Sometimes it's not a definitive plan that allows one to reach a heightened level of consciousness or elation but it's in the succession of unforeseen events that lends to one's superlative education and experiential uprising. Sequentially, my experience in building the bike I ride right now turned out to be a pretty good example of how unexpected factors can contribute to and be combined to create some pretty amazing results.
The build started with one very baffling bike, the Kona Process 111 that had a 27.5" rear wheel and a Cane Creek Inline with a stroke measuring 7mm longer than the stock 184x44mm shock. That gave the 111 15mm more travel, a 5mm drop in bottom bracket height, and a head-tube angle of 67deg opposed to the original 68deg of fork rake. The customizations made the 111 very aggressive and extremely fun, but I got bored nevertheless. That's when I got the idea to try a little experiment with the Giant Trance 3 I bought for my girlfriend Trinity for Christmas. It wasn't being ridden much so I decided to Indian give it to her and make it baddass!
Firstly, I stripped the Trance down to the frame as well as the 111, swapped the Cane Creek DB inline 190x51mm shock and rear 27.5" wheel onto the Trance, and replaced the Trance's fork with my 120mm Pike 29 and 29" front wheel. That essentially made the geometry of the Trance slacker than a Trance SX and maintained the 140mm of travel while dropping the bottom bracket height about 1cm. I put on Maxxis Minion tires, a 150mm KS Lev Integra Seatpost, Race Face Turbine cranks, XT 11 speed drivetrain, XTR M9000 bakes and Santa Cruz 800mm wide carbon bars. Although that setup made the trance very capable descending and also maintained a decent climbing geometry for an enduro bike, I had to take it a step further! I raised the fork travel to 130mm, extended the stem 20mm longer, and shoved the saddle all the way forward on its rails to correct the very slack seat tube angle. I now had created a beast of a bike and the Trance's head tube was SLACK! I had succeeded in maintaining a 64.5 deg head tube and my bottom bracket height was still only 13" high. I rode the trance like that for six months regardless that I had exceeded the manufacture's specs and would have forfeited the warranty, therefore I changed it once again.
With an overall weight which hovers at 29lbs, the final incarnation of the Giant Trance 3 was realized with having new wheels built for it, which were both 27.5" Dt Swiss FR570 DH rims on classic Dt Swiss 350 hubs, and replacing the Rock Shox Pike with a 27.5 Manitou Mattock Pro with 160mm of travel. The only significant change in performance I was impressed with was that the steering had now become very responsive. The DT FR570 rims are a great choice for those who want a high quality welded rim that has an inner width of 27.5mm and a weight of 590g. The head tube angle is now at a conservative 65.75deg, but I cannot lie that I miss the super slack setup I previously was riding. All in all I think I have found a logically intermediate bike build with the attention to detail I am learning is needed when you expect to have a bike that will help you ride at the highest performance possible, as you strive to be the best rider you can be.