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
BOTTOM BRACKET= Shimano XTR
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
SADDLE WTB= Silverado SLT
GRIPS= ODI Troy Lee
CASSETTE= Sram XX 11-36
WHEELSET= Easton Carbon Havens
SHIFTER= Shimano XTR
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...