XTC has a Fox fork, 15mm TA, tapered head tube, 10 spd drivetrain. Seems like a no brainer to me - its the bike I am picking up in a month for those reasons. I am in the same boat as you, with regards to price range, and this one quickly knocked off all others on my short list.
I have spent the last 4 months riding both of those bike over and over to determine which I wanted. At first, it was the Paragon over the XTC 1, and the reason for that was the particular test ride I took. I had ridden the XTC a couple times like most of us do. I showed up at the shop in street clothes and just hopped on and rode. The day that i rode the Paragon, I rode my current bike to the shop after about 15 miles of urban riding and climbing. The Paragon test ride felt fantastic. I figured this was the bike, then I realized I had not given the XTC it's due, so I arranged a similar test for it. This time the XTC shined.
In the end, it came down to who seemed to want to sell me the bike the most and who did I feel would be there for me afterwords. Component wise, it is was a toss up to me.
As of the past Friday afternoon, I officially own this.....:thumbsup: (and yes, those stupid reflectors have been removed
The nice thing about the Paragon is that it has a slacker head tube angle but still has quick handling due to the offset fork. This is especially nice on descents since you feel very stable and confident. If you feel this is something you would benefit from, go with the Paragon. Otherwise, go with the Giant as it is a very nice bike.
Both nice bikes. I ended up with the Paragon because I liked the handling slightly better and because the wheels are a snap to set up tubeless. Also had a good rapport with the Trek dealer. But the Giant is a solid bike and I'm sure I would have been happy with is also.
Giant XTC 1. Handles better due to better geometry. I rode both bikes and found the XTC to be more responsive and quicker. The LBS owner liked the XTC he got me so much he went and bought one for himself.
I feel like these kinds of threads are pointless. People are usually split 50/50 on good products so I guess that means "you win either way." but really this would not help me decide.
I have an XTC. Giant makes Treks... so you can have the real thing or pay extra for a name and some "breakthrough geometry." Giant is the kind of company that sits and watches what others are doing, they pick features that make other bikes great and put them into their own. I have heard only good things about both bikes :thumbsup:
I have the Stumpjumper EVO and love everything about it. It climbs and descends very well, couldn't be happier. I was looking at the XTC but only got a chance to test the XTC 2. Still a very nice bike, and you will be happy with whatever you end up with.
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