Field Trip: Giant's $2,500 Trance X Loves Slow Speed Technical Trails

May 5, 2021
by Sarah Moore  


PINKBIKE FIELD TRIP

GIANT TRANCE X 29 3

Loves slow speed technical trails.



Words by Sarah Moore, Photography by Tom Richards



The next full-suspension bike we reviewed in the Field Trip value bike series is the Giant Trance X, an aluminum 29er with 135mm of rear travel and a 150mm fork. We tested the top of the line Fox Live Valve equipped version at the last Field Test, and were curious about how the value version stacked up, without a carbon frame and that pricey robot-controlled rear suspension.

The Trance has been in Giant's line up since 2005, but this latest version, the Trance X, has an additional 20mm of travel over the standard Trance. It also has adjustable geometry, making it the only value bike here with that feature.
Giant Trance X

Travel: 135mm (rear) / 150mm (fork)
Wheel size: 29"
Frame construction: aluminum
Head angle: 65.5 degrees (Low) / 66.2 degrees (High)
Chainstay length: 438mm (L) / 435mm (H)
Reach: 456mm (L) / 464mm (H)
Sizes: S-XL
Weight: 33.1 lbs / 15.1 kg
Price: $2,500USD
More info: www.giant-bicycles.com

The aluminum frame has room for a water bottle, fits up to 2.5” tires and has Boost 12 x 148 spacing. Other details include internally routed cables for a clean look, a press fit BB, a bashguard on the downtube, and a ribbed chainstay protector.

The adjustable geometry uses a flip chip like many other brands, allowing you to run the bike in either a High or Low position. The change the flip chip makes is actually quite substantial at 0.7 degrees. That head tube angle can either be set at 65.5 or 66.2 degrees while the bottom bracket changes by a full 10mm. The reach sits at 464mm, or shortens to 456mm in the other setting.

The Trance X’s 135mm of travel is controlled by Giant’s Maestro dual link suspension design that creates a single floating virtual pivot. Giant says that makes it independent of both braking and pedaling forces, but then that’s what everyone says, isn’t it? One neat thing to point out is the co-pivot lower shock mount that does double-duty as the main pivot for the lower link. This saves a bit of weight as you don’t need two sets of hardware.

The aluminum Trance X ranges in price from $2,500 to $3,300 USD and there’s also the “Advanced” (ie: the carbon model) that we had in the last Field Test, that retails between $4,300 and $8,500 USD. Our test bike here is the Giant Trance X 29 3 that retails for $2,500 USD. It comes with a 150mm RockShox 35 Gold and a metric trunnion-mounted 140mm Fox Float DPS Performance rear shock. It's also got a SRAM SX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, Shimano Deore 4-piston hydraulic brakes, a Giant Contact Switch dropper post, and Maxxis Minion DHF and Dissector tires in 2.5 and 2.4" widths.




Giant Trance X 2021 Field Trip. Photo Tom Richards
Giant Trance X 2021 Field Trip. Photo Tom Richards


Climbing

The Giant Trance X feels like a more compact bike than the Devinci Marshall or the Polygon Siskiu T8, which makes it an easier bike to get through tight sections. Another similarity with the Polygon Siskiu T8 is an active suspension platform, which means it's an easy bike to pick a line with and stick to without getting bumped off.

That being said, the active suspension means that it doesn't feel like the most efficient or sporty of bikes on the climbs and you can see the rocker link moving as you ride. It is, however, an excellent option if you're faced with long, technical climbs where you can sit down and let the bike claw up the difficult sections. There's less get up and go than the Devinci Marshall or the Ibis Ripley, but the supple suspension makes the Giant Trance X extremely comfortable to pedal on rough climbs and provides ample traction.

Mike Levy tested the fancy Live Valve-controlled version in the last Field Test, and we joked that this is actually a bike that does benefit from Live Valve on the climbs, although an upgrade would be about the same price as the entire Giant Trance X 3. While there isn't fancy robot-controlled suspension, there is a lockout that you can switch to Climb mode when you're faced with a long, smooth climb. We ended up riding with less sag on the Giant Trance X but overall, it's still a bit too active for our liking.


Giant Trance X 2021 Field Trip. Photo Tom Richards

Giant Trance X 2021 Field Trip. Photo Tom Richards
Giant Trance X 2021 Field Trip. Photo Tom Richards


Descending


On the descents, the Giant Trance X is a very forgiving bike and it is a great option if you have a lot of rough, slow speed trails. You can really let the bike go on rougher stuff and it will absorb all the bumps for you. As a result, it's less tiring than some of the other bikes on rough descents.

However, this isn't the poppiest bike out there, and while the rear suspension did a good job of tracking to the ground, it also made the bike feel a little less lively than the other bikes on test. It also doesn’t feel like a bike that is made for rallying on the descents; it didn't feel as solid as the Devinci Marshall or the Polygon Siskiu T8 when things get fast.

It's also not the quietest bike - the dropper post, fork damper, and the chain slapping against the chainstay all make it hard to fly under the radar out on the trail.

Overall, the Giant Trance X is best suited to someone who values traction and forgiveness over efficiency and all out speed and who doesn’t mind reaching for the pedal assist switch when they're heading uphill. It's a good option for a rider who faces rough, rocky terrain that can beat you up over a long day in the saddle.


Giant Trance X. Pinkbike Field Trip 2021. Photo by Tom Richards





Pros

+ Good traction and comfort on technical climbs
+ Flip chip on a value bike

Cons

- Not much support from the suspension, especially while descending
- Noisy components














The 2021 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with support from Toyota.




Video: Jason Lucas, Max Barron
Editing: Max Barron



213 Comments

  • 104 0
 The Giant Trance X loves slow speed technical trails, long walks on the beach, and thoughtful conversations while watching the sun set. Is the Giant Trance X the one for you?
  • 22 0
 I knew there was a reason I get along with mine so well.
  • 55 0
 Side effects include increased traction and loss of pedaling efficiency. Talk to your local PB commenter and see if the Trance X is right for you and your perplexing decisions of active suspension.
  • 20 0
 Gotta ask - if I ride a Trance X for more than 4 hours is that gonna cause painful side effects?
  • 3 0
 @noapathy: I also found that comment funny. If there's a big ride going out, you make due with what u have and end the day smiling.
  • 9 14
flag AFunFox (May 5, 2021 at 11:51) (Below Threshold)
 I'm pretty sure the speed of the trail relates to how fast the rider wants to go. Last week I was backed up behind four joeys stuck on a trail going about two miles an hour that I usually bomb at 400 to 500 miles an hour. Ugh, Giant riders. People who ride a giant will be on an e-bike in a few years.


Attention this is a joke Attention
  • 20 2
 "Loves Slow Speed"

OUCH, that has to be the worst compliment a mountain bike with an "X" in the name could ever get...
  • 4 0
 @AFunFox: woah there buddy
  • 3 0
 Does it like piña coladas?
How about gettin' caught in the rain?
  • 71 5
 The fact that SX Eagle is specced by companies on $2.5k bikes never fails to suprise me. Why do companies spec it over 11 speed Deore? Cost isn't the reason, 11 speed Deore comes on cheaper builds than SX Eagle builds, and this is a mostly house brand build.
  • 49 0
 It's a bigger play than just one bike spec - pricing for volume breaks, packages across SRAM's whole portfolio - SRAM and Giant, any big manufacturer, are looking at annual and sometimes multi year plans for full segments - SX on this bike is mapped out against the higher spec bikes with NX, GX, XX1; Lyriks/Zebs/Pikes, Codes/Guides, Rerverbs, Truvativ stuff, Red/Force, etc, etc.
  • 12 0
 Never feel like I need more gears on my Shimano SLX 11speed.
Does an upgraded shifter improve the feel of the Sram SX drivetrain?
  • 14 1
 Probably because they can actually get SX in volume? I've been waiting for months for a replacement M820 Saint right hand lever (not DX, I know), and hear anecdotally that Shimano stuff is hard to get in general, across groups.
  • 6 0
 @spro-bro: I didn't get along with the SX shifter ergonomics, so I am running a Deore 12sp shifter with the SX derailleur on my Capra and it's been great on the two rides I've been on so far!
  • 4 0
 @enki: I waited 6 months for an SLX lever blade - just the blade, not a whole lever. A replacement Deore complete lever was available and the same price... and probably took me less time to install and bleed than dealing with those fiddly lever pins.
  • 4 0
 Trance 29 comes with 12 speed Deore and its actually available at a few locations in the States.
  • 51 1
 Most people buying price point builds don't know what the heck SX eagle or Deore is. What they can fathom is that 12 speed sounds like more than 11 speed, and that marketing will sell better. Pretty simple.
  • 2 0
 @enki: yep. I love my 12spd shimano drivetrain, but getting parts is difficult to impossible. Just had to pay double for a chain so I'm not stuck with a useless bike when the current chain is done.
  • 5 1
 @hi-dr-nick: I totally agree. A 12 speed drivetrain is an easy selling point to a new rider. And frankly, they will likely benefit from the bailout gear it provides.
  • 30 0
 Which even is more crazy that the Polygon bike has freaking SLX AND a Fox fork....and is CHEAPER
  • 1 0
 @tpfenning: I've hard from more people that this mix and matching 12s is working, although not being the crispiest shifting performance ever. It is good to know that! Meanwhile I'm on a 11s slx RD, 9 speed sram shifter, 9 speed 11/50 ztto cassete and 10 speed chain. works awesomely to me on trails. Not the crispy and smooth shifting performance as a thightly spaced gears, but I dont care about that.
  • 3 24
flag chicane32 (May 5, 2021 at 9:21) (Below Threshold)
 @spro-bro: We don’t care if 11 speed works for you! Some people ride less, have bad knees, ect. and need the 12 speed.
  • 39 0
 I’d rather set my bike up as an adult strider than ride SX eagle
  • 16 0
 @chicane32: you’ll definitely ride less if you have SX on your bike.
  • 2 0
 @Notmeatall: I just bought my Capra last year, and this is my first 12 speed experience. I can't say that I love it, but can't bring myself to buy all new stuff quite yet. I really liked the Microshift Advent 9 speed on my previous bike (that got stolen, hence the new Capra) and would probably go with a Microshift Advent X 10 speed if I were to need to replace it all at some point in the future.

For now, I'll just keep double shifting a lot!
  • 9 0
 @chicane32: So 50t on 11 speed is harder to pedal for you? Interesting. Please elaborate.
  • 1 7
flag chicane32 (May 5, 2021 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 @noapathy: Don’t know. I have a 50t 12 speed. Didn’t realize that the junk SX (that I wouldn’t even consider) came 10/11-50t, or whatever the ratio is? Last time I rode SRAM 11 speed it was 42 max and 11 speed didn’t have a 50t.
  • 7 0
 @chicane32: since your last time there is 11-51 deore 11 speed
  • 2 0
 @texag: the reason you cant get a chain is because of the pandemic
  • 4 0
 @Noeserd: Among other options, this. I've been using the 11-46 SunRace for about a year now - works great and there's an 11-50 available as well. (I use the term "available" loosely these days)
  • 1 0
 Over the time I worked with Sram parts I always suspected they priced their parts to compete at a spec level regardless of manufacturing cost or quality and could therefor substantially undercut the competition when it came to offering manufacturers OEM components for what appears to the consumer to be equivalent product.
  • 4 0
 @noapathy: Available is talking big, exists is more appropriate
  • 2 0
 @spro-bro: yeah shifter is way more important than derailleur for feel. I upgraded to a gx shifter and it's really nice and crisp. Surprisingly the sx derailleur has been working well for more than a year and 1500 miles at this point with plenty of crashes and bad lines haha. It's also possible to trade the sx derailleur out for a slx derailleur when it finally goes. Just need to take the time to set it up right in the first place and I think many people aren't great with that initial setup.
  • 8 0
 @chicane32: Jesus Christ. Buy a 26 t.

And why should the people who want decent, durable shifting with a clutched derailleur have to take a backseat to people who “need” 5 extra teeth on their dinner plate? If you’re buying a price point bike there will be compromises. It seems reasonable to expect that the bike actually work before addressing edge cases like a 51t cog.
  • 1 0
 Because if you buy complete package from RS/SRAM you get big discount.
  • 1 2
 @Blackhat: Jesus Christ what? I ride a 30- 50t with my bad knees that I ice daily. Previously when I first started riding, I rode a 28-42. What’s with your 26t nonsense?
  • 1 0
 @ols532704: I'm aware, I was adding my personal experience to the person I was replying to's assertion that SRAM consumables seem to be generally more available right now, and that could play more of a hand in spec choices vs outright performance or even cost.
  • 3 0
 @chicane32: What’s not to understand? If you need a lower gear buy a smaller chainring. A 26-42 is slightly easier than a 30 - 48. Go buy one and stop telling people “11 speed” doesn’t work for you.

You’re here implying that your special needs justify bike brands using totally unsuitable drivetrains on multi-thousand dollar bikes. The fact that a $25 dollar part solves the problem almost as well is pretty bad.
  • 1 0
 @Noeserd: Sadly, between the hoarders, scalpers and general lack of supply, this is true of a great many things for the time being.
  • 4 0
 @chicane32: sounds like you need... an... E... BIKE
  • 1 9
flag chicane32 (May 5, 2021 at 14:10) (Below Threshold)
 @TannerValhouli: Is that right! Straight out typical douche bag brah comment!
  • 9 0
 @chicane32: you might actually need an Ebike with a 26 tooth chainring...
  • 1 4
 @TannerValhouli: How does a 30t equate to a 26t?
  • 7 0
 @chicane32: if you can’t do math, keep up with mountain bike tech, or follow basic logic, maybe you shouldn’t be commenting on articles about mountain bike technology?

Nobody said 30 was equivalent to 26. Not even close. They just sideways suggested that given the amount of whining you’ve done on this thread you should consider taking a few steps back. If you don’t like it, whine less.
  • 3 0
 Giant used to be the King of value bike builds, offering better specs for the money. Just not the case anymore.
  • 1 0
 @spro-bro: Yes! The GX shifter makes it feel a million times more premium. I hate that plasticky trigger on the SX but the derailleur shifts nicely so a fancy GX would do lots of good. There was a manufacturing error on the top jockey wheel of the SX for a while which is why I think it has a bad name. I believe this has been fixed.
  • 2 0
 Good luck getting any decent run of anything Shimano right now. Their supply is effed. While it may be crappy, an SX drivetrain sure shifts better than a Deore drivetrain that you can’t get.
  • 1 0
 @whambat: ? Most sizes in that Polygon bike (SLX and Fox for 2360$) are slated to ship out May 30th to June 16th. Likely quicker to get those than an SX Trance X 3. I just called 25 bike shops around Denver and Boulder etc...zero Trance X in a L or XL.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: it probably depends on how much stock each company has had reserved, but I keep hearing how Shimano is having trouble filling orders. To be fair, SRAM is having trouble with certain items, especially AXS GX. But, Velonews just had an article about a new frame Cervelo have ready but can’t sell because they can’t get the Shimano parts to hang on it. When debating about whether to get new XT or a new GX to replaced my clapped old derailleur, I checked with my LBS and they recommended to stick with SRAM because of availability, especially if you need a replacement down the line.
And here’s an interesting post by Waltworks on his difficulties getting Shimano:
waltworks.com/2020/09/no-shimano-indefinitely
  • 1 0
 @chicane32: You’ve probably twigged that the new 11 sped Deore has the same range.
  • 48 3
 Deore is way better then sx
  • 15 1
 sx shifter and derailleur are garbage. however cranks and cassette are ok (weight more than gx, but that's the only downside)
  • 9 0
 @wyric: I just think that deore is way better then sx because it has a better clutch, cranks, cassete. I had a nx on my ripmo af and it was absolute garbage with shifting problems and clutch issues. I just put on a gx and it is miles better but i think that shimano has the best low end or budget components.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherhuman1: Had the same issues with NX on the RAF. I just threw on an SLX shifter and derailleur, and still rocking the NX ring and cog set because they wear so well. It all works great together.
  • 8 1
 Agreed. PB could have reviewed the Trance 29 (not the X) that comes with full Deore instead of the SX...and at a lower cost. Probably would have been much better on the climbs as well.
  • 6 0
 @justanotherhuman1: I'm assuming SX doesn't have a clutch after watching the huck to flat slo-mo. Holy moly did that deraillure kick.
  • 1 0
 @tgent: Saw that too
  • 1 0
 Deore 6100 cranks seem to have a habit of not holding torque on the pinch bolts and letting the arm slide off, but aside from that . . . yeah, it trounces SX.
  • 3 1
 @SATN-XC: Also a better fork! That RS 35 is pretty bad.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherhuman1: Is the GX that much better than the NX? How so?
  • 6 4
 Yep, all levels of Shimano >>> SRAM drivetrains. Chain slap on SRAM's pseudo-clutch derailleurs at all grouppo levels is ridiculous.
  • 1 0
 @nogirlsatgt: blue loctite
  • 5 0
 @justanotherhuman1: counterpoint: I've had zero problems with NX. Still shifts perfectly.
  • 4 0
 @SATN-XC: nah, the trance X is a decent bike, but the normal trance wouldn't stand a chance against any other fs on the list. even though it has better components, its hard to justify the rather large travel differences. on paper the normal trance would be a very good spec, but the bike itself does not hold its own compared to some of the others. this is all my opinion from working on and riding trances and both the alloy and carbon trance X
  • 4 0
 @ltharris: good points....but there can be outliers in the test. PB did throw the BMC XC bike in with the other trail bikes in the value bike HT review.

I brought this up elsewhere in the comments but do you think the "slow" and "soft" cons could be addressed by simply setting the rear geo in the "high" instead of "low" setting. If the X is the only one being tested with adjustable geometry, it would probably be nice to know what the other setting feels like.
  • 2 0
 @SATN-XC: i see your point, but i also thought it strange to shove an xc race bike in the bunch, so similarly how i think the normal trance would not be good competition to the rest, i also think the same for the bmc.

i agree with your second statement entirely, i would like to see the bike tested in both settings
  • 2 0
 This week I replaced a full NX 12 drivetrain with a XT+SLX rear derailleur 12 drivetrain after a year on the NX. First impression with the contrast between NX and XT fresh in my mind is that XT is smoother and crisper on the trail, not just in a workstand. It brings to mind that my main disappointment with NX wasn't its performance, like big, consequential mis-shifts or dropping chain or breaking. I wouldn't use the word perfect, but it was always adequate; I dislike that the lowest tier of the high end got split into SX and NX when there could have been just one HG freehub compatible group. NX seems a little too meh for the price of the completes it gets shipped with. The NX was a little noisy, a little temperamental with respect to cable adjustment. The cassette gouged the freehub body and was a PITA to remove. The shifter ergonomics weren't great. It didn't double upshift, which the XT does and I find really useful. I never rode SX 12, but I think in general little mainstream stuff is total trash, and that the differences you can find are real but relatively small. I know this is off-topic by one or two tiers, but the RAF NX comments above caught my eye. Same bike.
  • 1 0
 @audeo03: So Like i said in my other comment I have a ripmo af nx build. It started out good-no problems, but when I took it to bike park It was just non stop chain slap and the chain would fall off resulting in it scratching off a little bit of aluminum next to the smallest ring on the cassette on the seatstay. I had enough (and I really hate noise from chain slap) And I went to my local bike shop and they gave me a eethirteen DH thing and that helped a little but I ended up getting GX and it is way quieter. I also have a 2019 fathom 2 and the three year old deore on it made less noise then the nx. Don't get me wrong sram makes good components but I don't see the quality as much as shimano in the lower end/budget components.
  • 1 0
 @will-burr: Is that why I'm not running any 'stay protection on my carbon FS? Rocks and roots in abundance where I ride.
  • 1 0
 @Noah353: Yeah I don't doubt it. It seems like there are some that just work better then others but It might be from riding style. I hammer my bike and that's probably why but I just think that It depends on riding style. It honestly was great when I got the bike but it seemed like the derailleur just gave up after some abuse.
  • 1 0
 I know I'm breaking the orthodoxy here but I prefer sram shifting and shimano brakes haha. I'll take a gx shifter easily over slx or deore obviously. Surprisingly my sx derailleur has been working perfectly but when it does eventually meet its surmise, I'll probably go for an slx derailleur just for cost savings. Assuming it's even possible to buy one haha.
  • 3 0
 @will-burr: I saw a stock bike with NX in a shop and had to push it 3 or 4 times before I was sure it had a clutch. The XT beside it left no doubt the first time.
  • 3 1
 I had an NX group and it is garbage. The derailleur is bouncing like crazy,cassettes came apart in no time,shifting is very poor. I had lost the chain a few times,that never happened to me in the last 4 years. My old XT group with 4 years of abuse shift perfect,feels perfect and never had a problem. Sold the bike and the guy is still very happy with the group. SRAM had only the XX1,the cheaper stuff is garbage. Shimano stuff works flawless no matter the money you spend.
  • 5 0
 @homerjm: How the heck did your cassette come apart? It's a one-piece unit assembled with steel pins. I'm 14 months in on mine, and along with the chain ring, their the best part of the stock NX kit. Definitely agreed on the shifter/derailleur though.
  • 1 0
 Mine has 4 cogs on a carrier and 8 loose. PG1230 11-50T
  • 3 0
 @mammal: are you sure it’s NX level? I thought GX and up was all one piece construction on an XD free hub platform, but that NX was fairly standard HG free hub plates. Could be wrong though.
  • 2 0
 @Blackhat: Yeah, I'm definitely questioning what I'm remembering about my cassette now. I haven't pulled it off in a long time, so I'm thinking I'm dead-wrong about it being one-piece.

That said, it's been super bomb-proof for me. I swapped chains after the first season, and I'll get at least 2 full seasons out of it (with steel NX ring as well).
  • 2 0
 @mammal: mine had a little play in one cog. I have ride my bike only a few times really hard till I busted my knee very bad 8 month ago(broken ACL). Worst thing is the derailleur bounce,the spring tension is poor and it let the chain drop. I was looking for a replacement after 2 rides only with the new bike,at that time it was obvious to me it wont survive an entire season but disaster strikes.
Now I´m ridding my bike again,8 month later and the shifting is terrible but I only need a bike to pedal-rehab and it is just fine for that.
Shimano groups are much cheaper and better running/working choice,SLX,XT even Deore works well.
  • 3 0
 @homerjm: Yeah, my experience with the derailleur was the same. The clutch was completely nonexistent after 3 weeks of riding. Luckily my NX cog set and ring are proving to be extremely durable (all steel = very slow wear).
  • 2 0
 @justanotherhuman1: actually I forgot to mention that the rear derailleur bolt works its way loose about every 75 miles. That is sort of an issue.

We'll see how it's holding up in another 500 miles though.
  • 1 0
 @wyric: not with the Powerspline cranks. Those are utter shit.
  • 2 0
 @homerjm: I have NX on my hardtail and it...works. It does shift gears and nothing has broken yet. It's very slow and clunky though. And heavy. I don't like the up-shift motion at all on it. I don't ride that bike enough to replace it until something breaks and then I'll put Deore on it. I have XT on my main bike and it's been perfect going on four years now. I used to have an old Titus with XT that worked perfectly for over 11 years with minimal service.
  • 28 0
 Nothing gets my heart rate pumping more than a bike that loves to go slow
  • 11 1
 You joke, but a bike that does well in really technical stuff is must more appealing to someone like me who enjoys that stuff more than flow trails.
  • 13 0
 If you are OK with how the suspension on the Giant works - I am, cause I always pick the wrong line - and live in Europe: go for the X2. Shimano drivetrain and FOX fork, for a reasonable price upgrade. US prices on the X2 are meh though.
  • 3 0
 Agreed. I think the RS 35 fork holds this bike back, even the DPS shock is a bit on the conservative side for this bike's capability. I have the X 2 with the Fox 36 and found a take off DPX2 here on PB from someone with the carbon version. It's an all-mountain ripper that'll take on anything. Feels very supportive on descents.
  • 8 1
 So just spend another $2k on suspension and upgraded drivetrain? Defeats the point it seems.
  • 4 0
 @tgent: $2k? Its only $800 between the X 2 & 3.
  • 3 0
 @tgent: Or just get the Polygon bike for cheaper price lol. SLX and Fox fork.
  • 3 0
 @WY228: Ohhh! I thought you were talking about putting a Fox X2 shock, shimano drivetrain, and Fox Fork on this bike, note the Trance X 29 2 build (their naming convention is terrible btw). Ya that makes way more sense, and a good suggestion for most experienced mtn bikers or anyone who can afford it, but to be fair, this is the value field test, so gotta stick to the cheaper builds.
  • 2 2
 @Svinyard: that bike will be in stock in 2023
  • 2 0
 @Noah353: Supposed to be shipping May 30th and June 16th from what I saw this week (a nephew is looking for a bike). Why do you say 2023??
  • 3 0
 @Svinyard: Fair. Comparing the Giant X3 and the Polygon, the Polygon specs are probably better overall. The "SLX "is of course a SLX/Deore mix, e.g. the cranks are Deore. And Giant IMHO has the better tires (Maxxis vs. Schwalbe) and brakes (Shimano vs. Tektro).
But if you upgrade to the Giant X2 in Europe for 400€, you get a SLX/Deore drivetrain mix and a Fox 36 fork, compared to the Fox 34 on the Polygon.
Personally I prefer the more forgiving Giant suspension to the poppy Polygon one, but that's just me.
And that Polygon is out of stock in Europe, so that made the decision easier...
  • 3 0
 @wakkowarner: Yeah the Trance X 2 is a pretty nice improvement. I'm not so sure the Giants suspension is more forgiving than the Polygon tho, at least this review highlighted the opposite. The Polygon was definitely better at speed etc. Regardless, I LOVE that Polygon is setting such a nice bar for 2360$. Right now you'd have to jump to a near 3k$ Giant to beat it. I really wish Giant had just done the right thing and put Deore and a decent fork on their Trance X 3 tho. The SX is junk and that fork kind of is too. Revelation would have been a big improvement.
  • 1 0
 @wakkowarner: If you are going to go up to the X2 @$3000, why not just get the Ripley AF? It's better for that price point.
  • 2 0
 @addisonchen: living in Germany the Ripley is neither available nor cheap. I just checked and the frame alone is around 2000€ here. Besides that is a 130mm front, 120mm back suspension setup, so It's hardly comparable?
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: I would just call the suspension different. The Giant Trance has - historically - a plush suspension that's forgiving and works well. At least for me with limited riding skills and a tendency to pick the wrong lines :-)
Not a poppy suspension, but I hardly ever let my wheels leave the ground. If you are in to that and like a more active style of riding, go for the Polygon. Or try out both and pick what you like more.
  • 14 0
 I would have preferred to see the Trance X 2. At least in Canada, the price difference is minimal for a fox 36 and SLX drivetrain ($3999 vs $3399 CDN Pesos)
  • 10 0
 I got a Trance X 1 two weeks ago and after a lot of Enduro bikes this bike makes so much more fun, I can not get the point its not poppy, it jumps like hell (mine is better equipped but still the suspension design and the geo make fun). I can go almost as fast down most of our trails like my sentinel or the slash I've been riding before but with much more fun. It even gives me more confidence in corners since most terrain is not really steep over here and Headtube-angles below 65° produce a lack of grip with my riding style...

So if you love Jumptrails, do not care about trading 5% of your speed for 25% more fun, then go and get one.

Its just sad that you do not have my version in the US since a Top Spec alloy Version is a pretty cool thing not many brands offer.
  • 3 0
 Giant messed up by not offering the X 1 to North America IMO. I bought the X 2 and have been happy with it but would've gladly ponied up to the top model if I had the choice. I'll take a well spec'd alu bike over a poorly spec'd carbon version any day.
  • 10 0
 Almost sounds like you guys just switched over from a bunch of hardtails: "The back end bobs so much, but its so supple on the descents"
  • 7 0
 I'd love to know what they thought of the Trance X (both the cheap one and the live valve one) compared to the Trance from the 2019 field test that everybody seemed to really like and Levy even held on to for many months after IIRC.
  • 5 0
 I’ve had both in the Advanced Pro versions. Both are fantastic bikes but the X is just altogether better in every way. Particularly climbing due to the much steeper seat tube angle and added reach. I’ve ridden a ton of bikes over the past few decades and this one is the best fitting I’ve had and most all around capable.
  • 2 0
 @mikedk: Thanks for the feedback. Weird to think that they reviewed the last-gen Trance as being a good climber at the time (though they did note the slacker seat tube as well), while they weren't as impressed with this one. That caught me off guard.
  • 4 0
 @big-red: not setting the rear geo in low may make a difference
  • 2 0
 @mikedk:
I've got the X2 and I've had the exact same experience as you.
Many bikes in the past 25 years and this is the first bike that I feel fits perfectly ( large - I'm 5'11") and the climbing is bonkers. Never had it this good. And I've never used the pedal platform. The maestro design is phenomenally efficient and the steep seat tube is where it's at. In fact if I were shopping again a steep steep tube angle is absolutely the most important development in new bikes - I’d go as far as to ignore anything with less than 77° seat tube angle. Game changer.
  • 1 0
 @big-red: I'm honestly really surprised they didn't give this a higher review. Seems like the trance has always been considered a really solid bike. Comparing it to the polygon when one is single pivot and the other is twin link.
  • 1 0
 @superl8: Glad to hear it because I could not say that about my 2014 Trance. Overall a great bike but so much pedal bob (although it sounds like the reviewers had the same issue with this one). The other thing to keep in mind though is that most shocks come with the minimal amount of volume spacers and heavier riders will benefit from switching to a larger volume spacer. Bought my Trance as a new rider and was more than a little frustrated with the shop that I had to figure that out on my own!
  • 7 0
 Siskiu T8 "On the handling front, it’s a bike that can fit into tight spots and it felt more at home in twisty singletrack than either the Giant or Devinci"

Trance X "The Giant Trance X feels like a more compact bike than the Devinci Marshall or the Polygon Siskiu T8, which makes it an easier bike to get through tight sections."

Can you clarify these two statements? They seem to be saying the same thing for both bikes.
  • 2 0
 Also, Siskiu got a con for climb lever, but not for Trance? Reading between the lines here, is it maybe @mike-levy can't find another con point on Siskiu? If it was me, for sure I'd rate wallowing suspensions and rattling groupset worse.
  • 5 0
 Great looking bike but not sure its deserving of the "cons" on climbing and its soft feel. That's kind of the point of the "X" and I feel like PB was setting it up to fail on that mark by using the X over the normal Trance. Would have loved to see a normal Trance 29 used instead...full Shimano Deore (instead of the SRAM), Marzocchi Z2 up front with 130mm and Fox Float DPS Performance in the rear...all for $2,350 US.
  • 3 0
 I’ve rode both back to back, the difference in feel because of geometry was surprising. The regular Trance felt more “XC” in my opinion. It wasn’t setup for me whereas I have my Trance X fairly dialed in but I’d take my Trance X personally.
  • 1 0
 @klazzymoto: Do you think the "slow" and "soft" cons brought up in the vid could have been addressed had PB put the bike in the higher geometry setting instead of the low?
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC: I have not rode much in the high geo setting, even though it might be best suited for the trails here lol. I don’t think flipping to high geo would change the soft feeling. As for the slow feeling I can’t really say. Biggest thing I notice flipping the geo is reach and BB height. But like I said I haven’t spent much time in the high setting.
  • 13 5
 Lets see if anyone has anything nice to say today?
  • 14 1
 You would think that all of us who are privileged enough to enjoy such an awesome sport would be more content with life. If I was on the market for a new bike this would really sway me.. great value for all the cool modern features bikes come with nowadays.
  • 3 0
 You seem to be a wonderful human being!
  • 3 0
 @emiliooo35: ya. This bike looks good to me.
  • 1 0
 i like the trance X, im not a huge fan of the normal trance, but yeah, the trance X is a wicked sick bike
  • 2 0
 The Trance line looks cool. Didn't try to go crazy. Just a purist style.
  • 4 1
 I have this bike, Giant Trance X 2 2021. After a few weeks of riding, I started to hear squeaking noise. I checked everything and found out Giant had not greased one single pivot axes. Grease was nowhere to be found. This resulted in rust everywhere, bearings, washers, etc. And scratches on axels. This bike is also super heavy. I think its because of the wheels. I'm looking to sell it in the near future. While it rides ok, this was a covid bike put together in rush and the quality is not there for this kind of price.
  • 7 0
 The wheels are ~2.5kg which is extremely heavy for a trail bike. Wheelset upgrade is nearly a must-have on this bike.
  • 1 0
 @WY228: what would you recommend? I agree.
  • 2 0
 @xTommyG: Honestly would recommend just about anything. Even lower end budget aftermarket wheels would likely be lighter than the stock pair. I wanted a set of the updated DT Swiss XM1700s but they're impossible to find in stock. Likely going to go with a I9 Enduro S 1/1 set.
  • 7 0
 @xTommyG: I would recommend not buying a rusted bike from @Methodmath in the near future.
  • 5 0
 With so much focus on STA these days why is it never included in the info box at the top of Pinkbike reviews? It's just as important as HTA, chainstay length and reach
  • 3 0
 I have this bike. It’s not noisy, the shifter is fine. The deralieur is fine but won’t use the clutch, because that is what causes them to explode. The dropper post is positive rise and doesn’t make noise. Active suspension while climbing is comfort, which is why we like long travel trail bikes. The RS 35 is the weak link. Added one token and it doesn’t dive on braking. It’s weakness is high speed chatter, due to the MOCO dampener. Which brings me to the high points. This bike comes alive at speed. It is suited to fast rough riding. The slow stuff you can feel the slack, stable not poppy feel working against you.

In 2020-21 it is hard to find a bike. This got me in the modern world at an entry level price. Upgrades are expected exactly where you would expect. In order of importance or necessity; fork, wheels, derailleur. Then if you still aren’t happy spend to lighten it up or sell.
  • 3 0
 Man I’d agree with that. I’d also like to say that I’ve never felt so confident heading into chunky stuff with speed.
  • 2 0
 its unfortunate that Giant went cheapo on the fork (and the drive train). Such a critical piece of the bike. Considering what Polygon pulled off at a cheaper price, Giant could have done better. I'm sure this bike isnt a "slow speed" bike once you get a proper value fork like the revelation or something similar. The damper on that RS Gold 35 is the worst version of MoCo and sucks. The air spring isnt a proper debonair either, despite what it says, but it's not as bad as that damper. Also a lot of those forks had issues off the floor and needed to be warrantied out. If they just went deore and revelation fork...this is likely be the best 2500$ bike ever made. As it stands now, your crazy to buy it over the cheaper Fox/SLX Polygon.
  • 2 0
 As a Trance Advanced Pro (non X) owner, I was eager to give it a try but I can't get the framw only option and paying 3k euro for shitty components and suspension doesn't appeal to me.

I've "X-ified" my Trance by giving it a long travel treatment and couldn't be happier.
My Trance has Pike 140mm up front and DVO Topaz 2 with approx 130mm of travel rear (stock 115mm figure isn't correct). Head tube angle is around 65.5 degrees and seat tube is steep enough while the bike is still featherweight at around 12.5kg.

I'm also toying with an idea of trying angle adjusting headset to bring the HTA to 64 degrees and STA to around 75.

In the end this bike cost me 3k euros with top notch suspension, carbon frame and wheels and great dropper post.

Today, I'd be lucky to get Trance X2 for that much...
  • 1 0
 Uhh im pretty sure 115 is correct. How did you go about measuring it and why do you think that it is 130mm?
  • 1 0
 @nickjaco19: German bike magazine measured 129mm and they're very detailed. I have also lengthened the stroke to 45mm (from 42.5mm).
  • 1 0
 Giant seems to be running the most linear tunes on the market right now.

I’m on a Reign 29, and despite geometry and travel almost identical to a Yeti SB150, the Giant has waaaaaay less bottom out support. Like, tried a MegNeg and it wasn’t enough. Ended up putting on a more tunable shock to get it dialed.

Super linear tunes are fast-if you avoid jumping whenever possible. But they aren’t as fun on mellow trails and you hit the bottom out bumper-a LOT.
  • 2 0
 Cons: noisy components...

Should say

Cons: junk components.

I guess 6k bikes with nx/gx and novatecs/370s make this look purdy damn good though.

That wheelset, fork, drivetrain, wow.
  • 1 0
 The only brand I know that specs 6k bikes like that is Rocky Mountain. They’re by far and away the worst value bikes on the market at almost every price point.
  • 1 0
 @TannerValhouli: Is that still true? New Instinct C50 is cheaper than a Santa Cruz high tower by a couple hundred bucks. Santa Cruz has the 370's and a GX drive train (bleh) while the Rocky has SLX/XT build.

Heck even the Trance X Advanced Pro 29 1 is more expensive than RM and it has an NX/GX build lol.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: I guess other brands have upped their game to compete with rocky for worst spec/$ ratio. Rocky has a bad reputation in the northeast from the last couple years though because almost all of them that get ridden hard break.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard:Trance X Advance Pro 29 1 is $6899.99CAD and has a full GX build (only NX chain), has a carbon wheelset, has a 36 Elite Grip 2.

The Instinct C50 is $6999.99CAD with an XT/SLX mix, cheap WTB I30 wheelset and a 36 Grip.

You may be confusing the Pro 29 2 which has an NX/GX build, but still a carbon wheelset for $5599.99
  • 1 0
 I find this utterly bizzare. The exchange rate on this would make this £1800 which would be about right with that spec. However, this is priced at £2699 in UK and is rubbish value with crappy SX gears, Gold fork and basic Shimano brakes!!
  • 3 0
 maybe because giant europe is in the netherlands and needs to deal now with post brexit britain?
  • 1 0
 @Sethimus: Probably. Still represents bad value
  • 1 0
 @MattP76: if you can get the x 1, best value imho. that’s what i ordered, 4000€ for complete xt and decent suspension
  • 1 0
 Current situation is really sad. I ve bought Trance 2 2018 model for same price and setup was much better, FOX suspension, SLX groupset. 3 years after, new bike offer Flip chip and downtube protection with much worse components in same price. I would expect that due the technology improvement, we should get more value for same price, in this case it is exactly opposite scenario.
  • 1 0
 Love that PB is evaluating value trail bikes! Would've preferred a review of the $3300 model up of the Giant Trance X 29 2, with better components; but based on this review it does seem that it would not have fared particularly differently, as the "active" rear suspension would be the same.
  • 1 0
 I own a few Giants and never had issues with my droppers making any noise. That said the Giant Anthem is 135 and the Trance is 150 so where Sara gets the 20mm hike is beyond me. My Trance has 150 Rhythm front and 140 rear.
  • 1 0
 If they put a flip chip in why do they make the high so steep? Why cant they do a low at 64 and a high at 65 or something like that? Make it so you're actually asking yourself what is the better angle for today?
  • 1 1
 I bought the next spec up (the 2) of this bike back in October, and was generally pretty happy with it. The suspension did feel pretty unbalanced front-to-rear though, but swapping out the stock 0.4 cu. in. volume spacer in the shock for a 0.8 helped with that a lot. The trails in my area are really natural & pretty rough with rocks and roots, and have a lot of slow speed corners, but lack crazy steepness and huge features.

Fast forward to March when I slid the front end out on a wet root and ended up putting a thumb-sized dent in the downtube which resulted in it cracking, and Giant wanting about $1k USD for a replacement frame, and I'm now riding a used Rocky Mountain Instinct with all of the Giant's parts on it.
  • 3 0
 Low budget sub 2500 Euro/ affordable Endurotest pleaaase.
  • 3 0
 ..."Loves Low Speed Technical Trails" = dammed by faint praise
  • 1 0
 Anybody else have problems with the giant website loading? Tried to look at the spec on the other models but on 3 different devices the site never loaded...
  • 1 0
 no issue here
  • 1 0
 I cant look at it with firefox. not sure about chrome. I hate IE but it works for me on that
  • 2 0
 I'd really like to know how this performs in the slow tech if they flip the chip to the other setting.
  • 1 0
 I think this bike looks great. I love that it is not stealth black, but glossy. As to noisy components, exactly how loud is the dropper post?
  • 1 0
 I’ve not tried this one, but I have last year’s Reign 29.
I’ve found it to be an excellent climber. Not bobbling and loads of traction.
  • 1 0
 Great bike , great price . A simple climb switch solves the climbing issue. I'd much rather sacrifice plush for platform but I'm definitely a minority.
  • 2 1
 PB after high end bike review: ho lee shit no one can afford this bike test a cheaper model
PB after budget bike review: ho lee shit these components suck test a better model
  • 3 1
 This could be the only interesting bike in a long time
  • 3 1
 Well written and well reviewed.
  • 1 0
 Can someone explain to me the RockShox fork nomenclature?

Zeb, Lyric, Pike, ok, I guess. But then 35 Gold?
  • 1 0
 It's a bit confusing
Zeb is it's own thing
Yari is cheaper version of Lyrik
Revelation is cheaper version of Pike
35 is....uh...a 35mm Reba?
  • 4 0
 I think it's Pike.... Revelation.... 35....... Which makes the extra 500 between the Gian and the Ibis worth if for the Fox suspension and the NX/GX vs the SX. With all that said, my money is on the Polygon to to win. Can't beat that spec or that price......
  • 4 0
 @ryan77777: Domain is the cheaper version of the Zeb now
  • 1 0
 @ryan77777: the 35 is closer to a Recon. The Reba is close to a SID, and works quite well.
  • 2 0
 @GilesSTurner:
Updated a bit...gets a bit confusing the 'lower end' you get.
Low to high end:

Domain / Zep
Yari / Lyrik
Revelation / Pike
Sektor / Recon / '35'
Judy / Reba / SID
  • 1 0
 Editor Fix: The Trance X is listed at having only 135mm of rear travel not 140mm.
  • 1 0
 i have one, so far, no noise, no issues. It is heavy tho - 33lbs. but I barely notice it and I'm coming from hardtail.
  • 2 0
 Noisy bike, i wonder if its because of the sx
  • 1 0
 We need some bikes in the 4000 range with some that are carbon and some that are not
  • 1 0
 I upgraded my X1 with 160mm air shaft. It is big improvement. I think this bike is made for 160mm fork.
  • 1 0
 I have the '21 trance in xl. I love it. Love the spec, love the price. Ride is a huge upgrade from my '08 kona dawg
  • 4 3
 What areas or regions are Giant bikes popular anway? I never see them.
  • 4 0
 They're really popular here in Australia. They're by far the most popular of the big 3 bike brands.
  • 5 0
 I see a lot of them around Vancouver, BC.
  • 1 0
 The local shop owner in my town complained to my friend that no one wants a Giant bike...but hasn’t bothered picking up another brand...
  • 5 0
 I see a lot of them in Ontario
  • 5 0
 Every bro with a Youtube channel that started in the past year is riding a Giant.
  • 2 0
 @enki: came here to say the same. One of the more popular bikes here
  • 4 0
 I see tonnes of them in Southern Ontario
  • 2 0
 ...Austin, Texas, here....lots of Giants in my area....primarily b/c the local shop near the SATN trailhead is a Giant dealer. Between wife and I we have 4.
  • 2 0
 I see a lot of them here in Calgary. Giant is also popular in Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines where I have been to.
  • 2 7
flag DoubleCrownAddict (May 5, 2021 at 9:36) (Below Threshold)
 They are typically popular in areas with only one bike shop that only sells Giant.
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: not necessarily true. Giant shop here also sells Santa Cruz and there are Specialized, Trek, and Intense Cycle dealers within 5 miles.
  • 2 0
 This is interesting. I thought Canada was Trek country. Here in the Midwest, Trek and Specialized are the most popular with a random sprinkling of smaller brands here and there. Trek especially, as the local Trek shop owner and employees are very personally involved in the trail building and the general MTB scene and event planning and doing free demos and such. I have seen Rocky Mountain gaining more popularity with the local riders as well, as I'm seeing unique ones more often. I find it interesting how certain regions and locales have a 'preferred' or popular brand a large percentage of riders gravitate toward.
  • 1 0
 @Almazing: Canada, like the US is a big country, so many regional differences. Giant Canada is headquartered in North Vancouver, so that probably helps out with local visibility. So are Kona, and Norco, I believe. This helps for developing bikes for the local trails. Giant also seems to offer VERY competitive pricing in CAD dollars, so their bikes aren't as expensive (like Specialized or Santa Cruz) . Most of the people I know riding them are happy. The Reign seems to be a fairly popular bike here.
  • 1 0
 Here on Vancouver Island there are a lot of us Giant owners. I especially appreciate that Giant Victoria ONLY works on Giant/Liv bikes! No two week wait for getting our bikes in for work. Between my wife and me: 5 Giant/Liv bikes!
  • 1 0
 I used to live part time in Whistler BC and there are tons of Giants up there as there are several Giant dealers and Giant is very well priced in Canada when compared to the US. Here in Central California, Santa Cruz and Specialized are popular with other brands like Trek, Yeti, Ibis, YT, and Orbea having a decent following. There used to not be many Treks until this past year as a big Trek dealer moved into the area and that Trek has had better availability than other brands during corona. Very few Scotts or Rocky's.
  • 1 0
 Were those Sierra Nevada "Cones" at about 4:30 in the video?
  • 1 2
 Hellos! I'll take chromag wide angle fox factory 34 hadley hub chris king headset slx groupset edition!
  • 1 0
 That fork isn't gold...
  • 1 1
 Sold out for 2021, couldn't have been that bad ya ding dongs.
  • 1 3
 DEAL BREAKER! I'll never buy any bike with a press-fit bottom bracket.
  • 1 1
 I hate the press fit to. But I’m not going to worry in my southwest area. Also there is a solution for when cranks upgrade comes waaaaay down the list.

m.youtube.com/watch?v=qaCPvbmGPD8
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