Not an all-night dance party for really tall people, the Giant Trance could be the most popular all-mountain bike in Australia, and for good reason. Over the years we’ve seen the Trance move with the times, and for 2016 it is seriously on the ball.
We’ve just received the Trance Advanced 27.5 1, the middle of the three carbon (or composite, call it what you like) models of the Trance that uses 27.5″ wheels and 140mm of Maestro rear suspension.
We’ll be putting in some seriously miles on this new Trance so expect a full review soon, but for now here is what we think of this tidy number.
*UPDATED – Read our complete review here: Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 1 review.
As we discovered when checking out the entire 2016 range from Giant at their new season launch, there hasn’t been too many changes made to the mountain bike range, frames remain the same for the Trance, the bigger Reign and the leaner brother – Anthem. But what we see here is a clever speccing of the kind of parts we all want to be riding for 2016.
In Giant language ‘Advanced’ denotes that the frame is made in house at their own composite manufacturing facility from raw carbon materials. It’s a composite front end mated with an aluminium rear end joined by the Maestro floating suspension linkage.
It’s a 140mm travel bike front and back, great for comfort and control in a wide variety of terrain, but not too much to handle if the trails aren’t requiring much suspension travel.
All the frame’s finishing touches are absolutely spot on, it’s a very tidy package when you look front to back. The bold paintwork with the blue and orange works really well, and in the sunlight you’ll catch the glimmering composite material shining through.
Cable routing is internal, you’ll fit one water bottle on the frame and there are still provisions to mount a front derailleur if you wish.
Geometry wise the Trance uses 440mm chain stays, a 67 degree head angle and a 73.5 degree seat angle.
The previous 2015 version of this same model shared the same frame but was specced with a SRAM X01 drivetrain, a RockShox Revelation fork and the RockShox Monarch rear shock. Going forward it’s a real Shimano and FOX show, making the most of the recent return to the forefront of performance for these two brands.
Shimano’s new 11-speed XT grouppo is kick arse, we have spent plenty of time on it now, here’s our in-depth review. The Trance is setup out of the box how we’d love it. A 32 tooth single ring with the super-wide 11-42 tooth cassette is an excellent setup, quiet, smooth and has enough of a gear range for just about anywhere.
We haven’t had much experience with the 11-speed KMC chains, this one is black and uses hollow pins and links, there’s not much to it!
And as far as suspension goes the Trance uses the best that FOX has on offer, their premium fork and shock. Up front its a Float 34 Float Factory with the silky smooth Kashima coating, with all the bonus adjustments and dials as standard. The bigger diameter 34mm legs will give the Trance a lot more confidence when steering and braking through rough terrain, we’re glad to be seeing less 32mm leg forks in this travel amount these days.
It’s the rear shock however that has us very excited. In our experience the Trance has never been the most supple or sensitive suspension bike, with the earlier models using RockShox Monarch (gee they have come a long way, and much smoother than they used to be) or a FOX Float CTD shock. For 2016 we have the new Float DPS with the EVOL extra volume air spring.
There’s no doubt that the EVOL component of the rear shock alone will lift the suspension performance in a big way, the suppleness of the larger air can and the spring curve it delivers is excellent.
We loved the Trance Advanced SX with the FOX Float X – review here – so this will be a great comparison with the lighter and smaller Float shock.
Read our review of the exact fork and shock fitted to this bike here – FOX 2016 review.
Other spec highlights are the Giant carbon wheels, Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres, the dialled Giant Contact SL Switch adjustable post and their new Contact SL saddle.
So that’s it for now, less typing and more riding. Stay tuned!