2012 Giant Trance X Advanced SL O

Trance X_Advanced_SL_0

The last of 26″ trail bikes made by Giant. This is my main mountain bike and I managed to buy even this one at about at 30% discount brand new. This is a very high-specced carbon trail bike. Full XTR, Giant Advanced SL carbon frame, DT-Swiss (1550g) rims, kashima-coated fork+shock. This thing is plush! A mate described it as “sitting on a cloud”. It has 5″ of rear suspension ruled via an RP23 shock. The front fork is a TALAS with 120mm/140mm. The latter being amazing for descending. The combo is spot on for ascending / descending at the flick of a dial. For forest-work, 120mm is more than enough for the entirety. Speaking of suspension, the MAESTRO system is simple and awesome. As a mate (Christopher Giuliano) who reviewed a Giant mtb recently wrote:

“I don’t think you can get a better suspension platform than Maestro. You can get a different one, and even a more expensive one, but there isn’t a better one. It doesn’t bob under pedalling, it doesn’t lock up under braking, and it gives climbing traction up a hill, smooths out bumps, and increases braking traction. What more can you ask of it?”

Where this bike shines over other trail bikes (in general) is that it’s light, so it ascends like a rocket. With 26″ wheels it’s like a mountain goat. You can ride this thing all day if you want, it’s so comfortable. I ride for the main in the large chain-ring and the torque it affords is just awesome. IMG_4748_1_filtered_1

artistic version…IMG_4748_1a



 You will notice the Bionicon C-guide on my chain-stay. I have to admit, it has performed quite well,  but it’s not quite good enough unfortunately . Time has shown that annoying chain-slap still occurs. Also, the black ‘guide’ wears and replacements are required over time. I really dont want this thing exploding mid-trail either. Once I am given the OK to mtb again, I will invest in a long cage Shimano XTR shadow plus derailleur.

Most recent changes:

  • Ergon GS1-s Leichtbrau
  • XTR pedals
  • Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.1″
  • Selle Italia saddle
  • Tubeless (Stan’s no tubes)
  • Shelter tape (protective film)
  • Bionicon C-guide
  • Thomson Masterpiece seatpost

The weight of the bike stock, including XTR pedals was 12.2kg. Swapping out heavier parts (seat dropper 600g, Nobby Nic tyres, tubes, etc) has brought the weight down to an awesome 11.3kg. It’s a fantastic weight for trail bike with the travel it has.

I am reconsidering putting the seat dropper back on as upon reflection it was useful in many areas.



Bike specifications


Shelter tape protection



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