COMPARISON: 2019 GIANT TRANCE AND TRANCE 29er
WHAT GIANT TRANCE SHOULD YOU BUY? THE BIGGER TRAVEL, 27.5 WHEEL SIZE OR WILL BIG WHEELS, LESS TRAVEL SUIT YOU BETTER? LET'S FIND OUT.
Highlights and the range:
All 2019 Trance 29er models are optimised around 115mm of rear wheel travel and paired to a 13om travel fork. There are 4 models to choose from:
2019 Giant Trance 29er 2 $3,699.00
2019 Giant Trance 29er 1 $5,499.00
2019 Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29er 1 $6,299.00
2019 Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29er 0 $8,999.00
Click on the model to read further details and we’ll explain the upgrades you get at each price point.
Both Advanced Pro Trance 29ers get carbon front and rear triangles. Getting a carbon rear end pushes the price up, but it also delivers way better handling and climbing efficiency.
Both Trance 29er’s are made from Giant’s premium ALUXX SL aluminium. Double butted, light and stiff - the best Giant employ on their performance mountain bikes.
GIANT TRANCE 29er INTRODUCTION
For years the Giant Trance has been our go-to bike. Because no matter what sort of riding our customers were doing it could handle it. It was almost the one bike garage for trail riding.
Until the Trance got a revamp in 2017. Where we saw the Giant Trance 27.5 become a little more gravity-driven; rougher trails, super technical single track and high-speed descents were now its playground. At the expense of it’s climbing ability. It didn’t climb as well as the older generation Trance that used to. It was good but didn’t quite have the same feeling of efficiency under you.
Though a lot of us were expecting more rear wheel travel on the new 29er, 115mm coupled with a low-leverage ratio rear shock is in fact perfect. Especially if you’ll be riding Lysterfield, Red Hill and even Epic at Mount Buller. All these places need a bike that can climb-efficiently (especially Epic) but still be confident descending.
So this is where the new 2019 Giant Trance 29er fits in. Giant really wanted to create the next-generation trail bike. They wanted to deliver the feel and mannerisms of a big-travel mountain bike - without the excess suspension.
Because every-single-millimetre of suspension in that back end has to work efficiently.
Low-leverage shocks are nothing new for Giant. We saw it on last season’s Anthem 29er. Without turning into too much of a nerd-fest, a low leverage shock makes the bike ‘feel’ like it’s got more travel - without the extra travel actually hindering you on the climbs.
All this engineering do-dah essentially means that the Trance 29er doesn’t feel like a 115mm travel bike. It feels more like a 130mm bike.
Another reason why Giant kept it at 115mm is to keep the chainstay length at 435mm. This is the figure that Giant decided on after testing multiple iterations of the Trance 29er over the last few years. They tested long and short chainstays, more and less travel, rocker arm positions, as well as various shock tunes.
At 115mm of rear wheel travel, the Trance 29er is much more capable than it travel suggests. Most riders won't be gapping over Ford trucks - but you get the gist.
THE TRANCE COMPARISON
So, how does the Giant Trance 27.5 compare to the new 29er?
The only thing that both Trance 27.5 and Trance 29er have in common is the rear centre (or back-end) - it’s exactly the same length.
A significant point of difference is the head tube angle. At 66.5 degrees it’s a half-degree slacker than the Trance 27.5 (67 degrees); the slackest we’ve ever seen on a Trance. This should deliver better high-speed stability over technical single track and delivers more Trail.
The new Trance 29er is engineered to deliver 117mm of Trail (the amount of ground ‘contact’ at the front of the bike), compared to 104mm for the Trance 27.5. It’s (almost) the same amount of Trail as Giant’s enduro gravity bike, the Reign (120mm). So we expect the Trance 29er will deliver tonnes of stability and traction on technical descents.
Another difference is the travel. The Trance 29er has 115mm of rear wheel travel (paired to a 130mm suspension fork). And the Trance 27.5 uses 140mm of rear wheel travel (paired to 150mm of suspension).
The extra travel on the Trance 27.5 will help you ride trails with a bit more...fun is probably the best word. You can afford to make mistakes in line choice and the travel will just soak it up. Picked the wrong line over that rock? Or landed that jump a little sideways? No stress, the Trance 27.5 will just absorb, correct and keep on going.
At 115mm of rear wheel travel, you need to be more precise where you place your wheels, especially around technical trail features. Even though the Trance 29er will feel like it’s got more than 115mm of rear wheel travel to give, it still needs to be ridden with more finesse than it’s 27.5 wheel sibling.
So, if you’re riding consists of lots of climbing with mellow, gentle, flowy descents, we’d pick the Trance 29er in this instance. But if you’re the rider who likes to pop and land trail features and loves the super-agile handling, then the Trance 27.5 is the go-to bike.
So which Trance do you pick - the 29er or the 27.5?
Are you the playful type? Do you love bunnyhopping over tree roots and rocks, and love the quick handling and the bike’s ability to make last second direction changes? Do you love to jump? Then you should consider the Trance 27.5.
We foresee the Trance 29er rider to be more conservative, or is very on point with their bike handling skills. So much so that they know exactly where to place the bike on the trail and get the most out of the Trance 29er’s 115mm of rear wheel travel. And by conservative, we mean more point and shoot; no fancy bunny hops over trail features, you would rather monster-truck through than jump.
Ultimately, there’s no such thing as better. It’s simply a case of asking yourself - which Trance am I going to have more fun on? After all, this is why we ride mountain bikes in the first place.
A carbon rear end makes the new Trance Advanced Pro 29ers stiffer. Which always means better handling.