With much focus on a new TCR road race bike, 2016 spells mostly minor updates and changes on the mountain bike front from the Taiwanese mega-manufacturer. The popular Trance range receive stiffer forks, many models are now 1x11, there are lots of large volume air cans on rear shocks and the Glory downhill bike gains a carbon front triangle option. Style wise, the performance range receives a fresh logo and there is a whole lot of bold paint on offer.
The range continues to be dominated by Giant’s chosen 27.5in wheel size. But 29ers haven’t been killed off completely, with big-wheeled options in both the XTC and Anthem X ranges, and the latter even receiving a few frame updates.
Across many new models, Giant has a new Contact SL Switch dropper post which offers a zero offset seating position, smoother action and a more secure clamp. And every bike features Giant’s new range of position-specific saddles, which are picked based on expected ride style of the respective user.
Giant Bicycles US has released details of its full range online, with the UK and Australia set to follow in the coming few weeks.
The Trance range is broken down into three categories: the alloy Trance 27.5, the carbon Trance Advanced 27.5 and a beefed up Trance SX 27.5 (not available in Australia). All offer 140mm of rear wheel travel via Giant’s continuing Maestro suspension system.
The 2016 Trance Advanced 27.5 1 ($5,000 / AU$5,499 / £TBC)
With exception to the base Trance Advanced and Trance models, all models now offer stiffer forks with Fox 34 or RockShox Pike’s. The rear shocks aren’t forgotten either, with some models receiving the new Fox DPS with EVOL high volume air can for what should result in a very linear suspension action.
Following the forks, all except those two respective base models now feature 1x11 gearing.
Not all Trance models get thicker forks and 1x11 shifting, such as this Trance 27.5 2 ($2,700 / AU$3,399 / £TBC)
Going through a major revamp for 2015, the Reign 27.5 and Reign Advanced 27.5 continue with just a handful of component changes. That said, the super bright Reign Advanced 27.5 1 ($5,500 / AU$5,499 / £TBC) deserves a mention – it should be an immensely popular enduro racer.
The Reign Advanced 27.5 1 is unlikely to be missed in anything short of pitch blackness
The RockShox Pike RC Dual Position 130/160mm fork is matched to a RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir shock. Gearing and brakes are Shimano XT 11-speed, setup with a single ring up front with a MRP AMG chainguide. DT Swiss M1700 Spline wheels round out the build.
Glory goes Advanced
Giant's Glory Advanced 27.5 0 drops a claimed 200g frame weight
Following hot on the heels of the new Glory 27.5, released alongside the updated Reign, the Glory downhill bike is now available in an Advanced model with a carbon front triangle that drops approximately 200g while improving ride quality and stiffness. The alloy rear triangle and associated 200mm rear wheel travel is the same as that found on the standard Glory 27.5.
The Glory Advanced 27.5 range is made up of just two models. The Advanced 27.5 0 ($8,520/ AU$7,999 / £TBC) is race-ready – and it’s been many years since Giant offered such a premium downhill race bike. RockShox handles the suspension with a Boxxer Team up front and a Vivid R2C out back. SRAM X01DH gearing with a 7-speed mini-block cassette and Guide Ultimate brakes keep this looking like a team bike.
Sitting a little cheaper is the Glory Advanced 27.5 1 ($5,650 / AU$5,499 / £TBC), which moves to a Fox suspension and Shimano Zee component list.
The alloy Glory 27.5 1isn't cutting costs with its suspension setup
For those on the stricter budget, the alloy Glory 27.5 will also be available in two models. The Glory 27.5 1 ($N/A / AU$4,999 / £TBC) keeps an impressive RockShox Boxxer Team/Vivid R2C suspension package, but drops some cost with the SRAM GX drivetrain.
At the entry-level is the Glory 27.5 2 ($3,200 / AU$3,499 / £TBC), where a RockShox Domain RC fork is matched to a Kage R shock. SRAM X5 is used for shifting duties. Regardless of the parts, the frame is no different to the model above and so is certainly worthy of component upgrades.
Anthem for XC, or trail
Giant Anthem Advanced 27.5 0
Built for cross-country riding and racing, each Anthem shares the same 100mm rear suspension design. In a slightly overwhelming aproach, Giant offers six versions of the Anthem, with multiple price point models within that making things more complicated still. To make it simpler, we’ve created the basic list below.
- Anthem 27.5: Alloy frame, 27.5in wheels
- Anthem Advanced 27.5: Carbon front triangle, 27.5in wheels
- Anthem SX 27.5: Alloy frame, 120mm front fork, heavier-duty build, 27.5in wheels
- Anthem Advanced SX 27.5: Carbon front triangle, 120mm front fork, heavier-duty build, 27.5in wheels
- Anthem X 29: Alloy frame, 29in wheels
- Anthem X Advanced 29: Carbon front triangle, 29in wheels
Giant Anthem Advanced SX 27.5 ($5,600 / AU$5,799 / £TBC) has an all-alloy frame and 120mm travel
Released last year, the Anthem SX and Anthem Advanced SX models take the Anthem’s cross-country frames and add a little trail flair. This is achieved with RockShox Revelation 120mm front forks, RockShox DebonAir-equipped rear shocks and Giant’s Control SL Switch dropper seatposts. This front fork change slackens the head angle by a degree to 68.5, but will also raise the bottom bracket a touch.
The Anthem X 29er and Anthem X Advanced 29ers get a 142x12mm thru-axle out back, while the alloy Anthem X receives a new top tube design too.
And for the electronic lovers, there's the XTC Advanced SL 27.5 0 ($8,900 / AU$8,699 / £TBC). This high-priced hardtail offers Shimano XTR Di2 shifting, Fox iRD eletronic fork and a PRO Tharsis XC cockpit for stealthy wiring.