Giant Trance 27.5 Full Suspension
|MSRP : $3500.00|
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Product DescriptionAll new and totally reengineered for the benefits of 27.5-inch wheels, Trance 27.5 is the best of both worlds-light and agile, yet also super stable on the roughest trails. The lightweight, stiff and super-strong ALUXX SL aluminum frame is mated with 140mm of proven Maestro suspension The frame also features Giant’s OverDrive 2 steerer tube technology for stiff, razor sharp handling in the rough stuff. Climbing or descending, there’s no better way to own the trail.
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Date Reviewed: July 4, 2015
Strengths: Great spec, dropper post and price!
Weaknesses: Nobby Nic tires -- they are not good.
I was lucky and got a 2014 Trance 1 demo bike for a great price ($1100 off!). The bike will do anything I ask it to do and more. It is a joy to ride and handles the technical north Jersey trails with ease.
Duration Product Used: 4 Months
Price Paid: $2400.00
Purchased At: Ridgefield Cycles, C
Similar Products Used: 2005 Trance, 2008 Trance X, 2012 Santa Cruz Blur
Bike Setup: Stock Trance 1 27.5 with upgraded Hope/Stan Arch Wheelset.
Date Reviewed: June 6, 2015
Strengths: Outstanding components - Shimano SLX and XT blend, Carbon Tubeless-Ready Wheels, Rock Shox Revelation 120-140 Fork, Rock Shox Monarch RT3 (5.5" Maestro) rear suspension, very light aluminum frame, dropper seat post.
Weaknesses: None, other than some very good components (ie, Rock Shox Revelation Forks, handlebars, stem, saddle, Nobby Nics tires) could be upgraded to great components (150 Pike Forks?, carbon bars, shorter stem 40/50mm, etc.)
This is not the fastest climber, nor the best downhill bike, but for someone new to the sport that wants high quality components, this is (in my researched opinion) one of the best FS mountain bikes you can buy for your money. A similar build from some other brands (Specialized, Trek, or Santa Cruz) would cost at least $1000~ more. As I am new to mountain biking (but not to biking) I really wanted a FS bike that was borderline XC and full Trail, and this bike fit those requirements really well.
I have only been riding this bike for about 2 1/2 months now on various trails near me, both fire roads, as well as more technical trails and I do like the 120-140 dual position Revelation Forks, as I do use the 120 travel when commuting from my home to the local trails (2 miles), as well as the steeper initial climbs (once you move to 140 travel and are cooking down descents and come-up a steep climb, there's point in going back to 120). I think more experienced (and in better shape) riders might not need the dual position and would either just keep it in 140 the whole time or chose to upgrade to a Pike 140 or 150 solo or similar set of forks. I also looked the Trance 27.5 SX, but chose the Trance 27.5 1 over the SX because I liked the carbon tubeless rims (I had my LBS setup tubeless when I was fitted to the bike), as well as the 2x chain ring (not quite ready for 1x ;)), Shimano XT/SLX components and Giant Contact dropper seat post (This dropper post works really well and I have not seen the need for more travel (yet)). I also did not want the longer 140-160 travel in the forks that SX has, as I wanted a better climbing bike. I view the Trance 27.5 SX as another excellent bike for a more experienced rider who is more interested in having an all mountain descender, rather than a more versatile trail/XC bike, like the 27.5 1. I also looked at Kona Process 134 models, which are also great biked with similar builds, but the ultimately settled on the Giant Trance for the various strengths listed in this review.
The Giant Contact handlebars are 730mm wide, but had a pretty long stem at purchase. I added a shorter 50mm Truativ Holzfeller stem which made the bike feel much more dialed-in. The only other upgrade I am considering is to replace the handlebars with carbon risers (I will likely keep the same approx width - 710-740). I do not have any issues with the Nobby Nic tires which I am running tubeless...sure there are some better, lighter tires but I will will upgrade, once these wear -out.
I summary, if you want a bike w/ excellent all around components, with the ability to do long XC rides or even technical descents, this is an awesome bike!
Similar Products Used: Giant Trance 27.5 SX, Giant Trance 27.5 2, Giant Anthem(s) 27.5, Kona Process 134A DL, Kona Process 134 DL(MS), Santa Cruz Bronson Aluminum
Bike Setup: OEM, except added Truativ Holzfeller 50mm stem
Date Reviewed: May 3, 2015
Strengths: Strong trail bike, Handles big hits at speed, with the lock out option, climbs pretty darn good
Weaknesses: From what I am reading possible long chainstays or a low bottom bracket, I seem to bottom out, slamming my pedals more than usual.
Duration Product Used: 4 months
Price Paid: $2500.00
Purchased At: Shh, let's not talk
Similar Products Used: FSR, Bullit, Carbine,
Bike Setup: Mostly OEM, KS LEV,Squale
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2015
Strengths: This is a well balanced bike, that walks the line between climbing and descending prowess. The suspension is plush yet efficient, the geometry is dialed, and the specs are great for the price. Overall, an ideal bike for an all-rounder.
Weaknesses: This is a jack of all trades, master of none, so it won't be the best climber or the best descender (but it will be good at both) It would always be nice to have shorter chainstays. I'm hitting my pedals a little more than my old bike.
Many friends have gone for full 160+ enduro style bikes with slacker angles, but I feel like those bikes only have an advantage on a small percentage of a given trail, and give up a lot on other parts. This is a bike that's hard to go wrong with.
I wrote a more in-depth review here: https://sierraoutsider.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/2015-giant-trance-27-5-1-review/
Duration Product Used: 7 months
Similar Products Used: Demoed Ibis HDR 650B.
Bike Setup: 2015 Giant Trance 27.5 1 stock.
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2015
Strengths: $2550 Price! This review is for 2015 Giant Trance 2. Perfectly balanced bike for all mountain riding. Geometry is dialed . Rails corners, boosts jumps, great traction and steering on technical climbs. Wheelie master. Bike just feels right. Internal cable routing, integrated chain stay protector, frame can accept stealth dropper. Aggressive riding bike. Stock build is a smart build.
SLX 10 with shadow plus is great
House brand cockpit controls are great
Fox 32 CTD evolution is good. Not great but really good for 90% of my riding.
Deore brakes are good but maybe less powerful than XT
Climb Trail Descend (CTD) Fox suspension works and is useable on the fly!
Weaknesses: At this price point buyers shouldn't be surprised by a few parts that are border line sub par. I had to think about weaknesses cause the bike is really good! That being said, stock rear hub engagement is terrible. Slapping the Giant house branded dropper on as stock would be much appreciated. With a lower BB I would prefer 165 or 170 cranks. Medium is stock with 175mm. 12 x 142 isn't really 12 x 142. It is 9 x 142 with the option to change dropouts for maxle type skewer.
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2014
Strengths: Geometry, Maestro suspension, Great value overall.
Weaknesses: 32mm Fork contains what otherwise is a beast of a bike.
Date Reviewed: September 7, 2014
Strengths: almost everything
Overdrive2 (seriously, what moron thought of that?)
If you want a slack, low, stable XC/trail bike than stock this is absolutley perfect, although the Talas feature on the fork is completly pointless. If you want to push it on the downs but still feel efficent on the ups there are a few upgrades needed.
The fork is too small. After replacing the Fox 32 with a XFusion Sweep the downhill manners of this bike soared. The bigger, stiffer stancions felt much more controlled and ready for anything, even with the same 140mm of travel. The Giant dropper is too short. The 100mm drop doesn't feel like enough, especially on rowdy terrain. Replace it with a reverb or ks lev. The 730mm bars work for the more XC oriented rider; however, if you want to push it, replace them with something wider.
Finally OD2 is the stupudest pile of crap they have ever made. What to find the perfect stem length? Good luck. Thankfully the scraped OD2 on mountain bikes for 2015.
Overall the Trance is an excelent bike. Stock it is perfect for the XC rider who wants to do bigger features with more comfort or even older riders as it is light, comfortable, yet will get you to the top faster than some full on XC rigs. With the upgrades I mentioned this bike cannot be any better. It still climbs insanley well, even in descend mode yet rips downhills like no ones business.
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2014
Style and finish
Weaknesses: None really...grips are soft so will change them soon but such a trivial thing it hardly worth mentioning.
27.5 wheels do feel bigger initially (only ridden 26) so took me a bit of time to get used to but after that you are sweet and I do think you can feel the climbing/rolling pro's of them even if I was sceptical.
The components on the bike are outstanding (Shimano SLX/XT 2x10 drive, Fox CTD supsension, SLX brakes, dropper post).
Just over 3k(New Zeland dollars) was a lot of money for me as only ever spend around 1000-1800 previously. I have not had the bike long but not regretting it for a minute and will always pay off a new bike from now on.
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Price Paid: $3150.00
Purchased At: Cycle Time - Hamilto
Similar Products Used: Giant VT, Specialized Enduro 2008 (very similar feel), Specialized Camber 2011, GT Force 2 2010
Date Reviewed: July 12, 2014
Strengths: value for money, overall geo, great wheelset
Weaknesses: front forks, rear shock
Overall the bike rides really well, geo is well sorted, tracks well and generally goes where you point it. The group set although not XT does a good job and the deore brakes are not as progressive as XT and do lack a bit of feel but will do the job. The SLX shadow rear derailuer is a nice touch and does a great job of keeping the chain in place.
The wheelset on this bike is a big plus and is one thing that I wont be upgrading which is a welcome change on bikes in this price range but I cant help thinking they have been included at the expense of the woeful front fork, let me get this straight I,m a big fan of FOX but this fork is the worst I have ever come across, small bump compliance is OK but the more you push into the midrange travel of this fork the more it is exposed as having very little in the way of mid stroke compression and just blows straight through to the stops. Coming from a MX background I have a fair amount of setup knowledge but there is know way I could dial this thing in to get it working, I found the best wy to set it up was to set the sag up in trail mode and never use descend mode as the dive over braking bumps was just terrible on this setting.
As for the rear shock its not much better but is useable, but I guess yu get what you pay for and the EVO range is pretty poor.
I suggest allowing for an immediate swap out of the suspension or at least the fork, you can get away with keeping the shock for a while.
I have finished up swapping out the forks for some X Fusion sweeps which transformed the bike into what it should ride like, In my opinion Giant should look at specking there trance sx with this fork as it is a fraction of the price and delivers twice the performance the harder you push the better it feels whereas the fox is the opposite. I also have a Cane Creek DB inline going in the rear and that should complete the package.
So overall the Trance is a great bike as long as you get a good deal on purchase price you will have money to bin the forks and upgrade to make it the bike Giant should have built.
Date Reviewed: June 8, 2014
Strengths: Suspension, powertrain (minus shifters)
Weaknesses: Grips, Brakes
All in all highly recommend as a great value, even better than the Trance 3 which is aggressively priced.
Also posted a quick review online, enjoy
Similar Products Used: Trek Fuel EX 7
Bike Setup: Stock
Date Reviewed: May 23, 2014
Strengths: 140MM travel front/rear, Wheelbase, 27.5" wheels, maestro suspension
Weaknesses: seatpost, seatpost clamp, rear hub, tires. No Trance 2 available in US for 2014.
The very first component I swapped out was the seat with a WTB Rocket. Next, I upgraded the front and rear rotors to Shimano SLX 180MM (rear comes 160MM stock). Finally, after about 4 months of riding the Schwalbe Nobby Nics that come stock, I replaced them with Panaracer Neo-Motos due to a tear in the sidewall of one of the Nobby Nics.
I rode this bike through the horrendous Winter weather we had this year so I could stay in shape for a Spring Moab trip. I am in the Mid-Atlantic area has lots of options for trails and within a 1/2 hour drive I have easily 100 miles of singletrack that is accessible. Think rocks, roots, loose dirt, mud and snow. This bike is more than up to the challenge of anything I have to ride locally and with the 140MM of travel and 27.5" tires there is nothing that can stop me. The suspension is very firm when climbing and plush descending. I had to play around with the pressure and shock settings to find my sweet spot, but once dialed in the ride is amazing. The Rock Shox Sector front shock is surprising plush for a base model. The Deore components have held up so far as well. I have had some fading in the rear brake even with 180MM rotor so will be getting better pads soon. I just got back from a trip in Utah and rode the bike on trails like Amasa Back, Captain Ahab, Porcupine Rim (starting at Kokopelli) and Gooseberry Mesa. What a pleasure it was having a bike of this caliber on those trails.
Now for the issues. The biggest issue I had was the rear hub breaking. The free hub pawl broke to the point where the rear wheel would not spin freely. This actually happened during my Utah trip and I was lucky enough to find a bike shop that replaced my wheel under warranty in less than an hour! I am pretty sure the hub is going to break again so I will upgrade the rear wheel at minimum when it does.
I took away a flaming turd for value because for whatever reason, Giant offers a Trance 1 and 3 in the US, but no Trance 2. Other countries have the Trance 2 which has a much better component spec than the 3 for only about $600 more. The Trance 1 was out of my price range. Hopefully for 2015 they resolve this.
I took away a flaming turd for the overall rating due to the issues I had with the hub, the tires, and the stock seat. I also did not mention earlier that I broke the seatpost clamp lever by overtorquing. The seat post likes to creep down during a ride. I upgraded to a Salsa clamp and it hold things in place much better.
See you on the trails!!!
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Price Paid: $2125.00
Purchased At: Wooden Wheels
Similar Products Used: Giant NRS, Giant VT, Giant Trance 26er
Bike Setup: Stock with upgrades to the tires, rotors, seat and seatpost clamp
Date Reviewed: May 13, 2014
Strengths: Pedaling, climbing, descending, jumping, rock gardens, drops, berms...you get it. Components match frame perfect. Light. Stiff. Great tire combo. Wheelset is honest, light, and strong-DT Swiss.
Weaknesses: Stock grips too thin for my tastes.
Date Reviewed: May 12, 2014
Strengths: + Sick wheels, really impressed and a highlight for me that I was not expecting
+ Good components for the style this bike is intended for. They spent money in most of the right places and saved it in the wrong ones
+ 650B Trance geometry is a win!
Weaknesses: - awful suspension
- Giant's overdrive technology
= Giant's seatpost could use improvement (weak negative)
Bought a Trance SX. Parts looked good and the price was solid. Bike ended up being better than expected as Shimano has really upped their drivetrain game line wide since my last MTB purchase where I went with SRAM. Wheels are surprisingly awesome and Giant's Trance geometry is a big win. That is, except for the woeful suspension decisions Giant made.
I haven't ridden a fork this bad since I had elastomers. This is easily the worst damping I've ever seen and nothing I do fixes it. This thing needs an RC2 cartridge. Even worse, since they are 'overdrive', I'm not sure I can easily change it out for a Pike (Should have been put on this bike in the first place). Not thrilled by the Float shock but it's workable. There are better and cheaper shock options out there that Giant should have considered. I looked around and top competitors (EG: Specialized) are speccing Pike on bikes in this price range with no Fox to be found... they made the right decision.
Seatpost isn't as reliable as I expected and I would have liked a bit more available travel, but, besides that it's just as good as any top-shelf dropper out there today. Dropper is a must IMO, it's too much fun! Glad this came stock with a bash guard and chain guide, wish it had 1x11 but there's no way they'd be able to keep the price down at this time.
Overall, a solid bike with smart component decisions that happens to have the worst suspension in its' class. Too bad suspension is such a big part of the ticket price. Giant, you already knew Fox blew it, what were you thinking?
Similar Products Used: Trance, Enduro, Stumpjumper FSR
Date Reviewed: February 14, 2014
Strengths: Absolutely killer suspension. Quick AND Fast. Great components for the price.
Weaknesses: I thought I might not like the tires. I'm used to running a more aggressive tread, but so far I really like them. We'll see how they do in the mud. (I live in Cali and we're currently experiencing a drought)
Duration Product Used: 50 miles
Price Paid: $3500.00
Purchased At: Roseville Cyclery
Similar Products Used: Giant Anthem 27.5 1, Giant Trance 27.5 3
Bike Setup: Stock for now but I rarely keep anything stock for long. I may cut the bars down because I'm used to a much narrower bar, but then again I'm quickly getting used to the wider set. Running tubeless for the first time and love it.
Date Reviewed: January 8, 2014
Strengths: Good spec for the price. Giant backup & dealer network is one of the best in New Zealand
Weaknesses: Bottle cage mounts, wtf did they mount them so high? Can get a cage on there but no 750ml bottle, even a 500 struggles! The only stupid thing on a great bike.
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Price Paid: $3700.00
Purchased At: Cranked Cycles Napie
Similar Products Used: Enduro, Yeti 575, Avanti Vapour, DB single speed
Bike Setup: Stock except, grips, seat & changed tyres to nobby nick front & racing ralph rear, works well
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