My Trance X Advanced trail machete

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3/5/2011 1:33 PM

This project came about because my brain works too much when it comes to gear and set-up. I owned an aluminum 2009 Giant Trance X and really liked it. Good pedaling, comfy sizing, and great reliability. I had some issues with it, mostly the geometry. I tend to work more to get a good decent than all around ride, and the old bike wasn't cutting it in the steering department for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, it handled the local trails quite well, but had a twitchy feel for my downhill bias.

Lots of people upgrade their Trance with longer 140/150mm forks, but since I ran the XL size, this became a problem. Giant's spec of a 7.5 inch head tube limited my options when it came to upgrading the fork. I already felt my bar height was too tall to corner the way I wanted on certain twisty trails in my area.

So, I started toying with the idea of getting an all mtn. bike to roll some of the parts from my last bike to. The new Reign came to mind, but it started becoming a problem sourcing a frame. Giant wasn't offering the XL in a frame only, and I didn't like the idea of parting another bike out. The new press-fit BB didn't help matters, as I felt limited in chain guide options. I know they have options out there, but not if I decided to run a 2 ring guide of any type... To make a long story short, the option of getting this frame popped up and I hopped on it. The carbon bike uses a tapered head tube, and it was over half an inch shorter. Both of these factors got my gears turning...

When the frame arrived, I was stunned. Giant crafts exquisite carbon bikes. The attention to detail floored me. I was suddenly caught with the notion that putting used, scratched up parts on it was just wrong. I'm not made of money, so I started thinking of a way to build this bike as nice as possible. Luckily, my other job was really busy at the time so funds were easier to come by.

Fast forward a few months, and the snowball of a project is finished. The bike is full-XTR, with carbon rims, bars, and only weighs 25lbs. 11oz. Here's the spec. list:

FRAME= Giant Trance X Advanced SL size XL
FORK= Rock Shox Revelation RLT Ti 2 position 20mm axle
CHAINRING= Ethirteen 34t
CHAINGUIDE= Ethirteen XCX guide BB mount
STEM= Easton Haven 70mm
HANDLEBAR= Easton Havoc carbon bar 29.75 width
HEADSET= Cane Creek Angleset 1.5deg. cup (HA=67.5 with 13.5 BB.)
CRANKSET= Shimano XTR M980
BRAKES= Shimano XTR Trail
TIRES= Continental Trailking UST 2.2 (set up tubeless)
PEDALS= Shimano XTR Trail (will have some platforms too, but not yet.)
SEATPOST= Rockshox Reverb
CASSETTE= Sram XX 11-36
WHEELSET= Easton Carbon Havens
REAR DERAILLEUR= Shimano XTR M980 med. cage
CHAIN= Shimano HG-X 10 speed

Ride report to come, but I gotta say it feels a ton better than the alloy bike. Amazing...

3/6/2011 6:33 PM

Fun looking ride. How tall are you?!?

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3/6/2011 6:40 PM

bturman wrote:

Fun looking ride. How tall are you?!?

6 foot 2 inches... Tall.

3/6/2011 6:48 PM

that thing is ready for some shredding! sick build on it!

3/7/2011 7:01 AM

Looks really weird man. I wish manufacturers would put pictures on their websites of how XL bikes look.

I bought an XL Specialized Pitch and it looks totally different from the website pics.

3/7/2011 8:42 AM

Man this thing must absolutely fly!

1/31/2013 7:11 PM

Update: 2 full seasons on this thing, and I'm going for number 3. I've done things and went places that used to scare me on my DH bike. Some tweaks here and there to dial her in over time and I still don't feel the need to get a new bike.

Upgrades from the initial build:

Push-built Monarch RT-AM. Made this bike come alive even more. I'm a full believer in custom tuned shocks now. When the trail gets fast and rough, the control this shock provides is well worth it.

Maxxis EXO tires. Those Continentals were fine traction-wise, but super flimsy. After my 3rd pencil sized puncture, I tried these and never looked back. You just can't beat a Minion IMO. I got a Highroller 2 to try on the back currently.

Easton Havoc 35 bar/stem. May sound silly to some, but I like super wide bars. I got a set for my DH bike, and then this bike felt awkward. Had to get a set...

MRP Lopes guide. I installed this for more control. The XCX guide kept my chain on, but the slap was shredding my cranks... I actually just ordered a XTR Shadow plus to run, but I'll probably keep this guide just to be sure.

Current pics:

Vital honored the forum nerd in me yesterday with this:

8/16/2013 8:30 AM

Dang, We just had to comment on this. Sweet set up! I think you'll like this: Trance Advanced SX 27.5

8/16/2013 9:23 PM

Justin_GiantBicycles_USA wrote:

Dang, We just had to comment on this. Sweet set up! I think you'll like this: Trance Advanced SX 27.5

Thanks. It's been good to me. Numbers on the new bike are dialed, and I've told my rep. to get my name on a frame....

8/29/2013 11:55 AM

That a boy! Let me know if you have any questions.