Oh, letter X. How we love you. Please don’t ever change. Sure, you’re not getting as much action as you did ten or twenty years ago, but you still have your uses. If an energy drink ever needs to indicate it has more sugar or caffeine, we know you’re on the case. Or if a hip-hop artist needs a little more edge to their call sign, we can count on you. And when a bike gets more aggressive geometry and longer travel, but hasn’t changed its core DNA, you’ve got the job. Giant has been using this most hardcore of characters for years to set apart the burlier versions of their flagship full-suspension bikes. And today, they introduce the Trance X 29.
The X doesn’t mean just a longer-stroke shock, a different link or more fork travel. It’s actually kind of a big deal. Over the years, their Anthem X, Reign X and Trance X have been entirely new models, and the new Trance X joins the club.
The recently rebooted Trance 29 is a115-rear, 130-front-travel short-legged shredder, and it was a masterpiece for Giant’s first re-entry into the 29-inch trail scene in half a decade. But for some, it was an acquired taste. It has the geo and the posture to compete with bikes sitting on an inch more squish, but it insists on doing more with less. Compare it to the Reign 29, sitting on a 146-rear, 160-front platform, and you’ll see the need for something in between. That’s kinda what the Trance X 29 is, at 135 millimeters out back and 150 up front. But exactly where in between is partly up to you.