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Upgrading from 2005 Giant Trance 4

HairsyHairsy Posts: 16
edited January 2018 in MTB buying advice

I have been focusing on road cycling in recent years but a couple of days ago I went out with some friends to do some singletrack and it reminded me how much fun can be had without cars.

I have a 2005 Giant Trance 4, full sus, that has been well maintained over the years.

If I were to upgrade to a modern full sus bike (or even hardtail), would I notice a big difference?

I might be prepared to pay up to £2k but no more.

I don’t want to spend money and find the replacement isn’t noticeably better handling.

Advice from anyone else who has upgraded would be particularly helpful but I’ll welcome all opinions.

And what if I only spent £1k?

Many thanks


  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Would you notice a difference.....yes.

    The 2005 trance isn’t much different to the current Anthem which is considered an XC bike, it won’t take rear tyres much bigger than a 2.1 when 2.3 is about the Norma now for a trail bike.

    That said it’s still a very competent bike for XC and light trail use, so if that is your intended use then spruce it up with new tyres, a suspension service and a drivetrain service and go hav some fun, if the forks can be taken up in travel a bit it will just add a wee bit to its ability.

    If you want to try modern tougher trails then you’ll need a bigger bike and yes you will notice a big difference for that use.
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    Go and demo some bikes, where abouts in the country are you?
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • HairsyHairsy Posts: 16
    I'm in West Sussex. And that does seem a sensible option.

    I see you have a Boardman Pro FS - how do you find that? I can get a good discount on one of those and they seem good value. Magazine reviews have been quite complimentary but user reviews suggest that it may not have the build quality for serious use in the long term.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Components are common to most bikes, so no problems there, and Boardman frames don't seem to have a reputation for breaking so I don't think there are any build quality issues.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Boardman frames are made by the second largest bike frame manufacturer in the world if that’s any reassurance?
  • jamskijamski Posts: 737
    The Boardman is great, or at least was for me! It got squashed in a car accident, not my fault I'd like to add. There are some minor weak parts, bottom bracket seems to go quite a bit, but that's an easy fix and replaced under warranty. There is an issue with the seat stays snapping, but that's been fixed with a slight frame tweak and it the grand scheme of things, pretty rare. The only other thing I would say is Boardman are due to release new models this year. All the current MTBs from them are 2016 models and on a 2 year rotation, but nothing has been announced yet. For the money it's a great buy.

    You're not a million miles from Swinley Forest. You'd be able to try out Marin, Whyte, and Bird there, ranging in price from a little over £1k for the Marin, though to £3k for a Bird, and various points in between. Personally, once I get the insurance/personal injury money, I'm going for around a £2k Bird.
    Daddy, Husband, Designer, Biker, Gamer, Geek
    Bird Aeris 120 | Boardman Team 650b | Boardman Pro FS | Calibre Two.two
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    It'll be a good upgrade. Modern geometry means more stable over rough ground, stiffer fork will make it easier to hold a line, better rear suspension design means better pedal efficiency and better performance over rough ground.
    The modern Anthem is closer to the 2005 Trance but even that will be a more capable trail bike.
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