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Which XC dual suspension bike for under $3K?

By muzg - Posted on 22 January 2011

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Looking at getting the Giant Trance X2.
I'd appreciate any thoughts / recommendations on the best xc dual suspension bike for $2K - $3K.

what sort of riding are you planning on doing? don't think you can really go wrong if you stick with one of the major brands. there is a review of the Trance X2 on the bike radar site. i would look at the specialized camber as well. i recently bought a specialized fsr xc which i'm really happy with. got it for under $2000 which was even better. check out bikeexchange to see if there's any deals going around.

Definitely have a look at the Merida line up. I got me the One-Twenty D800, $2399, better spec'd than the similar priced Trance. I've come from riding Giant/Fox/Avid in the past and am very happy with the Merida/Rockshox/Shimano setup on the bike.
Check out Hornsby Cycles, good bunch of guys and gals there.

xc riding mainly on single tracks & a bit of competition. Something which is a good all round bike and can handle medium sized drop offs and not too heavy.

thanks, I'll take a look at the Merida and drop in at Hornsby.

Your probably on the right track with the trance.
I use mine for everything. Ive got the 2008 model. For trail riding I run a 2.35 high roller and 2.35 larsen and I can tackle most things sydneys trails have to offer. If i want to go racing i simply strap a little lighter rubber on stiffen up the suspension and away I go. I race xc with wsmtb and have completed the full fling and angry doctor as well as some 24 hour races in teams. I definately feel its the rider not the bike that is stopping me from going faster. Saying that though The giant america team are using the anthem 29er for super d and all mountain races. Ive got my eye on one a s well. But ill still keep the trance for the rough stuff.

Can't go wrong with the Trance. Giant are always great value. See if you can get back issues of AMB and MBA as both these Aussie mags have done comparisons of various bikes in your price range over the past 6 months or so and Giant are always one of the highest scorers.

I have a 2010 Trance and have been very happy with it. For me I had a couple of bikes in mind, all comfortable bikes from reasonably major brands that had good support from the shop I bought it from (that's important, you want to know you can go back and see them with any issues, even just to change the set-up slightly), and then it just came down to the best deal.

The Trance is not a race bike but then again even doing a 100km event on it is relatively comfortable compared to a bike that is set up more for racing. It handles the Dam with ease, Red Hill without any issue and it's plenty fast enough when the trail allows. I second spudatm that it's me that is holding the bike back no the other way around.

There are great dually's around for $3K and they will all be spec'd pretty well at that price but if you do decide on the Trance then I am sure that you will not be disappointed at all.

are you because it may be worth a drive to Cycology on Central Coast they have some really good deals on run outs at the moment

Get a trance and you will never look back. I got a 2010 x2 and every time i ride it, i love it a bit more!! I also use it for everything including decent drops and jumps. It takes it all in its stride..

Good luck

It is a alround bike & will be quick when racing

thanks heaps for your comments, hopefully on a x2 in the next couple of months

Take a look at Orbea as well.

I considered both the Media One Twenty 800D, Trance X2 and the Trance X3 and chose the 800D mainly because I could get it cheaper than the X2 and X3 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. So IMHO the 800D was better value for money given my budget (as close to $2K as I could get). They are all good options. Go for a ride and see if you like one over another. Media is also stocked at Pedal Plus St Ives and Mona Vale.

How about an Anthem? Great set-up and gets lots of good reviews plus decent versatility. AnthemX2 won UK MTB bike of the year last year based on value and versatility. I have nothing against the Trance (my previous dually was one), and, as everyone says, it comes down to what you want to do / riding style. Anthem would suit your racing aspirations and is good trail riding option. Plus I think you will get a new Anthem X1 (2010 model) at under $3k.

I will say though that I chose the Anthem over the Trance as my current n+1 target is a 6inch+ weapon to hit jumps and large drops, and thus the intended result will be dual sus bikes that are more towards each end of the spectrum and thus uses. All I will really need then is the time…

If I was only intending to have one bike I probably would have got the Trance.

[image:14680 size=inline] if it hasn't sold already.

On the Anthem front, the 29er at $3k seems like great value for money and is getting a lot of good feedback.

I ride 'em
I rate 'em
I reckon they are worth checking out

The Giant Anthem X3 ($2499) has served me well over the ten months I've had it, and if you're keen for a fast one with good dual suspension, that should be the go, though I believe the X2 is around $3000, though I really don't think there's much difference between the two. I've found the Anthem to be great for everything I've done with it - Anderson's, The Oaks, Yellomundee, Manly and the Great North Road.

Ive been told if your racing the short club races and are keeping up that higher speed, you want a 4" travel bike like the Giant Anthem. For the enduros you want something a little more comfortable and 5" Travel Like the Giant Trance. Giant also offer a life time warranty on there frames. Not many brands offer this.

Have a look at

They seem to have lots of tests & write-ups in the UK mags and they are available here now apparently although I haven't seen them in store yet. The T120 looks like the model in the same category as the Trance. The front & rear maxle and oversized headset look to me to be the key differentiating features.

+1 for 2011 Trance X2

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