Flow’s First Bite: Giant Trance 1 27.5

Words by Chris Southwood | Images by Damian Breach

The not-so-minor details

Product

Giant Trance 1 27.5

Contact

Giant Bicycles Australia
www.giant-bicycles.com

Price

AUD3,399.00

Weight

13.22kg

Positives

Exceptional value
Fantastic all-rounder geometry

Negatives

Tyres proved squirmy and difficult to seal

Us

Giant are back to their butt-kicking ways and the competitively priced Trance 1 ($3399) is tipped to be the biggest mover in the new Giant line up.

Flow picked this silver beast as one of the four 27.5″-wheeled test bikes to accompany us to Rotorua for a week of riding and filming.

Giant Trance 1 27.5-35

Sharp graphics and a clean finish, made even cleaner with the greatly improved cable routing for 2014.

We’ve talked long and often about Giant’s decision to go ‘all in’ with 27.5″, but the new wheel size found on the 2014 Trance range is only part of the story. Giant has served up a list of tweaks and improvements to the Trance range that’s as long as your arm.

The alloy-framed Trance 1 27.5 has 140mm-travel front and rear, slotting in nicely between the previous Trance and Reign models. The geometry has been significantly slackened and lowered too, with a longer top tube and shorter stems than in years past. In short, Giant have given the bike some balls, something you feel as soon as you swing a leg over the low-slung top tube.

Giant Trance 1 27.5-41

The Trance continues to run Giant’s Maestro 2 suspension system, with a FOX CTD Evolution shock. It’s a real set-and-forget item, and we barely moved it out of Trail mode all week long. The whole rear end is nice and stiff laterally too.

Internal cabling (including for the new Giant Contact IR dropper post) has greatly improved the bike’s aesthetics, and even with a mid-range SLX/XT build kit the complete bike is a hair over 13kg. The component spec is simply magnificent for the money – it would seem that Giant have regained the upper hand once again when it comes to offering bang for the buck. A particular highlight in the FOX TALAS CTD fork and ever-reliable Shimano SLX brakes.

Giant Trance 1 27.5-12

A TALAS fork at this price is a nice bonus for those who want to maximise climbing performance.

Giant Trance 1 27.5-46

The internally routed dropper post uses a neat, minimalist lever. The grips…yuck.

Although the Trance doesn’t use a true bolt-up rear axle, we were impressed by the rigidity of the rear end, it feels much stiffer than previous iterations of the Trance.

In terms of setup, we were pleasantly surprised by the short head tube of the Trance; ordinarily with Giant’s we’ve battled to get the bars low enough, but with the new frame we actually ran a few spacers under the stem to get the cockpit at the right height. Great move, Giant!

Giant Trance 1 27.5-28

Here’s a sight we’re not accustomed to seeing on a Giant – spacers under the stem! The head tube lengths of the new Trance are dramatically shorter than in previous years. Note the internal gear cabling. The brake line can also be run internally too.

We sealed the wheels up with a Stan’s rim strip, though persistent air seepage plagued our time on the test bike. In fact, the tyres proved a real pain in butt, rolling and flexing all over the shop, even with higher pressures. More on that later when we deliver our full review.

A week of 10-hour days on the bike, with precious little time for maintenance, proved to be a very thorough way to get to grips with the new Trance, and we look forward to bringing you our full write up (along with the reviews of the three other test bikes we rode in Rotorua) in the next couple of weeks.

 

Them

All 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 aluminium 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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Geometry Chart (Click to make bigger).

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Full specs (Click to make bigger).

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