Giant Trance SX 27.5 Full Suspension

DESCRIPTION

Designed from the ground-up to take advantage of 27.5-inch wheels, Trance SX 27.5 is the best of both worlds-light and agile, yet also super stable on the rough trails. The lightweight, stiff and super-strong ALUXX SL aluminum frame is mated with 5.5-inches/140mm of proven Maestro rear suspension and up to 160mm of front suspension.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-5 of 5  
[Aug 29, 2015]
AZ
All Mountain Rider

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Great climber, excellent value

Weakness:

Front and rear suspension - a word of caution if you are a big rider; bars are too wide; SRAM brakes went soft after two months

I've owned this bike for 6 months. Excellent climber on both technical and non-technical terrain. Descending is terrible. I'm big - 6'4" 235 lbs - and the suspension just doesn't cut it. The adjustable travel Pike does not allow for the addition of the RockShox tokens, and thus I either have to pump the air up so high that I have no small-bump compliance, or keep it low and I bottom out. Rear suspension is also terrible for my weight - either pump it up really high so it rides like a hardtail or it bottoms out. I've been told that the rear suspension can be taken apart and tuned, but I have not done this yet (the shops I spoke to were not comfortable doing it). Why wouldn't Giant supply the XL frame with the suspension already tuned for bigger people?

A suspension industry expert I spoke to has the same bike and same problem - he switched front and rear suspension to Fox and raves about the improvement. He is my size as well.

Changing out the suspension for $2K clearly erodes the "value" rating on this bike, so a word of caution for you big riders.

SRAM brakes performed great at first, then went soft after two months; switch the pads - better but not as good at my XT brooks. I feel these are still Avid brakes at heart.

Similar Products Used:

Santa Cruz Heckler, Specialized Enduro Evo, Knolly Chilcotin

[Mar 13, 2015]
jasonamain

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Suspension package - Giant made an excellent call going with the Pike Dual Position Air and Monarch Debonair. The suspension is adjustable for all conditions and is super plush. It also shows they listened to ’14 SX owners. I use the Pike at 140mm all the time and open the fork up for nasty descents. It’s not just a travel difference but actually feels like two different forks.
Guide Brakes – Smooth and linear, the real deal.
SRAM X1 – first time on a 1X drivetrain and I love its simplicity and how smooth it is.
Giant dropper – surprisingly good and does what it should. As far as major component spec goes, I don’t think Giant has to change a single thing on this bike.

Weakness:

All minor - Grips (thin and not even worth using for your first couple of rides)
No downtube protector on a $4,000 bike? (rocks pinging off your downtube doesn’t sound cool!)
Where is the front derailleur mount cover? Would have been a good place to put a small plate with a Giant logo.
The 800mm bars are nice and wide, but where is the sweep and rise? I will rock them for awhile, but will change them out eventually.

I looked at a bunch of bikes and demoed the Pivot Mach 6 (too cramped, felt short), Kona Process 153 (not as good a spec) and Giant Anthem SX (too rigid, not enough travel for rocky trails I frequent) and ultimately chose the Trance SX. Here is why I chose the Trance SX: It felt the most versatile of all the bikes and has an awesome spec for the price = best value hands down. If you’re looking for one bike for a variety of terrain you’d hard pressed to pass up the Trance SX. It’s a solid bike everywhere. It’s also fairly light at just under 30lbs (if you care about weight). Giant did leave a little room to improve on some of the minor details (see my weaknesses) and it wouldn’t hurt if they went back to matte black (like the ’14 Trance advanced models). Overall, I am really happy with the bike and will be riding my Trance SX on everything from buff single track to rock invested trails in NorCal to occasional trips to the bike park in Tahoe.

[Feb 26, 2015]
jmowatt
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

super spec, fairly light , ride is very smooth . good price, I even like the color !! better in the flesh

Weakness:

wheels. a little lowend . tires a little heavy duty for the trail rides I do,,

this bike had everything on my list , I was ready to upgrade wheels befor I bought , a set of fatties were in sight roval 30mm inner wide wheels, yes the 142+ set will fit a trance frame, weight is 27 without pedals today was just over 29.4 .. stock !! super smooth at 25-30% sag the pike is very plush and the monarch really suck it up, guide brakes are better than my XT,s the 1-11 super slick shifting . set up roval fatties tubeless with nobby nics carbon bar (more bac sweep) PERFECT retail price up here 3699

Similar Products Used:

rode the 8000.00 2015 reign advanced nice bike also found it a bit to DH ... the sx climbs. way, way better , my other bike is a trance xo 29er,

[Jan 27, 2015]
Bo

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Spec is unbeatable in this price range. Travel adjust front fork!!! Hallelujah. This was the one item that really sold me on this bike.

Weakness:

Geo could be even a little more new school i.e., longer tt, lower stadover. Like a Kona Process, for example. I'm on a 20" where I normally ride an 18". However, the Giant IS about nine feet longer in reach than most others- Devinci, Santa Cruz, Ibis, etc, etc. Probably just about everyone else but Kona and Transition actually.
Paint is kinda ugly. Not as bad in person, more of an army green and black scheme. But still.

Have one full day of riding on this bike. I may get used to some of the niggles over time, or stop noticing traits or whatever, but this is my fresh impression:

Relevant bikes I test rode and passed over when shopping for this bike (27.5 models):
Kona Process 134, which had outstanding reach and fit, but average components for the price (though total crap compared to the Trance SX build)...and it was impossible to find the model I wanted in stock.
Transition Scout, same nice reach as Kona, but with a bottom bracket that was ~11.4" when sitting on it at 30% sag- Somebody blew it in the design process. I stopped sideways on a driveway and my pedal was resting on the ground.
Every other model of decent Giant mountain bike. Reign was way over to the DH side, floppy steering, etc. (trying to get away from this, my previous 4 bikes were in the 6"-8" range). The other Trance models were appealing, but ultimately I think it was the carbon frame that turned me away. Down spec trade off. Plus I have piled badly into rocks in the past and have put some massive deep dings and dents in my previous aluminum frames, which, as they were aluminum, was a shrug and "meh" event. Oddly enough, after all the test rides, the Giant I would rate as my second favorite to ride was the XTC advanced.
The only other bike I really would have liked to try was the Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt B.C. edition. Though my conclusion for rear travel was that 5" was the least I could run before the fun of descents felt seriously compromised.

I'm really happy with the way the SX rides on the trail. The trail I ride is a former world cup downhill course, so it's got some gnar, but a lot of everything else too- pinned short steep climbs, long sustained granny gear grinds, crazy root sections, high speed rock sections, tight turns and techy steep rock descents.

The ride:
Uneventful, the bike is pretty predictable all around and easy to get used to. The cockpit is stretched enough for comfortable sustained climbing (size L, I'm 5'10"), on punchy climbs it held traction much better than my previous 26ers. On the desents it felt very predictable and stable. If anything, it feels like the headangle could be ever so slightly slacker, and the chainstays a tad shorter. Well, in all fairness, on the straight up and down climbing sections I was thinking the head angle should be slightly steeper, so maybe they nailed it. The BB height seemed spot on, (which is a big factor for me- a too low BB makes me want to throw the bike, along with all the dislodged pedals, off a cliff). The standover on my 20" was a bit tall, but again compared to the rest of the industry, except maybe Kona, it's plenty good.
Reach felt a *little* long on the descents, and a *little* short on the climbs. So probably just as good as it can be overall. I raced xc and road for a few years, and everything else was DH, so my bias is for really short or really long TT's respectively.
The frame stiffness was not an issue. I've had flexy frames, this is not one of them.

Components:
-The suspension felt good to me right off the bat. Which is rare. I'm super finicky. My old Lyrik fork for example, which received universal high praise, felt so sh!tty [have to put a ! there to post, no f'king cussing tolerated on MTBR] to me I went straight home and tore it apart and modified it. I've swapped out every rear shock I've ever had.
The front fork travel adjust is a godsend.

-Dropper post was fantastic. The 100mm is more than enough. (32" inseam). DH racers keep their saddle height up slightly, so they can use the saddle for leverage. This post dropped slightly lower than I'd use for a DH bike, but not so low that it was unusable. Anyone that's not saying it's enough would have to be over 6' with a long inseam, plus like to drop their post to totally-useless-old school-freeride-all-the-way-into-the-frame height.
The single bolt holding the seatpost clamp has got my nervous. I've never had a post of that design that held.

Brakes were very meh. Lever had play already, and brakes needed a bleed. Basically no lever adjustments. Lever felt cheap in the hand. Hook was nice though. Modulation, power seemed great.

Crank finish was applied with black markers I believe. Rubbed off down to bare metal right off the bat.

Stock handlebars are 800mm, which is great. Sweep and bend are that strange almost totally straight Truvativ style however. Like 5 degree bend. At some point I'll have to swap these out for some standard 8 degree made-for-a-human bars.

Stock Giant rear hub has a great buzzing sound! Not too loud. Just enough to make you want to say braaap.

Grips are crap. Comfort lock-ons. Remind me of the old BMX mushrooms.

The stock 32 ring was way too big for around here. We are a singletrack only climbing area, and it's hot and humid as kcuf. No logging roads or fire roads here. Swapped it out for the Blackspire 28t, all good.

Bike is 28.6lbs without pedals, but I swapped out for lighter tires.

[Jan 20, 2015]
WB

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

The performance is unreal. Pike/Debonair suspension is brilliant down and up - there is a simple easy to reach setting for every contingency without being complicated; Avid Guide R brakes are awesome in strength and modulation; Giant Contact seat post does what it should when it should; SRAM drivetrain and shifting is razor sharp and no guide required so far; the tyres grip like grippy things; the handling is spot on; the paint finish is excellent. This is a lot of bike for the $$$.

Weakness:

Minor:
The Giant grips aren't the best - after a long hard descent you'll know why.
780 mm handlebars? That is is 30 mm wider than a full-size MX bike!
Colour might be a perfect match for baby puke. Don't think about it.

If you've been humming and hah'ing about buying one, pull the trigger. You won't regret it.

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