The Giant Trance was a must when it came to lining up this test field: Not only is it a true classic with a huge fan base, it also utilizes the Maestro suspension platform. And with a more or less glowing performance in previous tests, there shouldn’t be any surprises, right?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: Good times guaranteed! 7 trail bikes under € 3,000 in Review

Giant Trance 1.5 review
Giant Trance 1.5 LTD | 150/140 mm (front/rear) | 13.68 kg | € 2,799

Aside from freshening up the Trance with a new paint job, Giant has made some changes to the spec for this season’s iteration. In the past, we’ve criticized their tire choice for excessively thin sidewalls, and Giant responded by equipping the bike with the excellent MAXXIS HighRoller II. In general, the components on this € 2,799 bike do their job well – well, everything apart from the Shimano XT 2x drivetrain. The Trance comes with dependable Shimano XT brakes, a 150 mm dropper seat post and flawless FOX Performance suspension. The measurements of the cockpit are perfect too, with bars at 780 mm wide, and a 50 mm stem. Spot on!

Helmet Leatt DBX 3.0 | Brille 100% Speedcraft 7 | Shirt Mons Royale Redwood ¾ Raglan Tee | Shorts ION Bikeshorts Traze

On descents, the Trance has such a plush and absorbent rear end that will inspire you with confidence. The 140 mm of travel is very readily put to use and thanks to sufficient progression towards the end, there’s no bottoming out. In spite of the rather steep 67° head angle and the short front triangle (448 mm reach), the Trance offers a highly stable ride. Even through rough sections heavily strewn with rocks and roots, the bike stays true and will hold your line with confidence. Once the trail evens out and becomes more flowing with lots of berms, it’ll be worth your while to use the shock’s adjustment lever to close it off a bit, or it will wallow through compressions and swallow a lot of energy. In trail mode, on the other hand, speed can be built up easily by pumping the bike. The FOX 34 Performance works best when the adjustment lever is closed by about a third, so it’ll remain sensitive but sag considerably less when braking and climbing. In open corners, the bike requires an engaged riding style to generate sufficient grip on the front wheel. At the same time, it rewards the rider with a high degree of agility, especially with quick changes in direction.

  Two-Face: The trance has two sides – fast downhill, leisurely uphill.

Making your way to the trailhead, the Trance is more of a comfortable cruiser. The grippy tires aren’t exactly fast rolling. Also, the saddle needs to be slid as far forward on its rails as possible, so as not to sit too far above the rear wheel. When the climbing gets steep, we reached for the shock’s adjustment lever almost intuitively. Left open, the bike sags into its travel, and you’ll be pedalling from behind. Once you’ve locked out the shock, the Giant will easily climb up every mountain.

Giant Trance 1.5 LTD in detail

Fork Fox 34 Float Performance 150 mm
Rear shock Fox Float DPS Performance 140 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 180/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT
Seatpost Giant Contact 150 mm
Stem Giant Contact 50
Handlebar Giant Contact TR Risebar 780 mm
Tires Maxxis Highroller II
Wheels Giant XC Disc
Weight 13.68 kg
Price € 2,799

The MAXXIS Highroller II tires provide great grip and puncture protection, and their rolling resistance is decent. Our recommendation for trail bikes!
The Giant Contact dropper seat post offers 150 mm of adjustment and can be operated with a very light push. Brilliant!
The final trump card of 2x drivetrains (i.e. its once unbeatable gear range, has well and truly been lost with the introduction of 12-speed cassettes. Time to say goodbye!
The Giant Trance might have a rear end that’s in a class of its own on demanding descents, but it struggles on the climbs and tends to wallow when pedalling.
Slightly closed
The FOX 34 Performance delivers a good performance. However, active riders should close the adjustment lever by about a third.

Geometry of the Giant Trance 1.5 LTD

Size S M L XL
Top tube 580 mm 610 mm 630 mm 655 mm
Head tube 100 mm 105 mm 130 mm 145 mm
Head angle 67.0° 67.0° 67.0° 67.0°
Seat angle 73.5° 73.5° 73.5° 73.5°
Chainstay 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm
BB Drop 15 mm 15 mm 15 mm 15 mm
Wheelbase 1129 mm 1160 mm 1183 mm 1209 mm
Reach 406 mm 435 mm 448 mm 469 mm
Stack 587 mm 591 mm 614 mm 628 mm
The Giant Trance 1.5 LTD convinced the crew on descents with fantastic suspension

  Upgrade tip: Buy the Giant Trance 1 for € 300 extra instead!


The Giant Trance 1.5 LTD convinced the crew on descents with fantastic suspension, very predictable handling, and a lot of reserves for big hits. Regarding climbing and spec, however, it has some weaknesses, and only really performs well on flowtrails when the shock is in trail mode. Should you go for a Trance, we would recommend you opt for the higher-specced Trance 1 for € 3,099.


+ composed
+ plush rear end
+ 150 mm dropper seat post


– wallowing rear end
– sluggish climber


For more information head to:

The test fleet

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: Good times guaranteed! 7 trail bikes under € 3,000 in Review

All bikes in test: Canyon Spectral CF 8.0 | Ghost SLAMR X 5.9 AL | ROSE ROOT MILLER 2 | Trek Fuel EX 8 29 XT | Whyte T-130 S | YT JEFFSY 29 AL Comp

This article is from ENDURO issue #033

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