The Gnarvana’s handling reminded me a lot of the Banshee Titan, and a look at the geometry numbers reveals why. Both bikes have a 470mm reach, with chainstay lengths in the 450mm range. The Gnarvana is a bit slacker, with a 63.7-degree head angle vs. 64.5, which does help make feel even more at home in really steep terrain.
The Titan does have 5mm less rear travel, but it’s suspension design gives it such a bottomless feel that the slight travel difference between the two bikes isn’t noticeable.
The Titan’s aluminum frames goes for $2,299 with a Float X2 shock, while the Gnarvana is priced at $2,825 for the same configuration.
How about a comparison with the Transition Sentinel? I had both bikes on hand at the same time, which made it easy to suss out the similarities and differences. The Sentinel’s head angle is 63.6-degrees, the reach is 476 millimeters for a size large, and the chainstays are 440mm, which gives it a 10mm shorter wheelbase than the Gnarvana. The Sentinel also has less travel – 150mm in the rear and a 160mm fork, along with a lighter frame weight. When it comes to price, the Gnarvana’s frame costs $374 less than the full-carbon Sentinel.
On the trail, all those numbers give the Sentinel a livelier feel than the Gnarvana. It’s easier to make quick direction changes and to transfer from one section of trail to another on the Sentinel, but when it comes time for really charging through rough terrain the Gnarvana has the edge. The Sentinel is more of an all-rounder, a bike that I’d happily take on longer trail rides, while the Gnarvana is more purpose-built for rougher trails with bigger hits.