For 2017 Giant has taken its venerable line of XC full suspension and hardtail bikes and made them lighter and stiffer, and also made significant updates to the shock linkages of some models. Pricing and availability were not available at the time of writing.
More capable Trance and Anthem
Starting with the full-sus rigs, Giant updated the upper shock link using its Advanced Forged Composite Technology. It's a mouthful for sure, but the tech allows Giant to craft the upper link of its Maestro suspension out of carbon, which it claims is lighter, stiffer, and stronger than its alloy counterpart.
The attachment to the shock has also been updated. Giant now uses a trunnion mount on the rear dampers, which bolts to the side of the shock body, instead of to an eyelet on top. This update allows the bike's rear end to be shorter, it lowers the center of gravity, and is claimed to improve both braking and pedaling efficiencies through a lower leverage ratio.
Longer, lower geometry
On both the Trance and Anthem, the top tubes have been lengthened, the head angles slackened, and as previously mentioned, the rear ends have been shortened to make the 2017 versions handle better at higher speeds. Giant acknowledges that XC courses are becoming longer and more technical, so the added stability and aggressive positioning was needed.
Adam Craig, rider for the Giant Factory Off-Road Team, sums up the 2017 Trance by saying: "I’m looking for that one bike that can pretty much handle every kind of trail. With the adjustments to its geometry and the new suspension tweaks, this new Trance gets us even closer to that perfect do-it-all trail machine.”
Both the alloy and composite frames use Boost hubs front and back, and are decked out with Giant's signature technologies, including OverDrive tapered head tubes, massive MegaDrive down tubes, and their 92mm wide PowerCore bottom bracket.
XTC gains plus sizes
On the XTC line up, Giant embraces both 29" and 27+ wheels. Three models are offered, all with composite frames: XTC Advanced 29, XTC Advanced+, and XTC Advanced+ SS.
Sliding dropouts allow for either wheel size, as well as singlespeed swapping ease. Boost hubs front and rear are on tap for all models as well.
Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Carl Decker said: "Now that [the XTC] has multiple personalities, it's more fun and useful than ever. With its ability to switch between 27.5+, 29 and even singlespeed, it’s truly a one-bike solution to all kinds of hardtail fun.”
Giant says the all-new Fathom is a "gateway to singletrack." The Fathom bikes are built to blur the line between a classic hardtail and a more capable trail bike. To make that happen, the 27.5" wheel version uses a 120mm fork and the 29" wheel bike rolls with a 100mm fork. Both sizes run on Giant's ALLUX SL frames, which feature OverDrive head tubes for easy fork upgrades.