10 August 2009

bikefix Q+A: Rocky Mountain Altitude vs. Giant Trance

In response to Charlie's Giant Trance XO and Rocky Mountain Altitude 90 RSL reviews, Faceless Ghost asks:
So, if you were heading out for five hours or more of epic singletrack, would you take your Rocky Mountain Altitude or your Giant Trance X? How about if you were competing in an ultra-endurance race?
Here's Charlie's response:

The latter part of the question is easy: an ultra endurance race would be the Rocky. The big caveat with both your questions is the different build on the two bikes. The Rocky has a lighter build (particularly the wheels) so in my mind it is already slipping into the race slot. Epic Singletrack over long hours is a harder question. I guess I would lean towards the Giant. Both frames climb very well with a slight traction edge going to the Giant and perhaps a bit of a steering edge going to the Rocky. Going down though, I think I would err towards the Giant. They both go downhill well, but I feel a tad safer and more controlled over the rough stuff on the Giant. I also played around with different forks on the Giant and it seemed to accept them all with grace. I didn't get a chance to do that with the Rocky (not yet at least). The Giant's build is more trailworthy, with tried and true but light equipment. Particularly the Mavic Crossmax ST wheels- being a stronger and sturdier, albeit slightly heavier wheel, than the Rocky's SLR's. Honestly, you can't go wrong with either one. They are both great bikes. The frame weight on the Rocky is lighter though the Giant isn't a pig- If I had to guess the difference I'd say the Giant frame was about 3/4 of a pound heavier. Price is an issue- the Giant is cheaper. If you lean towards racing then the Rocky is probably a more natural choice, if you lean towards all-day trailriding then the Giant is probably better. Personally, I like the Giant a bit better. Given the same build, I think the Giant would shine more often (for my style) than the Rocky, but it would be close. Like I said, either way you are going to have a great bike. If you can make your way down to Albuquerque, I would be happy to take you on my Rocky and I believe that Marc, or our local shop (Bikeworks Albuquerque), could provide a demo Trance (assuming you are in the 5'8 to 6'1 size).



Matt said...

Great comparison notes, thanks for the input. These are both bikes I am going to be looking out for used in a couple of years time, so I'd appreciate any comments you might have on the relative pivot durability / serviceability.

bikefix said...

Matt- shoot us an e-mail (there's an address at the top right of the page), we may have an ex-test bike that would suit you nicely (especially with the strong Pound). marc