Rapid Rob, my Giant Talon 1 hardtail MTB, was not going to be suitable for the last ride of summer without some modifications. The Old Ghost Road is 85km of 'Grade 4' rated trail comprising:
"A legendary feat of trail-building has resurrected an old gold miners’ route between the ghost town of Lyell and sleepy Seddonville on the West Coast, passing through a series of remote landscapes bursting with strange and beautiful sights.
See sheer-sided valleys cloaked in forest and strewn with earthquake debris. Admire alpine tarns, tumbling rivers and waterfalls. Take in vast panoramas from rocky tops. And all on predominantly purpose-built track ranging from fast and flowing to tight and technical. This may well be the ride of your life."
I would need to add a dropper post, at least, but the cost of that was not far off another option. A full suspension bike is strongly recommended and can be rented.
However, once the law of "(N+1*) x bike economics**" was applied to the rental cost it made much more sense to buy one... so I did!
* Correct Number of Bikes is N+1, N=Current Number of Bikes. | ** Money spent on bikes is not real money.
Not sure about that name yet, but it's a mid-range Giant Trance 27.5;
Effectively Rapid Rob's bouncy cousin. It shares similar spec; alloy frame, mid-range componentry, wheel size and frame dimensions (stand over etc) but adds full suspension and a dropper post as standard. Because I'm short prefer 27.5 wheels, over the more fashionable 29er, plus it means some spares (like tyres) will be common between the two bikes although the Trance is set up tubeless (my first experience of that).
One thing which has changed since Rapid Rob arrived in 2014 is drivetrains. Instead of a 3x10 speed rig the Trance has a 1x12. I was curious to compare the gear range, although not concerned about reduced selection as the 3x has lots of near duplicate ratios. Although the range is narrower for the type of riding it will be doing it is better; the lower small gear will make climbing easier. Added my 'Giro Rob' gravel bike for comparison.
|2021 Giant Trance||Giro Rob Gravel Bike
2017 Avanti Giro AR C1*
|Cassette||11-36T, 10sp||10-51T, 12sp||11-32T, 11sp**|
|Smallest Gear||24/36 | 0.667||30/51 | 0.588||34/32 | 1.062|
|Largest Gear||42/11 | 3.818||30/10 | 3.000||50/11 | 4.545|
* Giro 700C wheel close to Talon/Trance 27.5 Inch. ** Cassette changed from factory 11-28T.
Giant Trance 27.5
(from Giant Website)
This is a trail bike that thrives in the most challenging conditions. The frameset is engineered with a lightweight yet super strong and stiff ALUXX SL aluminum frame.
It has updated Maestro rear suspension featuring a trunnion-mount shock and Advanced Forged Composite rocker arm to soak up bumps small and large. You get 140mm of smooth, active rear travel that gives you the traction and control you need to be one with the trail.
Frame geometry is designed around its 27.5 wheels, which deliver both quickness and control on rugged terrain. Up front, you have a 150mm suspension fork for even more confidence. Just pick your line, point it and go.
|Frame||ALUXX SL grade aluminium, Maestro 140mm travel, Boost, ISCG 05|
|Fork||RockShox 35 Gold RL, DebonAir, OverDrive steerer, 15x110mm Maxle Stealth, 150mm travel, Boost|
|Rear Shock||Fox Float DPS Performance, Trunnion mount for 140mm travel|
|Handlebar||Giant Connect trail rise, 31.8mm|
|Stem||Giant Contact Switch dropper, 30.9mm|
|Saddle||Giant Romero (but will swap with my favourite BBB one)|
|Pedals||None supplied, will fit my favourite X Country Singlesided Pedals - Keywin Performance Pedals. One side clip in, other side plain serrated alloy platform.|
|Shifters||Shimano Deore, 12sp|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Deore Shadow+|
Front: Shimano MT420 (4-Piston), 180mm Rotor
Rear: Shimano MT410 2-Piston 180mm Rotor
|Brake Levers||Shimano MT401 hydraulic|
|Cassette||Shimano Deore, 10-51T, 12sp|
|Crankset||Praxis Cadet, 30T|
|Bottom Bracket||Praxis press fit|
|Rims||Giant AM, tubeless|
|Hubs||Shimano MT-410, 28H|
|Spokes||Stainless steel, 14g|
|Tires||Maxxis High Roller II, TR, EXO, Folding, Fr: 27.5 x 2.5” Rr: 27.5 x 2.4”|