Giant Trance 1 (2017) Review
One of the greatest value trail bikes of all time? Let’s take a look at the 2017 Giant Trance 1!
Trance 1 Specs
The Giant Trance is an upgrade to the 2016 model, as it now features 140mm of rear maestro suspension system, on a Fox float elite. Paired with a Fox 34 performance elite fork with 150mm up front! Coming standard with 760mm Giant contact SL bars (from memory), and 80-90mm reach contact SL stem (which we swapped out for a 40mm Truvativ Descendant stem). Stock built with a contact saddle, and a 150mm contact dropper post, with plenty of travel for nearly anyone! Giant has teamed this Alloy model with the Giant Composite TRX 27.5″ 33mm wide carbon rims, laced on Giant super loud DBL hubs, which are insanely tuff and light! Over all, the 2017 model is an all round beast, which is highly capable, and extremely playful. Braking and gearing is taken care of by Shimano with Deore XT hydraulic breaking and 1×11 drivetrain (11-46t), which is extremely quiet, and generally great shifting!
For the 2017 Trance, Giant went with fox, front and rear! A great choice, and we have been loving every moment on the bike! From climbs to steep downhill, this bike has taken everything that’s been thrown at it! I weigh 78kg, and have the rear shock set to 185 psi, and front fork at 75 psi. I have it all set a little firmer, as it helps the bike feel plush on steep rocky terrain, as well as a little stiffer on tough, prolonged climbs. The front fork is a Fox 34 performance elite, with 34mm stanchions which are more than capable, as well as keeping the weight down! They have open, traction, and locked control to allow for all situations on the trail! An air chamber in the left stanchion allows for extreme customization with just a suspension pump! paired with the Fox float at the rear, the bike feels completely comfortable and capable. With open, traction and locked settings on the rear too, the bike is 100% customizable. Again, with an air chamber, the shock can easily be pumped up to suit your riding style, weight, and preferences!
Giant TRX Wheelset
The Giant TRX Carbon wheelset is an extremely capable set of wheels, made to endure the greatest drops, and the rockiest paths. The wheels have remained completely true throughout the 4 months of hard riding we’ve given it! Running the wheels tubeless (front at 18 psi and rear at 22 psi), they offer fantastic rolling ability, great shock absorption, and outstanding agility! With such a light wheel under the frame, the bike takes corners like an absolute beast! Laced on the DBL Giant hubs, they are super high rolling, and the free hub absolutely squeals down the fast descents! However, the engagement on the rear hub isn’t great.
There is a fair gap between coasting, and pedalling before the cassette actually engages. While not a massive disappointment, I think it would have been a great finishing touch to add a few extra teeth to the rear hub ratchets.
Shimano XT Braking & Gearing
The breaking on this bike is unbelievable, and extremely reactive, After being on Avid Elixirs, Shimano takes the cake! With their XT series, the braking is easy, firm, and offers decent modulation. With reach adjusters which can be adjusted without tools, it is suitable for any size rider. Paired with Ice-tech Shimano 180 mm rotors, the system stays reasonably cool, and offers unmatched braking power! However, on occasion squeaks can develop in the handle lever. To troubleshoot this, just spray a small amount of soapy water, or a very small amount of WD-40, to clean and lube the workings of the lever.
The gears likewise, are a smooth, and quiet system. Offering a large cassette (11-46t), the gears cover just about all bases! However, with a small 32t chainring at the front, it could use a 34t for extra speed on the downhills, as 32t seems to run out faster than it should! However, it still reaches massive speeds on the downhills (in testing this bike on a 32t chainring, reached 64.1km/h). The shifter has a nonslip pattern on both levers, and have a great feel! The shifter can be used both ways on the shift down the cassette, and with the thumb on the way up for maximum versatility.
The bike overall is definitely liked as a whole. The following are a few of our biggest likes about the bike!
Design; The design of the Giant Trance is extremely simple, and loveable. With popping colours, smooth curves, and a mean design, it is very well designed!
Light-weight; The bike, for an alloy model, is extremely light weight. With a carbon rocker, and carbon wheels, the bike has reduced weight in almost every way it can. The light wheelset provides the bike with an exceptional agility.
Components; Just about all components used on the Giant are top quality! Just of race specs, everything is solid, comfortable, and user friendly!
Customization; The bike has 3 settings of firmness on front and rear. So no matter what style rider you are, you can find your sweet spot with no worries!
Price; The bike is priced at $4,999 AU, which is a bargain for what you get!
There aren’t many dislikes to this bike, however a few precautions to take!
Noisy; One thing I like about my bikes is keeping them running silently. However, this bike needs a lot of maintenance done to keep it running so. Some noise is often found from the seatpost.
Stock Stem; The stem that the Giant comes with is a 60mm reach stem. The stem is way too long, looks ugly, and is just unnecessary. We have swapped it to a 40mm truvativ stem, which works 100 times better, and feels great on descents.
Overall for $4,999, this bike does it all! Climbs effortlessly, descends aggressively, is durable, looks great, and has high end components. The bike is light weight, and suits just about all users. Weighing just under 13kg, the bike is going to suit any strength rider, and will be comfortable for all!
Tags: XT XTR Shimano Avid Elixir TRX Wheelset Giant Contact Dropper Carbon Rocker Strength Mechanic Bearings DBL Hub Ratchet Sunrace