Giant Trance Mountain Bike Review

4.71 out of 5
WHERE TO BUY    MSRP: $1,200
Rider Questions


Q: I have got a 2008 one and i find that the sram do not work as good as the normal one -Guest

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Product Options (9)
Giant Trance Advanced
Giant Trance 1
Giant Trance 2
Giant Trance 27.5 1
Giant Trance 27.5 3
Giant Trance 27.5 2
Giant trance 3
Giant Trance 27.5 1
Giant Trance 27.5 2

August 9, 2017
Pros: Light weight, just a hair over 30 lbs with pedals. Very fun and flickable on the trail. Fantastic climber, and very capable descender. Fox Rhythm fork is supple and fun for the price. Fox Evol shock is sufficient for this trail bike. Tires and rims are tubeless ready. 1x11 is excellent. SLX components are also very fun and sufficient. Price of $2,899 CDN is unbeatable.

Cons: Nobby Nic's are a little under gunned for the trails this bike was designed for.

Recommendation: Absolute must buy. For those who don't have $5,000 to drop on a new ride, this bike delivers everything the other boutique brands bring, for a fraction of the price. Before buying this bike, I test rode a dozen other bikes, and couldn't justify paying twice the price for the "name". It just doesn't make sense.

February 5, 2015
Model/Year: 2014

Pros: Maestro suspension is great and there are some great components on this bike.

Cons: -The Giant Switch dropper seatpost can be inconsistent.
-The grips didn't last very long.
-The biggest gripe is the Overdrive 2 system that means replacing the upper headset and stem if you change out the fork AND that fork is pretty much unsaleable unless someone else has a Giant bike.

Recommendation: Overall, this is a great bike. I've done some upgrades to make it better such as a Chromag saddle, new grips, and replaced the Fox Fork with a Rockshox Pike. While this bike was great when I got it, the Pike puts this bike on another level. Additionally, knowing that Giant finally abandoned the Overdrive 2 system on the 2015 models makes me sad I didn't wait for the 2015, but a LBS had a great deal on this bike and I couldn't pass it up.

January 25, 2015
Model/Year: 2008

Pros: Had the bike for about 7 years now. Like the way it climbs and descends. The rear suspension does a great job maintaining traction while climbing over roots and rocks. Unless I am riding over ground that resembles pavement, I always leave the suspension unlocked. The bike does a great job in mud and snow. I am using Kenda 2.1 front tire iand 2.5 Kenda in the rear

Cons: replaced the pivots on the rear because the suspension was getting sloppy. Didn't feel much different with the new parts. The bike shop said I stretched out the aluminum on the frame that the pivot hardware attaches to.
Another issue is that under certain conditions, mud or snow can load up in the frame around the back tire and stop the wheel from turning until you clear it out. Here is a video showing the build up

Recommendation: I would definitely buy another Trance.

February 15, 2014
Model/Year: 2014 Trance 27.5 1

Pros: Killer suspension Quick AND Fast Great components for the price.

Cons: Tires don't look that aggressive for mud but haven't had anything but dry here in Cali so far and they have performed well. We'll see...

Recommendation: If your looking for a great all mountain bike that can do everything well, climb, descend, corner and roll, this is your bike. Too much fun!!

January 5, 2014
Model/Year: Trance/2014

Pros: Great suspension
Quick & fast
Great drivetrain

Cons: None

Recommendation: Yes! Buy one!

March 18, 2013
Pros: Not bad. The price you pay for is very good for duel suspension.

Cons: Make sure you don't get sticks caught up in the derailer! Or you will be walking back to the trailhead

Recommendation: Great Bike!

January 10, 2011
Model/Year: 2008

Pros: This bike flat out rocks. Very light and fast. I've owned now for 2 months. I see myself on it for years to come.

Cons: Change the seat

Recommendation: Awesome, nothing else.

December 12, 2010
Pros: Great suspension design. Strong flex free rear end.

Cons: Shimano components were troublesome. Specifically the rear derailleur.

Recommendation: Awesome XC bike. Feels like a longer traveled bike when riding. Bottomless feel to the rear end.

December 19, 2009
Pros: I have a 2008 X1 and love it to bits. It was an upgrade from a giant VT1 and the difference is unbelievable. Most of my friendds brought Anthems but I have a bad back so went the Trance and am very happy. It is a smooth bike to ride over most conditions and climbs very well. I wish I'd brought the XO with upgraded wheels and shock but at the time it was hard to justify the extra $$$$. Being an intermediate rider it has really improved my riding style and speed. It is just a very comfortable well mannered bike and so much better value than it's higher priced competitors. A mate of mine brought a Specialized Ptich and he is very happy with it but the Trance is better at XC for sure. buy one, you won't regret it.

Cons: Seat is rubbish - upgrade immediately and you'll be much happier. I persevered but met a couple of other guys who upgraded so realised it wasn't just me being a wuss.

The 'splash guard' behind the rear wheel is too narrow and I have had stones flicking up at me when I have gone from mud to stony path. One ever got stuck in my rear derailleur and jammed it. Only happened once & may have improved on later models.

Mid-range componentry (non-Shimano) not as good as I expected so wished I'd either brought and X2 and gradually upgraded or bit the bullet and got and XO. Next time I won't go mid-range.

Recommendation: Buy it, buy it now. Go top or bottom of range and upgrade as you go.

March 28, 2009
Pros: The low center of gravity makes this bike very stable over all kinds of terrain, and especially on switchbacks. This is my first full suspension, and it handles technical singletrack like a dream, but also climbs like a mountain goat. Once I got the suspension dialed in, I can force a slight pedal bob when mashing the pedals hard while seated, but out of the saddle pedaling has zero bob, yet the rear suspension keeps the rear wheel glued to the ground over bumps and uneven trail surfaces. Propedal FTW!

Cons: It's a little heavy (28 lbs for a small) but I got thornproof tubes with puncture sealant by mistake that are ridiculously heavy and stiff; I will be swapping those out. Also, I am a clyde so I got WTB freeride rims that should never give me structural problems, but they are not as light as some of the XC rims that are out there. If I swapped out the tubes and rims, I could get it down to about 26 lbs, which is actually quite respectable for a bike this capable. The bottle cage lacks space for a full sized 24oz water bottle. the suspension propedal adjuster is VERY hard to reach while riding. The front derailleur is hard to reach for adjusting, and there is not a lot of room for installing it, finding one that fits can be challenging. (Hint: Shimano FD-M750 or FD-M760 are your best bet) The newer Trance has moved the rear shock and eliminated this issue.

Recommendation: I got this as a 2006 frame with RP3 shock and built it up myself with a Marzocchi fork and a mix of Race Face, XT and XTR components. One decision I am very happy with is getting top notch hydraulic disc brakes, as this bike will fly on technical downhill, and you will need massive the stopping power! The frame geometry creates some challenges for adjusting as mentioned above, but once you get used it, it's tolerable. The flipside is that the squat suspension is very stable through the technical stuff. I've re-ridden two trails so far that I had previously done on my hardtail and it's like they are completely different trails! As for the suspension popping out of propedal, I have only seen this when I attempted to engage the stiffest setting, but missed and pushed the lever too far into the "neutral space" around the top. According to the Fox manual, this no-man's land is equivalent to the softest setting, and won't hurt the shock at all. Just make sure you fully engage the setting you want, and it WILL stay there.