Measure - model - analyse - change...
Giant Trance XL 2009 vs Specialized Hardrock Sport XL 2006
Compare my Giant Trance full suspension with 120mm forks to my Specialized Hardrock Sport with 100mm of front suspension.
How do they feel to ride? Subjectively, both bikes feel long and stable. The Trance feels a bit top heavy when going slowly in and out of tight objects but feels better at speed due to the full suspension.
When looking at the data below, both have surprisingly similar figures;
Trail on the Trance (120mm forks) goes from 90 - 53 and on the Crosstrail (100mm forks) from 88 - 57. As both are very stable this implies that these trail figures are what should be aimed for on a stable cross country bike.
You can see from the superimposed images that the Crosstrail is lower. This vindicates my subjective feel that it is easier to ride in tight conditions.
Regarding wheelbase - the Trance has always felt like one of the longest bikes I have ridden and this is born out by the long wheelbase.
Giant Trance XL 2009
Specialized Hardrock Sport XL 2006
How do they compare when you stack them together? Surprisingly similar! This program does not model rear suspension but if it did you can see that the Trance probably does not ride that much lower than the crosstrail if the rear suspension is compressed. The Trance has a wider variation of Trail which is to be expected as the suspension travel is greater.
The Trance is in red and the Specialized in green.