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By Singletrack.com Test Crew
Check out the Giant Anthem X1 review.
Giant’s Trance X0 and its five-inches of travel is all trail bike all the way. With the 69.5-degree head tube angle in the 120mm setting of the stock Fox Talas, it’s a little cumbersome on climbs. But the bike excels when descending at speed, gobbling up medium- to big-hits while keeping a stable predictability.
There are a few tricks to counter the bike’s lack of climbing acumen. A one-quarter turn on the Talas fork drops it down to 100mm, putting the head tube into a much more climbing-friendly angle (approx. 70.5-degrees if you go off the standard .75 inch axle variation equaling 1-degree head tube angle change).
As a rider would on many bikes, flipping to the ProPedal setting on the Fox Float RP23 shock during non-technical and out-of-the-saddle climbing makes ascents less sluggish.
And as with most full-suspension rigs the overall feel of the Trance is greatly influenced by air pressure in the rear shock — both climbing and descending. Once dialed in, the Trance offered a ride that wasn’t the most supple over smaller bumps, but otherwise soaked everything else up very well.
“The Trance feels long and stable and plows through stuff without any problem,” one of our testers said.
For an aluminum frame, the trail-centric Trance X0 is pretty damn light (26.7 lbs as tested). With its drawn tubes the bike is fairly rigid, considering the 2010 test rig came with an eighth-inch head tube (Editor’s note: The 2011 Trance X0 will offer a tapered 1/8- by 1.5-inch head tube.).
The recurring theme for the Trance was its stability. The center of gravity felt like it was in the right place, said one of our lighter test riders, which makes for point-and-shoot confidence in most trail conditions.
“It felt like you could let go of brakes and the bike would roll over hits with predictability and nimbleness,” said a tester.
When considering cross-over possibilities with the Trance X0 and the Anthem X1, these two offerings from Giant will serve their riders best by keeping each bike in its respective niche.
The five-inch Trance X0 will take on any trail comfortably, with the only significant penalty being on long climbs. Its relative lightness and rigidity make it a great choice for Super D races as well. The Trance’s geometry makes the bike too relaxed for cross-country racing and not a gas during shorter rides on smoother trails. As we said at the get-go, the Trance X0 is a pure trail bike — treat it as such and you’ll get a treat.