Updated: 19 January 2018
The Giant Trance fits perfectly in the Giant lineup as that mid-weight full suspension mountain bike to take on near any terrain. It’s the do-it-all trail bike that you’ll be happy hitting your local trails, riding XC loops, launching down alpine tracks and even pitting yourself against mates at enduro races. It’s quick and climbs efficiently, while descending capably. The geometry isn’t crazy long or slack, making sure you can ride the Trance on milder trails, as well as more challenging, steeper terrain.
We review the Giant Trance range, composed of seven models, starting from the entry-level alloy Trance 4, all the way to the flagship carbon/alloy framed Trance Advanced 0. Suntour, RockShox and Fox suspension can be found through the range, as well as Shimano and SRAM drivetrains. Every model also comes with a dropper post, completing a fantastic component spec for each bike.
Every model in the Giant Trance range shares the same capable geometry, with a mid-range 67° head angle and short chainstays for playful handling. Two frames are used across the seven models. The Trance 4, 3, 2 and 1 get ALUXX SL alloy frames, Giant’s lightest mountain bike alloy. The Trance Advanced models feature a one-piece carbon front triangle joined to the same ALUXX SL alloy rear swingarm you find on the alloy models, keeping weight to a minimum, while maintaining the same strength.
Every model in the Trance line-up comes with the same Advanced Forged Technology one-piece rocker, which is used to activate the rear shock. It’s super lightweight and stiff, offering greater strength and reducing the weight. Both the alloy and carbon frames get internal cable routing, including the dropper post, and Boost spacing in the rear, which is able to accommodate up to a 2.6” tyre.
The front section of the Trance Advanced chassis is constructed from Toray T700 carbon material from Japan (perhaps the most respected supplier in the industry), while the rear suspension is fabricated from aluminium. - Pinkbike
Supple, with nice resistance to bottom-out, and at the same time admirably indifferent to pedalling inputs, the Trance makes the most of 140 millimetres of travel, and does so in an unobtrusive, efficient, businesslike manner. - Bike Magazine
The Trance uses Giant’s Maestro Suspension, which uses two rotating links that work in unison to deliver a fully active, floating suspension system. The frame boasts 140mm travel, putting it perfectly in line to balance climbing efficiency and descending prowess. Up front, a 150mm travel fork is specced with Boost spacing, giving that little bit more capability during descents. All rear shocks featured are trunnion mounted, meaning they are bolted lower down in the shock, allowing a longer stroke shock to be used in a smaller area, offering a smoother action.
The Trance 4 and Trance 3 both feature SR Suntour forks and RockShox Deluxe R rear shocks. The Trance 2 is the first to feature Fox shocks front and rear, balancing the suspension nicely. The Trance 1 and Advanced 1 both get the Performance Elite line of Fox Shocks, which have top of the line dampers, keeping everything well in control. The Trance Advanced 2 and 0 both get RockShox suspension front and rear, with the Advanced 0 receiving a Super deluxe RT shock with remote lockout in the rear and a Pike RCT3 in the front for ultimate control.
Both Shimano and SRAM drivetrains are found along the Trance range. The Trance 4 is the only model that features a 2x drivetrain, with Shimano Deore 9 speed components. All the other models have 1x drivetrains, keeping shifting simple and reliable, while maintain the wide spread of gears with large cassettes in the back. The Trance 3, 2 and Advanced 2 all have Shimano drivetrains, with the Trance 3 getting Deore 10 speed and the Trance 2 and Advanced 2 getting SLX 11 speed, all with clutch derailleurs.
The Giant Trance 1, Advanced 1 and Advanced 0 all get the full SRAM Eagle 12 speed treatment, complete with massive 10-50t cassettes. The latter receives the XO1 Eagle drivetrain for full on enduro performance. These larger cassettes deliver a huge range, so climbing even the steepest slopes is made easier. Elsewhere, the Trance range has Giant Contact components and a short stem/wide handlebar cockpit. Giant Contact Switch dropper posts make sure that every Trance rider can climb and descend with their saddle in the right place.
Shimano and SRAM both deliver superb shifting experiences, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find fault on any Trance model’s drivetrain.
Giant TRX carbon wheels provide a stiff and lightweight rolling experience, giving a strong platform for quick pickup and excellent power transfer.
Giant wheels are found on every Trance model. By speccing their own wheels, Giant is able to keep the overall prices of the Trance range really competitive, while still providing fantastic wheels for hitting the trails. The Trance 4, 3 and 2 get Giant XC-1 wheels with alloy rims featuring a 23mm inner width. From the Trance 1 up to the Advanced 0, TRX carbon wheels make sure lightweight and quick rolling is on offer. The Advanced 0 gets the TRX 0 wheels, that have aero spokes and high-end DT Swiss hub internals for that extra fast engagement and speed.
Tyres are often the first thing people change on their mountain bikes, but not on the Trance. Maxxis High Roller II tubeless tyres with tough Exo casing and dual compound rubber come on every model, giving you excellent traction from the very start. Every Giant Trance is also setup tubeless out the box, giving you that extra performance advantage.
The Giant Trance sets out to be that one do-it-all mountain bike that can take you from weekend trail rides all the way to alpine adventures and enduro races without batting an eye. With mid-range suspension travel at 140mm rear and 150mm front, it’s more than capable of taking on tough and challenging terrain, but won’t be phased about the climb to get to the top.
The Trance range starts out at a reasonable price point, making sure newcomers to the full suspension market won’t have to break the bank to enjoy the benefits of the fantastic Maestro suspension, which include excellent pedalling efficiency as well as big hit performance. If you’re looking for that one full suspension trail bike that’ll be happy riding whatever you feel like, it’s hard to look past the superb Giant Trance.
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