On Board | Testing Giant’s Speed-Hungry Trance 29er

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Loaded into the Singetrack Grinder for a longterm review is this 2019 Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29er 1. Yeah I know, catchy name right? Because I can never quite remember what order all of those words are meant to be in, I’ve been calling it the Acid-Trance instead. ‘Turbo-Shrek’ and ‘The Electric Booger’ are also interchangeable.

Giant Bicycles officially launched the 29in version of the Trance late last year, and it joins the Maestro full suspension family where it sits alongside its older sibling, the Trance 27.5. Although the Trance 29 has bigger wheels (obvs), it actually has a bit less travel with 130mm up front and 115mm out back.

Perhaps what’s more surprising though is the geometry, which is rather spicy for a big conservative brand like Giant. How spicy? Try a 66.5° head angle paired to a reduced offset fork, which creates a rather large amount of trail. That has an interesting effect on the handling, as you’ll see in this video;

The specific model I’ve been testing for Singletrack is the second-from-the-top Advanced Pro 29er 1. The ‘Advanced Pro’ part of the name refers to the full carbon frame. As in, carbon mainframe AND carbon swingarm. In between the two triangles is a welded alloy lower linkage, and a composite one-piece rocker link. Sealed cartridge bearings and a trunnion mount round out the Maestro suspension platform.

As for the dampers, both come from Fox in the form of the excellent 34 Float Rhythm fork up front, and the wonderfully dynamic Float DPX2 shock out back. Yes – a piggyback shock on a 115mm travel trail bike. Throw in a 40mm stem, 780mm bars, and Maxxis Minion 3C tyres, and you’ve got a pretty interesting recipe for this little green jalapeño.

Giant Trance Advanced 29er Features

  • Lightweight full suspension 29er trail bike
  • Full composite mainframe, swingarm & rocker link
  • Maestro suspension design w/115mm travel
  • 130mm travel fork w/44mm offset
  • 66.5° head angle
  • 74.5° seat angle
  • 435mm chainstay length
  • Reach: 426mm (S), 442mm (M), 462mm (L), 480mm (XL)
  • PF92 bottom bracket shell w/ISCG 05 chainguide tabs
  • Boost 148x12mm thru-axle
  • Maximum rear tyre clearance: 2.5in
  • Claimed frame weight: 2.58kg / 5.67lb (large size w/shock, axle, hardware and headset cups)
giant trance advanced pro 29er workshop tool
The Acid-Trance in its stock form, fresh out of the box.
syncros hixon giant trance advanced handlebar renthal
I’m currently testing a slightly wider 800mm bar to encourage me to lean a little further over the front wheel.
k-edge chainguide
I’ve also just added this 60g machined alloy chain guide from K-Edge.

I’ve still got a few more weeks of testing aboard the Acid-Trance before I’ll be ready to wrap-up the longterm review. In that time I’m going to try out some lighter wheels and faster-rolling rubber, and I reckon I’ll give it a crack at some local XC racing to see whether it can dabble in such a scene.

Now if you’d like more information on this bike, including geometry, confirmed weights, frame specs and more, then check out the detailed first look story that has everything you need to know about the Trance 29.

And if you’ve got any questions for me about this bike, pop them into the comments section below and I’ll get them answered for you ASAP!

giant trance advanced pro 29er
So far, I’ve been very impressed with Turbo-Shrek.

2019 Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29er 1 Specs

  • Frame // Advanced Composite Mainframe & Swingarm, 115mm Travel
  • Fork // Fox 34 Float, Performance, 44mm Offset, 130mm Travel
  • Shock // Fox Float DPX2, Performance Elite, Trunnion Mount, 165×42.5mm
  • Hubs // Giant TRX 1, 110x15mm Front & 148x12mm Rear
  • Rims // Giant TRX 1 Carbon, 28h Front & Rear, 27mm Internal Rim Width
  • Tyres // Maxxis 3C EXO Minion DHR II 2.4 WT Front & Minion DHF 2.3in Rear
  • Tyre Insert // Vittoria Air-Liner, Medium, Rear
  • Chainset // SRAM Descendent Eagle, DUB, 30t Chainring
  • Chain Guide // K-Edge 1x Mountain Chain Guide
  • Rear Mech // SRAM GX Eagle, 12-Speed
  • Shifter // SRAM GX Eagle, 12-Speed
  • Cassette // SRAM GX Eagle, 10-50t, 12-Speed
  • Brakes // SRAM Guide T, 180mm Rotors Front & Rear
  • Bar // Syncros Hixon iC Rise 1.0, 20mm Rise, 800mm Wide
  • Stem // Syncros Hixon iC Rise 1.0, 40mm Long
  • Grips // Renthal Traction Lock-On UltraTacky
  • Seatpost // Giant Contact Switch S, 30.9mm, 150mm Travel
  • Saddle // Giant Contact SL, Neutral
  • Size Tested // Medium
  • Sizes available // Small, Medium, Large & Extra Large
  • RRP // $6,299 AUD / £4,399 GBP

Comments (5)

    Super interested in the full review. I have a 650b Anthem 1 from ast year, so 130mm Pikes and a lot more ‘traily’ than an Anthem has been before – am I right in thinking that the Trance might be like a big brother to my Anthem?

    “am I right in thinking that the Trance might be like a big brother to my Anthem?”

    The current Trance (I ride a 2017 Trance 2) is 150mm up front, 140mm in the rear, so – I suppose – yes.

    “The current Trance (I ride a 2017 Trance 2) is 150mm up front, 140mm in the rear, so – I suppose – yes.”

    I think he’s pondering the trance 29 in the video.

    Speaking of the video, good fun to watch. Thanks!

    @LAT – Glad you liked the video mate!

    @Adam_Buckland & @keithr – Yeah I reckon you’re right there, though the Giant lineup is starting to get a touch confusing lately due to the crossover between 27.5in and 29in wheelsize options. At the moment, it goes something like this;

    Anthem 29 (100/90mm): Pure XC/marathon race bike
    Anthem 27.5 (130/110mm): XC/short-travel trail bike
    Trance 29 (130/115mm: Short-travel trail bike
    Trance 27.5 (150/140mm): Long-travel trail bike

    Interestingly, the Anthem 27.5 is no longer available in Australia – at least according to the Giant website. On the UK website, all the 2019 Anthem 27.5 models are on sale, though I’m not sure if that says anything since the 29in version is also on sale.

    In terms of the Anthem 27.5 vs the Trance 29 specifically, I’d say the two bikes feel very different even though they have similar travel numbers. I tested the Anthem 27.5 not long ago, and found it to be a fun and nimble little XC bike. It dances up the climbs more enthusiastically, but on rougher descents it feels quite spindly and can get bounced off-line if you’re really hammering it.

    In comparison, the Trance 29 feels absolutely rock-solid when riding absolutely flat-out, and has a much stronger bias towards technical descending.

    Hope that helps!

    [ST Wil]

    With recent price drops on the higher spec alloy version of this bike what re your thoughts re: #FantaPantsTrance 29er 1 vs. #AcidTrance Advanced Pro 29er 1 ???

    #FantaPantsTrance currently available in Oz for $4.5K vs. #AcidTrance for $6.3K (which I’m yet to see discounted although I’m sure it would be imminent) … Do you think the carbon frame and piggyback rear shock is worth the price differential?

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