Sometimes you look at 2 bikes, which on first inspection seem to have a similar spec and you think to yourself ‘How much difference can their actually be?’ That was my initial reaction when I put the Giant Trance 1 alongside my own 29er dual suspension. The answer that I discovered was quite a lot !
The first thing to be tested was the single chainring set up or 1X if you want to give it’s technical term. Riding down the first 8k to Kilsheelan with Anthony and Dick I found myself in my biggest gear pretty soon and was glad there wasn’t any long tarmac descent ahead. That was the initial and only negative observation. Once I reached the wood I never felt under or over geared, either going up or down hill.
Going uphill was not where I expected this bike to excel. It has the look of a bike that wants to go down hill over rough ground fast, but appearances can be deceptive.
The combination of 27.5 wheels with carbon rims and a suspension set up that enables all of the power that goes into the pedals to propel you forward without any loss of traction really made it glide uphill.
Inside in Tickincor wood I found myself staying clipped in on a very steep rough stretch of climb that I had not managed to get to the very top of in quiet a while.
The laid back head-tube and fork make the bike very stable on fast technical descents and again I found myself pushing beyond where I would normally have found my limits.
At the Nire Valley drop it was a pure joy to ride the Trance. It climbed that first long section without an ounce of trouble and took on every drop with aplomb. I really enjoyed the event and the bike was most definitely a contributory factor.
The Giant Trance 1 made me want to do more Mountain Biking. I enjoy going off road but it is rare that the bike is what makes up my mind for me when choosing to go on or off road. This bike did just that, and I went off road many days when I would have been tarmac bound otherwise.