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Giant Trance Range Review

Giant Trance Review

  • Price Range: £1,399.20 - £5,039.20
  • Discipline: Trail Mountain Bike
  • Usage: Trail and enduro riding
  • Fantastic Maestro suspension
  • Alloy and carbon frame options
  • 29" and 27.5" Wheeled bikes
  • Fewer 27.5" wheeled bikes for 2019
  • Limited models compared to competitors
  • Limited colour options

Updated: 24th August 2018

Overview

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 enduro tracks. It’s quick and climbs efficiently, while descending capably. The Trance is a great all-rounder and is fun to ride on milder trails, as well as more challenging, steeper terrain.

We review the Giant Trance range, which includes 29ers as well as 27.5” bikes for 2019. There are now nine models in the range. At the top of the range are four carbon framed bikes: three Trance Advanced Pro 29ers, and one 27.5” wheeled Trance Advanced. Offering more affordable options there are two alloy framed 29ers and three 27.5” wheeled bikes with alloy frames.

Giant Trance 29er 2019

Trance 29er

29” wheels for 2019

I can attest to the Trance 29 being a very versatile and capable bike, one that I would choose for riding in a large variety of locations on diverse terrain. It was a complete afterthought that the Trance had just 115mm of travel. It's nimble, quick, and yes, fun. - PinkBike

The Trance 29er is a brand-new addition to the Trance range. Rather than just bolting 29” wheels to the existing Trance, Giant have taken a different approach and have built this bike around a dedicated 29er platform. There are three carbon Trance Advanced Pro 29ers and two alloy framed Trance 29ers in the range for 2019.

With its slack head angle, longer reach and short chainstays, the Trance 29 has the dialled trail bike geometry you expect from a modern trail bike. The suspension travel is less than on the 27.5 bikes with just 115mm travel on the rear combined with a 130mm fork. That said the ride feel defies the numbers and the Maestro suspension system, combined with the larger wheels, gives you all the confident capabilities you expect from a Trance with a confident playful feel.

Giant Trance 2018 frame

Frame

ALUXX SL alloy and Advanced-Grade Composite frames

There is a two-way split on the geometry of the Giant Trance. The 27.5” wheeled Trance bikes all share the same capable geometry, with a mid-range 67° head tube angle and short 435mm chainstays for playful handling. The Trance 29ers all get a slightly slacker 66.5° head angle and the chainstays are only 1mm longer than the smaller wheeled bikes.

You have the choice of either carbon or alloy fames. The Trance Advanced Pro 29ers get a full Advanced-Grade carbon composite frame, while the Trance Advanced 27.5 has a carbon front triangle with an alloy rear end. The Trance 29er 2 & 1 and the Trance 3, 2 & 1 get ALUXX SL alloy frames, Giant’s lightest mountain bike alloy.

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 for plenty of tyre clearance.

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

Giant Trance 2018 suspension

Suspension

Maestro suspension gives fantastic control

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 Trance 29 has 115mm of rear wheel travel while the 27.5 bikes frame boast 140mm travel. This puts them perfectly in line to balance climbing efficiency and descending prowess. Up front, a 130mm (29) or 150mm (27.5) 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.

Fox forks and shocks are fitted to most of the bikes in the range. Fox Float 34 forks are fitted to the 29ers and the Trance 2 while the remaining Trance 27.5 bikes get the bigger hitting ability of a Fox 36. The higher end Trance models in both wheel sizes are fitted with a piggyback shock for improved consistency on long descents. At the top of the range the Trance Advanced Pro 29 0 is fitted with a custom tuned DVO fork and shock which has been developed in conjunction with the Pro Race Teams. At the other end of the scale the Trance 3 has an affordable but still capable Suntour AION fork.

Giant Trance 2018 groupset

Groupset

1x drivetrains with wide cassettes

For 2019 every Giant Trance has a one by drivetrain so you get easy, secure and intuitive shifting on every model. Other than the 27.5” wheeled Trance 3 & 2, which get Shimano 1x10 or 1x11 speed, all the bikes get SRAM Eagle drivetrains. With a large 10-50t 12 speed cassette, these bikes get a massive 500% gear range, so you have the perfect gear for every off-road trail section including the steepest climbs. At the top of the range you get the slick shifting and very quiet running of XO1 Eagle with more affordable GX or NX Eagle on the other bikes. Powerful hydraulic disc brakes are fitted, with SRAM or Shimano stoppers to match the drivetrains.

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 Trance 2018 wheels

Wheels

Giant WheelSystems on every model

Giant TRX carbon wheels provide a stiff and lightweight rolling experience, giving a strong platform for quick pickup and excellent power transfer.

Giant 27.5” or 29” 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. All of the carbon framed bikes as well as the Trance 29er 1 get Giant TRX carbon wheels which are lightweight as well as tough for faster rolling performance. The other bikes in the range all get high-quality alloy wheels.

Tyres are often the first thing people change on their mountain bikes, but not on the Trance. Maxxis High Roller II or Minion 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.

Giant Trance 2018 best for

Best for

That one do-it-all mountain bike

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 both the 29ers and 27.5” wheeled bikes are 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.

Giant Trance 2018 dropper post Giant Trance 2018 dropper post lever
Giant Trance 2018  linkage Giant Trance 2018 frame
Giant Trance 2018 saddle Giant Trance 2018 fork

Giant Trance models

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