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Help! Trance or Hawk Hill

Old 06-04-19, 12:46 PM
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emanuel_v19
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Help! Trance or Hawk Hill

Hello all,

I am debating what bike to get.

2018 Giant Trance 3 $1500 plus tax
Or
2019 Marin Hawk Hill 1 $1600 plus tax.

I am new to full suspension bikes. I currently have a Specialized Rockhopper, but want to get a full suspension bike. I don't need the greatest features, but if I fall in love with full suspension I would hope to upgrade parts.

I don't understand the specs/parts so that is why I want to ask for your suggestion.

Thanks!

Last edited by emanuel_v19; 06-04-19 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 06-04-19, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by emanuel_v19 View Post
Hello all,

I am debating what bike to get.

2018 Giant Trance $1500 plus tax
Or
2019 Marin Hawk Hill $1600 plus tax.

I am new to full suspension bikes. I currently have a Specialized Rockhopper, but want to get a full suspension bike. I don't need the greatest features, but if I fall in love with full suspension I would hope to upgrade parts.

I don't understand the specs/parts so that is why I want to ask for your suggestion.

Thanks!
have you tried either, my friends have both and each have like them a lot. I've ridden the Giant Reign and the Maestro linkage is well done. Both are a great bikes for the money.
Which model is each? are the component levels equivalent?
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Old 06-04-19, 02:15 PM
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About a year ago I looked seriously at both of these models in addition to a few others. In general, the Trance is a bit higher spec than the Hawk Hill although both are excellent value aluminum bikes.

The Hawk Hill comes in 3 different specs (1, 2, and 3). The 1 is the lowest spec and the 3 is the highest. The specs mostly define the drivetrain (# of gears and configuration), suspension (shock and fork), wheels, brakes, and seatpost (the higher specs come with a dropper). I believe that the Hawk Hill 1 is $1599 list price in 2019 so that is probably what you are looking at. It does not have a dropper seatpost but does come with a Shimano XT 1x10 speed drivetrain. The wheels and brakes are entry level but adequate for lots of riding.

The Trance comes in a few different specs as well. However, with Giant, the 1 is the highest level spec with the best components - opposite of Marin. So depending on the spec of the Trance, it could be a significantly more valuable bike. For example, the 2018 Trance 2 listed for $2890 - almost twice the price of the Hawk Hill. The Trance 1 was even higher than that.

So on the surface, The Trance is probably a better spec bike than the Hawk Hill. However, there is definitely some advantages to buying a brand new bike as well so factor that in.

More importantly than all of this though - make sure that both of these bikes fit you properly. You can go to both Marin and Giant's websites and see these models (even the 2018 ones) and look at the suggested size charts relative to your height. The dealer(s) can also help with this. And by all means - ride them both. One may just feel "right".

So I ended up buying the Hawk Hill 1 and have since done a few upgrades to it over the past year and a few months (dropper, wheels, tires, pedals, grips, saddle...). I don't regret it at all - it is a great bike and is capable of much more than I am. I've owned quite a few Giants and love them but the Hawk Hill was the best option for me. I've been riding and enjoying the Hawk Hill for the last 14 months and am saving some $ for a new one in the next year or so - probably a SantaCruz Hightower, Ibis Ripley, or Niner Jet.
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Old 06-04-19, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
have you tried either, my friends have both and each have like them a lot. I've ridden the Giant Reign and the Maestro linkage is well done. Both are a great bikes for the money.
Which model is each? are the component levels equivalent?
I updated it with the models. I am not sure about components. It's my first full suspension bike.
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Old 06-04-19, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dbf909 View Post
About a year ago I looked seriously at both of these models in addition to a few others. In general, the Trance is a bit higher spec than the Hawk Hill although both are excellent value aluminum bikes.

The Hawk Hill comes in 3 different specs (1, 2, and 3). The 1 is the lowest spec and the 3 is the highest. The specs mostly define the drivetrain (# of gears and configuration), suspension (shock and fork), wheels, brakes, and seatpost (the higher specs come with a dropper). I believe that the Hawk Hill 1 is $1599 list price in 2019 so that is probably what you are looking at. It does not have a dropper seatpost but does come with a Shimano XT 1x10 speed drivetrain. The wheels and brakes are entry level but adequate for lots of riding.

The Trance comes in a few different specs as well. However, with Giant, the 1 is the highest level spec with the best components - opposite of Marin. So depending on the spec of the Trance, it could be a significantly more valuable bike. For example, the 2018 Trance 2 listed for $2890 - almost twice the price of the Hawk Hill. The Trance 1 was even higher than that.

So on the surface, The Trance is probably a better spec bike than the Hawk Hill. However, there is definitely some advantages to buying a brand new bike as well so factor that in.

More importantly than all of this though - make sure that both of these bikes fit you properly. You can go to both Marin and Giant's websites and see these models (even the 2018 ones) and look at the suggested size charts relative to your height. The dealer(s) can also help with this. And by all means - ride them both. One may just feel "right".

So I ended up buying the Hawk Hill 1 and have since done a few upgrades to it over the past year and a few months (dropper, wheels, tires, pedals, grips, saddle...). I don't regret it at all - it is a great bike and is capable of much more than I am. I've owned quite a few Giants and love them but the Hawk Hill was the best option for me. I've been riding and enjoying the Hawk Hill for the last 14 months and am saving some $ for a new one in the next year or so - probably a SantaCruz Hightower, Ibis Ripley, or Niner Jet.
Gotcha. The 2018 is actually new from a bike shop.
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Old 06-04-19, 08:37 PM
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So the Giant 2018 Trance 3 Listed for $2350 and has some noteable differences over and above the HH1. While the Drivetrain is Shimano Deore 1x10 which is essentially the same as the HH1 and the Brakes are the same too, the Giant comes with a dropper and a slightly higher spec suspension. Also better wheels/tires and it is setup tubeless from the factory. In addition to the slightly better shock, fork, and suspension geometry (Maestro) the Giant has more travel in the suspension - 140mm rear vs 110mm on the Hawk Hill. The Giant fork is 150mm vs 120mm for the Hawk Hill.

More travel isn't necessarily better, it depends on what you are planning to do with the bike - what sort of terrain your riding. As a first FS MTB, either one will be great fun. Both are good for trail riding although the Giant might be a little better for more rugged terrain, drops, jumps, etc., the Hawk Hill can do pretty much the same thing.

Here in FL most of our trails are flat with some man-made "hills" and lots of obstacles like rock piles, roots, jumps, etc. I actually prefer a 120mm to 135mm suspension for the stuff that I encounter here. I demoed a couple of full-on Enduro style bikes a few months back (170mm-180mm travel) and frankly they were just too much for my style of riding. I also demoed a couple of Cross Country race style bikes (60mm-80mm travel) and although they rode great and were super light, I used up all of the travel on them pretty easily. For me, the 120mm-140mm range is the sweet spot.

So, given your choice, I'd probably go for the Giant as it is a very compelling deal (over 35% off). The Hawk Hill is full list price ($1599.)

Which color is the Giant - Green/Black or Charcoal/Neon? Where do you ride?

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-3-2018

https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/201....5-hawk-hill-1

Last edited by dbf909; 06-04-19 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 06-04-19, 09:22 PM
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It comes in both colors. I'm in the Bay area at the moment but going up to Seattle in the summer for about a year. I mostly ride around Santa Cruz.

Very informative btw. Highly appreciate your response. Color to me is a big deal so I'll check both in person and ride them ,and see how I feel.
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Old 06-05-19, 07:15 AM
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completely agree with @dbf909 the Giant edges out the Marin in the parts category and that's obvious from the list price comparison. I usually try buy leftovers for that reason.
For where you are riding and want to ride, the extra suspension would make better sense, my friends with Trances and Hightowers even hit the green and blue DH runs with us when they feel like renting.
I also looked at the differences in the geometries and regardless of the better deal, you should do a demo, even better if they let you take is out on a trail. Slight differences in the seat tube and reach, but I was surprised to see the Marin will a very progressive head tube angle up front which is why it's solidly in the Trail category for bikes. Let us know what you ended up with
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Old 06-05-19, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by dbf909 View Post
So the Giant 2018 Trance 3 Listed for $2350 and has some noteable differences over and above the HH1. While the Drivetrain is Shimano Deore 1x10 which is essentially the same as the HH1 and the Brakes are the same too, the Giant comes with a dropper and a slightly higher spec suspension. Also better wheels/tires and it is setup tubeless from the factory. In addition to the slightly better shock, fork, and suspension geometry (Maestro) the Giant has more travel in the suspension - 140mm rear vs 110mm on the Hawk Hill. The Giant fork is 150mm vs 120mm for the Hawk Hill.

More travel isn't necessarily better, it depends on what you are planning to do with the bike - what sort of terrain your riding. As a first FS MTB, either one will be great fun. Both are good for trail riding although the Giant might be a little better for more rugged terrain, drops, jumps, etc., the Hawk Hill can do pretty much the same thing.

Here in FL most of our trails are flat with some man-made "hills" and lots of obstacles like rock piles, roots, jumps, etc. I actually prefer a 120mm to 135mm suspension for the stuff that I encounter here. I demoed a couple of full-on Enduro style bikes a few months back (170mm-180mm travel) and frankly they were just too much for my style of riding. I also demoed a couple of Cross Country race style bikes (60mm-80mm travel) and although they rode great and were super light, I used up all of the travel on them pretty easily. For me, the 120mm-140mm range is the sweet spot.

So, given your choice, I'd probably go for the Giant as it is a very compelling deal (over 35% off). The Hawk Hill is full list price ($1599.)

Which color is the Giant - Green/Black or Charcoal/Neon? Where do you ride?

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-3-2018

https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/201....5-hawk-hill-1
My friend just moved to the Tampa area and was looking at bikes as he felt the Salsa Horsethief he had was too much travel for down there and want to keep the Salsa for riding up here in NJ. He mulled over hardtails for some time, but ended up with a Santa Cruz Blur. Great bike and the redesign is incredible. All the new Santa Cruzs seem to give you the feeling for more travel than it has. I just bought a Pivot 429SL after doing a few demos and now second guessing whether the Blur would have been a better choice. I agree with you on the 120-140mm being the sweat spot for most riders wanting to try a FS bike. My 135 travel bike would be my favorite if I didn't enjoy hardtails so much. I don't ride very fast so I can get away with nothing in the rear. Great intell btw.
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Old 06-05-19, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
My friend just moved to the Tampa area and was looking at bikes as he felt the Salsa Horsethief he had was too much travel for down there and want to keep the Salsa for riding up here in NJ. He mulled over hardtails for some time, but ended up with a Santa Cruz Blur. Great bike and the redesign is incredible. All the new Santa Cruzs seem to give you the feeling for more travel than it has. I just bought a Pivot 429SL after doing a few demos and now second guessing whether the Blur would have been a better choice. I agree with you on the 120-140mm being the sweat spot for most riders wanting to try a FS bike. My 135 travel bike would be my favorite if I didn't enjoy hardtails so much. I don't ride very fast so I can get away with nothing in the rear. Great intell btw.
Great trails in the Tampa area. They have a few more "hills" than we do down south. I did demo a Blur (along with Tallboy 3, Hightower LT, and 5010) a couple of months ago at two different Parks (Markham Park and Quiet Waters Park) when Santa Cruz was down here. I really did like it - of course all the demo bikes are CC frames and XX1 (highest stock level) spec - pushing $8k. Like you say, the suspension acts quite a bit more than it measures and the super light weight was fun and it felt really fast.

Not to hijack the thread though...

For Northern CA trails, I'd definitely get the Giant. Both colors are pretty great although the Green is kind of polarizing... Some love it and some hate it. I'd probably get the green myself.

On the other hand, for Marin county trails, the Marin bike would be appropriate ;-).
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Old 06-19-19, 02:59 PM
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Guys thank you so much, but after much consideration and asking friends, shops, and random people on the internet, I have come down to 2 completely different bikes. I will make a new post but I want to ask here too.

I am debating between the Roscoe 7 for $1000 total price out the door or Roscoe 8 for $1200 total price out the door?

I would only need to get used to the plus size tires, and I love the volt green on the 7 but the 8 seems to be a better deal???
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Old 06-19-19, 08:03 PM
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Didn't connect this with my other post
Santa Cruz and hardtails? Why...

What evilness would steer you in that direction? If I were to rent a bike to ride in your hood it wouldn't be a hardtail.
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Old 06-26-19, 06:12 PM
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Guys,

You are going to hate me for this, BUT I had the chance to try the Hawk Hill and Trance 3 before I made a decision. I had given the Trek Roscoe a ride before, and I really enjoyed the bike. However, I rode the Trance 3, and I was amazed at how the bike felt and it fit me so well! The next bike was the Hawk Hill, and I don't know if I had forgotten how the Trance initially rode, but the Hawk Hill fit like a glove! I never felt a bike fit so good! I wanted to buy it, I needed to align my senses though. Get back home, and do more research was my priority.

Upon browsing the shops' website, I found this bike:

https://www.bikeconnection.net/produ...1-308258-1.htm

Right now, The trance knocks over the Hawk Hill with components. There is no doubt about that. I am looking for a bike I could upgrade if I need to, not anytime soon though, and I feel like the Hawk Hill could be it. Was I wrong to believe I had forgotten how the Trance rode since it was the 1st bike? I do plan on riding them both again. Lastly, I want this bike to be my last big purchase, dependable and upgradable in case I become a better rider!

In addition, both bikes are not in the same shop which kinda sucks. They are about 25min apart. Finally, both colors are not my favorite, but I could probably live more with the orange on the Trance than the purple on the Hawk Hill.

Thoughts? I want to purchase this weekend. It will be my gift before heading up North to Washington State

Jose Manuel
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Old 06-26-19, 07:49 PM
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Buy the Trance.
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Old 06-26-19, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mountain Mitch View Post
Buy the Trance.
Reasons?
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Old 06-27-19, 09:33 AM
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Main thing about bike riding is to get a bike and ride it like you stole it!

You’re dithering for no good reason. You say you want to buy a bike, you say this fits, it’s in your price range, it has better components than the alternative. Giant is a well known quantity. Good warranty. Rarely an issue with their bikes. Good resale value. It will help you move to the next step in your riding.

Whatever you buy you’ll probably replace within 5 years so go with the obvious candidate and start riding it.
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Old 06-27-19, 09:57 PM
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Both are good choices as mentioned before but fit can be adjusted by the shop if you tell them what you didnt like about the Trance compared to the Marin. They are looking for a sale aren't they?

When you wrote "felt better" might it be the air settings on the shock and fork? Dialing in the right pressures takes trial and error. Didn't the Trance have better shocks and forks as well.
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Old 07-06-19, 07:43 PM
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I've been so busy all week I didn't get a chance to reply, but I finally chose my bike and picked it up today. I'm going tomorrow to Fort Ord, and I'm excited to see how it performs. I am not an expert by any mean, but I think this bike will make me feel like one. It rides so nice and the color is just spot on for my liking.
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Old 07-07-19, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by emanuel_v19 View Post
I've been so busy all week I didn't get a chance to reply, but I finally chose my bike and picked it up today. I'm going tomorrow to Fort Ord, and I'm excited to see how it performs. I am not an expert by any mean, but I think this bike will make me feel like one. It rides so nice and the color is just spot on for my liking.
Congrats, looks great, send pics when you get her outside
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Old 08-04-19, 09:19 PM
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Been out riding about 3 times at my local trails. Ton of fun, but I have a question.

I noticed I broke off teeth from the cog, am I doing something wrong? Too aggressive on shifting? Quality of components isn't great? Or maybe defective?

1st time I see this and I'm curious what the culprit is.
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Old 08-04-19, 09:38 PM
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Looks like a worn, not broken, cassette. Time to fork out for a new one!
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Old 08-04-19, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mountain Mitch View Post
Looks like a worn, not broken, cassette. Time to fork out for a new one!
That's impossible! I only have 3 rides with it! I just bought it new!
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Old 08-05-19, 07:56 AM
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The cassette is fine, the teeth on those have odd shapes to help push the chain up. Hard to tell from a picture but I am pretty sure its the way the tooth already looked when you bought it.
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Old 08-05-19, 09:10 AM
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If you zoom in a look a little closer, the 3rd tooth from the left on the largest cog is "broken". That's the one I am referring to.
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Old 08-05-19, 02:02 PM
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That's for shifting. Find the next ramp (the depression stamped by the tooth) and look at its tooth. Or find a photo of a brand new one.

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