Giant Trance Advanced 1 - Review

Jun 6, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  



The Trance Advanced is the bike that showcases what Giant does best. They use their high tech manufacturing might to produce many of the bike's components in house. so they can spec top quality carbon handlebars carbon wheelsets, dropper seatposts and stems without paying the up-charge for branded products. But Giant doesn't pocket the savings; instead, they spend it on upgrading the bike's critical suspension and drivetrain components, The fact that Giant is one of the better frame manufacturers in Asia is their ace in the hole. Making your own bikes eliminates one big link in the supply chain between the factory and Giant's retailers, and those savings can be passed on to the customer, or reinvested in the product. Giant does both. The Trance Advanced 1 reviewed here sits one notch below the flagship Advanced 0. It's appointed with everything an aggressive trail rider would need, its numbers are contemporary, it weighs only 27.3 pounds, its carbon/aluminum chassis is delightfully capable and efficient, and its MSRP is attainable, at only $4,950 USD.


Trance Advanced 1 Details:

• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Frame: carbon front section welded aluminum Maestro rear suspension.
• 27.5" wheels, boost hub spacing.
• Metric shock sizing
• Rear-wheel travel: 140mm
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• 67º head angle
• Shimano XT 11-speed drivetrain (11 x 46t cassette, 32t chainring)
• MSRP: $4950 USD
• Weight: 27.3 pounds (medium)
• Contact: Giant Bicycles
Giant Trance Advanced 1 2017
New kinematics: the Trance now has a lower leverage rate, which enhances pedaling and mid-stroke support.


The Real Story

Now, pretend that you never read that last paragraph. It's all true, but there is a simpler story behind the 2017 Trance Advanced. Bring your bike to Giant USA's headquarters in Southern California for a lunch ride and meet the folks who designed it in their element. You'll be hard pressed to find fitter or better bike handlers. Here, where climbs are sustained, the soil is sketchy, and speeds range from switchback survival to eye-watering ridge-line descents, the Trance is their weapon of choice. These are the men and women whose job it is to mix it up with Giant's pro athletes and develop their next enduro, downhill, and cross-country race bikes, so it should come as no surprise that the crew regularly updates their favorite trail bike with lessons learned on the professional racing circuit. So, the Trance Advanced is literally Giant's personal ride, made available to the public.

Giant Trance Advanced suspension
Aluminum was Giant's choice for the swingarm. Note how the internal cable routing exits over the top of the bottom bracket shell, not below it.


Construction

Giant's goal is to keep the Trance's performance at the leading edge of the trail bike category. These days, that means it needs to approach the speeds and technical prowess of a gravity oriented enduro machine like its burly brother, the Reign, but with a lighter, brighter feeling under power and sharper reactions in the steering department to suit the tighter confines of natural back country trails.

We learned in Mike Kazimer's First Ride piece at the new Trance launch that Giant extended its reach ten millimeters, shortened the chainstays by five, and completely revamped its dual-link Maestro rear suspension to reduce the leverage rate driving its shock. Suspension travel is 140-millimeters in the rear, and 150-millimeters up front - a combination that is becoming a favorite here at PB for-fast paced trail bikes.

bigquotesA quick scan of the Trance's geometry indicates that Giant has chosen the conservative path...

A quick scan of the Trance's geometry indicates that Giant has chosen the conservative path, with a 73.5-degree seat tube angle, reasonably long reaches, and a low enough bottom bracket to ensure sharp turning without bashing pedals through every rock garden. Giant also bucks the super-slack trend with the Trance's 67-degree head tube angle, but
Giant Trance geometry 2017
Trance Advanced geometry
considering its mission statement, that may be a. good thing. Giant offers the bike in five sizes (X-small through X-large), so most riders can choose the next size to obtain a longer or shorter reaches

The front section of the Trance Advanced chassis is constructed from Toray T700 carbon material from Japan (perhaps the most respected supplier in the industry), while the rear suspension is fabricated from aluminum. The aluminum rear end was a pragmatic choice, shared by a number of high-end bike makers, because the complicated shapes and narrow tube profiles of carbon swingarms make them much more costly to manufacture, while the end result is minimal weight savings at comparative strengths. The lower link of its Maestro suspension is aluminum, while the new upper link is carbon and designed to fit "metric" trunnion-mount shocks.

Giant Trance Advanced 1 2017
Hefty molded rubber bash guard for the downtube, ISCG mounts, and frame clearance for DH-width tires.


Like most contemporary frames, the Trance Advanced has internal cables and housings, but Giant routes them above the bottom bracket shell, where they are protected from root and rock strikes. The curved down tube and vertical shock placement provides generous room for a full-sized water bottle, and there is ample space between the chainstays for gravity-sized 2.6-inch rubber. The carbon downtube is protected by a thick, molded rubber bash plate, while the drive-side chainstay is wrapped with an equally impressive rubber sleeve to keep things quiet back there when the downs get fast and scary. Finally, Giant chose to use screw-in through-axles on the Boost width rear axle and fork, presumably to ensure that there will be no question as to how well the axles have been tensioned, as is sometimes the case with lever-actuated axles.

Giant Contact Switch dropper seatpost
Contact SL Switch-R dropper seatpost.
Giant Trance Advanced 1 2017
Giant's sharp looking TRX 1 carbon wheels.


Key Components

The stars of the Trance Advanced 1 show are its Fox 34 Float Factory Kashima fork and Float Factory shock. Right up there with the suspension are its Shimano XT 11-speed drivetrain and brakes. Also worth a mention are Giant's house brand TRX 1 composite wheels. They reportedly weigh 1640 grams a set, measure a respectably wide, 27 millimeters (inside width), and deliver a smoother ride than their more conspicuous rivals, with excellent steering feel.

On the opposite side of the enthusiasm meter, Giant spec'ed a narrow, 750-millimeter handlebar, paired with a longer than necessary, 60-millimeter stem on a chassis that is capable enough to race local enduros. Both are easy fixes, but the beauty of the Trance Advanced 1 is that, in every other respect, it is ready to rock out of the crate.

Giant Trance Advanced 1 2017

bigquotesThe stars of the Trance Advanced 1 show are its Fox 34 Float Factory Kashima fork and Float Factory shock.
Specifications
Release Date 2017
Price $4950
Travel 140mm rear, 150mm front
Rear Shock Fox Float Factory
Fork Fox 34 Float Factory Kashima, FIT4
Headset sealed, tapered
Cassette Shimano XT 11x46, 11-speed
Crankarms Shimano XT, 32t
Chainguide ISCG mounts
Bottom Bracket Shimano press-fir BB92
Pedals NA
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT
Chain KMC X11 EL
Front Derailleur NA
Shifter Pods Shimano XT
Handlebar Giant Contact SL aluminum, 750mm
Stem Contact SL 60mm
Grips Giant lock-on
Brakes Shimano XT, 180mm rotors F&R
Wheelset Giant TRX 1
Hubs Giant TRX 1
Spokes Sapim Laser
Rim Giant TRX 1 Carbon
Tires (F) Schwalbe Nobby Nic, 2.35" Trailstar, (R) Nobby Nic 2.25" Pacestar
Seat Giant Contact SL
Seatpost Giant Contact SL Switch-R






If you can imagine the sensation of being a mountain bike trail dog, mixing it up with your buds on a sweet section of forest singletrack, you wouldn't have to read further to understand how Giant's new Trance Advanced 1 performs. It's fast, it feels nimble in the turns, it has a certain lightness to it that I have yet to experience aboard a Giant, and it's quick reactions inspire the confidence to deal with unforeseen obstacles as they appear. At speed, when the Trance's suspension is pushed to its limits, the bike naturally floats off the back-sides of tree-root gnarls, off-angle rocks and undulations in the trail. It may fall behind gravity-oriented enduro machines down the most technical descents, but not too far, and it shows up ready to rock, with its tongue hanging out, smiling from ear to ear.

Giant Trance Advanced 1 2017
bigquotesAt speed, when the Trance's suspension is pushed to its limits, the bike naturally floats off the back-sides of tree-root gnarls, off-angle rocks and undulations in the trail.

The Trance's improved rear-suspension kinematics make ballpark settings feel just right. Get the sag at or a little past 25 percent, and turn in the low-speed rebound dial until you can sense a small amount of resistance after a deep compression and you are good to go. I used similar settings on the fork, but with slightly less sag (20 percent) to keep the front end riding up while I was negotiating Pemberton's frequent rock rolls, and never needed to touch the suspension dials again.

Climbing and acceleration: Previously, Giant's Maestro suspension impressed me as a seven out of ten for pedaling feel and efficiency. The Reigns and Trances I had ridden in the past were efficient, in the sense that they maintained momentum and accelerated quickly, but there was an ever-so slight disconnect between the instant that the leg muscles tightened and the moment when the rear wheel responded. Giant's new kinematics have eliminated that issue entirely. The cranks feel directly connected to the tire's contact patch, and the result is brighter, more energetic acceleration and much happier legs on the climbs.

Extended climbs warranted switching to the center position of the Fox shock's low-speed compression lever to firm up the pedaling feel and, more importantly, to keep the tail end of the Trance from settling too much into its travel. On that subject, I have been riding bikes with steeper seat tube angles (in the neighborhood of 74 to 76 degrees) for over a year and I believe that the Giant's 73.5-degree number is a bit too slack for a modern trail bike. To that end, there is enough reach built into the new Trance to run the saddle forward on the rails to compensate for it without cramping the cockpit. With the seat forward, climbing was enhanced and I found the bike's 17.1-inch chainstays were still short enough to maintain traction up steep pitches that might have defeated me otherwise.
Giant Trance Advanced 1 2017
bigquotesThe cranks feel directly connected to the tire's contact patch, and the result is brighter, more energetic acceleration and much happier legs on the climbs.


Technical handling: Before I had a chance to criticize the Trance for its steeper-than-I-wished-for head tube angle, I was given the chance to experience why its 67-degree angle was, perhaps, the better option. The trail to access the choice descents on the mountain was well over a thousand feet of climbing, punctuated by roots, rocks, a few ladders and fifty odd switchbacks. With a shorter wheelbase and its slightly steeper head angle, the Trance 1 could be unweighted with minimal effort to get the wheels over steps and roots and its steering felt effortless, compared to the slacked-out enduro sleds I was accustomed to riding at home. The Trance took the drama out of the climbs - all the power moves that big, long-travel machines require to navigate in tight spaces became comically evident.

Giant Trance Advanced 1 2017
bigquotesBoth wheels tend to drift when it is pushed hard in a turn, and that remains consistent at a variety of speeds and trail surfaces.

Contemporary mountain biking is all about clowns and downs. Climbing, not so much. As I crested into the first downhill, I was thinking about all the great climbing bikes I had experienced - and how frightening it was to pilot most of them down technical steeps. "If Giant hopes to make an impression on the sport's up and comers," I muttered, as I dropped the seat post. "This Trance needs to show me some skills."

Turns out that the only surprises that the Trance had in store were pleasant ones. Both wheels tend to drift when it is pushed hard in a turn, and that remains consistent at a variety of speeds and trail surfaces. I learned to lean the Trance a little more than necessary, let the wheels settle into a line, and then it would stay put until the exit point. Schwalbe's Nobby Nic tires would be suicide on my home trails, but they found grip everywhere in the Pacific Northwest's loamy wood-chipped soil. Conditions were dry, but there were plenty of opportunities to sample wet roots and rocks without issues.

The Giant is shorter than the bikes I am used to, so I needed to place my weight over the front wheel with greater precision to negotiate chutes and rock rolls. Thanks to its Shimano XT brakes, I could count on consistent engagement and power, so the Trance could be coaxed deftly to the edge of a skid. It's an easy bike to ride. I had only a handful of "moments" while I was descending in earnest and most were my errors, not the bike's shortfalls. In spite of the 60-millimeter stem (which I recommend changing to a 50 or 40) and its more upright geometry, I was comfortable dropping into all but the scariest lines in one of BC's more respected trail networks. That said, however, The Trance 1 is a true trail bike and thus, has its limitations. Push it beyond its speed threshold and it gets bouncy over bomb-holes and bumps. The same warning applies for steeps - it will happily descend some impressive lines, but speed control is of the essence if survival is the goal.

Technical Report

Shimano XT brakes: Armed with 180-millimeter rotors on each end, the Trance's XT brakes stopped harder and with greater consistency than SRAM Guide brakes on different test bike, but in equal conditions. It was an eye opener, considering that Guides have been my favorite brakes for over a year running.

Contact SL Switch-R dropper post: Defying all odds, Giant's original Switch dropper post is still operating smoothly after four years on one of my test bikes. It's been significantly upgraded since, but it's still cable operated, reliable, and it shows up on most of Giant's trail bikes. Large and XL Trance Advanced 1 models are spec'ed with 150-millimeter posts, but to ensure that smaller frame sizes will fit a wide variety of riders, Giant specs 125-millimeter posts on mediums (reviewed), and 100-millimeter posts on the small sizes. I often wished for the longer, 150-millimeter option to get the saddle out of the way.

Contact SL stem and handlebar: Once it was a nitpick, but reaches have been extended, head angles have adjusted to be slacker, and those changes favor stems in the range of 50 millimeters with handlebars near the 780-millimeter mark. I can attest that the Trance Advanced 1 can be piloted easily with the stock 60-millimeter stem and 750-millimeter bar, but I'll bet that the design team at Giant are sporting wider bars and shorter stems on their lunch-ride Trances. Just saying.

Giant Trance Advanced 1 2017

Giant Contact Switch dropper seatpost

Giant Trance Advanced 1 2017



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThose who live and die by the latest trends will find it hard, perhaps impossible, to embrace the sensibility of Giant's best-selling trail bike. It's like the creators of the Trance Advanced 1 blended everything good about modern long-travel trail bikes with the most salient aspects of their old-school designs. That may sound wrong, but the Trance feels very right. The reason it works so well is that they built it for themselves, to blaze trails, try foolish things, and to chase each other around the backcountry - which happens to be exactly what most of us live for.RC
Must Read This Week

245 Comments

  • + 164
 Ironically, I just switched from a 50mm to a 60mm stem on my bike and find it handles way better on the ups and downs. And I happen to find 750mm to be the sweet spot for bar length on my "enduro used mostly for trails" bike. I'm 5'11 too. Cockpit setup is so personal and depends on so many factors, including rider size, bike setup, and riding style. I wish reviewers would stop recommending people switch to shorter stems and wider bars as blanket recommendations. It's leading to people with comically oversized bars and poor cockpit setups. You should see tiny riders around here with 780mm+ bars. Then they complain about shoulder and neck pain. I know we've been here before, but you're doing your readers a disservice by pushing fads as facts. Why not recommend people try it out and see what they think instead of swapping out right away? You say in the article Giant employees/riders know their stuff and rip on trails, then in the next breath complain about how they setup the cockpit. There's way too much focus on numbers these days instead of how a bike rides. You said it yourself the 60 felt good despite you thinking it would be too long. How much of this is "in the head" thinking I should be riding this size this and that?
  • + 12
 I found the same thing when I tried switching to a shorter stem, my riding became jittery and less stable until I put my original stem back on.

I also realized after trying out a larger sized bike though, that my bike was too small for me, which is another factor to be taken into account. I think it makes sense for these brands to spec a middle-range stem that allows bike owners to shorten or lengthen it to their personal preference. I expect that shortening your stem would make the most sense if your frame size is already relatively large for you, which may very well be a good way to set up a bike well... buy bigger frame (if close to the line between frame sizes or in the overlap zone of recommended sizes) and shorten the stem.

However, each brand sets up their bikes so differently it seems that you really just need to get a feel for them. I guess once again it comes back to personal preference!
  • + 47
 Plus who needs 780mm bars on a trail bike? Fitting between trees is no longer a priority I guess.
Industry trends are not necessarily the right medicine for everyone. Run through some of the enduro and DH bike checks that have been on PB in the past year, 750-760mm bar width is not uncommon on many racers enduro bikes and how many DH racers are running super wide rims and tires? I can recall seeing DT EX471's (25mm internal) and 2.3 tires on quite a few bikes fairly recently.
I'm so exhausted by the bike industry and media, like a lot of people that read PB I now mostly just look at a few pics and scroll right to the comments.
  • + 10
 Changed my 50mm stem to a 65 on my Meta V4 and love it. I had a kona process and tried a longer stem and it made it feel awkward and slow in turns. Then went back to the 40mm and it was much better. I'm thinking that the moderate reach bikes don't work well with crazy short stems. Stem length doesn't dictate riding style of the bike. You just have to get the length that balances the bike to your dimensions.
  • + 5
 Agreed. I ride 60mm w Zero rise and 750mm carbon bars w only a slight 7 degree rise, and I like it much better than shorter and wider, more stable & less jittery. I ride 750mm on my DH bike as well. It's rider choice clearly, but enough with articles bashing this, other than that its a great write up and the new Anthem looks great. Interesting too to see more and more enduro racers riding 740 & 750mm width bars with 50-60mm stems. If they give the REIGN the same/similar treatment I may be purchasing a Reign, as long as it has a threaded BB!
  • + 6
 @DirtMcGuirk: I was going to say that most of the EWS guys seemed to be running 740mm bars when PinkBike did a pit check on their youtube channel, earlier in the season. Anyway, I'm 6ft 2" and eventually settled on 765mm bars, so 750mm on the medium frame they were testing is probably even a little wide
  • + 89
 @DirtMcGuirk: The point is, that selling the bike with a wider handlebar gives customers the ability to make that choice with a hack saw instead of a credit card.
  • + 1
 Cannot agree more. Short stems really only seem appropriate on straight downhill bikes. Longer stems on trail bikes allow you to get more of your weight on the front wheel and tend to get you in the proper riding stance. When the trail is not so steep that endo's are a major concern, longer stems can be very productive.
  • + 9
 Well then thats what your review should say because right now it's clearly missleading @RichardCunningham:
  • + 7
 @RichardCunningham: Yes and that would be pertinent information to include when you make that recommendation. Your average reader just thinks they need wider bars. These articles never mention that offering a wider bar would give taller riders the option to run long, but smaller riders the option to cut down. And as someone pointed out, would you really need to put 800mm bars on a size small frame? Look at how women's bikes are specced for example. You can cut them down and it's nice to get something reasonably wide, though with very wide bars you run into rise and sweep getting in the way of cutting them down too much. Plus that doesn't address the stem recommendation either.
  • + 1
 I don't like my 60mm stem on my bike, it feels a bit hard to turn. I tried a 50mm and felt a lot better, but the bike it's too short for that stem lenght and makes my back hurt when I'm pedalling. Like joalst said "You just have to get the length that balances the bike to your dimensions."
  • + 10
 @RichardCunningham: True but bars and stems are to be sized together. Wide bars and long stems don't play well together. Putting 800mm bars on a bike with a 60mm stem is selling a bike that handles poorly on the floor.

Although you can chop the bars, the reality is the average buyer doesn't, they would just deal with a bike that doesn't handle quite right. Or more than likely, they would pick the bike from another manufacture who correctly matched stem and bars.
  • + 1
 @DirtMcGuirk: I don't think much of pb crowd rides on trails that compare to that of EWS... I used to ride with a 720mm, now I used 800mm and it has been a problem only once. I just got more accurate, with the added benefit of a better control. I've pedaled up over 1400m on a 800mm bar, I'm 177cm and it never gave me pain anywhere.
Jared graves has to ride through very tight tree sections at 40km/h ; I ride through medium/tight tree section at 25km/h. Don't tell me I need the same bar size
  • + 23
 A 60mm stem isn't exactly a long, lanky XC stem...
  • + 5
 @DirtMcGuirk: I do. I'm 6ft 3" with orangutan arms. 780mm bars probably feel the way that a narrower set of bars feels to you - just right.
  • + 1
 Love my 50mm renthal apex. Bar width for me depends on how close the trees are, so its 760 at moment
  • + 0
 @DirtMcGuirk: Well said! Couldnt agree more! So much plus and wide and extra boost lately but then looking at what pros are riding - oh surprise! None of tht BS there.
  • + 4
 Totally agree with the 60mm stem. I tried a 50mm, it felt weird and went back to 60mm where the climbing felt efficient and the bike felt balanced.
  • + 2
 I demo'd this bike last weekend, my first and immediate impression was the Long Reach and narrow feeling bars. After the ride I was surprised to learn they were 750s, thats what I have on my Scott but it felt much much different. half hour into the ride I was getting used to it and it felt right for the bike, but missed my Easton large-diameter grips. This review aligns with my Impressions exactly.
  • + 8
 @RichardCunningham: So all bikes should come with 800's and we cut them down. So much for the engineering that goes into bars. Imagine how unforgiving a 800 cut down to, shall we say 700? Now think about a properly engineered 700 or 720 with appropriate tapers? Much different... The Trance is one of the best trail bikes.... it shouldnt have a DH width bar.
  • + 5
 @tastydirt: I'm tall at 6'5" and really like a 60mm or 70mm stem on my trailbike. Stabilizes the steering a bit and with my dropper I have no problem getting my weight back.

On my old V10, I preferred a 55mm stem also. I just don't get along well with short stems 50mm and below.
  • + 3
 750mm wide bars... You might as well throw a low rider chain steering wheel on there... LOL I kid.
  • + 2
 One of the first things I do with a new bike is swap out the bar, stem and saddle. It’s preference not a mandate. I always factor that into the cost of a new bike. With my current bike I was able to get a discount on the new bar and let them keep the stock one.

Doesn’t have to be a big deal.
  • + 2
 Wow are you serious, there are tons of people who read this site that are riding terrain similar to and well beyond an EWS course.
  • + 2
 I agree with this. I'm 6' 4.5" and I also ride with a 60mm stem and 750mm bars. I just feels right for what I'm riding (singletrack, aggressive trail riding). Handles really well on the decends, jumps and in turns but also on the climbs where shorter stems makes the bike less stable.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: Ahh I see, fair call. I was thinking 750mm is not narrow.
  • + 1
 why the same pic of the sestpost twice?
  • + 5
 @RichardCunningham you should know better than to perpetuate all these misinformed geometry prejudices. The reason you were pleasantly surprised by the bike might be because your expectations of it being undesirable based on the #s were straight up wrong.

The shorter the stem the better, up to DH lengths?

The wider the bar the better, up to DH lengths?

Short CS length improves climbing traction? According to another review, long CS length does too.

67d HA is conservative, slacker is better, up to DH angles?

63.5 SA is conservative, steeper is better, up to the steepest you've seen (75?)?

434mm reach is conservative, longer is better, up to the longest you've seen (Geometron, or more modest like Whyte T130?)?

Shorter bikes require you to ride a certain way?

Having made frames yourself, and having in depth talks with experienced designers like Jeff Steber, you should know geometry and all these component lengths is a juggling act, with dozens of things to juggle at once, to get right. Don't see the sense in trying to deceive us, unless you're using satire...
  • + 7
 @zooey: Good points all, and while this may not be the proper forum to discuss this, I think your points deserve an answer. What I have learned over time, first as a bike maker, and later as a reviewer, is that I've had to reinvent my riding style a number of times to adapt to changes driven by both components and geometry. And, that riding style can also drive changes in bike design. That progression, however is rarely linear. It most often occurs in sharp upward curves, followed by plateaus, where we all play catch up.

Globally, as emphasis shifted from XC/trail, towards more challenging technical riding, short stems were a mandatory tool to tame existing designs and to allow riders to get far enough behind the front wheel to survive steep descents. Frame design took a while to catch up.

Riding style drove frame designers to lengthen top tubes, stabilize handling and increase suspension travel.

When head tube angles passed 69 degrees and fork travel jumped from 120 to 160mm, the front wheel was moved substantially ahead of the rider. Steering reaction was slowed and steering forces were heavier for a number of reasons, one being, that slack steering angles tend force the frame to stay in line with the front wheel. Those changes had dynamic effects on the way bicycles handled, which dictated different riding techniques - and wide handlebars played an important role.

Long forks and slack bikes required riders to move forward and load the front wheel, so it was not surprising that everyone started extolling super wide handlebars. Wide bars forced old school riders, who had been riding on their rear tires down every descent during the Sam Hill era, to stay up front and maintain grip where it would do the most good. For most riders, exaggerated width was a training crutch, necessary at first, to get riders up to speed on modern geometry. Those who have adapted, probably don't need the crutch, as Richie Rude so aptly demonstrates.

So, riders are on a catch up plateau again, learning new riding techniques made possible by major changes in bicycle component and chassis design. We've learned that wider bars, and shorter stems are useful in other ways. For example: instead of setting up before a corner to establish an arc, we leverage the handlebar to force the rear wheel to square off the corner at a prescribed point. Downhillers are racing "point-to-point." Taking the straightest line down the course and compressing off of features to change direction. A short stem lines up your shoulders, down the fork, to the contact patch of the front tire, so you are literally punching the ground when you need to load the front wheel.

New-school riders will soon eclipse what we once believed was the ultimate threshold of speed and skill. I've seen it happen a few times.

So, yes, mountain bike design is always a compromise, but in times like this, when everything is in flux, explaining how a particular bike rides, rather than why, and suggesting small changes that may assist a potential owner to enhance its performance in some aspect of its envelope, can be more useful and economical information in a review.

Thanks for give me a chance to expand on those topics.
RC . .
  • + 0
 @RichardCunningham: I appreciate the additional information (and it's all good information), but you have to realize your audience, and how dangerous these blanket statements can be. When every review tells your average reader to put a shorter stem and wider bar on, they think they need it, regardless of their shoulder width or bike setup. I had to talk my friend into cutting his bars down from 800mm on his SC Bronson because everything he read told him "wider was better". He's 5'7 and looked comically stretched out. He didn't believe me for months because of all the articles like this he read, until his shoulder and neck pain finally convinced him. He's riding much better now that he's cut them down. These statements are dangerous without context, and it causes people to ride poorly setup bikes. Wider is not always better. On bikes with a shorter front center, shorter is not always better. A slightly longer stem helps keep the rider's weight on the contact patch of the front tire and prevent washing out. Not to mention 750 is far from short, and 60 is far from long.
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham: Thank you for the reply.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: Thanks for the reply. Yes, this isn't the ideal place to discuss it, but since we have peoples' attention, here are some of my points:

Short stems being hailed as an upgrade is a trend from days of steep HAs. There was just too much weight on the front and once all momentum was lost, shit happened.

Slack HAs require more weight on the front. That's gained from both stem length and handlebar width, but you can only go so far on bar width, so you need to also increase stem length. With enough weight on the front, thanks to bar width and stem length (headset to grip distance), you can stay in a more relaxed centered position, rather than tentatively forward. 10mm of additional stem length is worth 20mm of additional handlebar width. Riders compensated for low weight on the front with big slow heavy tires up front.

Longer reach (longer downtube), increases weight on the front wheel, so a shorter stem is possible. Problem is that the weight bias is shifted more to the rear. With excessive rear bias, the rear wheel sees more abuse, increasing risk of flatting and other damage.

Short stems making steering more sensitive is a myth. I'm sure people have seen an illustration showing how much the face of a stem moves when you turn the wheel the same angle, with 2 different stem lengths. You're in for a surprise once someone convinces you to instead see how much the grips move when you turn the wheel with the two stem lengths. Hint: it's all based on the headset to grip distance. Steering feel probably should be managed by the fork offset, but that's a whole other issue to get that unlocked/adjustable.
  • + 1
 I ride this bike in Large, and have done so since early December 2016. I run a 50mm stem and 800mm wide Spank bars as I find them comfortable. I put my old Spank 777 bars on (777mm wide) and to be honest, cant feel a difference.

Prefer wider bars, although some bridges and tree gaps on my local trails do make for a heart stopping moment.
  • + 0
 @zooey: Interesting discussion, seems we're all in agreement long front centres put more weight on the front wheel, but you can't have it both ways and then say short stems bias weight to the rear. We can now use short stems, and have good front weight bias precisely because modern long front centre bikes are designed to give the optimal reach in conjunction with a short stem.

In terms of short stems effect on steering, I have most often heard it described as slowing the steering down, which after looking at the graphic you describe, I would attribute that to as I understand: bar length being equal, for any given angular rotation of the wheel the faceplate of the stem travels a shorter distance versus a longer stem. I take this to mean less movement of stem and grips for any given turn angle (=a slower / calmer steering feel better for fast downhill riding). Not to mention the increase in leverage of a longer bar creating a similar stabilizing effect.

In terms of stem length, I agree 60mm is not long. Probably for most aggressive or trail riders of average height with the correct size modern long front centre bike 50/60/70mm is probably going to suit 90% of people with longer sizes being more on the xc side or trail.

I demo'd this bike yesterday on Mt. Fromme. I dropped the stem to the headset and sub'ed in my own 785mm bar. I didn't like the look of the stock 750mm bar's rise, with the rise bend so close to the stem. It looked and felt short in comparison to the 750mm flat bar I have on my 29er hardtail. Not a fan of 6 degree rise short stems either, does not make much sense when you can use zero rise and spacers to do the same thing. I would prefer the 50 or 60mm zero rise stem and longer bar from the Reign on this bike.
  • + 0
 @kraf: The steering myth is based on the belief that smaller input movements, regarding a short stem's faceplate arc of movement, results in a larger change of the wheel's turning angle. In the big picture, no matter if it makes steering faster or slower, the effect is so small that it should not be worth even debating. The "mechanical trail", which is related to the HA, wheel size, fork offset, etc. should be the primary factor to consider regarding steering sensitivity. The "auto-centering" effect at speed from a long mech. trail (slack HA) slows down the steering for DH bikes for stability--the myth suggested that a short stem will make the slack HA more manageable by making it more sensitive to rider inputs. In reality the longer leverage from a wide bar currently does that job; a long stem would also do the job, with a narrower bar, considering the fact that you steer from the grips, not the stem faceplate. This combo is interchangeable, but it's seemingly just *out of fashion* to ride a long stem.

Choosing stem length based on riding style (XC, trail, enduro, DH) and fit is also another questionable trend. Stem length should be first considered for performance, primarily to tune weight bias according to what bar width you settled with. Riders and trails can only cope with so wide, and if they find disadvantages with bars wider than 750mm, what disadvantage is there with running a 10mm longer stem, to get the handling of running a bar that's 20mm wider? The body is really accommodating to "fit issues", but handling quirks are something else entirely. Tuning the weight balance affects "steering", in terms of oversteer and understeer. People say they'd rather have the rear slide rather than the front, but the bike would be faster and easier to handle when not biased towards either. Might find yourself holding uncomfortable riding positions in tech sections, due to disrupted weight balance, only to breathe a sigh of relief once clear of technical challenges--shouldn't you relish technical challenges? Does having a well tuned bike make it too easy, and/or less exciting? I suppose an expert might appreciate a bike that's more of a handful to control, to artificially increase the challenge, while still being more enjoyable all around than a less capable bike (a high end FS vs increasing the challenge by riding a cheap HT).

I can imagine an absurd amount of finely balanced bikes being compromised by customizing in the name of fit and trends. There's a strong belief that manufacturers designed their bikes for some specific proportioned person and that the odds are better to win a lotto jackpot than to have your own body fit the stock bike. Despite a manufacturer's efforts of lengthy prototyping and testing phases, people seemingly just have a thing for hot-rodding and ignorantly disrupting the balance, replacing setback posts, stems, bars, and whatever else, influenced by reviews like this. Are there real reasons behind the act of spending for a very minor change that may be no better? Psychological benefit?

Lengthening the front center, without changing the rear, makes the bike more rearward biased. The longer downtube adds additional weight on the front, but some of that additional weight gets shifted rearward by the shorter stem--there's an increase in total weight on the wheels combined. On that subject, with bikes growing in wheelbase, weight bias is less affected by small changes in the cockpit. Unsurprisingly, the longer bikes ride with more confidence, but it may come as a surprise that they *corner faster*, especially in tight switchbacks. This is contrary to the former popular belief that long wheelbases were terrible in corners (steer like a bus). Can choose whatever stem length you like with 1200 or even 1300mm+ wheelbase bikes; it won't matter, since the rider weight at the BB, from merely standing on the bike, becomes enough to dictate handling, with the sweet spot of rider fore/aft positioning becoming huge and forgiving. These bikes come with their own issues though...
  • + 1
 Longer reach needs a shorter stem. Shorter stem needs a wider bar to balance the steering. Lighter and smaller riders can benefit from the leverage of a wide bar. Changing fit and changing pedal position is an awkward process that doesn't feel right until it does.
  • + 76
 This bike is an absolute bargain compared to other companies similar builds, people still have a tough time embracing giant though it seems
  • + 0
 yeah I can also not explain why people buy them so few bikes compared to other companies
  • - 10
flag mel22b (Jun 6, 2017 at 9:22) (Below Threshold)
 When only half your bike is carbon, you get to save money!
  • + 6
 Ya, that's cuz it has those little wheels still... J/K But, I am curious to see how long Giant holds out on the big wheels now that DH is embracing them...
  • + 8
 @mel22b: That and being the largest bike company in the world helps a little, too.
  • + 14
 I see a ton of Giants in AB/BC, I don't think people have a tough time embracing them at all
  • + 13
 As that may be, @mel22b: Personally the aluminum rear triangle was a selling point for me. The bike also has carbon hoops. It is a complete bargain all around for the spec that the bike comes with.
  • + 3
 @src248: that's my point, i was being sarcastic before, I also see lots of bikes where I live becasue obviously they sell tons of bike because obviously people embrace them
  • - 3
 @src248: That's cuz of the Whistler Demo bike sales...
  • + 4
 @manchvegas: As far as I can tell there isn't much interest in the average rider to switch from 27.5 to 29. Racers use them because they're faster. Lots of people don't particularly want them. (I say this as a guy whose primary ride is a 29er).
  • + 12
 We should ALL embrace Giant. If Giant kills the competitors this year, other brands will come down in price.
  • + 4
 With Marcelo Gutierrez's good finish at Fort Williams, I think things will change. With more top finishes, I think people will go back to Giant bikes again. Did you guys see him beast mode the pedal section of Fort Williams?
  • + 3
 @abzillah: Yea! His pedaling in "The Motorway" was impressive. He recovered nearly 5 seconds in that small section alone. Total beast mode.
  • + 12
 In New Zealand there's a tonne of people riding Giant's, self included. The price to component spec ratio is outstanding here compared to some other brands. You get a tonne of bike for not a lot of money. At the time when I got my '16 Advanced 1 it was easily 25-35% cheaper than insert big name brand here>.
  • - 15
flag sml2727 (Jun 6, 2017 at 19:12) (Below Threshold)
 Its because there frames are not real carbon fiber its called Composite....
  • + 13
 @sml2727: You don't know what you are talking about. Carbon fiber is a composite. Granted, there are other types of composites that are not made from carbon fiber. However, Toray T700 is in fact a carbon fiber.
Here is the datasheet for Toray T700
It is a high strength standard modulus FIBER.
www.toraycfa.com/pdfs/T700SDataSheet.pdf

And the spelling you are looking for is "their," not "there."
  • + 9
 @sml2727: To clarify, carbon fiber by itself is just that...fibers of carbon. No bike is made out of that. However, if you add an epoxy resin to the carbon fibers, you've created a composite.
  • + 3
 @sml2727: Giant is the only Mtb Brand that manufactures their own carbon. Their trade knowledge would be above question IRT carbon fibre construction.
  • + 2
 @j7mb: Giant does their own layup. The fibers themselves are manufactured by Toray.

Unless Toray owns Giant or something. I dunno.
  • + 1
 I would roll this bike...
  • + 52
 I don't know who's in charge of paint over there at Giant, but give them a raise. They've been knocking it out of the park with the colors schemes on Giants, and even more so on Livs. Good deal for what you're getting too.
  • + 36
 I love my Giant Reign, I know people hate on the big brands but you can't beat the value... I've owned tons of bikes and Giant makes some of the best, most reliable bikes in the game.
  • + 4
 I agree totally, went from a trance to a reign last year and the quality of build will always bring me back.
  • + 9
 Most people don't realise a lot of bikes are made in Giants factory - ironic really
  • - 5
flag donpinpon29 (Jun 6, 2017 at 14:14) (Below Threshold)
 Had a reign. Got tired ofnblowing through the travel at curbs. Tried different shocks. No fun
  • + 9
 @donpinpon29: Old Reign or new Reign? Sounds like your suspension needs setting up properly, maybe using bottomless tokens...? My 2016 Reign 1 rocks!!
  • + 2
 @ratboy158: agreed probably set up, are they prone to blowing through their travel? I haven't heard of them having that issue
  • - 4
flag iamamodel (Jun 6, 2017 at 15:00) (Below Threshold)
 I disagree with 'reliable'. I've cracked six out of my last seven Giants and they all cracked in a few months. Five were Advanced. It's fine if you keep it forever, but don't buy a second-hand carbon Giant.
  • + 3
 @iamamodel: how were they cracking?
  • - 2
 @ratboy158: 2008 reign. Tried low volume cans Dhx ccdb etc. Just feel like a tracking bike bike instead of pop bike. Now on a slash full of tokens. Now I pop. Shake and pop. Haha cheers mate
  • + 2
 I changed to a custom valved Float X2 but did notice the stock shock blew therw the travel. I'm also 6'2" 195lbs and LOVE to pin it...

My biggest complaint on the reign was the soft DT wheels it came with, while they are expensive and nice quality they seemed really light duty for the bike.

We will see how long the frame lasts but I have a feeling things will be good, the bike is solid.
  • + 1
 @zombiejack33: JRA. Trances on seat/toptube Junction and on seat tube at pivot insertion. Anthems at latter point, and vertical crack on seat tube behind shock. Even though there were plenty sold, both Anthem SX Advanced 2015 and bright yellow Anthem no longer to be seen here as they've all cracked.
  • + 2
 I went from a 2013 x1 trance to a 2015 nomad. I'm having a hard time beating my times set with the trance. It's a great bike with a proper suspension. My right calf hit the asymmetric shock rocker, though and was annoying. That's eventually why i sold it. The new ones look to have fixed all my issues. If my nomad was stolen I'd probably get another giant. I can't say enough nice things about my wife's stance 1 for 2100 out the door, either. Unbelievable build with a dropper, fox 34 and 11s drivetrain.
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: that's no good! I've had 4 giants (all alu) so far no cracks or breaks, knock on wood haha
  • + 2
 @donpinpon29:

I had an 08 reign as well. Had a fox dhx coil and a vivid air on it. Neither had any issue with bottoming out where it shouldn't, both were run at 30% sag. Vivid air was run without any extra progression from tokens. "Pop" was found from the LSR and compression adjustments.

I had a trek fuel afterwards, never got along with the performance of the ABP and being stuck with the DRCV rear shock meant it was time for that bike to go, but YMMV
  • + 3
 @iamamodel: well i have cracked 20 of whatever your riding
  • + 0
 @zombiejack33: I've had 16 Giants and only one aluminium frame cracked. The weight savings are negligible so you've made the right choice by choosing aluminium. I miss their carbon wheels - very good.
  • + 23
 Can we give the bar width thing a rest reviewers? It's a fit and personal preference issue. How Giant design team members set up their bars you can only guess at... did you ask them? No you didn't. They might also be running 720mm.
  • + 19
 One of the big reasons Giant, Specialized, and Trek usually don't spec the widest bars and shortest stems available is because retailers want the bikes on the sales floor to be somewhat in the middle ground for the majority of their consumers. Generally speaking, a 50mm stem and 780mm bar aren't what the vast majority of consumers are looking for. Pro racers on PB? Yes. Average joes? Not so much.
  • + 8
 Seriously. Bike nerds and their numbers. (dropper post length, head tube angle, bar width, stem length, rear cog size, etc)

Does it shred right out of the box? How does it compare to its direct competition? Is it priced reasonably? Does it have a warranty (hahaha omg warranty on a bicycle....lol)
  • + 6
 Retailers should always stock a bigger bar. Much easier and cheaper to cut one down than have to buy a new one. Wider bars are the way to go, even if you have to force people to try them a bit, for instance I'm 5'10 and running an 800mm bar on my short travel trail bike.
  • + 7
 @ratedgg13: Great that you like them, but not everyone (I think pros like Adam Brayton, Graves, Rude, etc. are all running bars around 740mm, Sam Hill is at 760 if I'm not mistaken).

But bar width is more determined by your shoulder width, rather than your height. You can be 5'8 and more comfortably run a wider bar than someone at 6'0 who has much narrower shoulders than you. Going too wide is just as bad as going too narrow. Find the right width based on your build and you'll be much happier than simply going for the gusto at 800mm.

I do agree that cutting down a wider bar is easier than going the other way.
  • + 13
 If you want a Trance and the only thing standing between you and owning one is the width of the bars let your LBS know and I am sure they'll figure something out so you leave the store happy on your new ride.
  • + 4
 I find bar width to also be a blend of how fast you like the bike to go edge to edge, much like the difference in wide vs regular waist snowboards. Narrower you can switch edge to edge faster, but is lessential stable perpendicular to the ground. Wider is super stable, but sloweric edge to edge. Also worth noting, for the guy rocking 800s, is in many areas with trees, it's not worth the risk of broken pinky fingers. If you live I a desert, go for it. Switchbacks, chicane's, and trees warrant narrower bars regardless of shoulder size. But shoulder size should be one of the main considerations, just not the only one.
  • + 5
 Auto text is rediculous. ....it made up some words for me in that last one...you guys get the point though.
  • + 1
 @Sycip69er: Giant and SC have lifetime warranties...
  • - 3
 @dudee47: No kidding? Try explaining the fine details of what that warranty covers to a customer. It boils down to "If you notice a defect bring it back to the shop and we will see what we can do. If you break something expect to buy a new one but we will try to help you on the price" So obviously we know there is a "warranty" thanks. There is no guarantee on them honoring that warranty or not. That's the joke.
  • + 3
 My 2016 XL Trance came with a 690mm bar, the same bar that came on my girlfriends 2016 Talon in a small, not sure what they were thinking with that one.
  • + 5
 @Sycip69er: what are you talking about? If it is a defect, it gets warrantied. If the bike is used for it's intended purpose, and cracks that is a warranty.

If you tomahawk the bike into a tree and punch a hole in it, it's not a warranty. Warranty from a large brand is usually so much better than I would expect. I've seen them warranty all kinds of shit that isn't a warranty.

Hell I have had one of the big three warranty another brands bike.
  • + 3
 @Sycip69er: Ya wtf are you on about. Some Giant frames in 2015 were highly prone to cracks on the driveside chainstay, and Giant replaced all of them as long as they were original owners. My friend had his replaced.
  • + 1
 @Sycip69er: So you have to be a bike nerd to have an opinion and personal preferences in dropper post lenght, stem lenght, etc. Ok, I'm a little bit of a bike nerd, but I don't think you have to be one to know something about bikes; to know what you like and works (in numbers) for you.
  • + 1
 @ka-brap: Erm.. the Reign comes with 800mm bars & a 50mm stem....!!
  • + 1
 @ratboy158: but the worst bar profile ever.
  • + 1
 I'm sure the shops love it that they don't come ready to shred for most, then they can sell extra parts.
  • + 1
 @RollinFoSho: No, shops hate that shit. End up with a bunch of used parts in the bin or customers wanting to swap stuff for free or credit.
  • + 14
 FedEx is delivering one of these bad boys to my porch today!! Can't wait
  • + 15
 new bike day is the best day
  • + 8
 I have the 17 Trance 2 $2500 and it's every bit as capable as the advanced, just not as flashy. I did put a 50mm stem to let me get behind it a bit more and switched the SLX brakes to Zee's, put maxxis 2.3 DHF/Aggressor, and considering a Fox Float X. The brakes and shock it comes with do the job just fine I just like over built. Bike is still around 31 lbs. running tubeless. Bang for the buck you just can't beat it. It's so fun to not only bomb but also climb the WNC mountains.
  • + 11
 dual-link Maestro rear suspension is code for DW Link without paying the royalties
  • + 8
 Out of court settlement paid.
  • + 5
 You mean paying it up front after being sued and settling out of court?
  • + 2
 @salespunk: You really think DW would want to go to court with the largest bike manufacturer in the world?

I'm sure a compromised was reached.
  • - 1
 @salespunk: Is settling out of court omission of guilt? Regardless of the out come it's another case of corporate bullying. It's smells like a Specialized.
  • + 4
 @jclnv: He took Trek to court on the split pivot patent.
  • - 3
 @jclnv: He definitely sued them. It was settled out of court, but really there is no saying what happened since neither side will say anything. Basically DW worked with Giant in 2010 on a suspension design, then Maestro came out in 2013 but they did not give any credit or pay DW any royalties.
  • + 9
 @salespunk: I had a 2006/2007/2009/2010 glory and 2006/2012 reign all had maestro suspension. So you may be off on your dates.
  • + 19
 @rivercitycycles: DW is the biggest patent troll on earth. There are only so many designs possible with suspension and he went out of his way to patent everything he could just to profit. Who's the bully?
  • + 1
 @Powderface: Good, Bad or the Ugly the US patent system is what it is and if you have a good patent team you get a good patent for your intellectual property.
  • + 4
 DW did not invent the dual link suspension design which is the the maestro amongst others. What he did patent was the "math" of the leverage ratios. Typical American lawsuit douche.
  • + 0
 @Powderface: don't hate tha playa hate the game
  • + 6
 DW hasn't won a legal battle yet...
  • + 2
 @jaydawg69: he sure got paid for one though. And anyone who knows the history knows what was actually a bully move, not what you guys are claiming is 'patent trolling' whatever nonsense that is. Don't fool yourselves, the info is on RM. He got paid. Trek was another story.
  • + 7
 from DW-Link.com

"Dave Weagle's dw-link suspension system may be the single most significant advancement in bicycles since the advent of suspension in the early 1990s."

someone has a massive ego.
  • + 5
 @atrokz:

"DW-Link has withdrawn its claims of patent infringement and regrets bringing the litigation against Giant." Giant will continue to sell bikes equipped with the Maestro suspension system since it doesn't infringe on DW-Link patents"
  • + 3
 @Powderface: Technically a patent troll just buys patents and sits on them waiting for someone to infringe on them. They don't actively use them, and they generally to not actually submit the patent themselves...since he's actively licensing the design...not sure you can make a case for Trolling..........
  • + 4
 @zutroy: agreed about the trolling but putting a patent on a leverage curve is pretty weak sauce imo. It's not even that great of one. Look at me! Look at me! I'm the greatest!
  • + 3
 @jaydawg69: I would say it's pretty smart, it's not much different than patenting an algorithm.

Yeah, he's a pretty boastful guy, but since he's the brand you kinda have to do that in a way if you want to get people to buy your stuff.
  • + 5
 Giant used Renault F1 to create the NRS suspension design. They were told it didn't infringe on Specialized's Horst Link. Specialized sued and won, so Giant had to scrap NRS at great expense. Having been burnt once, Giant hired DW to create Maestro. They paid him $600,000 at the time. Giant (the client) disagreed with DW on the progress of designs and they stopped using him. When DW finally sued years later, he lost - AFAICT there was no settlement.

Google hard enough and you'll find that everything I said is true.
  • + 2
 @iamamodel: DW battling 0% in the courts and eating crow. Can you patent Anti-Squat? I'm sure he's tried.
  • + 1
 @jaydawg69: Kinda like the episode of Silicon Valley where the patent troll used the patent of the storage of files on a network.
  • + 1
 @jaydawg69: if he put the work in to develop that, he deserves some protection for big companies ripping him off. Seems to me the pantent system is working against big corps for once.
  • + 0
 @jaydawg69: if you actually believe that tense wording doesn't say more..... some of us actually know (who know him a bit), most don't. Sometimes settling out of court lets a company claim the suit was dropped because it has better optics. Enough people know that with about 5 minutes of sleuthing on another forum, you'll see it.

""Neither Giant nor DW-Link will have any further statements regarding the subject," If you actually think DW would just drop a case before it went through, and would 'not issue a statement', then you don't know DW.
  • + 1
 I'm sure he got paid but that official statement about not infringing on the patent is what he signed off on. It makes him look bad if he took money and changed his statement. I makes him look bad if he didn't take any money and was completely wrong on the lawsuit.
If he was right, he should have stuck with the lawsuit. I don't know him but I heard he's a nice guy and obviously smart but I think he's got an ego the size of Trump. He's just pedaling (no pun intended) his version of snake oil. I'm not a fan of someone who thinks they are better than everyone. :
  • + 7
 Well, the program this bike is made for can be named : mountain bike, period.
I bet it's awesome, the reign is already a pretty capable bike; this one must be really polyvalent
  • + 6
 I have a 2015 Advanced 1 and love it. Swapped out the front fork for a Fox 36, shorter front stem ( 50mm ) and put on a Shimano XT one by drivetrain 28 T crank 11-42 T rear cog ( the original still came with a 2 by set up ) and find the bike now can handle anything from North van to Pemberton to Tyax tours. Light weight, good set up for monster climbs and decends very capably. The trails around here tend to be a little burly for the original set up but once I made the adjustments and dialled them in it's become a great setup that works across the board. Of course it would be nice to have an option to have a couple bikes to choose from in my quiver but for one bike that does it all it's great.
  • + 7
 Giants don't really do it for me, but the value the bring to the table is top drawer. I like that they spec lots of shimano drivetrains too, as SRAMY shifting is a no-go for me.
  • + 1
 It's interesting to me how divided people are between shimano/sram. I ran shimano for years, saint, XT, SLX. Then made the switch to sram. I would never go back. To each their own i guess.
  • + 8
 I got to try one of these a few months ago. Climbs chunk really well, very plush, reasonable weight and great price. I'd buy one today if it was a 29er.
  • + 4
 exactly! I wish they had a 29'er option although I do love my smuggler the trance in 29 would be a little lighter no doubt
  • + 1
 Giant are confident 650b is the future of mountain biking...
  • + 1
 @mtbiker4Lyf: they did in 2013. they might again soon Wink
  • + 8
 Wow. Thats a hell of a bike at just under 5K. Looks great, too. Nice work Giant.
  • + 5
 750mm bars ARE NOT NARROW. Futhermore, to say 750mm is narrow then go on to say that 780mm is wide is nothing short of laughable. Same thing with the stem. 60mm too long but 50mm not? I have gone through three different stems on my enduro this year, two 60mm and one 50mm and there is NO DISCERNABLE DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER between them. This is stupid.
  • + 2
 "So, the Trance Advanced is literally Giant's personal ride, made available to the public."

Reviewer goes on to praise the handling of the bike. No wait, I need to find at least something that will sound negative, even if it is personal preference, or the review will sound like all others. How about stem and bar length, yeah that will do. Even though the bike handles great, I'd recommend a wider bar and shorter stem, just because:

"I can attest that the Trance Advanced 1 can be piloted easily with the stock 60-millimeter stem and 750-millimeter bar, but I'll bet that the design team at Giant are sporting wider bars and shorter stems on their lunch-ride Trances. Just saying."

Total BS. Reviewer should let the consumer decide for themselves the best stem/bar length rather steer them to change before even testing out of the box.
  • + 5
 The only reason I would not try one is that damn press fit bottom bracket. Still enough frames out there with threaded bb that are excellent, so I will not take that weak standard.
  • + 4
 3 years on my Trance 2 LTD. Not a single creak from the BB.
  • + 2
 @nozes: I have 2 friends on norco and one w a giant that all creak - even after multiple visits to the lbs.

Plus side it makes me pedal faster uphill so I am not around them for the climbs.....
  • + 1
 @onemind123: what creaked a lot was the crown of the POS Fox 32 that came stock. Changed that for Magura TS8,it's on a whole different level.
  • + 2
 @nozes: ya, it's not their forks creaking - it's definitely coming from.the cranks when under power - temporarily fixed by lbs, but after a week or so their stuff is noisy again.

Glad you are liking your Magura though - it is seriously on my shortlist for a ht I am thinking of building up.
  • + 4
 Stick with plastic BBs and you won't have a problem.
  • + 6
 These bikes are actually fairly long compared to Trek/Specialized so it might confuse people to say it's shorter than the reviewers usual bike.
  • + 4
 I was a bit confused about that too. If not a bit long they're at least as long as most other brands when comparing the same size to the same size
  • + 4
 Picked one of these up last fall. Changed bar, stem, and tires to my preference (I think 90% of uss do anyway).
It's a bad ass. I came from a 2016 Devinci Saptran. On everything except super gnar, it's faster.
Best thing about this bike, as pointed out, it's super playful. Poppy and seeks out "the fun line."
  • + 6
 That's definitely not a 46t XT cassette on there. The 46 would tower over the next biggest cog if it were. Probably an 11-42.
  • + 5
 It's for sure a 46. Have one.
  • + 2
 Ive got this bike, and the cog is indeed 46T.
Maybe this test bike was not though?
  • + 2
 You're right! I have this bike too and the cassette shown in these pics is not what came on mine!
  • + 0
 @Abacall: it's a 42, look at the cassette just under the chain stay. The 46 has 2 dark aluminum cogs, not 1
  • + 5
 @abraconn192: Agreed. The test bike has 42T.
Here is my 2017 Trance Advance 1 for reference: www.pinkbike.com/photo/14075388
Much larger cog. So rest assured, the production bike comes with 46T.
  • + 1
 @abraconn192: Weird. You're right...
  • + 4
 I am so stoked to be the owner of one of these. I shopped bikes for a solid 8 months. This was the only bike that checked all my boxes. I pre-orderd one the second it was announced. I have been so incredibly happy with it.
  • + 3
 We just picked up a 2017 Trance 4 for the ol' lady. She was riding a Specialized Jynx last summer to get more comfortable on the trails, this spring she decided it was time for full suspension. After looking at many many different brands, makes, woman's bikes, unisex bikes, short travel/ long travel we found the Trance. It's priced at less than $2 grand CND (which is a super deal) it has beefy 150mm/140mm SR Suntour air suspension, a excellent part spec with the new frame geo and link held together with Giant Aluxx aluminum instead of the carbon above.

She has taken to that bike like a fish to water, her riding style was very safe and easy, now she's whipping on Advance Difficulty trails and she is bringing up the rear with a smile on her face. She's murdering climbs and is pedaling way faster on normal trails. I thought at first she may miss the smaller hardtail on the tighter stuff, but she's loves it in all conditions.

I've never owned a Giant before, but I must say they really hit the mark on the new Trance, she loves it. All it needs is a dropper, Some Spank bars and a shorter stem next year and she will be set.

I think this bike is the modern version of a mountain bike. it just seems to work well on most terrain with most riders.

10/10 would recommend.
  • + 2
 I've had this bike (large) for just over a month and have been really impressed. I have no complaints about the bar width as I'm already nicking the trees on the sides of some of my narrower local trails. I can't imagine running wider. I've heard they're almost impossible to find in-stock already.
  • + 2
 If you're riding a medium frame with your dropper that high out the seat tube you should be on a large - that's crazy, I'm border line between a medium and large size requirement and own the medium frame, only have my 5" dropper out a couple of inches at 5'10"
  • + 1
 This. Totally pointless test riding that size.
  • + 1
 Or he just has a long inseam and you guys have shorter? Mine sticks out not quite as far but close and the bike fits perfect. You don't size a bike on leg length alone.
  • + 1
 Plus do you have proper leg extension? Many think their seat is high enough when it's not.
  • + 2
 I have the blinged out Trance Advanced. Without a doubt it is the best bike I have ever ridden (and I have had a few). Living in the PNW I wanted to be able to have it do everything except be my dedicated park bike. I don't know how they did it but the bike simply feels bottomless. I've taken it down some really steep gnar and done some hucks to flat that I thought would compress my spine into my brain. It just soaked it up. Climbs like a dream, and corners like a goat. It is simply a fun all around bike.***** Stars in my book!
  • + 2
 My only gripe with this bike is the tire choice they put on from factory. I genuinely hate these tires. Especially in the rear. Maybe if everything I rode was paved out and had buttery berms with no techy climbs (the opposite if what I have around) but these things spin out even if the rider ahead spit on a rock.
  • + 1
 You'll hate them more when you try to take them off. I cant believe how tightly they seat on the rim.
  • + 1
 @rallyimprezive: Yeah, I've heard that from a couple other guys as well. The shop I deal with has these old school park tool tire pliers that make quick work of stuck beads. I tend to do all my work on one of the racks there and just help customers as they come in. It's a convenient set up. I just hate swapping brand new tires, I only have 250 miles on these.
  • + 1
 @Kenfire24: Agreed. After trying to take them off I suddenly decided they weren't so bad. So they are staying on for now. Smile
  • + 3
 @rallyimprezive: an "Oh Duh!" moment for me on removing stubborn tires (I've been known to do a double wrap of tape so that the bead is MUCH harder to unseat: ) use your foot. put the thing on the ground & step on it. felt pretty dumb when I saw someone mention it.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: Ah ok, thanks! I'll give that a try.
  • + 2
 Bought this exact bike but in large. The build kit specd will run close to $10k CAD for any other manufacturer. The bike rides very well. It does bob pedaling up, but middle compression setting solves it and the seat tube could be steeper. Otherwise, it rips and is a great ride up and down.
  • + 2
 I have a 2015 Trance Advance that I actually picked up here on PB. After demoing one at a local event I was sold which doesn't happen very often unless it really works for me. For whatever reason, compared to other bikes I tested such as Specialized, Ibis and Niner, I could ride smoother and quicker on the Giant so I buy what works for me.
  • + 5
 After reading all the comments, I'm in a giant trance and don't know what to type....
  • + 2
 Nice F'in Bike!
I'd buy one 2morrow, un-test ridden.
Love my '14 Trance Advanced1!
No better bike 4 the money.
The only thing I'd change is that 11-46 cassette and 32T ring. (for 11-42 & 30T). Too much jump from 37 to 46T!
  • + 3
 Test rode one of these yesterday at the Demo day. Even better, they held the demo day at my favourite local trails. Man does this bike ever shred, had an absolute blast. My shop sells norco but I might just be buying a giant.
  • + 3
 @Maverick18T:

Same here. I've actually never rode Giant until I demoed one at a local weekend event here in AZ. Despite other brands being available to ride, I kept going back ​to the Trance because I could simply ride faster and smoother with it compared to other brands like Niner and Gurilla Gravity.
  • + 1
 I came off 11-40t with a 32t ring (Process 134DL) to the 11-46 setup on the '17 Trance 1, I thought the jump was going to be too much, but it has been quite relaxing having a bail out gear, although when the time comes to replace the cassette I'm hoping there will be more options from Shimano available!

Freaking love this bike!
  • + 1
 I've got a new 2017 Trance 1.5 LTD "L size" few months ago.

My notes:

- the stock tyres (Nobby Nic performance) roll really well, but lack grip - replace them for any serious downhill stuff
- tubeless setup works great (split tube method), with tape it is hard to get the tape to conform to the rim because of the rim shape (Tesa 4289 tape)
- fork will only work good if sag is set to 30% of travel, less than that = no small bump compliance, impossible to use all travel
- climbing is only good with the shock lever in the middle possition (= half locked compression), in the open position the bike bobs as hell and is only good on downhills)
- the shock is not a common size/mount - will see if in the future there will be a better option on the market (probably not)
- the stock seat is hard as hell - I ditched the thing for something more confortable after a few weeks of trying to adapt
- the chain jumped gears few times (3) in the gap between the space between the small cog and frame - going downhill, shifting few gears at a time, otherwise the shiftig works OK, adjusted B screw - will see if things will improve
- grips are small and slippery (without gloves)
  • + 1
 Agree with almost all of your comments here. I took it to the local bike park and it performed well. Chain jumps gears because its low end components, but that's not a real problem since they are cheap to replace. I got this one for the long haul since all of the components are easier to replace down the line. One thing that i must do is get a wider bar...on downhill...really need it.. In the states its Trance 2...interesting how they spec them by you. Enjoy.
  • + 1
 Find a bike shop that has an alignment tool for the derailleur hanger. Or buy one. That could help.
  • + 1
 The chain won't jump into the space if the limit screw is set right regardless of how bent the hanger is. The bike also comes from the factory with a spare hanger in the box if the original gets trashed. The shifting overall can be a little slow depending on clutch tension. Cant blame giant for what happens to the bike during shipping, but I haven't seen their higher end bikes come with the limits set up improperly from the factory. Bent hangers and cable stretch issues out of the box, sure, but not limit screws on bikes 2100+
  • + 1
 Shock sizing not currently common, but five it two years and most bikes will have metric sizing. Because it was released only in the last year or so, not many bike shops have the metric sizing yet. Considering a good chunk of suspension brands are onboard with it though, they will be everywhere soon enough.
  • + 3
 Rode this bike at demo day. Such a sick bike. Currently ride a 09 trance x and the difference is night and day between the two.
  • + 1
 I almost bought one of these to replace my 2014 Trance SX. Very nice spec on the bike, pretty damn light too. I went another route as the last couple of Fox 34 and Float's were not my thing.

I have been a big Fox 36 RC2 fan, but not the CTD or whatever name they choose to call it. Same on the back, would really like to try a X2 but the CTD type Floats I don't like. Maybe once there are more options in the metric trunnion mount shock available I would give this bike a go. FWIW, this is the first time in over 7 years, I am not riding a Giant Trance or Reign.

One other point the Giant branded wheels in the past although a bit narrow were very nicely built, quite light and stood up very well (change out the aluminum nipples to brass and all was good). The older TRX-1 wheels had DT Swiss 240/350 internals, I think the newer wheels are still using DT Swiss internals but a lower end selection.

All in all a very nice package for the price, given the price of other comparable bikes.
  • + 3
 I almost bough the 2016 Trance Advance 1 (on sale, no less), but ended up waiting for the 2017 specifically because they increased the internal rim width to 27mm. Carbon wheels aren't a cheap upgrade!
Now I'm just waiting for Fox to sell the X2 rear shock in metric sizes w/ trunnion. Though, truthfully, whats on there has served me well so far.
  • + 1
 I'd love to try one of these new Trances just to compare the feel to my 2015 model. I've had no real complaints and for that plan to run it into the ground before buying anything new. Curious how the shorter chainstays feel and if it is noticeably stiffer.
  • + 1
 That drifting you experienced in the corners... Its called schwalbe tires! Upgrade to maxxis immediately! My 2015 trance came with 730mm bars. Ive tried wider but ended up staying with the narrower bars as theres lots of trees around my area. My biggest gripe is the 32mm noodle forks mine has, they seem to have fixed this now though
  • + 2
 What is the consensus on the Advanced 2? $700 cheaper here in Canada and I prefer the GX drivetrain to XT. Is the Yari/Deluxe RT suspension a massive downgrade from the Fox kit?
  • + 1
 I have the Advanced 1 but did take a good look at the Advanced 2 the other day. I think the front fork on the 2 is a bit of downgrade but all other components I would consider very close to equal. They both come with carbon wheels! The weight is also very similar.
  • + 2
 I wouldn't consider Yari as a downgrade; is basically a Lyrik minus the charger damper, you'll ride it for ages servicing it yourself with no trouble.
Just checked Giant's site and they spec it different in Spain, full SLX and Sektor. Uglier colorways too :/
  • + 1
 @ismasan: Wow, that is a massive difference... doesn't even have carbon wheels! Ours is specced the same as the Advanced 2 in the UK. GX drivetrain, Guide R brakes and Yari RC/Deluxe RT suspension
  • + 2
 I was planning on this too, upgrade the Yari damper to a charger and you've got yourself a Lyric, swap the shock for a CC inline coil and you're away laughing.
  • + 2
 Just got to ride this bike during a demo. Great bike it's one on my list to possibly buy. It was solid and glued to the trail. I really enjoyed this bike. It climbs great and descends even better. Cheers!
  • + 1
 First real bike was a Giant Anthem - loved that bike!!!
Good review, even better to see an honest review of a trail bike - see so many people over biked and lumping around big rigs on singletrack trails. Recently changed to a Mondraker Foxy (similar geometry and travel) from a big rig, best choice I've made in years - more than enough for 99% of my riding and brought the fun back into things - more trail bike review pls Pinkbike
  • + 0
 Interesting comment about the XT brakes. I've returned three consecutive sets, all for the same reason....inconsistent bite point and lever feel. Changed to Guide RSC and can honestly say they are the best brakes I've run to-date, and I've tried pretty much most of them either personally or on demo bikes.

Just under £5k got me a 160mm travel bike with a Lyrik RCT3, Monarch Plus Debonair RC3, Eagle XO1 drive train and carbon cranks, Guide RSC brake set, RaceFace carbon cockpit, Reverb 170mm dropper post, and 30mm internal diameter carbon wheelset, with a 495mm reach, and with 2.5" DH casing tyres front and back it weights in at just over 13.5kgs.

Does it seem that this bike is under spec'ed and over priced, as well as a little hyped? Interested to hear people's thoughts. Just my opinion of course, nothing concrete.
  • + 1
 I spent 12 bucks on the Shimano funnel and brake fluid, and just give them a burp once a month, its super simple and the funnel design makes it a snap to do. It makes mine feel minty every time.
  • + 1
 @Allmost: tried that on all three sets, as well as a full rebleed, but didn't stop the issue happening again within the first ride. Trust me I'm gutted about it as I've always loved XT brakes, but Shimano seem to have had a real brain fart when they designed the M8000's.
  • + 2
 Ive had the exact opposite experience. The SRAM brakes (and drivetrain) Ive tried have all been horrible. I've switched to XT and Saint and ive been so happy with the performance of them.

Your opinion of the XT brakes might be effecting your opinion that the bike is "under-spec'd and hyped?"
I shopped for a new bike for many months, and saw no other bike with these specs for under $5k USD. Carbon frame, carbon wheels, Fox Factory suspension, XT Grouppo, and a dropper post. But again, I wanted XT components, so they hold more value to me. If Commencal or YT had spec'd Shimano and Fox on their bikes, I probably would have bought one of those. But alas, their bikes have SRAM stuff.
So yea, it comes down to opinion I think. And thats totally ok anyway. It means we all get choices! Smile
  • + 0
 @rallyimprezive: I get what you're saying. My comment about the bike wasn't just based on the brakes, it was more of an over all summery, the brakes issue was just an additional thing that I got from the review and thought I'd throw out there.
I just find after riding Fox / Shimano for the large part, my switch to Rockshox / SRAM has been nothing but positive, don't think I'd switch back in a hurry.
Like you say, the fact we have the choice is cool in itself ????
  • + 2
 @Eastbournemtber: Maybe the trick is to switch it up every few years then? After riding Rockshox/SRAM a lot, the switch to Fox/ Shimano has been nothing but positive.
I guess next I'll go for DVO/Box Components/TRP?
  • + 2
 @rallyimprezive:
Maybe you're right!????
  • + 1
 Those brakes had a bad batch. It's a know issue.
  • + 0
 @passwordpinkbike:
Yea I know, but three sets in a row just isn't something I'm happy to tolerate, especially considering how long it all took in returns etc.
Supposedly they have a revised version, which I was told the last pair were, but it still happened so enough was enough.
  • + 2
 Got the Trance 1.5 this year. Converted back to 1x, 50mm stem, 770 bars, maxxis dhf and aggressor. Value for money the Trance is hard to beat and it absolutely shreds.
  • + 4
 Metric shock, but non-metric geo chart :$
  • + 2
 When I get asked what bike to consider buying from Joe Public the Trance is always in my Top 3. Rides how a mountain bike should, affordable, and no gimmicks.
  • + 1
 Still rocking a 2014 alloy here with 150mm fork (sweep rl2), monarch plus shock and Flow ex/hope wheels. Best bike I've owned and still going hard.
  • + 1
 I've owned three Giants so far, started with an '09 Reign X1--sold it. Then moved up to a '11 Reign X0. Bought a '17 Trance 1.5 LTD recently-- best purchase ever!
  • + 2
 I've upgraded to a DVO Topaz shock with Maxxis Minion tires on my 2016 Trance 3, and it it rips. Awesome value!
  • - 1
 Is it just me or does every single bike review read the same? How do these guys not die of boredom penning this stuff? Looking forward to a review of a truly groundbreaking bike - you know a whole new gearbox that is light and as efficient as an open chain system.
  • + 1
 Ironically, after 1 month of riding the frame cracked. Giant, why your downtube protector is so tiny? (((
Pic - goo.gl/photos/2ZXR7VKbkRVvLNbh7
  • + 1
 Ohh, that sucks! Did they at least cut you a deal on a replacement? This is my biggest fear in buying a carbon frame...
  • + 1
 @SectionThirtyOne: Not warranty issue, as they told me here. But it is way to expensive to send it back to Italy where I bought it. So yeah, dear Giant, if you reading this, please make me an offer for a new frame)
  • + 1
 @ronin85: How'd that happen!
  • + 1
 @captaingrumpy: crashed into stump
  • + 3
 Clint Gibbs brought me here lmao
  • + 6
 HA I used to ride with Clint back in the day! He's a good guy and he has really made a bunch of great and helpful videos in the past few years!
  • + 1
 Nice! He does seem like a good, honest dude @trialsracer:
  • + 1
 His the only one who can make app. 2 hundred videos of one bike.
  • + 1
 Jeff Lenosky rides one.Jeff could ride anything though.Clints not a random You Tube tester.
  • + 1
 All the people giving Richard C a hard time are ridiculous.He is not a random YouTube tester who thinks he knows it all.
  • + 3
 a sweet ride for sure!!!
  • + 2
 I am lucky enough to own one! I love it.
  • + 2
 750mm is not narrow, especially for a trail bike.
  • + 1
 Good looking bike and good review! Sounds like it just rips. You picked up a great bike @carnage71 tup
  • + 3
 Where's a 29er version ?
  • + 2
 Looks like a... Giant Trance Advanced 1
  • + 2
 One of the better bike reviews I've read. Thank You
  • + 1
 No Giant side-badge/livery. A trend?
  • + 1
 It's on the bottom of the downtube.
  • + 2
 PEMBERTON!!!!!!!!!
  • - 3
 Arguably the worst dropper post ever made. mine made it 5 rides until it had 10mm of play side to side and clunked in my frame on my 2017 bike
  • + 3
 Interesting, i've heard only good things about the Giant droppers
  • + 3
 I've owned half-a-dozen and put thousands of miles on each. All the ones with black stanchions have been trouble-free.
  • + 3
 Have the first 100mm gold stem dropper and it's been 100% trouble free for 4 years, not even been serviced in that time. Haters gonna hate.
  • + 3
 I have 3 giant droppers, the oldest one is going on 3 years of use without so much as a cartridge replacement, only regreasing every 6 months. I believe my experience has been more typical than yours
  • + 5
 As far as I have seen from online reviews, this is probably the most reliable dropper at any price. I have the black 125mm version on a 2014 Trance Advanced 1 purchased Dec '13. Three and a half trouble free years out of mine so far, gets ridden in all weather, rain, mud, dust and cleaned with a pressure washer with only a few drops of light lube every few months. Never fails to rise or drop on command, and never drops unless the remote is pressed. Yes it has a few mm rotational play at the nose of the saddle, but I don't notice it at all while riding.
  • - 3
 XS isn't available in all markets
  • - 3
 Nice of pinkbike to review a bike that is all but sold out in Canada
  • - 2
 Looks like a Knolly Warden...wait...what?
  • + 4
 Eh...kind of a stretch.
  • - 2
 And its a giant that still looks like aids!! Besides the fox
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2017. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.161790
Mobile Version of Website