Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB buying advice

Circa 3k Trail Bike - Santa Cruz, Giant or Whyte!

bdigitalbdigital Posts: 193
edited April 2015 in MTB buying advice
Hi all,

EDIT: 01/03/2015 - Ruled out some bikes and moved on to looking at others. The bikes im currently considering are:

Santa Cruz Bronson C (RAM build)
Giant Trance 1
Whyte T130 Works SCR
Santa Cruz 5010 C (RAM build)


The bike will be for all round off road riding, a mix of trail and XC. I would like to improve my riding to the point that I would be confident to take it to trail centers and do some heavier stuff, so im not sure if I should go for 140/150mm travel now or go for the 130mm and use it as a do it all.

Any thouights on the above bikes and the different travel lengths would be really helpful!

P.S ive cleaned up this post and removed bikes I was previously considering.
«1

Posts

  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    bdigital wrote:
    Ive ridden my friends Whyte T-130 S, which i really liked (but obviously can't get the same bike as him!).

    I'm amazed how many times I've read that comment. What's the big deal with people about having the same bike as their mate?
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • Antm81Antm81 Posts: 1,406
    I'd go with the Trance 1, better fork and wheelset which you'd probably notice more than the slightly lighter frame on the advanced. The revelation fork on the '1' is a lot better than the fox evolution ctd on your friends Trance 2 too.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    bdigital wrote:
    Ive ridden my friends Whyte T-130 S, which i really liked (but obviously can't get the same bike as him!).

    I'm amazed how many times I've read that comment. What's the big deal with people about having the same bike as their mate?
    People might suspect they are in a meaningful relationship?
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,720
    If you can live with 120mm of travel look at the Giant Anthem SX lighter than the Trance and better uphill but wont be as forgiving on the big stuff. The Whyte is a nice bike but couldn't quite stretch my budget plus a colleague has one so can't copy. ( ps he blew the seals on his rear shock after a couple of months steady use, warranty claim )
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • bdigitalbdigital Posts: 193
    Antm81 wrote:
    I'd go with the Trance 1, better fork and wheelset which you'd probably notice more than the slightly lighter frame on the advanced. The revelation fork on the '1' is a lot better than the fox evolution ctd on your friends Trance 2 too.

    Thank you. This is also the opinion of the good folk at my local Giant store.

    Are the revs that much better than the RS Sektor Solo Air on the Advanced?

    Ive been reading through the forums and I can see that a few people recommend the Canyon AL 8.0 EX. The components certainly seem to be much better than the Giants but presumably I cant get one to ride it and see! In terms of geometry and ride style is it similar?

    Sooo my options (as far as I can see) are currently:

    - Giant Trance 27.5 1
    - Giant Trance 27.5 Advanced 2
    - Canyon AL 8.0 EX
  • Antm81Antm81 Posts: 1,406
    I can't really comment on the canyon as I've not ridden one, although looking at the geometry it seems to be slightly slacker.

    The revs should be better damped and I expect slightly lighter too over the sektor.

    With regards to the canyons components, they do seem better and the the canyon may be a great bike but I'd like to try it first when spending that much. (I expect they have a demo day going on at some point.)
  • bdigitalbdigital Posts: 193
    Antm81 wrote:
    I can't really comment on the canyon as I've not ridden one, although looking at the geometry it seems to be slightly slacker.

    The revs should be better damped and I expect slightly lighter too over the sektor.

    With regards to the canyons components, they do seem better and the the canyon may be a great bike but I'd like to try it first when spending that much. (I expect they have a demo day going on at some point.)

    Thank you. Yes i agree I would like to try it first. Having ridden the Trance 2, I thought that was a lot of fun and I like the geometry and feel of the bike.

    Just not sure if the there aren't better options out there for £2,749!
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    How about something a bit different? Transition Scout, a little over budget at £2799 but a brilliant bike (Im getting one in a few months). Shorter rear travel than the Giant but probably more capable on fun descents.
    http://www.kustombikes.co.uk/bikes/tran ... _bike_2015

    The Canyon has better components but having tried a couple Canyons in the past I wouldn't buy one. If I was going German I would have a Rose Ground Control or Granite Chief.
  • bdigitalbdigital Posts: 193
    How about something a bit different? Transition Scout, a little over budget at £2799 but a brilliant bike (Im getting one in a few months). Shorter rear travel than the Giant but probably more capable on fun descents.
    http://www.kustombikes.co.uk/bikes/tran ... _bike_2015

    The Canyon has better components but having tried a couple Canyons in the past I wouldn't buy one. If I was going German I would have a Rose Ground Control or Granite Chief.

    Looks decent but I've decided I don't want anything that I can't ride first.

    New contender!! Ive recently seen the Cube Stereo 140 HPA Pro in blue Its £2199, has pike up front, SRAM Guide R Brakes, SRAM X0 / S9 groupset.

    Can anyone comment on the ride of the 2015 Stereo? I know that Bike radar rate the 2014 model but I don't know if the frame geometry has changed a lot in the 2015 version? By the looks of it the kit has improved.
  • lawmanlawman Posts: 6,868
    While I haven't ridden it I've seen it close up and it looks solidly built and astonishingly specced for the money. The initial reviews of the 140 seem very favourable. Another one to consider is the Mondraker Foxy. Not as good kit wise as the Cube but a truly awesome ride, best trail bike I've ever ridden.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    bdigital wrote:
    How about something a bit different? Transition Scout, a little over budget at £2799 but a brilliant bike (Im getting one in a few months). Shorter rear travel than the Giant but probably more capable on fun descents.
    http://www.kustombikes.co.uk/bikes/tran ... _bike_2015

    The Canyon has better components but having tried a couple Canyons in the past I wouldn't buy one. If I was going German I would have a Rose Ground Control or Granite Chief.

    Looks decent but I've decided I don't want anything that I can't ride first.

    New contender!! Ive recently seen the Cube Stereo 140 HPA Pro in blue Its £2199, has pike up front, SRAM Guide R Brakes, SRAM X0 / S9 groupset.

    Can anyone comment on the ride of the 2015 Stereo? I know that Bike radar rate the 2014 model but I don't know if the frame geometry has changed a lot in the 2015 version? By the looks of it the kit has improved.

    But you can get a demo on one first. Transition have a good network of dealers with demo bikes. Rose have a UK agent with demo bikes.
  • lawmanlawman Posts: 6,868
    The scout is also a good shout tbh, I haven't ridden on yet but before I got my Foxy is definitely on my list of bikes to try out.
  • bdigitalbdigital Posts: 193
    bdigital wrote:
    How about something a bit different? Transition Scout, a little over budget at £2799 but a brilliant bike (Im getting one in a few months). Shorter rear travel than the Giant but probably more capable on fun descents.
    http://www.kustombikes.co.uk/bikes/tran ... _bike_2015

    The Canyon has better components but having tried a couple Canyons in the past I wouldn't buy one. If I was going German I would have a Rose Ground Control or Granite Chief.

    Looks decent but I've decided I don't want anything that I can't ride first.

    New contender!! Ive recently seen the Cube Stereo 140 HPA Pro in blue Its £2199, has pike up front, SRAM Guide R Brakes, SRAM X0 / S9 groupset.

    Can anyone comment on the ride of the 2015 Stereo? I know that Bike radar rate the 2014 model but I don't know if the frame geometry has changed a lot in the 2015 version? By the looks of it the kit has improved.

    But you can get a demo on one first. Transition have a good network of dealers with demo bikes. Rose have a UK agent with demo bikes.

    Thank you I didnt know that. I will have a look and see where my nearest dealer is.

    I can only do one visit this weekend and ive arranged to go and see the Cube Stereo 140 HPA 27.5. Unfortunatly I cant borrow it for a proper demo, but only ride it around the block :( Not sure what you think but its going to be really hard to compare it to the trance that I demo'd like this. But its better than nothing.

    While the components on the cube are top notch, Im keen that it is as fun and confidence inspiring as I found the trance. I felt stable and able on downhills with decent climbing ability so if the cube can match that i think im on to a winner!
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    How are you going to get any idea of the Cubes ability from a quick spin around the block? You wont get any idea of how it climbs, its handling and stability or how well its suspensionworks.
  • bdigitalbdigital Posts: 193
    How are you going to get any idea of the Cubes ability from a quick spin around the block? You wont get any idea of how it climbs, its handling and stability or how well its suspensionworks.

    Exactly my point and my problem. Unfortunately it seems like there are no demo bikes of the 140 stereo, at least not until May. So its this or nothing.

    Its a total long shot and probably a lost cause but I thought there may be someone here who has ridden both the trance and the stereo that could offer an opinion.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    How about a Whyte T-130 S?
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • bdigitalbdigital Posts: 193
    cooldad wrote:
    How about a Whyte T-130 S?

    See my comment in the op :) Great bike my mate has one but unfortunately they do dont another colour and I dont want the exact same bike as him.

    Would you put that above the cube stereo 140?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    bdigital wrote:
    cooldad wrote:
    How about a Whyte T-130 S?

    See my comment in the op :) Great bike my mate has one but unfortunately they do dont another colour and I dont want the exact same bike as him.

    Would you put that above the cube stereo 140?
    What I think is not important, but it still seems like a dumb reason for not getting a bike you like.
    bdigital wrote:
    Ive ridden my friends Whyte T-130 S, which i really liked
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    cooldad wrote:
    bdigital wrote:
    cooldad wrote:
    How about a Whyte T-130 S?

    See my comment in the op :) Great bike my mate has one but unfortunately they do dont another colour and I dont want the exact same bike as him.

    Would you put that above the cube stereo 140?
    What I think is not important, but it still seems like a dumb reason for not getting a bike you like.
    bdigital wrote:
    Ive ridden my friends Whyte T-130 S, which i really liked

    Bizarre.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • bdigitalbdigital Posts: 193
    Its not bizzarre or dumb, but thank you for trying to help.

    I liked the T130-S, its a great bike. But I dont want one. I want something different (preferably with the VPP style rear shock you get in a Trance and Cube Stereo but its not a deal breaker). I mentioned it as a reference point, to give an indication of the style and ride that I liked but perhaps I shouldnt have confused things by mentioning it.

    This weekend il be seeing some of the 2015 cubes in person, and the same shop also sells Scotts and Intense. Il make sure I try a few just to get a feel for some other bikes too.

    Ive noticed Cube have the 140mm and 160mm versions of the same bikes. So is the longer travel bike still aimed at all round trail? Not sure which one would be more suited to my needs or what the purpose of the 160mm is other than just longer travel!
  • bdigitalbdigital Posts: 193
    Ok so a bit of an update.

    I went a saw the Cube Stereo bikes and I wasnt really blown away. Although the components are top notch I didnt really get the wow factor from the bikes and since the shop wouldnt let me ride any I cant comment on what they are actually like. Not keen on taking it any further with the cube unless I can try one.

    My budget has crept up! And so im looking at a few other bikes now....

    Today I went to a Santa Cruz dealer and I got a ride on the Carbon 2015 Bronson. The initial feeling I got was that it was a big and burly bike and that it might be a bit heavy for me, but they may have been because it wasnt really set up for me. Ive arranged a proper demo of this bike and the 5010 where I will be able to get them muddy.

    Ive also arranged for a demo of the Whyte t130 Works.

    So im currently looking at the following:


    Santa Cruz Bronson C (RAM build)
    Giant Trance 1
    Whyte T130 Works SCR
    Santa Cruz 5010 C (RAM build)
  • BloggingFitBloggingFit Posts: 919
    Trek Remedy 9 and swap out the fork for a Pike.
    Bird Aeris : Trek Remedy 9.9 29er : Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    The Bronson is a pretty burly bike, I own one but if I rode in the UK I would have a 5010. The RAM builds are budget oriented for boutique bikes and definitely add to the porky factor and pretty much need upgrading from day one.

    My Bronson has had the fork and shock upgraded from Fox Evolution carp to RS Pike/Monarch Plus as well as swapping out the gears for 1x10 (and upgrading to XT whilst I was at it).

    For the riding you describe the 5010 might be an excellent bike but I suspect for the better spec you get the Trance/Scout/T130 etc would be better no upgrade options.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • bdigitalbdigital Posts: 193
    edited March 2015
    The Bronson is a pretty burly bike, I own one but if I rode in the UK I would have a 5010. The RAM builds are budget oriented for boutique bikes and definitely add to the porky factor and pretty much need upgrading from day one.

    My Bronson has had the fork and shock upgraded from Fox Evolution carp to RS Pike/Monarch Plus as well as swapping out the gears for 1x10 (and upgrading to XT whilst I was at it).

    For the riding you describe the 5010 might be an excellent bike but I suspect for the better spec you get the Trance/Scout/T130 etc would be better no upgrade options.

    Thanks thats very helpful to get another opinion. I must admit it felt a bit big and burly for my liking however many of the reviews i read say that its a great all rounder, pedals well and that its geometry matches the Giant Trance quite closely (which i found quite manageable). Bottom line is i need to ride it properly so im going to book a proper demo.

    How do you think the 5010 would react to getting a pike fork at 140mm?
  • BloggingFitBloggingFit Posts: 919
    The frame allows 120mm - 140mm so it is within manufacturer constraints. Obviously the 140mm fork may make the steering feel a little floppy at slow speeds due to being slacker compared to the 120mm option. Personally if you are wanting a 140mm fork then perhaps look to a 140mm travel bike instead but then this goes back towards the bigger bike issue again.

    An alternative option in the 140mm travel range is the Bird Aeris which is very bronsonesque in it's ride characteristics and very good value for money.

    Having a 150mm Hardtail I would be pretty keen to try a Solo with a 140mm fork and see how much fun that would be.
    Bird Aeris : Trek Remedy 9.9 29er : Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL
  • bdigitalbdigital Posts: 193
    The frame allows 120mm - 140mm so it is within manufacturer constraints. Obviously the 140mm fork may make the steering feel a little floppy at slow speeds due to being slacker compared to the 120mm option. Personally if you are wanting a 140mm fork then perhaps look to a 140mm travel bike instead but then this goes back towards the bigger bike issue again.

    An alternative option in the 140mm travel range is the Bird Aeris which is very bronsonesque in it's ride characteristics and very good value for money.

    Having a 150mm Hardtail I would be pretty keen to try a Solo with a 140mm fork and see how much fun that would be.

    Hmmm. Having just double checked the 5010 is 130mm.

    This weekend im riding the Whyte T130 Works SCR. Which beats the Santa Cruz for spec and price, but i cant say im as excited about it as the Santa Cruz. Il be riding both the 5010 and the Bronson next Friday.
  • lawmanlawman Posts: 6,868
    The 5010 is fine with a 140mm fork, friend of mine ran one with a shortened Fox 36 and it rode very nicely.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 854
    If it helps i have recently bought a Transition Scout in limeaid. The bike is far better than i will ever be and as my first full sus bike i guess i cant compare it to anything really but it is a bloody nice bike to ride.
    Much better than the hardtail i was using.

    I bought blind in that i didnt try one first as there are no local dealers to me, at 180cm tall i went for a medium size. My hard tail is large and i never felt in full control it. The
    Scout is so much easier to pilot, grip was massivly better and just felt really good to ride.

    All was going well till fell off and now have some very sore ribs...

    It was also my first time out on flat pedals for 16 years, so i need to learn how ride properly.

    Fwiw 2 mates i ride with have trek fuels, and one other has a trek remedy. I was considering a remedy but sooooo glad i went for the scout!
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Im going for a Scout custom build. It's basically what the Nukeproof Mega TR should have been, a real hard hitting short travel trail bike.
    I have also tried a Santa Cruz 5010 and wasn't impressed. Its nice enough but not exciting enough to make me want one.
  • fizikfizik Posts: 247
    Why not try a t129 SCR as well? Great reviews and very sexy in the flesh. These slack (for 29ers) and short rear ended 29ers really are so much better than what people think.
Sign In or Register to comment.