I recently picked up a Trance 29 to experiment with a bigger travel bike in the lead up to a planned trip to Derby. Well, Covid may have canned the Tassie trip but the dance with the Trance must still go on!
My regular race rig is an Anthem29, and I love it! It’s light, fast, nimble and after owning 3 in the last 3 years I have it pretty much dialed to fit like a glove. But in Derby, everything is bigger! So a bit more travel was in order.
The Trance29 is Giant’s next graduation in travel to be 130 up front and 115 rear. Yes there are models with more travel however an important item often overlooked is more travel equals more weight (bigger fork diameters, thicker frame sections, fatter bar diameters, wider thicker rims and tires all add up, and on up hills weight is the enemy. So it was important to me to not go for any more travel than required. I also wanted a bike that was suitable for local trail conditions long after the Tassie trip was done.
The other factor is larger travel bikes often have a longer wheel base, created by the 66.5 degree head angle. This together with the reduced fork offset helps provide stability when descending however decreases the ability to turn sharp corners easily. So again, not to go any longer than necessary to keep up the maneuverability.
I decided a 34mm fork diameter max and a twin chamber rear shock would cater for what I was after. I also wanted to save weight where I could also. Features like hookless carbon rims, carbon bars and cranks all made this bike attractive. Stopping power is beefed up with SRAM G2 RSC 4 pot calipers which are super powerful whilst remaining light. An Eagle XO AXS wireless derailleur and
Reverb Stealth AXS wireless dropper post sealed the deal for me.
Since day 1 the only change I have made is to change the tires over from Maxxis 2.3 Minions DHF/R to 2.4 Ardents. This not only shaved off a couple of hundred grams of rotating mass but provided a much more suitable tread to our local trails.
At current spec it’s at 12.2kg which for a mid travel bike is awesome. Its even light enough to be a competitive XC racer and perfect for rougher trail locations like HiddenVale! I particularly like the fact the Trance uses the same Maestro rear suspension platform as the Anthem which minimizes pedal bob (when the bike slumps up and down under pedal power losing some of the power you are putting in) keeping things efficient.
So in summary I wanted a mid travel all trail rider, versatile enough to take the bigger hits but not be too heavy or lose too much maneuverability. The Trance29 has met the brief perfectly. To me it’s the perfect South East Qld trail bike, and I’m delighted to have one! If you are after a Trance, drop in and see the crew at Giant Brisbane. They had a good range of stock on my recent visit.