Field Test: 2021 Giant Trance X - Computer Controlled Climbing Convenience

Nov 24, 2020
by Mike Levy  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Giant Trance X Advanced Pro 29 0



Words by Mike Levy, photography by Tom Richards



The latest version of the Trance X is a 135mm-travel trail bike with a 150mm fork and 29" wheels that Giant describes as "One trail bike to do it all," and it's based around an all-new frame with modern (and very adjustable) geometry.

While the aluminum versions start at $2,300 USD, the three-model Advanced range begins at $4,300 USD for the carbon fiber Pro 2. The top-of-the-line version is the $8,500 USD Pro 0, reviewed here and weighing 30lb 11oz with our control tires, that comes with Giant's own carbon wheels, a Shimano 12-speed XT drivetrain, and Fox's battery-powered Live Valve suspension system that plays a major role in the bike's character. But more on that later.

Trance X Advanced Details

• Travel: 135mm rear / 150mm front
• New carbon frame
• Wheel size: 29"
• Head Angle: 65.5-degrees (low)
• Seat Tube Angle: 77.2-degrees (low)
• Reach: 486mm (large, low)
• Chainstay length: 438mm (all sizes)
• Sizes: Sm, med, lrg (tested), x-lrg
• Weight: 30.7 lb / 13.9 kg
• Price: $8,500 USD
www.giant-bicycles.com

The new frame is almost entirely carbon, including the rocker arm and rear triangle, with only the Maestro suspension system's lower link being aluminum. Giant says that the frame weighs 2,100-grams including the shock, an impressive number given its all-around intentions. However, it is missing some details that many of their competitors offer, including tube-in-tube internal routing and some sort of storage solution. Instead, cable routing is internal, but you'll spend a few extra minutes fishing it out of the frame, and your multi-tool and tube will have to be strapped to your bike or body. On that note, while it probably doesn't make much sense for Giant to design a frame with Live Valve integration given it's used on just a single model, its packaging on this Trance X leaves something to be desired compared to the clean lines of the other bikes. Don't even get me started on all the wires, especially the one for the fork that was accidentally pulled apart a few times when loading and unloading the bike.

Giant's dual-link, co-rotating Maestro suspension layout has been around for ages now and is proven to be a very competent, all-around performer, but there are a couple of notable details when it comes to the 135mm-travel Trance X. The first is its adjustable geometry via flip-chips at the rocker arm and seatstay pivot. rotate these and you'll get 0.7-degrees of angle and 10mm of bottom bracket drop change, much more than the narrow range that most bikes offer.

The second is the Live Valve suspension that comes stock on my top-of-the-line Trance X test rig - you won't find it on the other models. It uses a magnetic valve, two accelerometers - one of the fork and one at the rear axle - and a microprocessor powered by a rechargeable battery. The computer knows when the bike is climbing, on level ground, descending, or in the air, and the idea is that you shouldn’t ever have to think about firming up your suspension’s compression for better performance - the computer does it for you. With a focus on pedaling efficiency, Live Valve is best suited to a rider who appreciates that emphasis, and the 135mm Trance is the longest-travel bike we’ve tested the system on.

Giant is, well, absolutely giant - they're one of the largest cycling brands in the world - and that's definitely seen them take a more conservative approach to geometry in the past; after all, their bikes need to appeal to a lot of riders, and that's harder to do if you're pushing the limits. But with a 486mm reach number for my large-sized test bike, 40mm of bottom bracket drop, and a 65.5-degree head and 77.2-degree seat angle, this latest Trance X is a different animal. All of those numbers are in the slacker, lower of the two settings because I bet that's how you'll set your Trance X up, but you can add 0.7-degrees and 10mm to the bottom bracket if you flip that aforementioned pivot hardware.




2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo
2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo

Climbing

Saying that you own a "trail bike" is only slightly less vague than saying you own a mountain bike, with travel ranging from 120mm to the 160mm forks on the front of some, and geometry being just as drastically different across the board. That wide-ranging approach has given us some trail bikes that are only a few ticks off of what was used on the Enduro World Series a few years back, while others have stuck to a less biased approach to "trail riding" that doesn't put climbing performance on the back burner.

With its efficiency-focused Live Valve suspension, the only thing the Trance X loses on the climbs are its competitors; it did an 11:31 up my timed climb, beating the also-new Ibis Mojo to the top spot by 19-seconds over a tricky, technical ascent. But I didn't need a watch to tell me the bike is fast. Even with Live Valve set to its most active, 1/5 mode, the Trance X responds to efforts in a way that nothing with this much travel should, leaping forward like it's a 24lb cross-country whip instead of a chubby trail bike.

I want a trail bike that rewards me for my hard efforts on the way up, and the Trance X does precisely this. I feel more likely to put in those hard efforts because of that, which is exactly what I want. That should tell you a bit about both the Trance's perspective and my own.

The enthusiasm that Live Valve gives to the bike doesn't just pay dividends when the clock is ticking - it's also an asset when faced with a slow, picky-choosey climb that demands your full attention. While a gooier-feeling bike like the Stumpy or Mojo might provide a bit more traction, it's like the Trance X is constantly whispering "If you give me another 20-watts, I'll get us up this shitty climb without you unclipping," in your ear. Slow-speed handling is neck and neck between the three, but having not looked too closely at the geometry chart until writing this, my post-ride notes tell me that the Trance X offers the quickest, easiest to live with steering on the type of trails where speeds hover in the single digits. What about the Salsa and Actofive? They feel a bit slow and bloated compared to the Giant, especially when it's tight. Or smooth and wide open. Okay, basically everywhere.


2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo

2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo
2021 Field Test Tom Richards photo


Descending

My top-tier Trance X test bike uses its Fox Live Valve suspension to wring the most out of it on the climbs, taking it from decent to probably one of the best on the way up, but things are a bit more complicated on the way back down for the same reason.

Let's talk about the good stuff first in this compliment sandwich.

While this might be the slackest, longest Trance X that Giant has ever offered, it retains the liveliness and energy that many riders look for in a trail bike. So while others seem to have their handling dulled by brands competing to see who can make the most capable trail bike, the Trance X still offers the relatively quick, responsive turning that some riders are looking for. That makes it a blast when the trail is more darty than straight down, and especially when the ground isn't rough and choppy under you.

The Trance X can feel infallible in those moments, likely due to not just its relatively quick handling (compared to other new, more aggressive trail bikes) but also its Live Valve suspension that turns even the laziest jab at the pedals into impressive forward motion.

Timed Testing

The trail bikes faced timed descent and climb sections on different trails, with the latter being a mix of smooth singletrack switchbacks leading into rooty and rocky steeper sections to evaluate low-speed handling. The timed downhill has everything a trail bike should face and maybe a bit more, most of it covered in roots and rocks.

Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.


Mike Levy: "With the quickest time of 11:30, the Trance X won the climbing race by 19-seconds over Ibis Mojo in 2nd and a whopping 41-seconds over the Actofive P-Train. It was a complete reversal for the timed downhill, though, with the Trance X's 4:58 putting it in last place, 7-seconds behind the Mojo."
Unfortunately for the Trance X, all of my testing took place in Squamish, British Columbia, where you won't find much in the way of smooth, flowy trails. Most of our singletrack is covered in roots just waiting to turn off any and all traction, and there are plenty of pointy rocks waiting to catch you when that happens. It felt like that was about to happen a bit too often for my liking when I was aboard the Giant.

Part of my Field Testing included riding all the bikes back-to-back-to-back through the same sections of trail, often with only a minute or two in between each while I ran back up the hill to grab the next contender. When ridden on its own, the Trance X's suspension felt firm and less forgiving than I expected but somewhere close to expectations. However, it was a different story when the bikes were ridden in succession. It was only then that it became obvious that the Giant's rear wheel wasn't tracking the ground as well as the others, with the wet, rough terrain causing the rear-end to skitter and bounce compared to the other bikes. While all five of the trail bikes wore matching Maxxis DHF and Dissector tires inflated to 21 and 23 PSI, the Giant acted like its rear tire had 35 PSI in it instead.

To be fair, while none of the terrain was beyond what any trail bike should be able to handle, the complicated ground and slippery conditions meant that traction could best be described as either "Maybe there?" or "Why am I laying in the dirt?" In other words, probably the most challenging it can get for computer-controlled suspension that puts an emphasis on pedaling performance, even when set to its most active 1/5 mode.

More suspension talk. Fox pairs Live Valve with their FIT4 fork damper, and while some riders might not notice the difference between FIT4 and the more descending-focused GRIP2 damper, especially on smooth trails, my back-to-back testing underlined it; FIT4 requires more air pressure and offers less low-speed support.


Tom Richards photo


Time for some perspective.

While many of the latest trail bikes clearly lean towards getting the most out of the descent, Giant believes the Trance X is more of an all-around package. Here's what they had to say: ''Please keep in mind the ‘Trance’ nameplate indicates that this bike should be equally adept at climbing as it is descending. For Giant, this translates into 50% climbing, 50% descending proficiency—it needs to accomplish both tasks equally. If riders are more focused on pure descending capability, our enduro-focused Reign 29 range is skewed 60/40 toward descending experience.''

The trail bike spectrum is pretty inclusive these days, and that lets riders choose the style of machine that's going to work best for their preferences and terrain. If you approach every descent like it's timed, you'll be better off on the Salsa or Actofive P-Train. The new Trance X isn't pretending to be an enduro bike, and Giant’s decision to spec an electronically-controlled fork and shock says they put more emphasis on pedaling performance than out-right suspension performance. Let’s be honest here: None of that is going to make the Trance X the cool bike to have out of this group.

So, why would you have the Trance X? To cover a ton of ground, of course, and while it might not be as forgiving (or as fast) on rough descents as the others, it’s a good option for riders who are more interested in doing huge rides with big climbs than being the quickest back to the bottom of the mountain.


Pros

+ Efficient climber without using lockout switches
+ Fun-loving, responsive handling
+ Lightweight frame

Cons

- Least capable descender
- Suspension performance
- Live Valve packaging, no integrated frame storage




The 2020 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with support from Dainese apparel & protection, Sierra Nevada refreshments, and Smith eyewear and helmets. Thanks also to Maxxis, Garmin, Freelap, and Toyota Pacific.





295 Comments

  • 222 1
 Would be interesting to see how a non-Live valve version compares.
  • 77 0
 non-Live Valve with a Grip2 fork. Seems like it'd rip.
  • 67 2
 Agreed! From what I understand test bikes were super limited (like everyone) and I believe other models weren’t available in time.
  • 81 6
 Agreed. It's sort of a useless test, because the rider experience and the pros and cons are dominated by the live valve. And what's the percentage of these bikes that will be sold with live valve? maybe 3%? I'm not blaming pb, they can only test the bike they are sent.
  • 32 0
 I was wondering the exact same thing. The next step down is $5,500 dollars, a large savings.
  • 15 1
 @brianpark: Perhaps a good excuse to include a base model in the next round of affordable bike field test.
  • 43 0
 Absolutely - it's frustrating that for how few bikes Giant seems to ever have reviewed (or send out for review by legit reviewers like PB at least), they so often have the live valve equipped. So you end up with a review of Fox Live Valve instead of a review of the bike.

Too bad there wasn't a way to turn it completely OFF to review the bike without any influence. Because realistically, maybe 1% of people reading these articles would be considering the live valve equipped model, but 2/3 of us could be considering the Trance X platform when looking for a locally supported trail bike.
  • 9 1
 @brianpark: I mean, could you just turn the live valve off?
  • 16 3
 @jspier: Live Valve is OFF on descents by default - as in it leaves the suspension open to move freely. It does not limit it, the problem is that LiveValve cannot be paired with more advanced dampers like the Grip or Grip2 and has to use FIT4 style damper - which is crap.
  • 4 6
 I think they could have just removed the battery and it then becomes regular suspension.
  • 6 6
 CC DB IL coil in gold with Grip 2 fork. I bet that would be amazing.
  • 4 0
 I was thinking the same thing.. The model below this would be interesting to compare to this one as well as the rest of the bikes here.. XT build, Fox Elite level suspension, and still keeps the carbon wheels.. Too bad that bike is already sold out for 2021...
  • 17 5
 Ditch the Fox Live-Valve stuff and put on a Manitou Mezzer fork and Mara Pro rear shock
  • 8 14
flag TheR (Nov 24, 2020 at 8:41) (Below Threshold)
 Cant really compare apples to apples because it was two years ago, but I rented a non-live valve version, and it was pretty uninspiring on descents, too. I’d give the Reign a try, but based on my experience and this review, this isn’t the bike I’m looking for.

But I could see why people would like it. It looks killer, and I think the price is on point here. Other brands would have priced this another $1,500.
  • 2 0
 @JohanG: DBIL coil isn't available in trunnion-mount
  • 1 6
flag JohanG (Nov 24, 2020 at 9:17) (Below Threshold)
 @thegoodflow: There are adapters.
  • 1 0
 Dead true
  • 10 1
 Total waste of time testing the dead valve version.
  • 11 1
 @JohanG: Ok, so now you've bodged some random-sized (190x50 would be the closest, I think) cane creek shock to fit on a frame that takes a 185x55 trunnion, using an adapter that's likely to bend eventually if you bottom out... that'd be your dream suspension setup on this frame? Ok
  • 4 0
 I know, also seems like Giant is made a sales/mkt mistake sending the livewire version out for testing over and over. (especially to PB?) How many do they really think they are going to sell compared to nolivewires...?

It's not like it's just testing the same bike with higher and lower grade components as the none livewire equipped bikes would have a totally different suspension performance whether that's good or bad. (seems the wires are good for climbing and not so much for descending from more than one source)

Seems like it's just not really that desirable for a trail bike for a lot of people even if it didn't make the bike cost a LOT more...
  • 1 2
 @i-am-lp: but Fit4 can be tuned using the Vorsprung Fractive Kit
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: Rip the wires out and give her another GO! Smile jkn...
  • 2 0
 @nurseben: ya cuz you wanna spend more $ at that point ?!
  • 6 0
 I came here to say just that. The majority of the negatives were the fact it had live valve... ...and let's be honest, the model without live valve will be the one people buy.
  • 2 0
 @Jvhowube: alu wheels (w/ good engagement), alu frame, performance elite, slx will sell the best imo
  • 12 0
 I'm a long time Giant owner... I've just purchased a Trance X Advanced 29 pro 2, size large. At roughly half the price of the '0', I've been so impressed with my new bike! (I did upgrade the drivetrain with an XX shifter and a GX derailleur. I'll use the NX cassette until it wears out.). I'm not sure about the other bikes tested, but I can compare my new bike to my last bike (an Anthem Advanced SX) and other bikes I've rented/demo'd recently, including an Ibis Ripley and a Trek Slash. This bike climbs as advertised by Mike Levy, without using the lockout on the shock or fork. While it's heavier (30.5 lbs weighed by me with pedals) than my Anthem, I didn't notice a big difference in climbing effort when I ride up the same trails, but I can say that descending has been a riot! For me, it's the best of both worlds... since much of my riding is in the Cowichan Valley (Prevost, Tzouhalem, etc) so I have moved the flip chip to the upper position.
  • 8 0
 @BMDN: Cowichan is SO good! The Trance X would kill it there.
  • 3 0
 @BMDN: Ah man my sister and her family live in Duncan. I could not get up there this year for obvious reasons and man did I miss it. Not just a slice of heaven y'all got the whole pie up there.
  • 1 0
 @BMDN: zoo killer for sure! Nice bike
  • 7 1
 Well, on second thought ... no. If Giant marketing guys are dumb enough to send such a bike for review, it should be reviewed as is, jut to punish them. So it would be interesting, but PB should (and probably cannot) do it. Maybe Giant and Fox will learn something from this.
The outcome of this review is: no one knows how this bike actually rides and the Live Valve is a Dead Vale or XC Valve at best. So bad for both Giant and Fox.
  • 3 5
 @thegoodflow: Some would argue that trunnion should never exist in the first place because the shock shouldn't be a structural member in the suspension. I'm sure you also know that coil shocks are much less stiff than air shocks anyway so being trunnion would give them no benefit. This frame is nicely progressive and I'd like to give it a ride with *some* sort of coil.
  • 4 0
 @TheR: This is a completely different bike from what you rode 2 years ago. They still make a Trance 29. However, this is a Trance "X" 29, the geometry is a bit more progressive in the trail bike category and bridges the gap between what you rode and the current Reign 29
  • 4 0
 I watched another review on the model spec below without Live Valve, and seemed to have similar conclusions in terms of climbing and descending plus's and minus's.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: For the sake of testing, couldn't @mikelevy have swapped a non-live valve setup on, just to give feedback?
He says Giant don't market it as an 'enduro trailbike', but the marketing I've seen says exactly that...
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Just let the battery die out and the Fox Live Valve System reverts to the open position...
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: The Cowichan Valley is not good for riding, please stay away....lol. I would have liked to see Giant offer the Trance X in a "frame only" option in Canada.
  • 1 0
 @Jvhowube: they specced all the bikes with Fit4 it seems.
  • 1 0
 @i-am-lp: that's bs. Grip2 might be a few fractions better but only since VVC got added to the compression cicuit. Before the HSC was too harsh for lighter riders and fit4 actually felt better to me. It's actually the damper Fox won some comparisions agains the lyric or other high end forks and it comes right after grip2 in my opinion.
  • 1 0
 @Jvhowube: hell yeah!
  • 3 1
 @TheR: You rented a current model Trance-X 29er two years ago, when the model was only just released this month? Riiiiiight.
  • 1 0
 I had a 2016 trance and that thing could haul the mail. Im also betting the suspension held this one back.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: your saying it's not good for dh but prevost and most of mt tzou is dh. Race bike territory.
  • 1 0
 Rae Morrison raced the Liv-version of this but with DVO suspension (Jade X Coil) in EWS Pietra & Finale this year, so it can´t be too bad when set up with proper suspension.
  • 2 0
 Exactly, this review is of Live Valve not Giants bike so it's kind of moot to review a bike with Live valve as of how it actually work right now!
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: You'd think this should be a feature. If you want this bike as a "do it all bike" it would be sweet to have the live valve for cross country rides and be able to turn it completely off for shuttle days.
  • 2 0
 @RowdyAirTime: I also wish they had a frame only option in Canada. The Advanced 1 model is a pretty boring black/grey colour. The frame only option in the US is the cool copper/black colour and could build it up pretty sick with GRIP 2 fork, etc.
  • 1 0
 @dsut4392: No, read again. I said it wasn’t comparing apples to apples because it was two years ago.
  • 2 0
 @brahmvanh: I hear you. I know they’re not the same bikes, but the same thing I experienced two years ago seems to be what Levy wrote in the review. It just wasn’t very inspiring on the downs. So maybe they’ve made some evolutions, but the result seems to be the same. That’s all I’m saying.
  • 2 0
 @Elpresidirrrte: I agree, Giant offers some of the best CAD pricing in the industry, so why not offer a frame only option? Even the Pro 2 colours (NX drivetrain no thanks) look better than the boring Pro 1 paint scheme.
  • 3 0
 @Elpresidirrrte: the advanced 1 is actually clear coated raw carbon with the metallic silver spots.... it looks amazing in the right light.
  • 2 0
 @Rockridge81: Sounds Cool, Pics don't always do a bike justice...
  • 2 0
 @RowdyAirTime: agreed. I looked at the frame 3-4 times at the bike shop without noticing it was clear coat raw carbon. Wasn’t till a took it out side that the carbon came shining through. Looks plan Jane in flat light but out in the sun or under a spotlight it completely trance forms. The only down is the transition to metallic look like the painter just through down some mask tape and sprayed. Not a smooth nice transition at all.
  • 2 0
 @lumpy873:
Holy crap, how can that be sold out already? Really disappointing as that could make a killer New England bike and even set in high mode. Whole different world up here.
  • 2 0
 @mtnbikedad108: Giant has a list on their dealer site of bikes that they have already sold through for the year.. Check with your local shop to see if they have some coming..

It would be an awesome bike for my neck of the woods, too..
  • 88 7
 Say what you want, it's the nicest looking bike Giant has ever produced.
  • 10 75
flag Narro2 (Nov 24, 2020 at 7:19) (Below Threshold)
 looks nice, but that Maestro suspension has been on the market for over 20 years, needs an upgrade
  • 20 3
 @Narro2: As has the stumpys?
  • 27 4
 @Narro2: Disagree. It doesn't have the most out and out traction, but the ridiculously efficient pedalling performance and lack of brake/chain feedback is quite nice. If it ain't broke....
  • 19 1
 @Narro2:
The basic twin-link system that they can make do whatever they want - that’s been updated on the new reign and trance x compared to the older models, which were updated and redesigned with a carbon upper link a few years back, which was a redesign of the older links, etc etc? Just because it says “maestro” on it and has two links doesn’t mean it hasn’t had some work put into it.
  • 29 1
 @Narro2: Does DW link need an upgrade too?
  • 2 21
flag Narro2 (Nov 24, 2020 at 7:57) (Below Threshold)
 @laksboy: the stumpy certainly did have a change in it's latest model, the chainstay pivot was changed for a flex stay. But you are probablly right, the change is not that big.

I am talking about a big change like the Enduro from 2019 to 2020, that's a remarkable change IMO, the bikes ride way different. My brother owns a 2007 Trance and friend owns a 2019 version, Both bikes feel very similar. The biggest difference i can tell is components and wheel size, but geo feels the same.
  • 3 0
 I had a Giant NRS from 2005. It used a Horst-Link (they licensed it from Specialized). And then Giant switched to their own Maestro in 2006/07. To me, Specialized is the one that's old but then again, since their patent expired, everyone can use it now without paying licensing fees and so now all these Horst-Link bikes (Vitus, Norco, Nukeproof, YT, Rose, Cube, etc.) are probably old and needs a refresh. If its not broke...
  • 2 0
 Id say the original blue Team DH was the nicest, but yup, nice looking bike
  • 1 0
 @Shred-BC
This trance X looks really nice, but I don't know, I'm partail to the 2013 Glory 0.

- 2012 Glory 2, and 2016 Trance 1 owner
  • 3 0
 @Glory831Guy: I used to own a 2015 Giant Trance and I loved the curves of the frame so I know what you mean, but this new one, damn.
  • 54 2
 I'm kinda blown away that it is $8500. Considering the spec, (carbon frame and wheels, full XTR, live valve) I think that is actually a great price. I would have expected this one to hit the $10k mark.

It also seems the crew had their shit together around that TBD bike. I definitely paused the video at 14:20 when it panned over the bikes to see if there was a sneaky shot of it.
  • 13 4
 except it comes with XT?
  • 11 0
 The TBD bike is an updated Nomad, some sneaky folks figured it out already..
  • 8 1
 I was thinking the same thing. Any other big company, and this bike is $10,500, easy.
  • 5 3
 "The top-of-the-line version is the $8,500 USD Pro 0, reviewed here and weighing 30lb 11oz with our control tires, that comes with Giant's own carbon wheels, a Shimano 12-speed XT drivetrain"

Second paragraph of the article
  • 14 1
 www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-x-advanced-pro-29-0-2021

literally everything but the rear derailleur is XT. The brakes, chain, cranks, shifters, cassette, all XT. Only the derailleur is XTR.
  • 5 0
 @TheR: I was thinking the opposite. Most XT equipped bikes are around 5-6k. The Live Valve is probably what is making this expensive though.
  • 6 9
 It's an $8500USD 'trail' bike made of carbon, that descends poorly and weighs as much as a proper 'enduro' bike. All that bling and it's still nearly 31Lbs!
  • 2 0
 Yeah I def paused too...
  • 3 0
 @freeridejerk888: He's correct. It's for sure a Nomad.
  • 9 1
 @hamncheez: 2 questions.
Why are we still specking higher end derailleurs with cheaper shifters when this should clearly be reversed? XT derailleur with XTR shifter would be cheaper and a better result.

Second question, why do we still rank bikes based on drive train spec? Suspension, wheels and tires are far more important to the bikes function.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: ah, I watched the video and hadn't read the article when I commented. @mikelevy says it is an XTR drivetrain.
  • 52 2
 My trans ex prefers the Trance X came with a Tranz-X.
  • 36 1
 Pros - Live Valve is Great! Cons - Live Valve Sux!
  • 32 3
 So it rides better without live valve is the takeaway?

Also, that battery is in the worst possible (ok, maybe not worst, the worst would be on the tire or top of the saddle) place. Thats right where you put your hand to lift the bike up into a bike rack or truck.
  • 11 24
flag TheR (Nov 24, 2020 at 8:35) (Below Threshold)
 Meh. Who the hell buys a bike for the climb?
  • 17 0
 Tell me more about these battery operated lumps I can put on my saddle...
  • 3 3
 I’m not sure no live valve would make a difference on the descents. Doesn’t it just kind of turn off anyway on descents? Or maybe I’m misunderstanding how it works.
  • 1 0
 It'll also get knocked off on the chair lift from Les crosettes to avoriaz for example...
  • 14 1
 @TheR: Me. The climb lasts the longest, it's where you get your leg workout, and I think it's a lot of fun on the right bike.
  • 5 0
 Live-Valve: good for trails that aren't too rocky or rooty AKA good MTB trails. LOL
  • 5 4
 @JohanG: Yeah, it was a joke. I know there are weirdos like you out there in the world.
  • 1 1
 It's a shame Shimano doesn't have a wireless shifting system that could be integrated to automatically adjust the live valve setting based on if you're in a descending vs climbing gear or if the dropper is down vs up.
  • 3 0
 @TheR: Livevalve only integrates with XC suspension, which is why the bike is undergunned. I also doubt it completely shuts off on the DH; on smooth parts of DH it stays locked out. Read the pb review from a while ago; by all accounts its a strange sensation since you can feel it pop on and off.
  • 30 0
 I think they meant to say "Buy this bike if you are an old tech geek that likes to climb"
  • 26 0
 That's me!
  • 4 0
 Thorough review but it was more of a Fox Live Valve review than a Giant Trance review.
  • 7 1
 @mikelevy: One climbing geek to another: can you really sell a 130mm, 31lb "climbing" trail bike w/ a straight face? I can build a 120-130mm Ripley or Izzo that is 3-5lbs lighter for the same money that will leave this Giant so far in the rear view mirror on the climb that a little more travel on the descent will be irrelevant - especially if that travel is slave to a cyborg brain that can't do the math of downhill performance.
  • 27 1
 50% climbing, 50% descending? Bad over roots but good for commutes?
  • 17 0
 "Bad over roots but good for commutes?" LOL
  • 3 1
 @mikelevy:
I found a bit strange that a bike with a 65.5 HA specced with a bashguard and a 36 can have a 50% climb 50% down program...
For this programm, products manager should have better specced it with a ligther duty fork (34 or pike) and componentry (2 pistons brakes, no bashguard).
BTW, how does it compare to a Knolly Fugitive LT ?
  • 19 1
 So all in it was the fastest bike around the loop by 12 seconds? Impressive
  • 5 0
 Fastest climber and the slowest descender. Depends on what you want from a bike to consider this impressive.
  • 1 0
 @zarban: well as a trail bike I’d have the fun one that travels ground quickly, this seems to tick the box, still it’s not weird enough for me, I’ll stick with the Cotic
  • 1 0
 @sewer-rat: Which Cotic are you riding? Any feedback, gokd or bad? Never ridden one before but rolled the dice on a BFe Max frame (on order).
  • 1 0
 @DidNotSendIt: I’m on a FlareMax, it’s took some getting right but now I’ve got the shock set up (CCDB) it’s great, it was really draggy on the climbs but now it’s fine, saying that I’ve got a lot fitter since I had it which has helped. On the flats and downhill it’s unbelievably compliant and calm, the fork feels at ind with the frame and it’s silent. Also long shot geometry is brilliant for the jumps and drops as well as climbing because you’re centred on the bike so OTB is not an issue
  • 13 0
 What a bummer on the descending. The climbing capability sure speaks to my love language...
Any thoughts on whether a retune of the rear shock could improve this? What about a CushCore insert in the rear and less tire pressure?
One could easily get this bike sub 30 lbs too w/an XTR cassette and a few choice bits.
  • 5 0
 Well tire inserts really help my hard tail, so of course it would help a bike with rear suspension that doesn't track well. But that's not at all the point. If you're looking for a good performing full suspension bike that pedals well, the answer may just be to do the climb-switch flipping yourself, and forget the Fox-Live business.
  • 2 0
 @laksboy Honestly tire inserts on my hardtail made it night and day (Devinci Kobain over forked to 160mm). It feels so much more composed and damped. 100% will be getting inserts for my FS. Also avoid CushCore and go rimpact. CushCore is seriously overpriced and some others pack out too quickly.
  • 1 0
 A retuned - or completely different - rear shock, an insert, and a bit more tire volume will help.

For how most of PB riders say they ride in the comments, the reign would often be the best choice. Still climbs pretty well. The trance, trance x, and reign have ~15mm differences in the rear travel, and none of them will descend like the front fork travel indicates, and all of them will climb way better than the rear travel would indicate.
  • 2 4
 30.7 with no pedals and carbon wheels? Let's just say I'd like to see that frame and shock on a scale. Twenty years of listening to Giant's claims has made me cynical.
  • 2 0
 @JohanG: I rode with a guy recently with a Trance that didn’t have all the live valve BS and it was a little lighter feeling than my Ripley which is 28.2 lbs without pedals. For sure a light bike when you remove the complications of electronic suspension.
  • 5 0
 @JohanG: I have Giant's 2019 Trance Advanced Pro 29 0 and it weighs just under 26.5lbs with no upgrades or changes made. It feels very light to ride and has very durable components (Minions, enduro carbon rims, X01 drivetrain, downhill handlebars, etc). With some lighter XC parts this bike would easily weigh only 25lbs. Giant does make light bikes and Canadian pricing is very good and why I have supported them. I paid only $6,000 CAD during their year end clearance sale for Giant's top end bike, so worth checking your local Giant dealers at these times.

However, I wonder why this bike weighs almost 4 lbs heavier than my 2019 Giant? I know it's longer and has more travel, but that is a big increase in weight. I would like to add a bit more travel (20mm) and would consider this bike if Giant offered this as a "frame only" option in Canada. Seriously, why not Giant??? Get a Grip2 fork and put all my components on it and I think you would have a great all around bike, hopefully under 28lbs?
  • 2 0
 @RowdyAirTime: Your bike makes a lot of sense. I have a Mach 6 carbon that is 29lbs with pedals and I know the frame is 2lbs heavier than the claimed weight on this Trance-X.
  • 2 0
 @RowdyAirTime: Same here. Have the 2020 Trance Advanced 29 1. It rides beautifully and is able to handle rowdier trails than you'd expect but I'd sure love a hair more travel and steeper seat tube.
  • 1 0
 @mikedk: Ha ha, agree 100% on your comments on the bike and travel. However, I do find the seat angle is ok though..
.
  • 2 0
 @RowdyAirTime: i have the same and can crush pretty much any trail except serious DH. I was initially worried that it was a little light on suspension but so far so good.
  • 13 0
 This is the type of bike I like. It climbs well and is capable on the downs without trying to push into enduro territory. It seemed a lot faster up than it was slower coming down.
  • 16 0
 Yes, exactly! There are plenty of riders/places for this bike, especially if you love climbing as I do. If I lived/tested somewhere with smoother, less demanding terrain, I suspect this review would have been different.
  • 9 0
 My trail mountain bike is still the one place I don't want electronics. Last thing I want to think about is "Did I charge my battery" when I am 30 miles from nowhere. XC bike? Road bike? Sure, whatever (even though I don't).
  • 11 0
 @mikelevy is "no integrated frame storage" the new "no water bottle mount"?
  • 8 0
 Could be! I almost never use integrated storage because I'm swapping bikes so often, but it sure seems to make all the sense in the world.
  • 9 0
 I wonder if it's the Live Valve system holding back the descending performance.... It looks like a really nice bike otherwise.
  • 23 0
 Yes
  • 2 1
 @mikelevy: You weren't able to swap it out with an extra rear shock? You guys have got to have a few lying around....
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: That's a damn shame. The climbing performance is great, which is very attractive to me. I guess Live Valve isn't all that suitable for a trail bike when it comes to the chunky stuff.
  • 2 0
 the factory tune on my old reign (2010 ish?) was awful. I ended up getting it pushed and the different was night and day. Love a giant myself, and love the neutral riding positron they tend to offer, but the guy speccing the shocks has always had some weird ideas on what runs well.
Can the Live valve shock be tuned up like a normal shock can?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Is it possible to disable it for the downs? I know, defeats the purpose for the most part. But just as a test?
  • 9 0
 I still would love to see the next model down of this bike tested. Test the bike without the electronic suspension. Seems like more stuff to go wrong, and added expense.
  • 14 0
 Yup, agreed. Bikes were in short supply this year and this is the model we ended up with. It does look killer, though!
  • 12 2
 As Giant states "independent of braking and pedaling forces"

.....So live valve is mostly useless then?
  • 9 0
 Yes. A maestro suspension seems a poor use case for live valve
  • 2 0
 Probably better on a knolly
  • 7 0
 It seems like since this model is the only one to receive LiveValve it is essentially a normal bike with LiveValve strapped to it. It would be really interesting to see how a bike designed around LiveVave would work. Based on the review it sounds like the LiveValve adds damping to a bike with already high anti-squat, making for a harsh ride. But the bike could be designed with way less support in the suspension system and then rely on LiveValve to make up for it, which would then make it descend better. I'm interested to see if it catches on in the future (maybe wireless and AXS integrated from Sram? Get ready to strap on allll the batteries))
  • 1 0
 This is exactly the use case that needs to happen
  • 9 0
 Sounds the Trance X is in the same position as the Orbea Occam last year. A trail bike trail bike.
  • 6 0
 Surely the Pbike office has a Grip2 36 or Pike/Lyrik and rear shock somewhere that it can source to throw on this bike and get a couple test rides in. Would be valuable information as to how it changes the bike as their review is understandable all about the Live Vale model which no one will buy (which is why Giant had them in stock for you to use as test bike).
  • 7 0
 This bike is phenomenal, especially in aluminum and ditching the live valve nonsense.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, I've been loving my aluminum Trance X 29 2. With pedals, the XL weighs just under 34 lbs--I can't imagine three pounds, suspension tweaks, and subjective ride differences are worth an extra $5,500.
  • 3 0
 My Trance X 1 (not sold in NA) is not just a great climber like in the test, but also bombs downhills quite nicely. It also has really sturdy components.

I rode a Pivot Firebird (a 162mm/170mm enduro bike) pretty much back to back and they really didn't feel that different downhill. That probably has to do with the more modern geometry of the Trance, but still, I found it interesting how close the Trance was to the Firebird.
  • 7 0
 Seems like it (or a lower spec, non-live valve version) would make an awesome east coast bike.
  • 9 0
 Yup, agreed. I think this would have been a very different review had we received the less expensive Trance X.
  • 1 0
 I'm an east coast rider and was thinking the same exact thing. The 27.5 Giant Trances are really popular around here.
  • 3 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I’m on the West Coast and have a 27.5 Trance advanced. I love it. But I am considering going to 29. I am really interested in this bike without the cyborg components
  • 1 0
 @edummann: i have the 2020 Advanced Pro 29 1. Was initially worried about a bigger wheel but bike is awesome.
  • 4 0
 Huh, this is the very first time I ever heard anyone complain about Giants Maestro linkage. Might the shock tune have an influence? This leaves me being mostly just interested in a test of a version without LiveValve
  • 19 0
 It's not Maestro, it's Live Valve not being suited to the terrain here.
  • 6 0
 I have a 2019 Trance Advance Pro with DVO suspension and it's one of the best trail bikes I've had yet. And I've had a few.
  • 2 0
 I also have the 2019 Trance Advanced Pro 29 0 and it is the best trail bike I've owned. Compared to the 2021 Trance X, Giant's highest end build does pay off for this bike, as they spent a huge amount of time tuning the DVO suspension. Using it's travel so well and with the tough enduro build, it's a very capable bike despite it's shorter travel.
  • 7 1
 Too bad DVO and Giant aren't a thing anymore. It would look nice with that frame.
  • 1 0
 Check Rae Morrisons race rig from EWS in Italy
  • 1 0
 That's a good point. Why did they drop DVO?
  • 1 0
 @JohanG: pretty giant dropped DVO because DVO didn’t want to make a true XC fork. I have an inside source who works for DVO.

Giant Factory Team has XC, enduro, and DH
  • 1 0
 @JohSch: she and and a few others are sponsored by DVO and giant. It’s not the same. I am talking about a stock frame.

The majority of the consumers buy stock kits. Not many buy a frame and spec out the components. It’s building a gaming PC, shit is daunting for most people.
  • 3 0
 I love the field tests just as much as the next Pinker, but live valve suspension has brought something to my attention.
If this techy suspension is such a game changer, can it make a bad bike frame a good one?
Mountain bikes are just a sum of their parts, or are they?
I put it to you sir a field test where not just control tyres are in order.
To determine which frame and linkage design is the best, control every component of the bike other than the frame and shock! This actually needs to happen!
  • 3 0
 It's a shame you guys could only get the Live Valve version, it would have been cool to see a review of the next model down. That said, I'm yet to see a bike that actually packages Live Valve nicely. For the most part it seems to always be a complete mess of cables no matter what you do.
  • 3 0
 I now have the top end Alloy Trance X, I actually had the Trance advanced 2020 model and Reign 29 all at the very same time earlier this year!!! , I decided I wanted one bike to do it all on, from 50km to 100km day rides to local club Enduro races, and I will say the trance X for me is spot on!! In Its low setting it certainly descends well, nearly as well as an Air sprung reign 29 , but will eclipse the reign going up and also on flatter trails with the usual undulations, and is noticeably better doing techy climbs over the standard Trance 29 due to the steeper seat tube angle. I Also like the alloy frame , it feels well planted and stiff enough, even if its a kilo heavier for the whole bike ( I swapped out the heavy standard wheels to top shelf Giant TRX Carbon wheels )
  • 2 0
 Does anyone know how I could order just the downtube protector? The rubbery feel and the notches make me think it would conform to many shapes and work on my open mold carbon frame. I tried my local shop and they didn't do anything more than look up what's in the QBP warehouse which obviously isn't going to have it.
  • 1 0
 A decent Giant dealer can order it. Or ask Giant directly how and where to get it.
  • 3 1
 So I was really interested in the Pro 1 version of this bike and the Reign Pro 1 as well. I was checking out the weight of both and was very surprised to see the weight of the Trance pro 1 to come in at 30.11oz and the reign to come in at 31.1oz. if my SAE is right that's a difference of 7 oz. I was expecting a bigger difference especially with the carbon rims on the Trance. I ended up getting the Reign because it was a small weight difference and about a $1000 less.
  • 2 0
 so basically faster on uphill looses on downhill. with diff suspension, slower uphill but faster downhill. lets see the actofive with live valve, if its the same result then clearly live valve is a rather fancy way to change your setup towards uphill.
  • 2 0
 I own a Trance X 2 29 aluminium and I can tell you it's a lot of fun on the decent and very capable(for the amount of travel that it has) and has a lot of grip as well.
I'm guessing the top model doesn't have as much traction because of the stiff frame and stiff wheels.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy did you experience and form of brake rub under power? Also, think it is worth mentions shock sizes on Giants because they can be a pain in the neck to get sometimes. Hopefully, they used a common size on this one.

Thanks,
Darren
  • 2 0
 Nope, no rotor rub on the new Trance X Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: thanks legend. good luck at curling camp
  • 4 0
 Great video @mikelevy you cannot do it any better! I really liked all the detailed and honest explanations and thoughts. Keep up the great work!!
  • 4 0
 I'd love to know the climbing and descending routes for the test. Maybe post a trailforks link?
  • 3 0
 Live value is not worth it right now. You cannot use it with advanced grip or grip 2 damper. Give it time and it will be very cool right now not really worth it.
  • 6 0
 Agreed, at least on a bike like this. If I was racing cross-country on a 120mm-travel bike designed around Live Valve w/ less anti-squat? Hell yes.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: That is exactly why I am trying to find a way to get that onto an S bike. I am more than certain that S will not allow a system that is not "Brain" and will not work with Fox to create such a machine. Shame.
  • 5 0
 test rode for a month, bike rips
  • 5 0
 The mention of "Fox Live Valve" could be a drinking game.
  • 9 0
 Get ready to be plastered.
  • 1 0
 It seems like the performance of the live valve could be replicated with a standard fork and shock using digressive dampening in order to have some platform for climbing with a blow off when hitting impacts. Likewise, it is unclear how this is really any better than a traditional setup with adjustable low speed compression, close it down on the climb, open it up on the downhill. No batteries, no wires, and performs well.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: it is pretty easy to find the instantaneous center of rotation:
Just draw a line through the upper links fixing bolt of the seatstays to its bearing.
Draw another line through the lower links fixing bolt of the chainstays to its bearing.
Elongate the two lines until they cross: there you have the instantaneous center of rotation.
Just keep in mind, that it is moving through the travel of the bike.
  • 2 0
 Frame storage is a cons? Cmon pink bike you are better than this.
Giant has the integration system in all of the other holes of the bike.
Multitool chain brake in the bb, beacon in the grips, co2 in the fork!
  • 6 3
 If you need batteries to ride a mountain bike, you're doing it wrong. Get off my lawn.
  • 3 3
 the wireless shifting is pretty cool though.
  • 1 0
 Great looking rig. Technology moving in on the bike. I think I still actually have an old K2 smart shock sitting around the shop somewhere. Should be an interesting future when this all trickles down.
  • 2 0
 I am somewhat curious about this bike, or at least the model down without Live Valve. After this review...I am content to Love the Bike I ride. Smile
  • 2 2
 No. Just no. Especially on the paint job. This fade thing is like some expensive custom paint job, but then you get it and it just doesn't look good and you don't know why. It's looks like an airbrushed Christmas ornament.
  • 4 1
 Another review of a trail bike complaining of how it's not an enduro bike in the downhill.
  • 1 0
 Never had that issue with Banshee Spitfire V2 few years back
  • 1 0
 Eeesh, not so much.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy how did the large feel for you? I’m similar height and inseam and am thinking the medium might be a hair small. Currently in a large Trance Advance 29 with 462 reach. It’s pretty good.
  • 3 0
 Mike you didn't mention trying different settings for Live Valve
  • 2 0
 It was best on 1/5 Smile
  • 2 0
 Flow Mountain bike preferred using 2 or 3 for the sensitivity setting on the Fox Live Valve system, depending on the trail. He found on setting 1 it was a bit too easy to overcome and kind of made the Live Valve system redundant. On settings 4 and 5 he found it was a bit stiff, especially on the fork for the technical climbs (big negative: cannot adjust front and rear independently). Here is the review (around 7:40): www.bing.com/videos/search?q=video+2021+Giant+Trance+X&docid=608041136208875133&mid=CED579B1F0257A582274CED579B1F0257A582274&view=detail&FORM=VIRE
  • 3 0
 @RowdyAirTime: That's the sort of terrain where I could see this bike being more at home.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: This is why PB needs to find and hire someone on the East coast. When you're done with it, send it out here and the two of you could compare the pro and cons based on the different terrain.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Great point Mike. Very true.
  • 3 0
 Needs oil slick cane creek eeWings ASAP
  • 3 0
 How are those knee pads @mikelevy ?
  • 10 0
 @mikekazimer has a knee pad group test dropping soon, and these are included.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: which one are those?
  • 2 1
 The Live Valve could definitely be faster in XC racing, but UCI would likely outlaw it. It would be an unfair advantage to competitors that didn't have it.
  • 1 0
 It’s already being used by the pivot team
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: In UCI racing? That would be surprising. I think it is a definitely an advantage for the suspension to automatically lockout or stiffen in certain climbing conditions. Riders don't have to think about best areas to use it and just hammer on the pedals.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: Specialized Brain does the same thing, just with a mechanical instead of electric device.
  • 2 0
 @MaplePanda: Yeah, but it sounds like the electronics would adjust quicker, more adjustments based on variety of terrain, and adjusts to degree of slope when climbing. Lapierre had something like it on their Zesty in 2013, but never gained traction. I had the Specialized Epic w/ the Brain. Wasn't super impressed with the climbing with the Brain. The Live Valve looks more advanced, but will see how well riders like it.
  • 2 0
 Curious: Rear dissector exo version? 23psi and no flats? That’s great to know
  • 5 0
 Yup, no issues. I'm 155lb and ride like a dumbass, too.
  • 2 3
 I look at bike like this and I think are they really worth the money?

Does an 8k bike really ride 5k better than a 3k one?...I think not. Will it last longer?... probably not. Will it depreciate more?...definitely. Will you out ride a similar skill leveled rider on a bike half the price?...probably not. Do you look a bit of a bell end riding and 8k bike down your local trails?...hmm!!
  • 6 0
 For sure, but lots of us love to have cool shit. And Live Valve is neat AF, even if it doesn't suit my trails. Sometimes it's not as easy as "This bike is 98% as good so I'll just get this one."

Future Field Tests will likely have some sort of budget cap btw Smile
  • 4 2
 @mikelevy: A budget cap field test would be good. Most people can't afford rigs like this so most of the time I by pass these reviews. I love reading about bikes that are great value and ride great.
  • 6 0
 @MattP76: Then you'll love what we're cooking up next!
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Brilliant, look forward to it.
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: How about a field test for those of us who are only interested in owning (see also: allowed to have) one bike?

Would love to see a field test that tests bikes over a variety of trail types to see not only which bike is best in its own categiry, but which is able to spread itself over a variety (including next season's yet-to-be-invented) of categories.

E.g. a specific bike might not be best in its specific category but it handles several trail types to an adequate standard better than other bikes.
  • 2 0
 I'm looking to ride my Trance X this week on Maple Mountain...in the high setting... in the dark.... can't wait!
  • 2 0
 Just Once!
I’d like to see a review of this Bike without All the Live valve tech!
  • 1 0
 So how does this live valve compare to something like the climb switch in a cane creek? Seems like another bit of pointless tech!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy laughing at short people was very entertaining, I'm very glad to see some light through the punctures in this very political correct tube we're all in.
  • 5 3
 Giant has always been late to the party
  • 8 0
 The price you pay for being the largest bike manufacturer in the world...
  • 7 5
 all that and they ruin it with a Press Fit BB...
  • 8 1
 Giant has some of the best tolerances in the industry when it comes to PF BBs. It shouldn’t be a problem.
  • 6 3
 @MaplePanda: except when it is time to change the BB
  • 5 3
 @Frank191: I've had a couple of bikes with pressfits. It's not any harder to replace than a screw in as long as you have a BB press tool and they don't need periodic tightening like a screw in.
  • 3 2
 Can we just make a law that all MTBs must be sold with threaded BBs and cable routing guides?
When I become dictator...
  • 4 0
 @MaplePanda: It hasn't been a problem for years..
  • 2 0
 I'd rather have the t-shirt Mike is wearing
  • 2 0
 so the robots dont make my bike better?
  • 5 0
 Not these robots, anyway.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: We just have to find the right robots. Maybe thats whats in brunis magic box, ROBOTS!
  • 3 0
 I think they go by Atherton now
  • 4 2
 Did the frame spraying guy drop an Acid tab before work?
  • 3 1
 30+ lbs is heavy for a 140 mm bike, no?
  • 1 0
 " The downhill experience" sounds like something someone from a way too big bicycle company would say.
  • 2 0
 I will KILL for that Sierra Nevada water bottle
  • 1 2
 I prefer the sleeker suspension linkage of Norco Optic / Sight vs Giant, and I'd pass on being a beta tester for their new adjustable platform (unless the tech has been carried over from another Giant model?).
  • 4 0
 The Maestro platform has been around forever now and is about as proven as it gets Smile The new thing is the adjustable geo, but those are just flip-chip inserts at the pivot. This wasn't a long-term review but I don't foresee any issues.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: I watched Giant's promo of the Maestro flip chip concept, and concur that should not be problematic. It's a straightforward and clever concept. Thanks for the reply.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: I remember when these bikes (and Maestro suspension) was introduced in Vegas at 2004 Interbike along with the Reign.. definitely it's been around forever LOL
  • 1 0
 If Fox just supplied a remote blip button that turned the livewire off for decending...
  • 1 0
 You mean...a lockout lever?
  • 2 0
 Did you say rocket ship??
  • 1 0
 So in summary: Live Valve is great but Live Valve also sucks. I wish they had repeated the test with Live Valve turned off.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Why do most/all new bikes come with 28 spoke rear wheels and why isnt anybody talking about it?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy How does this bike climb/descend compared to a downcountry (DCXC) bike like Transition spur or Norco Optic?
  • 3 1
 Needs a Tranz-X dropper.
  • 2 0
 Flatlanders rejoice!
  • 2 1
 LiveValve is going to be dope in 3+ years.
  • 2 0
 It already should be. It's been around for at least 2.
  • 2 0
 Live valve is just around the corner, and always will be.
  • 4 3
 Did you use the flip chip in high or low?
  • 5 0
 It's Levy, I bet it was low.
  • 3 0
 It was in the low setting because I think that's where most will run it Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Hey Mike. I agree, usually when bikes are in the low settings you feel like you are in the bike, not on it. In the low setting, this would definitely be best for very steep descents.

However, if the climbs become really choppy and technical you will get pedal strikes more regularly on this bike as the BB is quite low (40mm below the axle center line) when the chip is in the low setting.

In the high position BB will be raised 10mm which will help a great deal to avoid these pedal strikes. I have a 2019 Trance Pro and pedal strikes are a reality if really tough rocky technical climbs (Maple Mountain, etc). Also when in the high setting it improves the climbing position even further by steepening the seat tube angle. Even on machine built flow trails steepening the seat angle (high setting) can actually help to put more weight on the front tire which increases steering response and can also make the bike more willing to change direction through high speed corners.

The main thing is this bike has 2 different chip settings (depending on your trails) which are easily adjustable.
  • 2 0
 @RowdyAirTime: Maple mountain!

I'm not a fan of adjustable geo in general, often because the range is so small. Some bikes let you change the bottom bracket height by a whopping 3 or 4mm... blah. If it's gonna be there, at least make it so there's an effective adjustment range that'll be noticeable by riders on the trail! Challenge is to not mess up the suspension or other numbers.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Vancouver island.

I was not either, but kind of growing on me now. However, 10mm difference on the Trance X chip setting can make a big difference, especially if you are getting pedal strikes.
  • 1 0
 Gretchen, stop trying to make LiVeVaLve happen! It's not going to Happen!
  • 1 0
 24 lb cross country whip? ~31 lb top of the range carbon trail bike?
  • 5 5
 Did he say press fit BB?
Did he say not tube in tube?

Did everyone say no thanks. Wink
  • 3 0
 Nah plenty of people saw all the important boxes ticked without paying a $3000 cool guy tax and bought every bike Giant could make.
  • 1 2
 Exactly ... basically a mechanics nightmare. I would not touch this bike based on that alone!
  • 1 1
 the best bit is you usually have to remove the BB to route a dropper!!!
  • 4 0
 No problems here over years of riding a few and working on even more Giant bikes with PF bottom brackets. If only someone would make decent but not expensive BBs. Inserting cables really is a bit shit, I strongly recommend taping the old and new hose together or use one of these magnetic systems.
  • 1 2
 @JohSch:
No problem, but the creek from press fit BB is very well documented and complained about by so many riders, mechanics of press fit BB's.
Mine loved to creek, click, whatever you want to call it. Not straight away, but it's just something that a threaded design doesnt do.
Couple that with the design of say the old nukeproof mega and the frame amplified the noise. Maybe a carbon frames isnt so bad.

Sometimes when reinventing the wheel, we find the long standing wheel was the better solution.
  • 2 0
 @betsie: The pressfit bb is not the issue. The biggest issue is the poor manufacturing tolerances of the frame. Most bb shells are not aligned perfectly hence the creek.
Threaded bbs have pressfit bearings in them too, but they are just better at masking a misaligned frame.
Go watch Hambini on youtube for a little insight into the bb minefield
  • 2 0
 @timbud: so... the technology block (press fit in a frame) isnt the problem, one of the parts is, the frame...

Mmmm. Not sure that's how DFM works. Tolerance analysis is always important. You must have the RSS analysis to hand for all systems and their system performance data...

Get a bad threaded BB that creeks, is slightly oval, damaged etc and it's cheap to replace. Happens to a BB shell then it lasts forever.
Now add in one is heat treated after manufacture (the frame press fit solution), the other isnt (the threaded bb) and you add in probability of error.

Engineering DFM for mass manufacture is an interesting world. Frustrating so often too.
  • 1 0
 A talking bike?? They should have named it Mr. Ed
  • 1 0
 great video, keep making such a good content! Smile
  • 1 0
 I’m telling ya all oil slick will be out of style in the next two year.
  • 2 0
 Sorry, LiveValve...
  • 1 0
 @brianpark is this Levy's kurling camp?
  • 1 0
 ANY BIKE IN THE TEST NOT RUNNING A FOX FORK!?!?!
  • 1 0
 YES BUT ONLY A FEW, THE OPPOSITE OF THE XC FIELD TEST.
  • 1 1
 Why would you ride an ebike without a motor...
  • 3 6
 I never envied the guys who could climb well - but I sure as heck wished I could ride like the guys on the way down. The ups are only a means to the downs.
  • 20 0
 The guys who climb well get more downhills.
  • 7 0
 Until you see guys fly up waist-high boulders in the middle of an already loose and sketchy climb without skipping a beat, usually wearing clipless. I get envious of that.
  • 15 0
 Climbing is fun if you’re good at it. If you’re out of shape it’s a bitch.
  • 18 0
 Just imagine being able to crush both? That should always be the goal.
  • 2 3
 so.... basically dad bike
  • 5 7
 That paint job alone is a hard pass
  • 9 1
 Really? I love that it's not black. The trout bike!
  • 2 1
 @mikelevy: Great point that at least it's not murdered out, but for over$8k I'd expect more than just "oh hey let me block off this part of the frame with painter's tape and paint it purple".
  • 1 1
 @mikelevy: Black is life. Trust me I'm an architect, I should know.
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