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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm hoping to get some advice on picking a bike. I've got my choices narrowed down to two bikes. It's not really too hard to get it down to a couple of bikes because I'm only 5'3" and there are only a couple of bikes on the market that fit.

I've been confused by the plethora of information and the persuasion of the sales fellow at my local bike shop.

I'd really like to get the Giant Trance XO. I'd have to order it, as no one carries the xs. However, I sized the Trance X1 in xs and it fits very well. The only problem is that I haven't been able to take this bike for a test ride.

On the other hand, I have taken the Trek Fuel Ex 8 WSD for a test ride and it rides very nicely. I've ridden a hardtail my whole life so I am unable to compare full suspension. The sales rep insists that the Trek Fuel Ex 8 has the best suspension on the market and I should buy this bike. He said as the components that I don't like wear out, I can replace them with better parts and have a great frame and great suspension.

I wondered if the Trance XO was considerably superior to the Trek Feul Ex 8? My philosophy is simple. If a person is going to spend $2,500 on a bike... might as well spend $3,500 and get something great.

Is the suspension in the Fuel Ex8 so much better than the Trance XO? If so, how much better?
Does the Trance XO climb better than the Fuel Ex 8?

If there is anyone out there that has sufficient knowledge to help me make this decision, I'd greatly appreciate your advice.
 

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The Trance XO would be more comparable to the Fuel EX9 but I'll assume you're a woman and that's why you choose the EX8 WSD or it fits well. The Trance climbs better than the Fuel, pedal efficiency with no pedal feedback or bobbing is one of the things the Trance's Maestro suspension is known for and the geometry is a bit more suited to climbing with quite a forward riding position.

The suspension are different as I have already explained the Trance is slightly more suited to pedalling but still very plush and responsive and the Fuel EX is slightly more suited to bump absorption and the geometry is more suited to downhill, they are minor differences in the ride but they're noticeable and they're both great rides.

Components wise the EX8 WSD is pretty low end compared to the Trance X0 so between those 2 models there will be a big difference in ride, quality, life span and weight but less so between the EX9 and Trance X0 but I'd go with the Trance XO personally.:thumbsup:
 

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kcountrybiker said:
The sales rep insists that the Trek Fuel Ex 8 has the best suspension on the market and I should buy this bike.
I think you should take the salesman's comments with a grain of salt. The Trek Fuel might have a good suspension (I don't really know), but I seriously doubt that it's the best on the market. I took a look at a picture of the Fuel on Trek's web site, but was unable to get a look at the bottom pivot(s). I suspect that it's a single-pivot.

If so, you should give serious consideration to the Giant Trance that you have your eye on. My understanding is that its suspension is similar to that of the DW-Link, and the DW-Link is a very good suspension indeed.
 

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kcountrybiker said:
If a person is going to spend $2,500 on a bike... might as well spend $3,500 and get something great.
i have never ridden a Trance and so have no comment on that. i have ridden Trek Fuels as far back as 2000. the new model Fuel EX8 (or maybe 7) and above (including WSD EX8 i think) use a new suspension design. there is an additional pivot centered on the rear axle. the difference in ride quality between the new and old designs is like day and night. at 5'5.5", i think my 15.5" EX9 frame is a hair small for me (but next size up is a bit big). i am well centered on the bike. i can easily shift weight back (for downhill) and weight forward (for uphill). i have no issue keeping the nose down on steep climbs without having to sit on the edge of the seat or hug the bars. this model (and the older models using slightly more aggressive geometry) all climb very well.

i recommend you test ride both bikes before making a decision.
 

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was in the same position (now debating between an ex8 and an sc heckler) but, i did demo a trance x0 and a fuel ex 8.
i liked the suspension setup of the trance slightly better than the trek (but maybe ithis was the right amount of air was put into the shock vs. my weight on the giant). the giant has you sitting more upright while the trek has you leaned more forward. both seemed great on the trails, i like the standover on the giant. personally, i like the trek over the giant here though because i liked the way it streered faster and because i had fewer pedal strike incidences due to the higher BB.
 
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