Giant is reworking its Trance 29 line for 2022 by adding new frame features and modernizing the geometry. There’s a new storage compartment in the frame, a new flip-chip to customize the bike’s handling and slightly more travel than the previous generation Trance.
This is a significant update to one of Giant’s most popular trail bikes, but it is still a Trance at heart. It is still a well-rounded short travel 29″ trail bike, adept at climbing quickly and having a good time on the way back down. It just has more range – and more storage – than the outgoing Trance model.
What’s new? Trance takes on more trails
The big change to the Trance is that Giant brings its short travel bike further along the “longer, lower, slacker” trend, but with a twist. For those that like the previous generation of Trance, a flip-chip in the rear shock linkage lets you adjust the geometry to be closer to what it was in 2021. In the high setting, the bike sits at 66.2-degrees in the head tube with a 35mm BB drop. In the low setting, the Trance drops to a 65.5-degree head tube angle with 10-mm more BB drop.
For both geometry settings, the new Trance has longer reach than in previous years. The exact amount the reach grows depends on frame size, but it is a significant increase. To keep a balanced position on the bike, and to keep riders in control while climbing, the seat tube angle increases to 77-degrees.
Giant also increases the rear travel slightly for 2022. This brings the rear end from 115mm to 120mm, while the fork travel remains consistent at 130mm. Finally, there’s now clearance for 2.5″ tires in the Trance’s rear triangle. To make this room, Giant had to increase the rear centre by 2mm. This should also add a bit more stability at speed.
Giant's added in-frame storge to the Trance for 2022. Photo: Nick Iwanyshyn
The cover lifts off easily.
Giant includes a purpose-fitted storage bag to keep items contained inside the frame.
The bag will hold a tube, tools, a snack or whatever else you want to hide in the frame
Giant’s also joined the trend to include in-frame storage on the Trance for 2022. There’s a compartment in the downtube below the water bottle bosses which can be accessed by an easily-opened hatch. A twist-lock keeps it firmly closed while riding and a custom-fitted fabric bag keeps anything you decide to store in there secure from wandering around in the frame.
2022 Giant Trance 29: What’s back?
The Trance is still a 29″ wheel, short travel trail ripper. It still likes to climb, relying on Giant’s time-tested Maestro suspension platform for a supportive pedalling platform. While the rear suspension travel inches up slightly to 120mm, the front stays the same at 130mm. Giant resists the trend to over-fork, keeping the weight-to-stiffness balance of Fox’s 34 forks across the line.
On the Trail: Trance Advanced Pro 29 1
While Giant does push the Trance a bit further down the “longer lower slacker” spectrum, it is still an all-rounder trail bike. It still has a balanced feel that is easy to climb and makes descents fun.
It’s been a while since I rode a short travel trail bike and I’d forgotten how exciting they are. The Trance’s 120-mm rear travel may be on the edge of the cross country zone but this bike is more playful than any XC bike while still being a breeze to climb. The Trance is also spryer than a long travel trail bike, especially when the gradient mellows out or the trail mixes pedalling in with the descending. The Trance Advanced Pro 29’s light weight, aided by TRX 2 carbon fibre wheels, makes the bike easy to pick up and move around on the trail. The added reach and slacker “low” setting really help the Trance 29 carve in corners and add a bit of stability at speed and in rougher terrain.
Fox Live Valve at the Performance Elite level is a Giant exclusive. Nick Iwanyshyn
Giant adds clearance for 2.5" tires out back and adds frame protection to the rear triangle. Nick Iwanyshyn
Praxis Girder carbon fibre cranks on the Trance Advanced Pro 29 1. Nick Iwanyshyn
Fox's live valve system is controlled by that small box under the top tube. Photo: Nick Iwanyshyn
Fox 34 Live Valve. Photo: Nick Iwanyshyn
A few extra wires automatically adjust the fork and shock. Nick Iwanyshyn
The Trance still runs on Maestro suspension, electric or not. Photo: Nick Iwanyshyn
In the low flip-chip setting the Trance’s gains on the descents do come at the expense of some of the low-speed agility that the past version had. Switching the Trance into the higher geometry setting for more cross country style riding will help. But it will require more time in both settings to sort out just how much the flip chip can make up for the extra reach Giant’s added for 2022.
Fox’s Live Valve is interesting and seems to suit the Trance’s all-rounded purpose. It makes the Maestro suspension more supportive when climbing while still opening up any time it is needed, without having to constantly reach for a climb switch or sacrificing performance on rolling trails that frequently transition from ascending to descending. It’s a cool move to bring the wireless technology to Fox’s Performace Elite level, an option that is exclusive to Giant at the moment. If more wires aren’t your jam, the higher and lower-end Trance models come with the non-Live Valve shock options.
Pricing and availability – 2022 Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29
There are three build kits available for the carbon fibre frame Trance. Each comes in four sizes from small to XL.
All three Trance Advanced Pro 29 builds come with TransX’ adjustable travel dropper post, Giant’s own Romero SL seat and a mix of Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5″ WT and Aggressor 2.5″ WT both in EXO MaxxTerra casing tires set up tubeless.
Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 0
At the top end, the Trance Advanced Pro 29 0 is decked out with Fox 34 Factory forks, Fox Float X Factory shocks, SRAM XX1 AXS Eagle wireless 12-speed drivetrain, Shimano XTR Trail four-piston brakes and bougie Zipp 3Zero Moto 29 carbon fibre wheels and Giant Contact SLR 35 carbon fibre bars.
Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 1
The Trance Advanced Pro 29 1 we’re testing comes with Giant-exclusive Fox 34 Performance Elite Live Valve suspension. The trail bike goes and stopes with Shimano Deore XT 12-speed drivetrain and XT Trail four-piston brakes. There are more fancy parts via Giant’s own TRX 2 carbon fibre wheels and Contact SLR carbon bars and Praxis Girder carbon fibre crankset.
Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 2
Finally, the Trance Advanced Pro 29 2 packs value in with a performance-focused build. Fox still handles suspension with a 34 Float Rhythm fork and Float DPS Performance shock. That’s paired with Shimano Deore SLX 12-speed drivetrain and four-piston brakes. You still get Giant’s TRX 2 carbon fibre wheelset, but with Contact 35 alloy bars.
Trance Advanced Pro 29 0 – $13,000
2022 Trance Advanced Pro 29 1 – $8,000
Trance Advanced Pro 29 2 – $5,600
All 2022 Trace models will be available through Giant retailers or directly through Giant’s online store.