2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1 or Norco Sight Alloy 7.1

I’m trying to decide on what bike to get for next year. I have it narrowed down to two, the Giant Trance 27.5 1 or the Norco Sight Alloy 7.1. I prefer the look/colour of the Norco, but as far as components go it seems I am better off paying the extra $150 and getting the Giant. It seems like the Giant is the better choice, but I don’t know if there is something I am overlooking.

Both bikes are 27.5"/650B
Both have 5.5" travel
Same rear shock (Norco discription says high volume, don’t know if the giant does/doesn’t have this or what the difference really is)
Similiar forks (Giant - Fox 32 Talas CTD Evolution, Norco - Fox Float 32 Evolution)

Now for the differences that I could find;

Norco -142x12 rear hub. Giant- 135x5 (I thought 9mm was the norm?)
Giant - SLX front derailer. Norco - deore
Giant - HG81 cassette. Norco - HG62 cassette
Giant - XT cranks. Norco - Deore
Giant - SLX disc brakes. Norco - Deore center lock brakes

The only thing I see better about the Norco is the stiffer 142x12 rear end, besides that it seems the Giant has a bit better components in numerous areas, and yet it’s only $150 more. So again, unless I am missing something the Giant seems the way to go.

The bikes are very similar. As far as the difference in components it is in the areas that you won’t really find a huge difference IMO. Might be a bit lighter, or stiffer, but overall performance wise Deore is a nice grouppo. You can alway upgrade to better components when the stock stuff wears out. The stiffer rear end is nice. I have that set up on my

Test ride both of them if you can. A difference in the top tube length or headset geometry is more important than components any day of the week. It doesn’t matter how nice the grouppo is if the bike doesn’t fit you.

I might be a little biased working at a Giant shop, but Giant usually gets more value per dollar just based on size. Also, I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure you can upgrade the rear end to 142x12 just by changing the wheels and dropouts on the Giant. The Giant uses standard pivot bearings you can get for a few dollars a piece at local parts jobbers, not sure on the Norco. A lot of others use proprietary stuff, meaning you have to use thier stuff, and pay for it as well. Giant Maestro suspension uses stock shock valving because it it so awesome. LOL. Most others are “custom tuned” because the geometry is not quite as perfect in some areas. Something to consider if you ever need a shock or want to swap to something else.

You will notice the difference in shifters if they are different. My SLX feels better than Deore, but after having tried XT and XTR, I will forever be left for want. In most cases better is better, just in varying degrees. The cassettes are pretty different. The Giant’s is lighter, might wear a bit better and will be a bit crisper shifting. The SLX stoppers are WAAAAY better than Deore, and Deore is already pretty good kit. More adjustability as well.

That $150 is cheap money, as components are far, far more expensive to by after the fact, than on the bike.

Giant uses a rigid rear triangle, which is very stiff. You can route all the cable and housing internally on the Giant as well, if you like. Not sure about the Norco. Oh yeah, it comes with a factory dropper post with stealth cable routing.

In the end, take a look at both and see what you like, and what makes the most sense.

Also, don’y forget you can change the stem length/height, saddle position, etc to dial in any bike that is your correct size. A good shop will help you with this.

True, aside from the brakes I probably wouldn’t notice a whole lot of difference.

Unless they changed this in the last few years, Norco should be the same. My Atomik and Fluid take the same bearings and they are cheap/easy to get. Good to know Giant is the same way.

That is good to know, although the shock and the fork are the main things I was hoping would be great out of the box, and I probably will never change them…hopefully.

I’ve only quickly compared them online, but the adjustability was one thing I noticed…definitely makes the SLX more appealing.

That is my thought exactly. If I ever upgraded one part on the Norco to the equivalent part that comes stock on the Giant it would probably cost me nearly that much anyway, so why not get the Giant right off the bat.

Based on the minimal price difference the Giant is a no brainer. The norco isn’t even in the same category spec wise.

I would agree with mechwarrior.

So I popped into Bicycles Plus today, and checked out the two Trances they have in. Very impressed with them, they just don’t have the model I want in the size I need. I had the nice surprise of finding out that the price I found on Giants website was on their American site, and for some reason the Canadian price is actually $500 less! So the Giant is cheaper than the Norco and has better components.

Also, looking at the specs, the Trance 2 is much more similiar to the Norco spec wise, yet it’s $950 cheaper!

Bare in mind that the website price of the Norco may also not be the price you could get from the shop. Always worth a check and see.

A few thoughts:

  1. You can always switch components. You can’t change a frame cheaply. The frame is the heart of the bike.
  2. Norco frame uses the Horst link suspension, Giant uses the Maestro suspension design. Horst link is always active, even under braking. Some people find it a little too active. It’s not super bouncy, but requires shock valving to erase bouncing under pedaling loads, but the shock valving generally does a good job. Specialized uses the same suspension design, and it works great on our rough trails. I hear great things about Maestro too, although I’ve never ridden it. I suspect it rides a bit firmer than a Horst link design, but it’s supposed to eliminate pedal feedback really well.
    3.The Geometry specs are slightly different. The Giant is a half degree slacker in the headtube, and has a slightly longer wheelbase and chainstays. Not sure if these things would make a big difference, but in theory the Giant would be better downhill at speed, whereas the Norco would be quicker handling in the tight stuff. The differences are pretty small, and maybe not noticeable on trail.
  3. The Giant sounds like the better deal, but I’d still try to test ride both if I could. There’s just something magic about the “feel”, when you mount a bike. I’d want to hit a few curbs or rough surfaces on both, to check out the suspension movement too.