- Price: From £1,145.99
- Discipline: Full suspension trail MTB
- Usage: Trail and cross-country adventures
- Internal cable routing
- Dropper post with remote
- Shadow + rear mech with clutch
- No one-by drivetrain option
- Boost hub spacing only on fork
- No 29” wheel option
Updated: 11th September 2018
The Stance is Giant’s entry level full suspension trail bike that has grown in popularity over the years. For 2019 the Stance gets a makeover, with a brand-new frame that builds on the success of the previous models with revised geometry and a much cleaner look. There are two models in the range, and we look at them both in this Giant Stance Review.
Whether you are new to mountain bike riding or are stepping up from a hardtail MTB, you will find that the Stance offers a confident ride on both rough and smooth trails. The 120mm of front and rear suspension travel is combined with confident trail geometry and fast, yet nimble 27.5” wheels. This makes the Giant Stance ideal for all types of mountain biking, from cross-country single track to technical trail centre loops.
The Stance has a brand-new ALUXX aluminium frame for 2019. The most noticeable improvement is the internal cable routing which gives the bike much cleaner lines than previous models. Less noticeable, but more important, are the geometry changes. Slightly longer with a slightly slacker head angle, the Stance offers a more confident ride on technical tracks. There is also more tyre clearance, so the Stance can take wider rubber for improved grip.
Giant is one of the largest bicycle frame manufacturers in the world. All their bike frames are built in-house, so they certainly know a thing or two about making quality MTB frames. The Stance frame is built from 6061 ALUXX-Grade aluminium which uses tubes that are press formed and butted to reduces the amount of unnecessary material used to achieve the desired strength to weight ratio.
Unlike most bike manufacturers, Giant creates its ALUXX alloy tubing and builds the frames in its own factory, rather than subcontracting them to one of the handful of mega manufacturers such as, er, Giant - Bike Radar
This ‘FlexPoint’ system saves weight and cost compared to extra pivots and linkages, and it turns out it’s no bad thing in terms of ride quality either -
Both models in the Stance range feature 120mm of rear wheel travel combined with a 120mm travel suspension fork. The rear FlexPoint suspension system is a rocker activated single pivot design. This looks similar to the Maestro system on Giant’s higher end mountain bikes but is actually a much simpler design that saves a bit of weight as well as keeping the costs down.
The Stance 1 has a RockShox Recon fork up front with a Monarch R rear shock. The Stance 2 has a more affordable Suntour Axon fork with a Raidon rear shock. While RockShox is the better-known MTB suspension brand, the Suntour shocks offer similar levels of performance. Both bikes offer a much smoother, more confident ride on rough trails when compared to similar hardtails.
The Shadow + rear mech is a real plus point as it stops the chain from bouncing around and falling off on rough trails.
It is great to see both the Stance 1 and Stance 2 are fitted with a Shimano Deore Shadow+ rear mech. This features a clutch mechanism, which reduces chain-slap and lessens the chances of dropping a chain, for a quieter as well as more secure ride on rough terrain. The Stance 2 gets a 2x9 speed drivetrain while the Stance 1 has 2x10 speed. Both bikes have a double chainring up front. While this setup isn’t quite as easy to use as one-by drivetrains it does mean that you get a wide range of gears for taking on all the climbs and descents.
Both bikes get a dropper post with remote lever, so you can adjust your saddle height on the fly. This means that you can make the most of every trail section without needing to stop and fiddle with your seatpost clamp. Shimano hydraulic disc brakes on each bike give you confident all-weather stopping power and the wide handlebars give you more control on technical terrain.
Offering the ideal balance between rapid rolling and nimble handling the 27.5” wheels are ideal for new and experienced riders alike. Like their frames, Giant make their own wheels, so they offer great value. The Stance 1 gets the Giant AM wheelset with wide 30mm rims that offer great support for the tyres on technical trails. The Stance 2 has a more cross-county oriented wheelset with slightly narrower rims. These are both tubeless wheelset and are supplied ready set up with tubeless tyres.
With a Boost fork and more tyre clearance on the rear, the Stance gets wider 2.4” Maxxis Ardent tyres for 2019. Wide tyres give you more grip in the corners and roll better over rough terrain, especially when running the lower tyre pressures that tubeless allows.
The Stance is built specifically for 27.5” wheels as these offer the best balance between nimble handling characteristics and rapid rolling performance.
Combining 120mm of full suspension travel with dialled trail geometry and a competent component spec, the Giant Stance is ideal for trail centre riding. Both new and experienced mountain bikers will appreciate the smooth rolling performance of this full susser. An entry level bike that delivers premium performance on the trail. The Giant Stance offers a full suspension advantage, over similarly priced hardtails which is most noticeable when riding rough tracks.
The Giant Stance is hard to beat on price, but if you want to up the performance a bit then there are a few other bikes that are well worth a look. Specialized’s new Stumpjumper ST offers a similar amount of suspension travel and is also great for XC and trail centre riding. The same can be said about the Merida One-Twenty. For a little bit of extra big hit potential, the Giant Trance delivers a confident ride on more challenging trails while still being lightweight enough for cross-country epics.