The Giant Trance Advanced 29 already delivered a convincing performance in last year’s trail bike group test. There was one problem though – the flagship Trance Advanced Pro wasn’t available. So this year we found out whether the higher-end spec makes it a dream bike?
Click here for an overview of the best trail bike in test.
Though there’s no huge Giant logo on the purple Trance Advanced Pro 29, its silhouette immediately gives it away. The flowing curves of the frame and the Maestro linkage are unmistakable! With only 115 mm of travel at the rear and 130 mm up front, this 29er was the apparent underdog of the test. But as you should know by now, it’s not always about the length but how it’s used. Priced at a whopping € 9,499, the Trance Advanced 29 is specced with the finest parts almost without exception. The wireless SRAM X01 Eagle AXS drivetrain and RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post perform brilliantly and ensure a clean look. The RockShox PIKE Ultimate fork is also a good choice for this bike. The 2.3″ MAXXIS Minion DHF and DHR II tire combination is equally fitting and serves to augment the bike’s direct and precise character. The wide TRUVATIV handlebars and matching short stem make for a beefy looking cockpit which instils you with confidence just looking at it. The lightweight Giant TRX-0 carbon wheels contribute to the bike’s low weight of 12.38 kg, making it the lightest on test.
Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29
Fork RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RCT
Seatpost RockShox Reverb AXS 150 mm
Brakes SRAM G2 RSC 180/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle AXS 32/10-50
Stem Truvatic Descendant 50
Handlebar Truvativ Descendant Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset Giant TRX-0 Carbon
Tires MAXXSI MINION DHF/DHR II EXO 2,3
Size S M L XL
Weight 12,38 kg
Travel (f/r) 130/115 mm
Geometry of the Giant Trance Advanced Pro
The geometry of the Giant Trance Advanced Pro is surprisingly progressive for a bike with only 115 mm travel. The long reach makes it nice and roomy, the head angle strikes a middle ground at 66.5° and the seat tube is sufficiently short at 454 mm. It’s striking that the head tube doesn’t grow between the sizes M and L, but a length of 110 mm is standard on many bikes in this category.
Comfort isn’t the Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29’s strong suit – but it accelerates faster than the other bikes on test!
The Trance Advanced Pro on test
Swing your leg over the saddle and the Trance’s light weight and firm suspension immediately motivate you to pedal harder. The bike sprints forward willingly while still offering sufficient traction for technical climbs. The bike is also very quick on flat terrain. When the climbing gets steep, you have to deliberately shift your weight and slide forward on the saddle to bring your weight forward – we would have preferred a slightly steeper seat tube angle to help keep the front end planted. The Trance is not the most comfortable bike on long rides but thanks to the efficient suspension, you’ll be able to cover lots of ground quickly.
Let it rip! For a bike with only 115 mm travel at the rear, it’s surprising what the Trance 29 is capable of.
Firm as the bike is on the climbs, it uses its travel effectively on the descents. 115 mm travel isn’t that much, but the Giant makes the most of it and can easily keep up with bikes that have significantly more reserves. On flat and flowing trails, the direct suspension and balanced geometry transform the Trance 29 into a rocket! However, if the terrain becomes steeper and rougher, you instinctively slow down. Here, the bike’s handling becomes demanding and unforgiving of mistakes but it still punches far above its weight (in terms of travel). We would have preferred an even lower top tube for more freedom of movement when jumping and tackling demanding terrain and as capable as the bike is, it would also be much better off with SRAM CODE brakes instead of G2s with 180 mm rotors.
Tuning tip: larger brake rotors
How does the Giant Trance Advanced 29 compare to the competition?
The Giant Trance Advanced and the Norco Optic could almost be siblings. Both have very direct handling and the rear suspension converts every bit of rider input into propulsion. They both reward an active riding style but also become demanding in rough terrain. Due to its slightly longer geometry, slacker head angle and the steeper seat tube angle, the Optic is even more progressive and balanced overall. The added freedom of movement and the significantly more affordable price also speak for the Norco.
Conclusion of the Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29
The Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 is the perfect cross-country bike for downhillers. It’s an ultra-efficient bike for pedalling and its handling is very direct. Thanks to the progressive suspension, you can let it rip and have a ton of fun on simple trails. In tough terrain, the bike demands a firm grip to be kept under control. And don’t forget the hefty price tag!
- direct and fun handling
- quick acceleration thanks to its low weight
- brilliant paint job
- well specced
- firm rear suspension offers little comfort
- underpowered brakes
- hefty price
For more information head to giant-bicycles.com
The test field
Click here for an overview of the best trail bike in test.
All bikes in review: Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral CFR 9.0 SL (Click for review) | Ibis Ripmo AXS (Click for review) | Nukeproof Reactor 290 (Click for review) | Norco Optic C1 (Click for review) | Orbea Occam M-LTD (Click for review) | Radon Slide Trail 10 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Hightower CC X01 Reserve (Click for review) | Scott Genius 900 Tuned AXS (Click for review) | Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper SRAM AXS 29 (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 X01 AXS Project ONE (Click for review) | Yeti SB130 TLR (Click for review) | YT JEFFSY CF PRO (Click for review)
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Words: Photos: Christoph Bayer, Finlay Anderson, Markus Frühmann, Jonas Müssig