On Test | The 2020 Giant Stance 29 2 – A Cheap Trance, Or Just Cheap?

Since its original launch back in 2005, the Giant Trance has gone on to become one of the most common full suspension mountain bikes found on Aussie trails. Thanks to a combination of the efficient Maestro dual-link suspension design, versatile geometry and a value-oriented build kit, the Trance has earned favour with many riders for many years. Indeed the latest model is one of our favourite short-travel trail rippers.

But as the quality of the Trance’s geometry, suspension and frame has improved over the years, the prices have begun to notch upwards. The current alloy Trance range kicks off at well over three grand, with the top-end carbon model selling for north of $10K. That’s a lot of coin for those of us on a tighter budget, and it presents a much bigger commitment to newer riders to the sport who are weighing up the ‘hardtail vs full suspension’ equation.

And that’s exactly where this $2,399 Stance comes in.

2020 giant stance 29 2
New for 2020, the Giant Stance 29 is a budget bouncer based on the popular Trance 29.

The Giant Stance 29er

All-new for 2020, the Stance 29er is a budget-oriented full suspension trail bike that’s based on the popular Trance 29 platform. Built around a hydroformed alloy frameset and 29in wheels, the Stance 29 gets a 130mm travel fork along with 120mm of rear-wheel travel.

At just $2,399 AUD, it comes in at a whole grand cheaper than the entry-level Trance 29. Despite the lower sticker price, Giant has brought in many of the hot-ticket items. You get Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, air-adjustable suspension, a 1×12 SRAM Eagle drivetrain, and tubeless-compatible wheels and tyres. There’s no dropper post as standard, but the frame is ready to fit one.

2020 giant stance 29 2
There’s a 130mm travel Suntour fork on the front, which gets a Boost thru-axle along with an air spring and adjustable rebound damping.

FlexPoint Suspension

The biggest difference between the Trance and Stance is the suspension design. Whereas the Trance uses the more complex multi-pivot Maestro suspension platform, the Stance elects for a much simpler single-pivot platform that Giant calls ‘FlexPoint’. It’s called this because the alloy seatstays actually flex slightly as the rear shock cycles through its travel. Whereas some similar-looking designs will have an extra pivot around the rear dropouts, the Stance skips the pivot, and relies on a bit of flex through the seatstays instead. As well as being a bit lighter, it also reduces moving parts, and therefore cost.

2020 giant stance 29 2
The Stance 29 features 120mm of rear travel via the FlexPoint suspension design.
2020 giant stance 29 2
A Suntour Raidon air shock is sandwiched between the main pivot and rocker link, just like it is on the Trance 29.

Trail-Ready Geometry

In the past, brands haven’t placed much of a focus on geometry for budget hardtails and full suspension bikes. The thing is though, geometry that inspires confidence on the descents and control on rough terrain is important for any rider, but it’s even more important for beginner riders.

Giant has taken a more contemporary approach to the new Stance 29, which gets a reasonably long wheelbase and a 67.5° head angle for improved descending stability. For going up, there’s a steep 75° seat angle to keep the rider further over the BB for a more efficient climbing position. No, the numbers aren’t as radical as some other envelope-pushing trail bikes in this travel bracket, but it’s much more modern than what we’re used to seeing from a budget full suspension bike.

2020 giant stance 29 2
The neat hydroformed alloy frame has a high quality finish, and it brings over geometry from the more expensive Trance 29.

2020 Giant Stance 29 2

Globally, there are two Stance 29 models. In Australia though, we only see the cherry red Stance 29 2 that we have on test here. Before we get stuck into testing, here’s a closer look at the spec highlights on this entry-level full susser.

2020 giant stance 29 2
It may be budget on price, but will it feel budget on the trail? Stay tuned for our full review coming soon!

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