Giant Trance review£799.00

One of the first bikes to use Giant's new Maestro linkage suspension system, the 4in travel Trance has been a big hit with tough nut trail riders.As one of the leading bike manufacturers Giant can still pack all the latest technology into an £800 frame.

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One of the first bikes to use Giant's new Maestro linkage suspension system, the 4in travel Trance has been a big hit with tough nut trail riders.

As one of the leading bike manufacturers Giant can still pack all the latest technology into an £800 frame. The Trance gets a full suite of hydroformed tubes and a cold forged 'basket' carrying the shock and bottom bracket. The extended seat post is pipe braced, the chainstays bridge heavily hollowed out and cut out dropouts, rocker links and asymmetric 'celery stick' swingarm uprights are all cold forged too. Cable routing is provided for V-brakes or discs, there's plenty of tyre and mud space and standover height, and the cartridge bearings are all fully shielded from any trail dirt too.

The result is an impressively tough and versatile 4in trail bike, but it's not a light one by any stretch, coming in over a pound heavier than the 6lb mark most 100mm travel bikes hit. The bright side (besides the low price) is that the suspension feels deeper than its actual four inches. Positive and immediate pedal response mixes with an impressive appetite for swallowing drops and rocks without skipping a beat. Punchy riders may prefer to trade small bump compliance for rock solid pedal feel by flicking the RP3 rear shock's lever but otherwise it's an inspiring get-on-and-just-ride setup. The tough, chuckable Trance frame feel is also complemented by a relatively short top tube stretch which makes it easy to throw your weight around in tight situations. The combination of this compact feel and extra weight means racers should definitely be looking at the Anthem instead though

 

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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