Tested: Giant Trance Advanced 1 2017

The not-so-minor details


Giant Trance Advanced 1


Giant Bicycles






Excellent complete package.

Great value.
Teflon smooth.


Tyres are fragile.

Seatpost is noisy.

Watch our full video review below

The characteristic shape of the Trance is similar to previous years, but the new carbon link makes it all appear a lot more solid.

The changes for 2017 – including slacker geometry, Boost hub spacing and a longer travel fork (now 150mm) – align the Trance as a more capable beast when it gets technical. The introduction of carbon upper linkage adds stiffness and drops weight, while the use of trunnion mount shock sees a reduction in shock pressures which has an associated benefit of more supple suspension response.

Going to a trunnion mount rear shock means Giant can fit a longer shock into the same space, which means a greater air volume and consequently lower shock pressures. Outcome? Better suspension performance, although the improvement is pretty incremental really.

At $5799 this bike is at the upper range of the spectrum, but we’d argue it represents excellent value for money. When you stack it up against similar offerings from all the other major brands, and even the direct-to-consumer competition like YT and Canyon, this bike is very well equipped for the cash, with carbon wheels, full Shimano XT and FOX Factory suspension on a (mostly) carbon frame.

Shimano XT sets the standard for reliable, sensible performance. An 11-46 cassette leaves no hill unclimbed.
Giant’s own carbon wheels are sturdy and suitably wide for this style of bike. These are an impressive inclusion at this price point.

As an all-rounder, we feel this bike is the pick of Giant’s range. A lively technical descender and climber, its sheer smoothness will win a lot of riders over, and the new geometry encourages a more reckless approach to the trail. For 90% of the situations we encountered, the Trance had it all wrapped up. It’s not the most efficient bike out there, but the butteriness of the ride makes it a lot of fun when things are rough or slippery.

FOX Factory suspension. This fork and shock are the top shelf items for trail riding from FOX. The higher priced Trance Advanced 0 comes with RockShox, but we think the FOX items here are easily on par with the fork/shock found on the Advanced 0.

The only component we felt restricted by during our time on the Trance was the rear tyre. The Schwalbe Nobby Nic is excellent in softer soils, but it couldn’t handle rough riding in rocky conditions and we ended up with numerous cuts in the tyre. We’d encourage you to look for a tougher tread if rocky trails are the bread and butter of your riding.

Neat cable routing. You might notice the stem – we actually ran a 50mm stem, rather than the stock 60mm, for much of the test, purely out of personal preference.

We’ve been riding a lot of 29er trail bikes lately, and while we would love to see a big-wheeled version of this bike one day, the Trance also reminded us why 27.5″ wheels are so infectiously fun. Giant have defended their turf well with the 2017 Trance Advanced 1, it keeps apace with all the trends towards more aggressive trail bikes, delivering a ride and an overall package that is very hard to top for the cash.

Giant’s best bike for 2017?

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