Giant has definitely got a working formula when they design trail bikes. The Trance models are one of the most popular trial bikes in South Africa. I think the reason for that being; is the geometry, and also the fact that the bike can go literally anywhere. So we put the Trance through its paces and found out exactly what this bike can do.
The Trance ticks all the box’s when it comes to what tech you need on a bike. Take the frame: light-weight ALUXX SL Grade Aluminium, solid Maestro suspension linkage, and Overdrive technology. In the 2017 model we’re seeing improvements in the suspension linkage; it’s now one fully moulded piece, with a lighter design and strengthened material.
Fun, Fun Geometry
You’ve got a very upright position on the Trance thanks to the 67 degree head angle and 73.5 degree seat angle. It really doesn’t hurt your neck at all or make you feel squashed up. However, because of the 38.3 cm reach, you’ve got a much longer wheel base to handle. But we’ll explain the pros and cons for that in just a minute.
Components For Days…
For suspension in the front, you’ve got the FOX 32 Performance with a springy 140mm travel and adjustable FIT 4 Damper. The FOX Float Performance takes care of being a great rear chock, with that compact and functional design, of the EVOL Air-Sleeve, which gives you that extra air volume in the shock. Giant chose the quality of the Shimano SLX crank-set and Shadow Plus rear derailleur. What excited us was the new Shimano Deore front derailleur, that provided us with smooth, crisp, shifting, all the way!
Since it’s a 2×10 drivetrain on a trail bike you need to keep the chain stable and most of all; on the cogs. That’s why Giant added the MRP 2X chain guide, which is pretty neat and stable. Every trail bike has got to have strong brakes, and nothing says strong better than Shimano’s M615 brakes, with a 180mm disc in the front and 160mm in the back.
One of the things that most Giant bikes feature and that we absolutely love; is the Giant Contact saddle and handle-bars. They both make your ride experience enjoyable, with their comfortable angles and padding.
On the downhills this bike is quite speedy, due to the longer wheel base; its also fairly manoeuvrable. However, you do tend to overshoot a corner every now and then. The S-XC 27.5 rims keep you rubber side down and provide stability when cruising on a flat section.
Plus, you’ve got 2.4 inch wall tyres, with added grip, helping you to maintain speed at all costs. One might think that since this is a trail bike, it is difficult to drag uphill. However, our test proved otherwise. The Trance is quite light-weight on uphills but is more difficult to get a comfortable position on, when pedalling it uphill. With practically unlimited suspension travel you hardly feel the bumps. However, because of the larger wheelbase, switch-backs are difficult to master.
While testing, we compared the time of the StumpJumper on our specific route, to the time of the Trance on that exact same route. This was our result:
StumpJumper: 1:45:20 Trance: 1:42:28
The Trance was significantly faster!