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.

Das Giant Trance Advanced 1 im Stand.
The Giant Trance Advanced 1, retailing at 4.299 €
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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.

Ein Protektor aus Kunststoff schützt den edlen Carbonrahmen am Unterrohr vor Steinschlägen und anderen Beschädigungen.
A plastic protector shields the downtube from damage caused by flying trail debris.
Das kurze Steuerrohr des Rahmens kombiniert Giant mit einer gehörigen Portion Spacern und einem Lenker mit 19 mm Rise. So hat der Fahrer die Wahl, eine tiefe wie hohe Front zu fahren.
Giant balanced the short headtube with a generous number of spacers and 19mm-high riser bars. This gives the rider choice in the height of the front end.
Die Giant Contact SL-Sattelstütze verfügt mit ihren 100 mm nicht nur über zu wenig Hub, sie besitzt auch einen Versatz nach hinten. Eine gerade Stütze mit mehr Hub verbessert also durch eine bessere Sitzposition sowohl die Uphill- wie auch die Downhill-Performance.
Not only does the Giant Contact SL seatpost have too little drop (just 100mm), but it’s also offset to the back. A straight post with more drop makes both ascending and descending slightly easier by giving you a better pedaling position.
Der SRAM X.0 1x11-Antrieb erledigt Gangwechsel nicht nur schnell und präzise, sondern hält die Kette auch im ruppigen Gelände sicher an Ort und Stelle. Für lange Touren im steilen Gelände lohnt sich ggf. der Wechsel auf ein 30-Zahn-Kettenblatt.
Gear changes are swift and precise thanks to the SRAM X.0 1×11 drivetrain, which also keeps the chain in place on rough ground. For long, tough rides you might want to consider changing to a 30-tooth chainring.

After loop upon loop of challenging singletrack in Provence, the test riders were unanimous: the Giant is the perfect trail bike!

Das Giant ist das perfekte Trailbike!
We are 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.

Dem Trance Advanced 1 gelingt in allen Bereichen immer der perfekte Kompromiss
Whatever you ask of it, the Trance Advanced 1 gives the perfect compromise!


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
  • Value-for-money


  • 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

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