The New Gi­ant Trance Ad­vanced Pro 29

A lit­tle travel goes a long way

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Terry Mck­all

A lit­tle travel goes a long way

The tires on our Land Rover De­fender slip and spin as the dou­ble­track path piv­ots left in an im­pos­si­bly tight switch­back, thread­ing be­tween rock out­crop­pings and away, briefly, from the cliff our driver has been travers­ing. At a 35 per cent grade, the drive is har­row­ing, but the new­found space from the edge of the road is breath­ing room to re­lax and col­lec­tively ex­hale. Our group is headed from Santa Ca­te­rina Val­furva in north­ern Italy to­ward the Forni Glacier. The trailer bounc­ing be­hind us is packed with new Gi­ant Trance Ad­vanced Pro 29 0 trail bikes that will carry us right to the glacier’s toe. From there, we’ll de­scend through fields of rock and boul­ders left be­hind by the re­treat­ing glacier, back to the small town where our trip be­gan. Gi­ant’s re­designed Trance line, the sev­enth gen­er­a­tion of its best-sell­ing moun­tain bike, sizes up to 29" wheels for 2019. The com­pany also scales the rear travel back to 115 mm. These aren’t num­bers that would sug­gest a press camp involving noth­ing but shut­tling, but the new Trance is full of sur­prises.

Be­fore we get to ride, Gi­ant’s project lead for the Trance re­design Kevin Dana walks us through the new bike, as­sur­ing us it is ca­pa­ble be­yond its travel num­bers. Adam Craig, Gi­ant’s lead ath­lete for the Trance project, echoes Dana’s as­sur­ances. “I like a short-travel bike, a bike I can get on a chair­lift with with a straight face, and know that I’m go­ing to have a good time,” Craig says. Could the Trance re­ally be both?

From Forni Glacier, we drop into rocky, switch­back trails that are as steep and ex­posed as the route up. Orig­i­nally built for hik­ing, the trails show lit­tle con­sid­er­a­tion for flow. The Trance han­dles it all with ease, feel­ing sta­ble and planted where I ex­pected it might strug­gle.

Part of this im­pres­sive per­for­mance stems from the Trance’s sus­pen­sion. Gi­ant worked closely with Cal­i­for­nia’s dvo Sus­pen­sion through­out roughly

two years to de­velop the Topaz 2 T3 shock and Sap­phire D1 34 fork specif­i­cally for the Trance Ad­vanced Pro frame.

Un­like longer-travel en­duro bikes, the Trance con­tin­ues to ex­cel when the trail flat­tens out to rolling, low-grade de­scend­ing. Where big­ger bikes start to feel slow or wal­low, the short rear travel keeps the bike fun and play­ful. With 29" car­bon wheels and a full car­bon-fi­bre frame, the Trance climbs like a trail bike should. It’s not an XC race hard­tail, but it is nim­ble up­hill and re­spon­sive when you push on the ped­als. This is the beauty of the Trance. Not ev­ery­one lives in Whistler, where gnarly steep de­scents are avail­able by the dozen. But ev­ery­one wants to have fun on the lo­cal trails, whether the de­scents are huge or shorter stretches con­nected to­gether. Gi­ant has em­ployed re­cent de­vel­op­ments in de­sign – a re­duced off­set fork and slacker head an­gles – to make the Trance fun on a wide va­ri­ety of ter­rain. My time on the bike is brief. But go­ing from flow­ing alpine sin­gle­track into steep rock chutes, I glimpse many sides of Gi­ant’s do-it-all trail bike.

Don’t get hung up on travel num­bers. The Trance Ad­vanced Pro 29 isn’t just a big­ger cross coun­try bike. It is a very ca­pa­ble trail bike hid­ing in a small pack­age, with ge­om­e­try and sus­pen­sion de­signed to max­i­mize en­joy­ment on the de­scents. It re­mains light and quick enough to make climb­ing part of the fun, not just some­thing to get through.

Four mod­els of Trance are avail­able this fall: Ad­vanced Pro 29 0 ($ 8,700), Ad­vanced Pro 29 1 ($ 5,650) Ad­vanced Pro 29 2 ($ 4,900) and the Trance 29 2 ($ 3,400).

“The trails show lit­tle con­sid­er­a­tion for flow. The Trance han­dles it all with ease, feel­ing sta­ble and planted where I ex­pected it might strug­gle.”

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