Issue #036, Review -

Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 1 Review

The Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 1 is the underdog of the group test. Not only does it have the least amount of travel, but it also costs almost half as much as most other bikes in the test field. Can it still keep up?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike you can buy

Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 | 130/115 mm (f/r) | 12.82 kg | € 4,799

The question that most of you are guaranteed to ask yourselves is: why didn’t you review the Trance Advanced Pro 29 0? The answer is simple: we couldn’t, because Giant doesn’t officially offer that model in Germany. For us, the € 4,799 Trance Advanced Pro 29 1 marks the top of the flagpole. Like all Trance 29ers, it features a 130 mm travel fork combined with 115 mm of rear travel via a Maestro rear linkage. Compared to the other bikes in the test field, the componentry looks cheap. SRAM Guide T brakes and a FOX 34 Performance fork won’t exactly make your palms sweaty. It’s all the more astonishing that Giant specced the bike with its own carbon wheels. There’s nothing wrong with the SRAM GX-Eagle drivetrain and Giant’s 150 mm Contact Switch dropper seatpost. However, the seatpost clamp with its two clamping screws is strange. Despite its “low” price, the 12.82 kg Trance 29 is one of the lighter bikes in the test field.

  The Giant Trance is the Vauxhall Astra among trail bikes – solid technology, but not a great image.

The Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 1 in detail

Fork FOX 34 FLOAT Performance 130 mm
Schock FOX FLOAT DPX2 Performance 115 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide T 180/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle
Seatpost Giant Contact Switch 150 mm
Stem Giant Contact SL 55 mm
Handlebar Giant Contact SL 780 mm
Wheelset Giant TRX 1 Carbon
Weight 12.82 kg
Price € 4,799

Not pretty
Giant cut costs at the wrong end: a slightly larger chainstay protector would do wonders for the paintwork. Unfortunately, you’ll have unsightly scratches on your chainstay after only a few rides.
Very short
Giant uses the same head tube length for size M and L on the Trance 29. A slightly taller front end would have been better, particularly on the large frame. The only remedy is an ugly tower of spacers.
Nice rims!
Giant specs the Trance Advanced Pro 29 with a set of in-house carbon rims. They contribute significantly to the bike’s agility, but we would prefer a set of aluminium wheels, with the savings invested in proper brakes or better suspension.
Tough love
The 115 mm travel Maestro linkage is rather firm, but still managed to convince us with plenty of support and a good amount of progression. But you won’t be getting much comfort if that’s what you’re looking for.

Geometry of the Giant Trance

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 380 mm 431 mm 482 mm 507 mm
Top tube 592 mm 612 mm 632 mm 652 mm
Head tube 95 mm 110 mm 110 mm 120 mm
Head angle 66.5° 66.5° 66.5° 66.5°
Seat angle 74.5° 74.5° 74.5° 74.5°
Chainstay 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm
BB Drop 35 mm 35 mm 35 mm 35 mm
Wheelbase 1154 mm 1176 mm 1196 mm 1218 mm
Reach 426 mm 442 mm 462 mm 480 mm
Stack 599 mm 613 mm 613 mm 622 mm
Helmet Bontrager Rally MIPS | Glasses Oakley Jawbreaker | Backpack Osprey Raptor | Shirt Mons Royale Redwood ¾ Raglan Tea | Short POC Resistance Enduro Mid | Shoes Specialized 2FO Cliplite

The Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 1 on the trail

The low weight is noticeable on the climbs, the light wheels combined with the taut rear end allow the bike to accelerate very easily. The rider’s power is transferred directly into forward propulsion. If you move the saddle slightly forward, the riding position is comfortable too. However, the seat angle could be one to two degrees steeper. Going uphill, the 115 mm rear travel provides enough traction, but the progressive suspension isn’t the most comfortable. The bike’s liveliness also pays off on flat trails. Here the bike sprints forward willingly and impressed us with its firm suspension and very direct handling. Jumping or pumping through rollers – no problem! Due to the short head tube, we recommend mounting all spacers under the stem. Set up like that your position on the bike is nicely centred, making you feel integrated “into” the bike. Despite the short amount of travel, the Giant cuts a fine figure even on technically demanding and steep passages. Its handling is very predictable, always remaining easy to control, though significantly slower than the best bikes in the test field. We generally recommend closing the compression on the fork halfway to prevent excessive diving. The Trance 29 is fast through corners, the weight distribution is balanced and the bike is very easy to manoeuvre. The Guide T brakes and the small 180 mm rotor are really sketchy on long steep descents – we recommend fitting larger rotors or some SRAM CODE brakes right away.

Tuning Tips: Better brakes | Upgrade fork (expensive!)


The handling of the Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 1 is surprisingly balanced and fun, despite the lack of travel and comparatively low price. It climbs efficiently and handles easily on the descents. If you’re not sure exactly what you want, the Giant is a very versatile bike. However, it’s held back somewhat by ill-suited componentry.


  • lots of fun on flowing trails
  • good acceleration


  • brakes are undersized
  • suspension not very sensitive
  • damage to the paint on the chainstay





Value for money

More info at:

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best trail bike you can buy

All bikes in test: Canyon Spectral CF 9.0 LTD | Evil Offering X01 | Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 | Ibis Ripmo | Pivot Mach 5.5 Pro XT | Propain Hugene Highend | Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition | Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01+ | Scott Genius 900 Ultimate | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 | Transition Sentinel X01 | Trek Remedy 9.9 | YT Jeffsy 29 CF Pro Race