bike choice

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bike choice

Postby shipper » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:35 pm


long time reader/first time poster!

I'm a roadie really but had a jaunt around Wombat Forest last Sunday with a few mates.
They were on a Trance and an Anthem and I was on a 17 year old steel framed Trek with an elastomer front fork and canti brakes.
To say I was at a disadvantage is an understatement! Seriously, I had a 10 minute go on the Trance and it was massively easier than riding my old clunker!

Now I've been bitten by the bug but am not keen to repeat the experience on my old bike - as an absolute MTB beginner I also don't want to over invest OR buy something I will want to upgrade in a few weeks.
Following lots of forum bashing I have narrowed my choices down to either a hard tail 29er (Giant XTC 2 - $1200ish) or a DS 26" (Giant Trance X3 - $1700ish). - I am however quite happy to listen to other opinions!

Would a hard tail 29er be suitable for terrain like the Wombat? (and would I be left behind by the duallie boys given a similar level of fitness?)
Would a Trance be a more versatile bike I would eventually get more use from? (and would it be overkill for my current skill set?)
Is there a category of bike I have missed or overlooked?

can't imagine that I will go every weekend, perhaps once a month with an occasional mid week ride thrown in.
Whatever I get won't HAVE to be used on the road - I'm happy commuting once in a while and rec riding on my roadie ('dale synapse).

I'd prefer to keep the cost down to around 1k if it were possible but as the examples above indicate I could go higher if there were compelling reasons.

Thanks in advance, Shipper

Ken Ho
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Re: bike choice

Postby Ken Ho » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:06 am

I was pretty sure I would be happy with a HT but now I have a DS 29 er, I'm so glad I went the extra mile.
The new suspension designs are so good, you don't bob and bounce along on a DS any more, but it's there when you need it.
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Re: bike choice

Postby Mugglechops » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:45 am

I have both HT 29er and FS 26er.

If I could only have one it would be a FS 29er, which I may end up getting anyway.

But for newby I would say go the Trance you can't beat that value.

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Re: bike choice

Postby Shifter » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:48 pm

shipper wrote:Giant Trance X3

One slight word of warning against the Trance: Giant have their own steerer tube standard (Overdrive 2) on a lot of the 2012 range of mountain bikes. The tapered steerers go from 1.5 inch to 1.25 inch. What this means is if you ever want to change the stem on the bike you'll need to find one to fit a 1.25 inch steerer, and outside of Giant's own branded kit I've not seen any. The other thing is for the shorter stem lengths, chances are you'll need it ordered in from the US.

As such, I'd look at brands outside Giant for the duallie. If you can have a look at a Scott Genius, Trek Fuel, Avanti Torrent and Merida One-Twenty. All are similar to the Trance with varying kit levels and varying different feels. Don't be constrained in thinking that you need a Giant because practically everywhere stocks them.

Side note: I have a Trance X0 and love it. Just wish I had a slightly shorter stem on it.
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Re: bike choice

Postby shipper » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:28 pm

thanks for the feedback guys,
I topped up the budget and went for an Anthem X1 29er in the end. It looks sensational and if only it would stop raining for a while I'd be out getting it dirty! (I know...can't quite bring myself to take a brand new bike out in the wet! - give it a few weeks though!) I test rode everything and the 29er was just so smooth n comfy (on some bluestone laneways and kerbs anyway!). I don't have much to compare it with so I can't be too incisive with my review, suffice it to say when I repeatedly fall off it won't be the bikes fault.

Big rap for the guys at Essendon Cyclery - they were very patient and answered all my dumb questions - and did a great deal on the price. When I went in to pick it up I asked for their opinion of tubeless kits - they gave me the pros and cons and a price for them to actually do it for me while I waited - which seems to be less than I could have bought a kit for! That's good service!

anyway, thanks again - happy trails!

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Re: bike choice

Postby trailgumby » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 pm

Glad to hear you're being patient. :D

I'm not sure about the vibe with your riding buddies, but while it ight be fun, riding trails in the wet is generally frowned upon in Australia as it does tremendous damage to the trails due to the fragile nature of the soils.

Not only that, it can wear out your drive train and brakes in no-time flat. You can destroy a drive train, and need to replace your brake calipers in under 100km ... you can wear right through the pads, through the backing plates in into the caliper pistons.... there's half the value of your bike, gone. :x

Some mates of mine did that up near Wiseman's Ferry getting impatient training for a 100km race. It was a very expensive day.

So besides being altruistic, there's a sound financial reason for delaying gratification until the trails dry out. :wink:

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