Fast and flowing, steep and stony, dust-covered or ravaged with roots, constant switchbacks, tearing along a ridge, or in the deepest, darkest jungle of trees – waterlogged or bone dry – the trails of this world are almost as limitless as the universe, and that’s exactly why we mountain bikers love them. This group test set out to determine the perfect bike for all of these challenges that any ride might encounter – and the results are in! Check out ENDURO issue #016 for the full grouptest and all results!
Update May 2016: We’ve tested a current version of the bike. Check out our Giant Trance Advanced 1 2016 review
The use of Advanced in its name implies that Giant has gone further in terms of progress and development, and that’s exactly what the Trance Advanced 1 is: a first-rate carbon version of a line that was originally launched in 2007. Having undergone almost continuous development, the Trance has once again proven how deserving it is of its name.
Giant have equipped the confident green-and-black carbon frame with most of its own components. Stem, bars, wheels, and seat post – all bear the name of said manufacturer, and perform on par with the rest of the imported parts. The latest Trance incarnation is also specced with solidly-performing RockShox suspension and SRAM Guide brakes, as well as the highly popular SRAM X.0 1×11 drivetrain. If you’re after a grumble, you could expel air over the limited adjustment in the Contact SL dropper, which just gives you only 100mm of drop.
After loop upon loop of challenging singletrack in Provence, the test riders were unanimous: the Giant is the perfect trail bike!
The reasons for this decisive agreement are simple: whatever you ask of it, the Trance Advanced 1 gives the perfect compromise. Be it in its distinct climbing and descending capabilities, or its good handling on descents – no other bike was a match for its playfulness and submissiveness. And none could offer anywhere near as much feedback without forsaking comfort. Perhaps not as competent on the ups as the Scott or the Rotwild, nor as skillful at descending as the Canyon – but, nevertheless, it nailed the golden medium of these extremes. On descents, the incredible Maestro rear was unaffected by torque, and the platform damping does wonders on long, thankless climbs. The travel-adjust feature of the Revelation fork wasn’t required, as we always found ourselves with sufficient pressure on the front despite the offset seatpost.
Compromising has never been this rewarding before! The Giant Trance Advanced 1 has succeeded, like no other bike in this group test, in finding the happiest medium between agility and composure, as well as stability and fun. The result is an undisputed victory for this bike. Looking for a seriously versatile bike? You can stop now – this is the end of the rainbow.
- Extremely balanced handling
- Great chassis
- Light wheels make it rapid
- Rear tends to break away on steep climbs
- Dropper post
- Fork: Rock Shox Revelation RL
- Shock: Rock Shox Monarch RT
- Drivetrain: SRAM X01
- Brakes: SRAM Guide RS
- Seatpost: Giant Contact Sl
- Stem Giant Contact SL
- Bars: Giant Contact SL
- Tires: Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.25
- Wheelset: DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline One
- Weight: 12,05 kg
- Price: 4.299 €
All bikes from the test: ROSE ROOT MILLER 3 | ROTWILD R.Q1 FS 27.5 | SCOTT Genius 710 | Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon 29 | Cannondale Trigger Carbon 2 | Cube Stereo 140 Super HPC Race 27.5 | Giant Trance Advanced 1
Update May 2016: We’ve tested a current version of the bike. Check out our Giant Trance Advanced 1 2016 review. Looking for a more affordable spec of the Giant Trance? Don’t miss our Giant Trance 2 LTD Review
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.