Giant Trance 27.5
I rode the Anthem 27.5 at Interbike a few weeks ago and took some heat for marking it down for not feeling “trail” enough for me. So I wanted to try the Trance which is Giant’s 140 travel trail/am 27.5” offering for 2014 and should be more like what I was expecting from the Anthem. This was the top shelf advance version with carbon front and top bling parts which pushes $8K msrp (insert low incredulous whistle).
The Trance felt light and efficient and the fit and geometry still felt a bit too “XC” for this application with a longish top tube and narrowish bars, but overall the large fit pretty well and the bike felt the part. Like the Anthem it felt very light and efficient and I definitely felt more comfortable on it in rougher, more technical terrain. It also stretched back into the XC territory better than the Anthem stretched into the trail category feeling playful and flickable in the tighter, twisty, smoother stuff. This one was much more my style of bike than the Anthem and it worked really well, but there were three or four others in this same category that I liked better. I would love to try the SX version (160 fork, wider bars, bigger tires). I bet it would be more up my alley.
A note on XX1: This particular bike was the best shifting bike of the day but only one out of every three or so bikes set up with 1×11 drivetrains shifted really well. If I’d only ridden the ones that didn’t I would’ve said it was crap and would’ve not recommended it. But there were a couple, like this one and the Norco that I got from the SRAM booth, that shifted really well and totally won me over to 1×11. Not sure what the difference is, but I’m assuming it has to be adjusted just right to shift just right. With professional mechanics setting up all these bikes, I have to assume it’s not easy to get it just right?
I liked these Nobby Nicks and the Giant branded carbon wheels seem to work well.
KRob’s Outerbike 2013 Bike Demo Reviews – Part 2 Coming Soon!