Giant Trance 27.5 Full Suspension
|MSRP : $3500.00|
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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|Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)|
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
Date Reviewed: December 9, 2013
Strengths: Excellent trail bike, Maestro suspension, awsome color!
Weaknesses: Weird componentry, a bit too expensive compared to other Giant models
Most of Giant Models are plug&play, no need to chenge anything.
But, unfortunately, Trance SX - 2014 is an exception. First of all, brakes are rubbish. Deore shifter will work, but still... Slx would be just 1 dollar more cost to the factory, and in general what the hell is Deore doing on a trail bike in this price range?
The rest of componentry is also a bit cheap - a 'normal' Trance 1 is 550 bucks cheaper and has an SLX-XT mix.
The shocks are decent, but again, they are just Evolution series, Kashima or at least Performance would look more reasonable.
And on top of all this - they install a superexpencive wheelset, $1050 MSRP in US. I find it really weird.
Bottom line - this bike has a much worse price/equipment ratio then the rest of Trance-2014 range. If I were making this bike, I would get a simplier wheelset but better shocks and decent brakes.
But this bike is a kick-ass anyway. And I love it. And it's bronze!!!
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2013
Strengths: Climbs well. good lateral strength. Fox suspension is well balanced.
SLX brakes are great. Rolls down hill like a run-away freight train.
Weaknesses: Still a lot of money for a bicycle!
I rode a few friends 29ers - but all of the bikes were Large frames so not a very good test ride.
But I could feel the rolling advantage immediately.
From all my reading - for a guy my size and the type of riding I like to do, the 27.5 made more sense.
Looked at the Norco Sight Killer B and the new Pivot mach 6.
The Giant won out with component package for price as well as dealership support (Giant dealers are everywhere).
I think the Giant geometry is designed with a little more climbing ability too.
I know the Norco Sight is a little more "Down hill" oriented with a little slacker geometry. not sure about the Pivot.
Coming off of a 26" Kona Dawg Primo, the transition of moving to the Trance 27.5 1 was seem less.
The cockpit felt good right away with minimal adjustment required (Medium frame - for my 5' 9" body).
The bars were immediately cut down to 26" wide and could go a little narrower (but that's just me).
Set the sag and adjusted the seat position a little. Handle bar height and length of goose neck seems perfect.
Front forks were a little sticky, but getting smoother as they break in.
Rear Shock is very smooth right away.
The Nobby nics are not bad and at the right pressure, I was able to put my trust into them quickly and they're very control-able when they do break loose.
I am looking at going tube-less soon.
The 2x10 gearing is great (coming off of a 3x9). Within my second ride, I was not missing the 3rd ring at all.
Drive train is quieter with Shadow, and overall the system is more intuitive as far as gear selection.
When coming into a corner hot and having to slow down quick and then power out, I felt the 2x10 was better at finding the right gear.
I can feel the difference in the front and rear axles - the 15mm front axle makes a huge difference when going fast in the rough and hard in corners.
The 27.5" wheels do indeed roll over rocks and stuff better but still flick-able with Body English and still able to pump when rolling on the trails. Once they get rolling, they are amazingly fast and hold traction in corners so much better then the 26" Kona.
The Dropper seat post in my opinion is worth its weight in gold.
I find I use it constantly. Every little downhill section or drop off, I drop my seat. Then pop it right back up for the climb.
Why didn't anyone listen to Joe Breeze when he first introduced the concept 20 years ago?
A must for every bike in my opinion....even hard core X-country riders can benefit from a dropper post.
Frame is clean and like the lines. Giant did a nice job with the internal frame routing and the nifty plugs.
Duration Product Used: +/- 25 miles so far
Price Paid: $3299.00
Purchased At: Wheel World, So Cal
Similar Products Used: NA
Bike Setup: Nothing special.
Cut bar width down to 26" (personal pref)
Set sag and and proper body position.
Tires at 36/38PSI
Swapped stock grips with Ourys. (also personal pref)
Date Reviewed: October 31, 2013
Strengths: Maestro suspension seems to be perfect for any situation - great climber especially
Decent quality components for the price range
Loads of fun
Weaknesses: Occasionally wish I would have coughed up the extra $$ for a Trance 1 for better shocks and brakes
Not a big fan of stock Giant-branded grips
Coming from a 7 year old entry-level bike, even the lower-spec'd 2014 Trance brings a wealth of new features: front 15mm through axle, direct mount front derailleur, 1.5" tapered steerer, internal cable routing, and Shimano Shadow Plus derailleur, among others, all of which add up to a nicer overall experience. Of course, this is not to mention the relatively new 27.5/650b wheel size. Having never ridden a 29er, I can't say how the 650b Giant compares to wagon wheelers, but in comparison to my previous 26" bike, the 2014 Trance still feels nimble, flickable, stiff, and light - a blast to strafe down swoopy singletrack and great fun to navigate over technical downhill sections. The generous 5.5" of suspension travel definitely helps with this aspect as well.
As with any of Giant's trail bikes using the Maestro suspension geometry, the bike also climbs incredibly well, especially with the noticeably improved (in my opinion, anyways) rollover of the bigger tires - trails covered in small, loose rocks are a bit easier to get through.
I find the component selection to be good considering the bike's price range, the RockShox Sektor fork does a good job soaking up both small bumps and large hits, as does the Monarch rear shock. I don't find the lack of CTD settings on the rear shock to be much of a problem given the floating-pivot geometry - very little energy is lost to pedal bob in climbing. The Shadow Plus rear derailleur makes a huge difference going down fast, bumpy sections as chain slap is significantly reduced, though not eliminated.
Giant's in-house stem, bars, grips, and seatpost are adequate at their job, though at a slight weight penalty over others. I plan to switch out the stock grips for Lizard Skins Peatys after they wear out as I don't really like the feel of the factory grips, though they're not terrible. The Shimano M395 brakes work well with little fade except after long, fast, downhill sections. I had no problem converting the Giant-branded wheelset to tubeless using Stan's rim tape and valves (no rim strips), and the Shwalbe Nobby Nic's are able to find grip almost anywhere.
All in all, this bike is a blast to descend on, climbs amazingly well, and handles smooth, fast trails and technical, rocky singletrack with equal aplomb. While I have a couple times wished I had upgraded to the Trance 1 (primarily for its better suspension and brakes), I only find I love my Trance 3 more every time I ride. I Highly recommend this bike if you're looking for a full-suspension 27.5 trail bike that can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it.
Purchased At: Giant Cycling World
Similar Products Used: 2007 Giant Trance 3
Date Reviewed: October 31, 2013
Strengths: This bike is really a great all-rounder. I wanted a bike I could take out trail riding once a week, but also one that I could take with me to bike parks up in Canada and Utah. Love the Fox 34 up front, steering is extremely accurate compared to my old 32mm fork. This bike may only have 5.5" in the rear, but I tell you what, with the 27.5's and the geometry, it feels more dialed and plush than my old 6" reign!
Weaknesses: The Giant dropper seat post is a weakness in my book, There is a small amount of side to side play, and the actuation is not as consistent as I would like. Also for $4000 I would have liked an XT rear D and SLX shifters, but that is a small issue.
Bike Setup: WTB Pure V Seat, ODI Lock-On Grips, Deity Pedals
Date Reviewed: October 28, 2013
Strengths: Climbs like a goat, with suspension dialed in, have had no rear sag, even when out of the saddle
Going down hill with the 140mm front and 5.5 inches in the back, gave me all the room to do what I want.
27.5 Wheel size gave me a more snappier feeling around tight turns, allowing me to reall come around hard
Bottome bracket clearance is great, clearing everything I did with my 29er, but with more control.
Weaknesses: Fully decked out, I weight my XS frame and set up at 26, not bad for the amount of suspension, Will probably get the Carbon frame by spring.
Dropper seatpost ws not much use, didn't like it much, as I don't hit super big jumps
Wish there was more of a tire selection, and that Specailized would get on the ball with a 27.5 of my favorite tire
Duration Product Used: 1 month
Price Paid: $4500.00
Purchased At: Bicycle Pro Shop Ale
Similar Products Used: Scott Spark 940
Giant Anthem 27.5
Santa Cruz Superlight
Bike Setup: Built Bike from Frame up, not stock has some upgrades:
XT all the way around(Upgraded brakes)
Stan's Not Tubes(Upgrade, Set up tubeless)
Fox 32 Talas 27.5 w/Fit CTD remote(Upgrade)
Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5
Giant Contact SLR Trail Carbon Riser Bar(Upgrade)
Giant Contact SLR Carbon Seatpost(Upgrade)
Decked out Blue Jagwire Derailure/Hydrolic cable housing(Not upgrade, but looks cool)
|Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)|
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