After I got used to it, the Trance became very trustworthy on the downs. The steering felt loose initially, and I had to be careful not to over-correct in the turns, and to steady the handlebar anytime I needed to hold a tight line (trying to stay left of a long, deep, parallel rut comes to mind here). I've ridden a number of 27.5-inch-wheel bikes with similar head angles and Fox's 44-millimeter offset that did not feel as loose. Ultimately, it was not a concern. I can't say what I did to make the adjustment, but after a week, the Trance and I found some middle ground and the sensation nearly vanished.
With its relatively conservative, 67-degree head angle, the Trance flies around berms but gives up a little stability around flat corners, where slacker head tube angles are more favorable. Armed with 2.4-inch Maxxis High Roller II tires, the Giant likes to edge its way around a turn with both wheels gripping about the same. Where the rear tire of a slacker bike will almost always break traction first, the Trance breaks more or less evenly, which is the faster way around a corner, but less confidence inspiring. The up-side of the Trance's neutral break is that it gets from left to right and back again with great precision, which makes it a joy to ride on narrow, fast paced singletrack. Riding forest tracks is guaranteed to keep a smile on your face.
As mentioned, it's not too hard to use up all 140 millimeters of wheel travel at the bottom of drops and G-outs, but the sensation is never harsh enough to break your stride on a steep descent. The Trance 2 lands smoothly from any jump you'd find on a blue line trail and the bike stays composed on black-line descents as long as you pay attention and pick your lines with care. What I liked most about its technical skills was that, as long as there was a clean run-out, I could let it fly down chunky drops with a degree of confidence. The bike stays straight and composed under braking, and its front suspension is very forgiving.
Most of the bikes I have been riding lately have rims around 30 millimeters inside-width. Giant's aluminum XC-1 rims measure 23 millimeters and the reduced stability of the tires can be felt, both while cornering and when holding a line through off-angle rocks. Additional pressure is required to boost the tire's lateral stability, which would be unnecessary with a wider rim selection.