Giant Trance X 2 – First Ride review

Great all-day adventure machine

GBP £1,995.00 RRP | USD $2,852.00

Our review

A comfortable cruise machine that will play as hard as you let it
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While the Trance X frame design remains unchanged for 2009, Giant have tweaked the spec throughout the range to offer even better value for money. Scraping in at just under £2,000, the X 2 offers a smattering of branded finishing kit, to keep up appearances, and a tough drivetrain to keep you trouble-free and out on the trails all day.


Ride & handling: Balanced and capable, on both the ups and downs

The Trance X’s initial relaxed feel soon evaporated when we hit the ‘harder, faster’ button. Dropping an inch of bar height made an instant improvement to its balance and though the low bottom bracket height made us fear for our toes, we soon adapted to and appreciated the stable riding position.

Giant’s Maestro suspension system makes for a roundly accomplished ride that really appreciates a bit of a kick. Serving up a plateful of rubble fields and boulder steps revealed that the capable 125mm (5in) will swallow wallops without a hiccup, and it’s far happier forgiving hammed-up hammering than it is simply cruising along.

Climbing performance is equally adept, whether that involves negotiating tenuous baby head size boulders or cruising fireroads to the top. 

The reasonable weight of 12.5kg (27.09lb) makes an appreciable difference to energy levels on big days out, too. Just sit in and spin, keeping traction at a maximum, and you’ll discover the Trance’s appetite for munching mile after mile of technical amusement without leaving you utterly stuffed at the end of it.

The hydrofromed tubes may be functional, but they’re still pretty: the hydrofromed tubes may be functional, but they’re still pretty

Frame: Stiff, light and elegant with a quality shock

We’re used to seeing oodles of swoopy hydroforming on aluminium frames these days, but the Trance X is an elegant example of how to make a mid-travel design work effectively without creating an eyesore.

Manipulated tubesets make for a stiff, light frame that’s highly upgradeable. The floating pivot point Maestro suspension maximises control throughout and is aided by the Fox Float RP2 shock that helps tame a wayward back end for smoother trails.

Weight saving 160mm rotor on the rear, extra power 180mm on the front: weight saving 160mm rotor on the rear, extra power 180mm on the front

Equipment: Impeccable fork plus top kit from Shimano and Race Face

The 15mm bolt-through Fox 32 F120RL fork is bang up to date and performed as impeccably as we’d expect. The drivetrain is predominantly Shimano XT, with an upgrade to the racier XTR for the Shadow rear mech. The chainset and finishing kit come courtesy of Race Face, with a Deus XC on drive duty and resilient Evolve XC seatpost, stem and bars.


Hayes Stroker Trail brakes are light and functional, and 180/160mm rotors are perfect for substantial trail binges. Kenda Nevegal 2.1 tyres are bread-and-butter capable and we appreciated the soft compound up front, though we’d prefer to see some higher volume rubber for protection on the rocky rubble that it seems to enjoy.

he hydrofromed tubes may be functional, but they’re still pretty: he hydrofromed tubes may be functional, but they’re still pretty

Product Specifications


Name Trance X2 (09)
Brand Giant

Available Colours White/Grey
Rear Hub WTB Laser Lite Disc
Year 2009
Wheelset Laser Disc
Weight (kg) 12.5
Stem RaceFace Evolve XC
Shifters Shimano XT 27 speed RapidFire Plus
Seatpost RaceFace Evolve XC
Saddle WTB Devo Team, CroMo rails
Rims WTB Laser Disc Trail 26"
Rear Tyre Size 26x2.1
Rear Tyre Nevegal DTC
Rear Shock Fox Float RP2
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR Shadow
Available Sizes L M S XL XS
Handlebar RaceFace Evolve XC riser
Front Tyre Size 26x2.1
Front Tyre Nevegal
Front Hub Giant FR 15mm Thru axle
Front Derailleur Shimano XT
Frame Material AluxX SL aluminium, Fluid Formed,Maestro suspension system, 5''/127mm travel
Fork Fox 32 F120 RL 120mm travel, lock out,15mm Thru-axle
Cranks RaceFace Deus XC X-Type 44/32/22
Cassette SRAM PG980 11-34
Brakes Hayes Stroker Trail, 180mm/160mm rotors
Bottom Bracket RaceFace X-Type
Weight (lb) 27.09