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I just picked up a 2013 Giant Trance. It has upgraded XTR brakes and Cranks and Fox Tales 110-140 front shock. A stock TRance comes with a 120mm Fork.
Coming from snappier rigid bikes, Oded 26er and a Specailized Crave SL I am wondering if going from no squish to 140 mm is just too much right now? When I hit stair steps the 140 give me confidence to take on anything, when things get twisty and tight the front end seems sluggish. I kinda wonder if the stock 120 would have been a good starter for me and with that a 69.5 HA. At 140 its like 68 which is not that slack for the AM catagory but feels wierd on slow tech. I also like simplicity and wish I had got a bike with 1x11 instead of 3x10.
I am having a great time and am amazed at the carpet ride i'm on. Why did I ride rigid for so many years?
Maybe I am a poser and dont want to admit I like XC bikes? . I do ride All of the Mountain and ride it aggressively. Rocks Rocks and more rocks.
Any other bike options, I am open....Trek Remedy, Niner RIP, etc...
Thanks.
 

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Giants are supposed to have some of the best pedal platforms in terms of efficiency. You can also stiffen the front end via preload, spacer, thicker oil, or stiffer springs if you don't need the plushness. 1x10 is also an easy conversion many guys do, and they were doing 1x9 before. There is nothing magical about 1x11 other than it gives you a gear above and below your 1x9 setup, and you get to choose with 1x10. I've ridden a hardtail for years and recently got a rigid SS, I ride it at least once a week and love it. But for trails that are nothing but rocks I would kill for a plush FS bike any day of the week.
 

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Um, maybe I missed where you said you dialed the fork down to 110mm travel to give it a try and see how the handling went :???: If you haven't done this, then this is an easy way to figure out if the HTA with the fork @ 140mm is too slack for you for normal flowy, trail riding. This isthe benefit of having a travel adjust fork, keep it low for the tight twisties and climbs, open it up to slack it out and put the front tyre a bit further out there for the descents.
 

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I just picked up a 2013 Giant Trance. It has upgraded XTR brakes and Cranks and Fox Tales 110-140 front shock. A stock TRance comes with a 120mm Fork.
Coming from snappier rigid bikes, Oded 26er and a Specailized Crave SL I am wondering if going from no squish to 140 mm is just too much right now? When I hit stair steps the 140 give me confidence to take on anything, when things get twisty and tight the front end seems sluggish. I kinda wonder if the stock 120 would have been a good starter for me and with that a 69.5 HA. At 140 its like 68 which is not that slack for the AM catagory but feels wierd on slow tech. I also like simplicity and wish I had got a bike with 1x11 instead of 3x10.
I am having a great time and am amazed at the carpet ride i'm on. Why did I ride rigid for so many years?
Maybe I am a poser and dont want to admit I like XC bikes? . I do ride All of the Mountain and ride it aggressively. Rocks Rocks and more rocks.
Any other bike options, I am open....Trek Remedy, Niner RIP, etc...
Thanks.
Riding longer full suspension and a slacker HA takes different techniques than a rigid/short travel bike with steeper angles. It takes a bit more body English to lean the bike over. Give it some time. I doubt other AM bikes are going to be much different in this regard. Most of this issue is going to be resolved through riding technique.

A few changes on the bike might help a little bit, though. Like others have suggested, play around with the suspension setup: travel, preload (air pressure), etc. If it comes stock with a 120mm fork, I would try setting the TALAS fork to 110 or 120 (if you can). Making changes in the cockpit can also make a difference.

When it comes to smoother, tight, twisty singletrack, a HT or rigid is really hard to beat in terms of shear simple fun factor and razor-like handling. Don't ever expect this bike to handle like a rigid.

Nothing wrong with XC bikes. They will ride (and have been for years) the same mountains and trails that AM bikes do, they just take more skill and attention on the way down.

Regarding the drivetrain: First thing I do with a 3x crank is lose the big ring and replace with a bash ring, shorten the chain, and make it a 2x setup. Going 2x greatly reduces the finicky-ness of the front shifting related to 3x setups (though you do still have the shifter and FD). 1x10 is an option, but you will need to do some creative futzing with it to get a cassette range more than 11-36 (there are many aftermarket cassette/cog product to give you 11-40 or even 11-42 range). 1x11 is still a very expensive option, so I would not lose sleep over not getting it just yet.
 

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The trance is fine with a 140mm fork. You may want to fiddle with the stiffness with front end, either through more air pressure or more low speed compression dampening.

This will stop the front end from diving while braking, or wallowing while making body adjustments or pedaling.

Being so new to you, it will take a bunch of rides to learn this new bike and the riding style required...you will come out a much faster ride though!
 

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Chris Bling
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I made a similar switch, but went from a Rigid Voodoo Bizango to a Kona Coiler with 5'' of coil sprung goodness. Its a change, but one that puts a real smile on your face.

I wouldnt worry about it. My bike had a 180mm fork on it and I loved it
 

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That is a fine amount of travel, there is no need to go with less. It'll jsut take some time to get used to how it reacts. The last thing I'll say is don't think your bike is inefficient if you feel things squishing around while climbing. That bit of give while pedaling may feel like it is robbing you of power (which of course it is to a very small degree) BUT it also allows you to float over rocks, roots, etc and maintain forward momentum far better than even a rigid bike. I switched from a Giant Reign to an 8" Canfield One, and the Canfield is much more squishy while climbing, yet my times on climbs (especially rocky climbs) have been significantly faster due to the bike not slowing down to climb up and over obstacles. I'm even faster than when I was on my old Cannondale hardtail which was significantly lighter. All about that forward momentum.
 

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I was in the same situation as OP recently (although HT had 80mm fork) and now have a 140mm fs/68deg head angle. It was strange getting used to the detached feeling of what the tires are doing, rolling the bike over more in corners, as well as the geometry changes with the longer travel front fork when driving through corners and slow/steep/chunky tech.

As mentioned, I found that keeping the rear end fairly supple and the front end stiffer helped tremendously in most descending situations... FWIW.
 
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