes do is pedal well. The Trance certainly has a little more confidence inspiring geometry when you point it down hill, and it's a plusher ride in general. While neither one is a bad bike, I'd still pick my Trance over the Horsethief every time, out of sheer personal preference. All I can explain is the feeling that the bike is the right bike for what I want it to do, which is basically everything except be my single speed or my jump-line bike.
 

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Hey Cotharyus. thanks for the thoughts. surprised to hear you the say the trance was more plush given the greater travel on the horsethief. i assume the difference lies in the geometry you spoke of. glad to hear you thought the both pedaled well - such different platforms i wasn't sure how to compare them.
 

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WillWorkForTrail
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Hey Cotharyus. thanks for the thoughts. surprised to hear you the say the trance was more plush given the greater travel on the horsethief. i assume the difference lies in the geometry you spoke of. glad to hear you thought the both pedaled well - such different platforms i wasn't sure how to compare them.
The Trance being more plush is a factor of the suspension design itself, rather than the amount of it in the rear. A lot can be done with tuning and rates and ratios. It's one reason the Trance is such a deceptive bike to ride. It feels like there's a lot more suspension than it has when you're on the trail, but it still climbs like a short travel bike. I'm obviously biased and like it better, but that's why. It's kind of like cheating.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again Cotharyus. I know Giant has stuck with that suspension design for a while and it works. You definitely have me leaning towards the Trance, plus the price at the level I am looking at is much more attractive than the horsethief. now, i just need some further insight from someone who knows the kona process 134
 

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The Trance being more plush is a factor of the suspension design itself, rather than the amount of it in the rear. A lot can be done with tuning and rates and ratios. It's one reason the Trance is such a deceptive bike to ride. It feels like there's a lot more suspension than it has when you're on the trail, but it still climbs like a short travel bike. I'm obviously biased and like it better, but that's why. It's kind of like cheating.
Any insight on the Trek Fuel Ex line? I would think it would be another solid option in this range.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The ex 5 for $2099 had a few things in the specs i didn't like. shimano deore drivetrain and the alex wheels. thought trance 3 was better for that price. i prefer the drivetrain and wheels of the ex 7 but if i am going to pay $2899 then i think i should just get the yt izzo which seems like a sick bike and carbon for $3000
 

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Did you get any of these? I can’t make any comparisons myself as I’ve only ridden one of them, but I just picked up a Kona Process 134 and absolutely love it, albeit in a 27.5.

I had been riding a lowly Trek Marlin 5 (intro level hardtail), so it’s a major step up for me. That said, I do think the Trek climbs better. I’m not sure if this is because of it being a hardtail, XC, or 29er bike. It might also be that the one big ride I’ve done on the Kona I was already a bit tired before I got to the trail, so it may have just been my body wasn’t up to the task that day.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got a salsa horsethief gx carbon. wasn't planning on that high of a model which goes for $5199 but found it for $3199 and couldn't resist. this is my first 29. have always ridden 27.5. climbs and accelerates faster than my xcountry 27.5 giant anthem. it is heavier though, but i am not noticing. handles amazing with the short stem even with the larger wheels. very fast on downhills. only downside i would say is weight and i thought the pike would be better up front. maybe i don't have it dialed in yet.
 

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NedwannaB
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The process 134 is a fairly mushy pedaler. Kona Process 134 2020 - Linkage Design

Thats for 2020. The previous ~2015 was an extremely mushy pedaler.
Kona Process 134 2015 - Linkage Design

The trance, as long as you run a 30t front ring, goes over 100% and pedals fairly well.
Giant Trance 27.5'' 2018 - Linkage Design
Thats the 18, but I think the 20 is about the same.

Just for comparison, heres a rallon. Rallons pedal like magic.
Orbea Rallon 29'' 2020 - Linkage Design
Trying to figure out why you are giving mixed wheel/dated info for comparison?
 

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I got a salsa horsethief gx carbon. wasn't planning on that high of a model which goes for $5199 but found it for $3199 and couldn't resist. this is my first 29. have always ridden 27.5. climbs and accelerates faster than my xcountry 27.5 giant anthem. it is heavier though, but i am not noticing. handles amazing with the short stem even with the larger wheels. very fast on downhills. only downside i would say is weight and i thought the pike would be better up front. maybe i don't have it dialed in yet.
Where the heck did you find it with that discount??
 
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