• Sun. Aug 14th, 2022

The New Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 Trail Bike Gets More Travel And Adjustable Geometry For 2022

Warminsterwobble – Giant, it seems, has been rapidly overhauling every single bike it produces within the Trance line-up (we saw a new Trance X Advanced Pro 29 and Trance X 29 launch last year, then the brand unveiled a new Trance X and Trance X Advanced E+ e-MTB). Today, it’s the turn of the Trance Advanced Pro 29 trail bike.

This time around, the new Trance Advanced Pro 29 gets a fully revamped carbon frame, more aggressive, adjustable geometry, more rear-wheel travel and some in-demand internal frame storage.

Giant says the focus of this new trail bike is speed and efficiency when tackling technical terrain.

Five things you need to know about the new Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 trail bike

  • Rear-wheel travel has been increased from 115mm to 120mm when compared to the outgoing Trance Advanced Pro 29
  • A flip chip allows the geometry to be altered, giving a head angle of 65.5 degrees and seat angle of 76.3 degrees in the low setting
  • There’s internal frame storage within the Trance’s down tube to store essential items for trail repairs
  • Giant is offering three different Trance Advanced Pro 29 builds, which start at £4,799 and top out at £9,999
  • The mid-priced Trance Advanced Pro 29 1 (which costs £5,999) comes with Fox’s automated Live Valve suspension control system to help make the ride as efficient as possible

Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 frame and suspension details

Giant first introduced us to the Trance Advanced Pro 29 four years ago, placing it somewhere between its lightweight cross-country race whippets and burly, heavy-hitting trail bikes.

At that point, you could argue it was one of the earliest short-travel trail machines – commonly now referred to as downcountry bikes.

While the new bike may sound a touch more aggressive, with the hike in rear-wheel travel and changes to the geometry, its singletrack-slaying intentions are very much the same.

Internal frame storage for all your essentials

A hatch part way down the upper side of the Trance Advanced Pro 29’s down tube gives access to the internal frame storage.Giant

One of the headlines here has to be the new internal frame storage. Giant has included a hatch on the upper side of the down tube that allows you to squirrel away key tools should you need to carry out a trailside repair.

Giant claims there’s enough room to stash a CO2 inflator, inner tube, multi-tool and even a snack, which can be wrapped up in the water-resistant bag that’s included. The hatch cover has fittings for a bottle cage, too.

Will more travel make it faster?

Giant has bumped rear-wheel travel up from 115mm to 120mm, delivered using its twin-link Maestro suspension system.

Well, yes, potentially. The 5mm bump in travel over the previous Trance Advanced Pro 29 takes rear-wheel travel up to 120mm, which should help to soak up a lot of the trail chatter but remain efficient and taut enough to feel sprightly when you put the power down.

The 120mm of travel is delivered via Giant’s tried and trusted Maestro, twin-link suspension system. This includes the new Advanced forged composite upper-rocker link, which Giant claims to be not just lighter, but stronger and stiffer than the equivalent link made from aluminium.

Over the years, we’ve always been impressed with the Maestro system, and any long-term test bikes we’ve had have always stood up well to the elements, thanks in part to their double-sealed pivot bearings.

The devil’s in the detail

Giant says it has tidied up the cable ports for 2022, helping them look neater and reducing any irritating cable rattle.

Alongside the bigger, more headline-grabbing changes to the Trance Advanced Pro 29, Giant has also tweaked this and that, here and there in a bid to make it one of the top contenders on the trail.

Giant claims its new integrated cable ports (which guide the gear and dropper hose, plus the rear brake hose) look cleaner and help to reduce any irritating cable rattle when tackling rougher trails.

The Trance Advanced Pro 29 frame has some well-positioned protection on the underside of the down tube and along the length of the drive-side chainstay.

There’s enough room through the rear stays to fit a 2.5in tyre, while ISCG-05 tabs around the bottom bracket allow you to fit a chainguide and bash guard if you’re looking to tackle terrain that’s a little more extreme.

Neatly integrated frame protection helps to shield the frame from rock strikes and trail debris, while silencing any chain slap.

Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 geometry details

As has been the common theme with the other Trance models launched over this past year or so, the Trance Advanced Pro 29 also welcomes the ability to have its geometry adjusted.

Two bikes in one?

Flip chips in the seatstay/rocker link pivot allow riders to switch between the high and low settings, depending on what terrain they’re riding.

Flip chips located in the seatstay/rocker link pivot can be rotated to alter the Trance Advanced Pro 29 angles. There are two settings to choose from – high or low – which differ by 0.7 degrees at the head and seat angle, and alter the bottom-bracket height by 10mm.

In the high setting, the head angle is a claimed 66.2 degrees, while the seat angle sits at a steep 77 degrees (or 78 on the size small frame). This setting also provides 35mm of bottom-bracket drop.

Shift to the low setting, and Giant claims the head angle slackens out to 65.5 degrees, making it possibly the most relaxed in the downcountry bike category. The seat angle does slacken off slightly to 76.3 degrees, but should still feel steep enough for efficient pedalling when seated. The low setting delivers a hefty 45mm of bottom-bracket drop.

Giant has extended the Trance Advanced Pro 29’s reach, too, with figures ranging from 430mm on the size small through to 515mm on the extra large when in the high setting. Reach measurements decrease by 8mm when you switch to the low setting.

Giant’s Adam Craig putting the new Trance Advanced Pro 29 through its paces.

In a bid to help create a well-centred, balanced ride, Giant has opted to use 437mm effective chainstays across all sizes. These grow to 439mm when the bike is in the low setting.

Will these two settings provide two different sets of ride characteristics? The proof, as they say, is always in the pudding, so as soon as we’ve ridden the bike, we’ll report back.

Giant says the high position should be good for riding slower, tighter technical terrain, while the low setting offers more stability and speed.

In our experience, we’ve generally preferred the low setting and the confidence it provides, especially through the turns. That said, having 10mm of bottom-bracket adjustment is nothing to be sniffed at if you’re planning on riding really chunky, rocky trails where you need a decent amount of pedal clearance.

Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 closest competitors

The lightweight trail or downcountry market (or whatever you want to call it) has really gathered momentum these last couple of years.

While some brands use their cross-country offerings as a template before boosting rear-wheel travel and sticking a burlier fork in place, along with a tougher set of tyres (such as the Cannondale Scalpel SE LTD or Specialized Epic EVO Expert that we reviewed earlier this year), other brands such as Nukeproof trim the fat from their trail bikes to create something like the Reactor 290 Carbon ST.

Cannondale’s Scalpel SE LTD is built around fast-rolling 29in wheels.

Steve Behr / Immediate Media

While the former approach tends to yield super-fast, efficient bikes that’ll cover ground quickly, they can struggle on more demanding terrain. Conversely, Nukeproof’s approach helps to create a bike that’s more than at home on tough, technical terrain, but doesn’t quite possess the same muscular zip as those derived from cross-country frames.

Then, of course, there are bikes such as the Transition Spur X01 that we reviewed earlier this year and gave full marks. As a bike that’s been designed specifically for this type of riding (it’s neither been spawned from a lightweight cross-country bike or a burlier trail bike) compromise is limited and the end result is a rocket ship of a bike, whether it’s pointed up or down.

If we were Giant, we’d have set our sights firmly on a bike such as the Transition Spur and attempted to better it. As it stands, it’s a category leader for sure and one that we feel sets the standard.

We can’t ignore the Santa Cruz Tallboy either, which matches the new Trance Advanced Pro 29 in terms of front and rear travel, as well as intentions on the trail.

Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 range overview and spec details

Giant is offering three different Trance Advanced Pro 29 models to choose from in 2022.

All three models use the same Advanced-Grade composite frames, Fox suspension, adjustable TranzX droppers that are easy to adjust (the small gets a 120-150mm post, medium a 140-170mm post, while the large and extra-large use a 170-200mm post) and Shimano brakes.

The tyres across all models are identical, too. Giant has wisely specced a Maxxis Minion DHF 3C MaxxTerra EXO 29×2.5in WT up-front and an Aggressor EXO 29×2.5in at the rear.

The top-tier Trance Advanced Pro 29 0 comes with SRAM’s XX1 Eagle AXS drivetrain and Zipp 3ZERO Moto wheelset, along with Fox Factory suspension.


Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 0

Frame: Advanced-Grade Composite, 120mm travel

Shock: Fox Float X Factory

Fork: Fox 34 Factory GRIP2, 130mm travel

Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS

Brakes: Shimano XTR M9120

Wheels: SRAM Zipp 3ZERO MOTO

Price: £9,999

Unusually, Giant has specced the mid-priced Trance Advanced Pro 29 1 with Fox’s Live Valve system.


Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 1

Frame: Advanced-Grade Composite, 120mm travel

Shock: Fox Performance Elite Live Valve

Fork: Fox 34 Performance Elite Live Valve, 130mm travel

Drivetrain: Shimano XT

Brakes: Shimano XT M8120

Wheels: Giant TRX 2 Carbon 29

Price: £5,999

The more affordable Trance Advanced Pro 29 2 comes with cheaper Fox suspension but the same frame, seatpost and tyres as its siblings.


Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 2

Frame: Advanced-Grade Composite, 120mm travel

Shock: Fox Float DPS Performance

Fork: Fox 34 Rhythm, 130mm travel

Drivetrain: Shimano SLX

Brakes: Shimano Deore M6120

Wheels: Giant TRX 2 Carbon 29

Price: £4,799

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