The Giant Trance has a long history, being launched way back in 2005 – In fact this year’s models represent the 9th generation of this bike.
The Trance has always been a bike suited to the general purpose rider and even though this year it gets longer and slacker, it’s still aimed squarely at the one bike to rule them all market.
In fact at the less than glamorous Zoom presentation a couple of weeks ago with the guys at Giant behind the Trance X evolution (A disturbing presentation not least as we all got to see Mike Levy’s bedroom) it was pointed out to us several times that this is a 50/50 bike. 50% climber, 50% descender.
The more ordinary Trance X(sans “Advanced”) was launched last month and the fundamental difference the “Advanced” makes is the frame material and the high end spec list that includes Fox Live Valve at the top of the line.
As announced last month, the new X features extra travel and flip chip that allows you to drop the BB 10mm and slacken the head angle by 0.7 of a degree. Flip Chip systems are not new but it’s a strategy being adopted much more widely of late (see Specialized Status for example), probably because it’s such a simple and relatively easy to add enhancement to a model. And it undoubtedly allows the marketing team to widen the scope of their campaigns to a broader audience.
Another feature of this bike that has followed the trend of getting longer is the name. Giant Trance X Advanced Pro 29. When you add on the model designation then we definitely have a potential winner in the longest bike name category. Rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?
Trance X Features
So let’s have a run through some of the main features that make this Trance X different to previous.
As mentioned the main difference is the travel. While Ordinary Trance (sans X) sports a modest 130mm & 115mm travel front and rear respectively the X gets 150mm & 135mm of travel front & rear. Depending on where you come in on the range suspension choice ranges from Rockshox 35 Gold RL forks with Fox Float DPS shock on the Trance X 29 3 to the all bling Fox 36 Factory Live Valve fork & Float DPX Live Valve shock on the Advanced Pro 0 model (See spec list below for full range).
The ‘Advanced’ moniker designates the frame material as composite carbon fibre, which includes everything, including the rear swing arm. The non- ‘Advanced’ X is made from aluminium. So the four bikes in the range go like this, with the 0 & 1 models launching today.
- Giant Trance X Advanced Pro 29 0 – £7999
- Giant Trance X Advanced Pro 29 1 – £4999
- Giant Trance X 29 2 – £2999
- Giant Trance X 29 3 – £2499
That’s quite a range in pricing for just the four models and there’s a £3k gap separating the two Advanced Pro models.
The difference in frame weights is significant between carbon and aluminium models. The Carbon frame on the 0 & 1 Advanced weighs in at a whisker over 2kg which is a good 600g lighter than the aluminium version. That’s a pound and a half saving in old money. The top of the line 0 model in medium weighs in at 29.5lbs without pedals
So if the ‘Advanced’ means carbon what is the difference between the 0 & 1 models?
I’m glad I asked that. The main difference comes down to the ultra tech Fox Live Valve system that comes with the top of the line 0 model. In fact that’s the model we have right here and have been riding. As well as Fox Live valve (more on that later) it comes with a spread of high end components from Shimano XT up to a worryingly expensive XTR rear mech. The 1 model comes without the Live Valve wizardry and the groupset is all SRAM GX flavour. For opting for this SRAM version you save a significant sum. £3k to be precise.
The Fox Transfer seatpost on the 0 model is swapped out for a less expensive Giant’s own version on the 1 and there’s a slight downgrade on the wheels from Giant’s TRX1 to TRX2.
The tyres supplied on both are the excellent Maxxis Minion DHF in size 2.4 but the frame will happily accept tyres up to size 2.5. And of course, at this level the bike comes tubeless and not just tubeless ready.
The Maestro system is not new, which means it’s pretty well tried and tested. It’s essentially a single floating pivot system connected by four pivot points and two linkages. The design allows for consistent braking under high impacts as well as an almost vertical rear axle path which helps with sensitivity over the full range of bumps from small to big. It’s a bit complicated for sure, but I do like it.
What is Live Valve?
Chipps went into a lot of detail about Fox’s electronic suspension control system when it first launched two years ago and Wil rode one of the first bikes that featured it shortly after. There’s mixed feelings in the office about its value for sure with one word summaries ranging from ‘pointless’ to ‘clever’.
It is basically an automatic lockout systems for both shock and fork. There are sensors at both the front and rear of the bike that detect if you are going up, down or even if you are in free fall from a jump. The system takes these measurements every 3ms and a controller then either locks out the fork, shock or both momentarily or for much longer periods. It takes away the need to reach down and turn the levers and happens so fast that Fox claims it turns your ride into the most efficient it can be. When you don’t need it, suspension is locked but it instantly opens up when you do.
Full members can check out Chipps detailed explanation and review below.
Trance X Advanced details
|Model Name||Trance X Advanced Pro 29 0||Trance X Advanced Pro 29 1|
|Colors||Chrysocolla/Astral Aura/Chrome||Carbon Smoke/Metallic Black/Chrome|
|Sizes||M, L, XL||S, M, L, XL|
|Frame||Advanced-Grade Composite front and rear triangles, 135mm Maestro suspension, flip chip||Advanced-Grade Composite front and rear triangles, 135mm Maestro suspension, flip chip|
|Fork||Fox 36 Factory Live Valve, FIT4, 44mm offset, 150mm, 15×110 Kabolt, custom tuned for Giant||Fox 36 Performance Elite, GRIP2, 44mm offset, 150mm, 15×110 Kabolt, custom tuned for Giant|
|Shock||Fox Float DPX2 Factory Live Valve, 185/55, custom tuned for Giant||Fox Float DPX2 Performance, 185/55, custom tuned for Giant|
|Handlebar||Giant Contact SLR TR35, 780x35mm, 20mm rise||Giant Contact SLR TR35, 780x35mm, 20mm rise|
|Stem||Giant Contact SL 35||Giant Contact SL 35|
|Seatpost||Fox Transfer Factory dropper with Shimano remote, 30.9||Giant Contact Switch dropper with remote, 30.9|
|Saddle||Giant Romero SL||Giant Romero SL|
|Shifters||Shimano Deore XT||SRAM GX Eagle|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Deore XTR||SRAM GX Eagle|
|Brakes||Shimano Deore XT||SRAM G2 R|
|Brake Levers||Shimano Deore XT||SRAM G2 R|
|Cassette||Shimano Deore XT, 10×51||SRAM XG-1275, 10×52|
|Chain||Shimano||SRAM NX Eagle|
|Crankset||Shimano Deore XT, 30t with MRP AMG V2 Carbon guide||TruVativ Descendent 6k Eagle, 30t|
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano, press fit||SRAM DUB, press fit|
|Rims||Giant TRX-1 29 WheelSystem||Giant TRX-2 29 WheelSystem|
|Hubs||Giant TRX-1 29 WheelSystem||Giant TRX-2 29 WheelSystem|
|Spokes||Giant TRX-1 29 WheelSystem||Giant TRX-2 29 WheelSystem|
|Tires||[F] Maxxis Minion DHF 29×2.5, 3C, Max Terra, EXO, TR [R] Maxxis Dissector 29×2.4, 3C, Max Terra, EXO, TR, tubeless||[F] Maxxis Minion DHF 29×2.5, 3C, Max Terra, EXO, TR [R] Maxxis Dissector 29×2.4, 3C, Max Terra, EXO, TR, tubeless|
|Extras||Factory tubeless set up||Factory tubeless set up|
|S (Low)||S (High)||M (Low)||M (High)||L (Low)||L (Low)||XL-low||XL-high|
|Seattube angle (degrees)||77.20||77.93||77.20||77.93||77.20||77.93||77.20||77.93|
|Headtube angle (Degrees)||65.50||66.23||65.50||66.23||65.50||66.20||65.50||66.23|
|Bottom bracket drop||40||30||40||30||40||30||40||30|
You see from the data table above the effect of the flip chip on the overall geometry. It’s not an insignificant change in the way the bike performs. You get a good idea of how different things will be when you undo to two retaining bolts and see the bike drop into the low position. It does create a whole new character for the bike.
We’ve had the Trance X Advanced Pro 29 0 for a couple of weeks now and we are certainly going to give it a thorough testing but for our full members here’s my first impressions of this top of the line bike.
The Trance X 29 models will be available in October and the Advanced Pro 29 will be available in December. A full review of this bike will be published for members in October.