Welcome to Park City, Utah, for the introduction of the latest Giant Bicycles lineup. For 2014, the company has gone into 27.5-inch mode and is offering eight models of the Trance 27.5.
All models are equipped with ISCG 05 tabs while spec alters geometry on the Trance SX 27.5, the most aggressive of the bunch. The SX is equipped with a 160mm travel FOX 34 that rakes the head angle to 66-degrees and raises the BB height slightly.
At the top of the line is the Trance Advanced 27.5 0. At sub 25-pounds we found the “climbs like an XC bike and descends like a freeride bike" statement to be true. This was the bike we spent the most time on at Park City and she performed exceptionally well.
The Trance Advanced 27.5 in prototype form earlier this year, as rallied by Adam Craig. "Advanced" designates a carbon frameset.
The move to the 27.5-inch wheel is a bold one for Giant, and they're the largest company to make the leap to date. In their off-road line, only the Glory, Reign X, and STP will remain in the 26-inch variety.
For 2014, small bump compliance is noticeably improved thanks to the cartridge bearings pressed in the upper link of the Trance.
With suspension set at 30% sag it was easy to feel how effective the Trance was at neutralizing small bumps.
Internal cable routing was missing on Giant's off-road bikes in the past, but they've added it for 2014. Tidy cable routing is a way of life.
Attention to detail with injection-molded protection keeps the bike nearly silent, plus it's easy to replace if needed.
A downtube guard protects the Advanced carbon models.
Interchangeable dropouts are available to those that want options – especially those considering building up a frame from scratch.
Railing! The 142x12mm factory set up was stiff and inspired confidence.
In conjunction with internal cable routing, the Contact Switch dropper post conceals all but the cable that routes from the thumb switch to the head tube cable port.
A hard ano tube and revised lever improves the post's performance as well.
Giant utilizes a proprietary 1.5-1.25-inch tapered steerer tube design known as Overdrive 2. As of today, stems for Overdrive 2 are available from FSA, PRO, Giant and Ritchie.
Going up! The Trance Advanced 27.5 0 climbed with the best of them.
Giant introduced brand new 27.5-inch wheels in both aluminum and carbon. On the trail, the carbon wheels are fast - plain and simple.
The hubs also performed very well with snappy engagement. They sound fast, too.
So how shredable was the Trance 27.5? The platform itself is similar to the Trance you know and love, but improved in many ways. Letting it rip was easy to do, and the bike rarely hesitates over any terrain.
The bigger wheels are more efficient than 26-inch and much steezier than 29. As a skeptic of 27.5 initially, one must ride them to understand. For trail riding, the larger wheel size actually enhances the experience.
For more details on Giant's 2014 lineup, head over to www.giant-bicycles.com. With availability slated for late this summer, you won't be waiting for long.