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.
I reach for my trance or habit near the end of any day I spend in the park anyways. Flow trails are a ton less work on a bike like this!
Once I started to get better the softness of the rear shock became an issue but from what I read on forums it was believed that Giant had really light compression tunes on their shocks (my RP2 had the lightest tune possible from Fox) so when I sent it out to Fox to get rebuilt I had them do the medium tune. That made it so much better for aggressive riding or just riding like an idiot as I tend to do.
- Bearings in the Giant house brand wheels? Only changed the front, they both make a ton of noise but still spun with no drag. Even after riding in the winter and salt.
- House brand rims? Replaced them because I got a great deal on some Stan's rims but never had issues with them.
- OEM spec fork and shock from Fox? Didn't do any maintenance on the fork or shock for the first two seasons I rode it and somehow they are alive (the fork bushings ate the stanchions pretty badly though, somehow no noticeable play in them still).
- Replaced the seatpost with one my buddy sold me from off 2013 Giant Trance 29er. Ran that for 4 years before the cartridge died and didn't fix it since I knew that I was replacing the bike anyways (and wanted a longer dropper). Only issue I had with this was that when I rode in the winter with all the salt on the road, if I left the seatpost down it would kind of stick itself and was a pain to get back extended (user error... I guess).
It just handled so well, especially on flatter more XC type trails it felt so easy to keep the speed up and handled so precisely. I used it on the road, for XC, for DH, even took it to an indoor bike park a few times. I was so scared to replace it because of the trend to slack everything made me worried about how they would handle versus my Trance. My new bike is pretty good once I got used to it but that Trance was an unreal bike to start on and I'm convinced that for the majority of non bike park/DH riders it is so much better balanced than an enduro or full on xc bike (if you are not racing of course).
A few of my friends actually bought Trances after trying my bike and because it survived what I put it through. If I had anybody ask me for a suggestion for a do everything dual suspension bike, this is the recommendation I would give them. The price is pretty damn reasonable for the setup too (although back in my day it was actually cheaper though).
I miss it!!!
I feel that the rear suspension is valved for people 160 on the smaller sizes, which may not be perfect, but there’s a good level of support at 20-25% sag for me to do plenty of flow or properly technical dh trails. Having ridden this exact model with a super deluxe rc3, it didn’t blow me away, so I think the fox unit in the rear isn’t a bad choice. DVO topaz with the bladder/negative spring adjustability would be a good fit for the rear as an upgrade down the line.
SL seatpost is a reliable enough cartridge unit, and I’ve found that under proper cable tension, every unit has been overly fast to extend, never a slow option unless there was a sticking plunger or kinked cable.
I have 5-6 guys who ride this exact spec or a different trance from the same year...all agree that this is the best “one bike” they’ve used. I think I feel extra comfortable on the trance since the geometry and handling characteristics are really similar to the 2008 reign I ran for a while, which was the bike I progressed on the most.
One used this for a full season of park riding while his gf used his DH bike to get into the sport. Pretty much no maintenance done, never really taken care of, and at the end of the season the B.B. bearings were frozen and the purge/bath oil in the 34 was a bit dirty (please stop hosing down everything on your bike)
Another taco’ed the rear wheel wheel landing completely sideways (and flat). Giant helped him out with a crash replacement wheel for 150$ - their top level aluminum trail wheel, with a side of extra tubeless tape.
A third rides the 5k midspec Carbon model. Legitimately zero complaints about it as his sole mountain bike.
#4 had the stock deluxe r model with a knock in it on his trance3. Damper unit had come unscrewed inside and blew up upon disassembly, SRAM had a super deluxe rc3 on the bike in 3 days.
The pivots are built to last, the frame is burly, and giant has excellent customer service. Giant may be conservative on parts spec and geometry numbers, but their bikes slowly get better year to year. Never really cutting their teeth on the newest of trends, but all their bikes show a careful attention to detail on the spec and value for money standpoint. And, here’s hoping that their partnership with DVO continues in the coming years...them, giant, and sram have the easiest customer support to deal with in my experience - professional, insightful, and generally up-spec their replacements when needed.
I'm done with the brand for good now.
Hate to say it, but it has a lot more to do with your shop if it’s components/frame.
Their warranty turnaround time in terms of initial response to a claim has always been 24hrs. For accessory warranties or crash replacement stuff, it can be quite a bit slower. So much of the claim service is dependent on the shops relationship with giant and in what kind of standing they’re in.
Of course 2.3" tires are unrideable....
Both size small, similar build, with same front Rhythm fork (but different travel).
On my scale (.2 lb increments, same heavy pedals on both bikes), the 5010 weighed 29.8 lb, the Trance weighed 30.2 lb. A small carbon Switchblade weighed 30.4 lb.
The OE-compound HR2 tires were awful--for my second day on the Trance I swapped out the front tire for my own maxxgrip DHF. Other than that, the bikes were really quite similar. The 5010 was a hair more efficient and the Trance a hair more compliant. The Trance killed it in the rain on the Hogs (with the DHF), but I had to walk the 100-foot crux section on Hiline (too scary from behind the handlebars).
If the bikes were the same price it would be a coin toss. At their actual prices, you'd have to be sponsored, a lunatic, or a fanboy to choose the SC over the Trance.
The build here honestly doesn’t give up a whole ton in performance to the higher spec carbon models either, which is great
5000$ is the trance advanced.
Like I said in my first comment, the “respective” 5k builds. Aka the trance advanced and the Bronson c from giant and SC, respectively
Where Is all your 29ers?
Accept for the anthem, i haven't seen any. which is a real pity considering how many people love 29ers...
If you’ve ridden any of the ‘18 carbon anthem 29’s with 90mm of rear travel, I’d thought that those bikes with an inch more travel, tire clearance, and a dropper post would make close to the perfect trail bike. Those bikes feel straight up plush and bottomless compared to any other bike in that travel bracket. Really sensitive off the top, and theyre always let down by the fork no matter what. Giant nailed it with the suspension on the anthem so I bet the new trance will be a killer ride!
Also, somebody on that site really doesn’t know what an embargo is huh...
I think you might be thinking 650b which they were vocally critical of.
They had no option to use 650b when fork manufacturers began discontinuing 26" options.
29" are winning WC DH races, the best riding trail bikes are 29". Seems Specialized were bang on.
I am buying a lot more of them.
EVERY rider who rode this bike on my tours adored it including sponsored riders on sweet machines. NO complaints and ZERO tech issues over the 4 & 1/2 months on the trails and in the jungle.
I did replace the rear tyre with an Aggressor after extracting the HR2 rubber and it had 20 thorns in it and still holding air.
I am a Shimano dude and the 11 speed was spot on along with the SLX brakes. The Fox Rhythm fork is off the hook for the price point. The wheel set impressed me and I have been a dedicated SX rider for as long as Mavic has been building them.
here's a link to my Jamaican Touring Trance 2 rental.
Most of us probably have no idea of RC's level of skill and it really isn't fair to crap on his review because of one picture. Maybe he was trying to put the bike through really sketchy situations to test its limits, maybe he messed up and made a mistake rolling it, maybe he is more comfortable rolling it like that than dropping it? If he rode it out then does it really matter? If he is a terrible rider, as you all seem to believe, and he rode that out then I think that speaks volumes about the capabilities of the bike.
Besides, skills on a bike don't really mean anything when it comes to reviewing. Just because someone is fast doesn't mean they understand how things work, or why they feel the way that they feel, or anything other than going fast. I have friends who can explain to me the sidecut, materials, construction techniques, etc for skis until they are blue in the face where I only understand wood vs foam and basic rocker versus camber. You can bet your ass that they are not beating me down any runs though.
You might try improving your riding skills.
Paying attention to foot position is very important.
My spesh Enduro has. 12.5 BB height.
I don't bash the pedals .
Sitting on your bike for teck climbing?
Good luck with that.
Plus, the iscg tabs and direct mount front der. on this bike give you options for chain retention or a bash guard that other bikes don’t.
Um, what now?
Slack is not favorable for flat corners. XC bikes, that are design to handle flat corners all have steep head angles. You want more weight on the front to grip and turn.
Dude, you just plain suck.
I just don't get having such a low BB on a "trail" bike?? Get a very small cornering benefit and completely sacrifice all technical pedaling capabilities??
I really don’t have issues pedaling through technical stuff with this frame.
For people that would just like to hit the trails and don't need Gucci grade parts and just want the bike to work I think the answer is the Trance.
Also, FWIW, The Trance was the first bike she has ever kept for more than a single season... So if there an extra points for that..
Maybe it would be cool with more of a rearward axle path, but I kind of like being able to compress into turns feeling the bike tracking a sharper radius. Plus, external cable routing of brake line, for easy swapping.
The only gripe I have is that the seat tube is a bit long, and now it seems they've made it even longer?! I think I will cut mine down actually, finally.
Coming off a 2010 Giant Reign (L). Getting into a 2018 Trance 2 (L).
Got two demo rides under my belt. Don’t have the bike yet.
Couple of initial impressions:
-stock grips need to go. Got big hands so like them fatties (Rouge)
-stock seat has no cushion. Unless you like rectal exams, WTB V saddle coming right up
-50mm stem and low rise bar need to be swapped out. Find myself way to far over the front
-did not spend a lot of time fine running the suspension but felt adequate. Was running Grip “engaged” about half way rotation and rear shock was in the middle lock out
-160mm fork maybe in a couple of seasons (?)
-I am pushing 240LB. No complaints on the tire width
-Not sold on the High Roller. Minion type of guy
-Going to run 185 rotor
Excited for the bike.
Both fantastic, I had similar issues with the rear suspension on the reign, but got the shock retuned to a harder compression and it fixed it beautifully. endless travel on the descents, but climbed like a goat.
the bearings were a bit of a pain to change (not that difficult, just 10 of the buggers and it was time consuming), the last time I changed them I swore to myself I would buy a single pivot next.
In the end I got rid because I made the step from 26" to 29" wheels, which warranted a whole new bike rather than a parts swap.
I'm not a great rider (yet) but this thing just climbs rocks and eats roots like candy!
10 or 10 would buy again!
I'm guessing recycled carbon fibre compressed in a mould.
Forging would be impossible after the epoxy has cured.
On that note, my point was to make fun of the pinkbike style of always expecting more. people complained about zero water bottles being super inconvenient for the longest time. logic would be, might as well complain about only one, once that wish is satisfied.
It’s a dual link VPP system. Nothings come out on the market that’s so radically amazing that it’s the singular “go to” suspension that everyone needs to have. Maestro bikes pedal well, are plush off the top, and the rear end is stiffened by the links.
Recent years with the trunnion mount and carbon linkage has gotten measurably better as well