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NEW Giant Trance 29er: Long-Term Review

I’ve been on the new Giant Trance 29er for 9 months and it’s time for a review.

The Trance 2019 29er 1 in all its glory

This bike is long-awaited from Giant, and is their first try at a progressive–or at least 2019 standard–29er mountain bike.

It looks good on paper, and I put this bike through the ringer in XC, Enduro, hike-a-bikes and full-on DAQ.

Here’s the story.



This bike is a far cry rom the first-generation Trance, but it ticks a lot of the same boxes. The original Trance from 2005 had 100mm of travel front and rear, and was designed as a kind of do-it-all bike. I used that bike for a lot of my trail rides at the time, and even used it in a 24 hour race where I sprinted to second overall [yes, a sprint after 24+ hours!]. Back then there were very few dropper posts around, and I didn’t have one. The bike was also not that different from my Anthem XC bike, albeit a little slacker in the headtube.

And of course, the wheels were 26 inches.

Uh….sweet ride! The 2005 Giant Trance–I rode this one A LOT

But really, I loved the bike because I could do pretty much whatever riding I wanted on it.

And I fell in love with the idea of having one bike to do everything on.

And then in 2013, the original Trance 29er came out. This bike came out at the original peak of the 29er craze. The wheel size had just burst on to the scene, but nobody knew what to do with the bikes. At this time, the geometry of 29ers really was poor and the tyre choice was slim—and that’s when 29ers got a horrible reputation. The original Trance 29er was no exception to being horrible—this bike was too high, too short and too steep. I rode it pretty well in some local XC in Pennsylvania, but it was a pretty poor choice for my first EWS race in Whistler, BC. The bike felt good nowhere, and I went back to two bikes.