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I started looking at hardtail MTB's (in the range of ~$1500) but after going to a few shops and actually considering the riding i intend to do decided to give the dual suspension bikes a look. The first store i looked at had a good range of giants, and the salesman (a very helpful one at that) has pointed me in the direction of the Giant Trance series. I was quoted $2200 for the basic X3 and $2900 for the higher X2 (X1 is way out of budget). The salesman tried to steer me to the X2 but i dont know if its worth the extra money. The specs for each are as follows:
X3 followed by X2 in bold sorry its a bit hard to read, easier to compare side by side though i guess....
Frame --- ALUXX SL FluidFormedâ„¢ alloy Maestro 5.0â€ travel --- ALUXX SL FluidFormedâ„¢ alloy Maestro 5.0â€ travel
Fork --- Fox 32 F125 RL w/15QR axle & tapered steerer, 4.9â€/125mm --- Fox 32 F125 RL w/15QR axle & tapered steerer, 4.9â€/125mm
Shock --- Fox Float R --- Fox Float RP2 w/XV sleeve & boost valve
Handlebar --- Giant Connect oversize alloy 670mm x 19mm rise --- Giant Connect SL oversize alloy 670mm x 19mm rise
Stem --- Giant Connect oversize alloy, 4 bolt, 8 degree --- Giant Connect SL oversize alloy, 4 bolt, 8 degree
Seatpost --- Giant Connect oversize alloy micro-adjust 30.9 --- Giant Connect SL oversize alloy micro-adjust 30.9
Saddle --- Fiâ€™zi:k Gobi XM w/Manganese rail --- Fiâ€™zi:k Gobi XM w/Manganese rail
Pedals --- Shimano M520 SPD clipless --- Shimano M520 SPD clipless
Shifters --- Shimano Deore rapid fire 27 sp. --- Shimano SLX rapid fire 30 sp.
Front Derailleur --- Shimano Deore 9 sp. 34.9 --- Shimano SLX 10 sp. 34.9
Rear Derailleur --- Shimano SLX Shadow 9 sp. --- Shimano Deore XT Shadow 10 sp.
Brakes --- Shimano M445 hydraulic w/7â€ front & 6â€ rear rotors --- Avid Elixir 5 hydraulic w/7â€ front & 6â€ rear rotors
Brake Levers --- Shimano M505 hydraulic --- Avid Elixir 5 hydraulic
Cassette --- Shimano HG50 9 sp. 11-34T --- Shimano HG81 10 sp. 11-36T
Chain --- Shimano HG73 9 sp. --- Shimano HG74 10 sp.
Crankset --- Shimano Deore 22x32x44T---Shimano SLX 24x32x42T
Bottom Bracket --- Shimano BB71, press fit---Shimano BB71, press fit
Rims --- Giant S-XC2 Sport, double wall, alloy 32H disc --- Giant P-XC2 Performance, eyeleted, double wall, alloy, 32H
Hubs --- Fr: Giant Tracker 15QR | Rr: Shimano M475 9sp disc --- Fr: Giant Tracker 15QR | Rr: Shimano M525 10sp disc
Spokes --- 14G & 15G stainless --- DT Swiss Competition 14/15G butted stainless
Tires --- Kenda Nevegal, Stick-E front, DTC rear, 26 x 2.1â€ --- Kenda Nevegal, Stick-E front, DTC rear, 26 x 2.1â€
The specs above are all 'Jargon' to me at this stage as i'm new to the scene, so my question is ... is the X2 worth the extra over the X3 for me as a beginner? The type of riding i will be doing is mainly fire trails (occasional very hilly sections) and to and from the bush along the side of the road.
Another shop i have been to has Merida's, and a Merida 'One-Twenty 800-D' was recommended to me (quoted $2300), specs as follows;
Speeds --- 30
Sizes --- 16-18-20-22"
Frame --- One-Twenty Comp-D BC A-Link
Color --- Black(white)
Fork Rock ---Shox Recon Silver Soloair 120
Derailleur front --- Shimano SLX 10 high 34.9
Derailleur rear --- Shimano XT-10
Shifters --- Shimano SLX Rapidfire / Rapidfire-10
Brake levers --- attached
Brakes --- Shimano M505 180/180 mm
Chainwheel --- Shimano M552-10 42-32-24
BB-Set --- attached
Chain --- Shimano CN-HG74-10
Hubs --- Shimano M435 centerlock
Rims --- Merida XD Lite
Freewheel --- Shimano CS-HG81-10 11-36
Spokes --- Black stainless
Tires --- Merida Trail Lite 2.25
Handlebar --- FSA XC 282L OS R18 660
Stem --- FSA OS-190 6Â°
Headset --- Big Conoid Neck
Seatpost --- FSA SL280 SB25 31.6
Saddle --- X-Mission Side-3
Pedals --- XC Alloy
If someone who is familiar with all these components could give me there opinion it would be much appreciated!! As i said i really dont know whats hot and whats not.
THANKS in advance,
Nice bikes, have to decide whether you want 10 speed (wear rate?) and the detail upgrades or not (wheels / brakes better on the X2 but perhaps overkill for a casual rider). Merida sort of in the middle, better group, but not the other detail upgrades. I have similar components to the X3 and its lasted 4 years, and 20,000 kms of all sorts of riding.
Looks like the 2011 groups are being shipped by default with more 29er friendly gearing, but a 42 main ring is no drama on a 26in dually, even on the road, I very rarely use 44-11. Probably only down to spit bridge, and I'd only *need* it if I was trying to go above well above 60. Really not required for an MTB.
- edit - didn't notice they raised the size of the granny so overall range is not further spread.
Last edited by zero on Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thanks for the reply mate. So basically the X3 or Merida will be more than enough for a beginner? The components on the X2 are obviously better but if i know the X3 (or Merida) components are still good quality parts and will last, well thats enough for me but head to head - Trance X3 or the Merida?
Yep, all of them are nice,
If you want to have more people talk to you about your bike (and try to steal it), then either of the 10 speed rear end bikes would be more interesting, they have a lot more 2011 components on them. The X3 isn't particularly different than bikes that have been on sale for the last 2-3 years.
Things that vaguely bug me about the 2 cheaper bikes is the brakes. I think the X3 is using the new 9 speed alivio group calipers, and I know the type on the merida doesn't take XT style pads. Both work fine, but not convinced I'd personally want either. Minor quibble. My calipers take XT pads, and thats rather handy for availabilty in general and sintered metal pads specifically.
It's the Shimano Dyna-Sys gearing - tighter chainrings, wider cassette (11-36) to compensate.
Go the X2 if you can stretch the budget that far.
You will get hooked. You will then face 'needing' to sell your entry level bike and taking a bath on the changeover to the better ride - thee's not a lot of demand for entry level duallies more than a year old.
The X2 is the better buy.
When all else fails, persistence prevails -- Lew Hollander
If price is a differentiator - you should be able to get the Merida for less that $2000. I know as I pick my 800D up on the weekend I considered both the 800D and the X3 and chose the 800D mainly because I could get it cheaper but it also has lock out front and back (X3 only front), 30 speed and slightly better components than the X3. The 800D seemed more closely matched to the X2 which was more money again. They are all good options. Go for a ride and see if you like one over another.
I can't comment about the Merida; never ridden or owned one.
I've owned a Trance X3 for just over one year; it's done about 2500kms mostly off road; 10% of that through mud/crud; about 12 races, short and endurance.
As it's your first duallie (mine too) I'd probably stick with the X3, ride it for a while and upgrade it yourself. You'll know what it needs then rather than a manufacturer telling you what you can have.
I'm very happy with it. Sometimes it misshifts, squeaks, groans but so do I. Overall the shifters and brakes are very good. Handling is decent enough, weight is ok.
If I didn't need to change cranks (crook knees) as the first upgrade it'd be a light, good wheelset......just to make it quicker.
I've replaced, rear pads, bottom bracket (mud), rear axle (mud), chain, swapped to ghetto tubeless tyres. I'll have it for a couple of years yet.
I would change to a 40 or 42 big ring as I rarely use the 44/11 combo.
The $700 you save can buy good light wheels for a tubeless setup. The lighter weight's more important for hills than anything else on the bike I think; the rest of the gearing is good enough as is as are the brakes.
Thanks for all the replys, i might sit on it for a few weeks until the uni semester is over then really have a good look and test ride!
They'd all be fine for a beginner, but personally I'd go the X2. Problem with Giants is the 2nd hand marked is flooded with them so if you do want to upgrade you won't get much for it 2nd hand. You'd be better saving a bit of extra $ and getting the higher model now rather then in 6months.
Where are you located? Few local shops here have 2011 Trance models with 15-30% off.
Current Ride: Trek Madone 6.5 (2013)
I live near Newcastle. The $2900 i was quoted for the X2 is ~10% off the RRP of $3200.
May i ask what shops have the Trance at 15-30% off?? I see you are from the ACT, but I'd willing to travel down to say, Sydney, if it means saving a few hundred big ones.
By hilly sections, do you mean steap downhill/rough hilly? Because I can't see how a dually would suit the rest of that riding (when comparing to a hardtail)
Agreed, but the first time he finds some sweet singletrack, all that will go out the window.
When all else fails, persistence prevails -- Lew Hollander
I would go the X2 for sure. 10 speed is definitely the way to go from now on.
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