Spotted at the US XC Nationals and other recent enduro events, Giant’s new Trance X 29er looks to be a fast, fun and capable big-wheeled trail machine. We will have a test ride in a few more weeks, but we have some new details to share now.
Giant’s first 29er trail bike will be built with butted and hydroformed Aluxx aluminum tubing produced in-house for a claimed frame weight of 2,670g (5.89lb, medium size with rear shock and hardware). Rear wheel travel is set at five inches via the company’s familiar and well proven Maestro dual-link suspension design.
A few key geometry tweaks suggest the Trance X 29er won’t just be a longer-legged version of the current Anthem X 29er, though. In fact, the five-inch bike might end up being the more capable of the two overall. Most importantly, chain stay length has decreased by 10.1mm (0.4″) to 452mm (17.8″), courtesy of the single upright on the enclosed rear triangle, which should make the Trance X 29er more maneuverable despite the increased travel.
The head tube angle is 69 degrees, which should strike a nearly ideal balance between quickness and high-speed stability, based on our experience with other 29ers with similar front-end figures.
Giant will outfit the Trance X 29er with the company’s usual laundry list of frame features: an OverDrive 2 front end with a 1.125-to-1.5in tapered steerer; a 92mm Powercore bottom bracket shell with press-fit cups; and a correspondingly wide MegaDrive down tube. What does come as a bit of a surprise, however, is the fully internal cable routing – at least through the front triangle – including the rear brake and dropper seatpost.
Front triangles will have room for at least one small bottle, too, and direct-mount front derailleurs are used across the board.
While 15mm thru-axle forks are featured throughout the line, one notable omission is a matching thru-axle rear end – something that’s quickly becoming an industry standard. As with the Anthem X 29er, Giant contends that the Maestro design’s enclosed rear end is inherently more rigid than four-bar or faux-bar configurations, so including one would only add weight without adding benefit. Perhaps that’s true, but with an increasing number of companies moving in that direction – even holdout Santa Cruz has conceded – it seems a thru-axle rear would aid in future wheel compatibility down the road.
Giant will offer three Trance X 29er models in five sizes (XS-XL) for 2013:
- the Trance X 29er 0 with a FOX 32 Float 29 FIT CTD fork, Float CTD BoostValve rear shock, and Shimano Deore XT 2×10 group
- the Trance X 29er 1 with a non-BoostValve FOX rear shock and a SRAM X7/X9 2×10 blend
- the Trance X 29er 2 with a RockShox Recon Silver fork and Monarch rear shock with a mix of SRAM X5 and X7 2×10 drivetrain parts
No carbon ‘Advanced’ models have been announced, but given Giant’s standard product development cycle, we expect one to appear in the lineup no more than a year after the aluminum introduction.
We’re slated for a test session in a few weeks time so stay tuned for a ride report next month.
New Giant 29er off-road wheels, too
The bike company will also include new Giant 29er trail wheels for all three models. Details are scant for now but if the company’s recent road introductions are any indications, we expect these to perform well at a reasonable price. According to Giant, wider flange spacing and larger flange diameters used throughout will boost both lateral and torsional rigidity.
The top-end P-TRX 29er 1 model will feature 28mm-wide, tubeless-ready aluminum rims designed specifically for use with wider-profile tires. DT Swiss plays heavily in the feature set with the alloy hub shells featuring the company’s star ratchet driver internals and the rims utilizing clever rim inserts for the nipples that leave a solid – and airtight – outer wall. DT Swiss is also tapped for the 28 straight-pull, three-cross Aerolite bladed stainless steel spokes. Claimed weight for the set is 1,795g.
The P-TRX 29er 2 will use a more conventional double-walled aluminum rim and Giant-branded hubs, plus thicker DT Swiss Competition butted stainless steel spokes. Claimed weights were unavailable but we expect to have complete details some time in August.
Pricing for the new bikes and wheels has not been announced.