Giant and Liv launch the Trance X and Intrigue 29in carbon bikes

Trance X
(Image credit: Giant)

Earlier this year, Giant brought us a long travel more aggressive version of its trail platform, the Trance X. Just yesterday the brand showed us the pedal-assist version of the 135mm travel trail bike, and now the Giant has added a full carbon frame into the mix for both men and women with the Trance X Advanced Pro 29 and the Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 29. 

While the standard Trance Advanced Pro 29er offers 115mm of rear travel, Giant has tweaked the Maestro suspension on the X version to pump out an additional 20mm of squish, while maintaining an active and efficient rear end. Giant has used a trunnion-mount shock to create a lower leverage ratio and tell us the design also lowers the center of gravity, which combined with short chainstays, improves the bikes' climbing and handling characteristics. 

Trance X

The new Trance X Advanced Pro 29 looks a quite a bit more aggressive than the Trance Advanced Pro 29 (Image credit: Giant)

Just like the eMTB version, Giant has equipped the Trance X Advanced Pro 29 with double-sealed bearings and hardware to keep creaks and crunchy pivots at bay for as long as possible. 

To balance out the bump in rear-wheel travel, Giant has slotted a 150mm fork into the head tube to create a bike that descends like a demon, but can still climb.  

Both the mainframe and the rear triangle are made using Giant’s Advanced-grade carbon, and which the brand tells us shaves 25-per cent off the frame weight — 2100g for carbon frame the vs 2782g for alloy. 

Trance X

The new Trance X Advanced Pro 29 gets Giant's Maestro suspension (Image credit: Giant)

Giant has also added a flip-chip in the upper rocker arm that lets you change the head angle from 66.2-degrees to 65.5degree and the seat angle from 77.9-degrees to 77.2-degrees. Swapping from the high to the low setting also changes the bottom bracket drop from 40mm to 30mm, allowing for the geometry to be tailored depending on if you’re riding fast and flowy terrain, or steep and techy chutes. 

“Our main goal with this bike was to improve its versatility,” said Jan Cees Schellenbach, Giant Global Category Manager Off-Road. “With the flip-chip, you are able to have one bike with two different personalities. In the low position, it is a very capable trail bike for aggressive riding and terrain. In the high position, it turns into a great climber that is still fun to ride on the descents.”

Flip-chips haven’t been particularly common on Giant’s mountain bikes, however, the brand has used some of its Factory Off-Road team as guinea pigs to test it out on the Trance X, including Adam Craig and team mechanic Colin Bailey.

“It was extensive testing and rider feedback that led us to our final strategy of having quite a significant difference between the high and low position,” Schellenbach said. “In addition to that, both Adam and Colin play an important role during our tuning sessions with our shock partners Fox and RockShox. Adam and Colin have completely different styles and preferences when it comes to tuning the feel and performance of the shocks. So when it’s working for both of them, we know we have achieved a great tune.”

Giant has also beefed up the frame protection on the underside of the downtube and chainstay and applied a clear 3M covering on the bottom of the headtube-downtube junction to protect the frame from wear and tear caused by tailgate pads.

There is clearance for up to a 2.5in tire, and the cables are routed internally, including provisions and mounts for Fox Live Valve. As with all Giant bikes, the wheels will come set up for tubeless including valves and sealant.

At launch, there will be three builds available, with the top end Trance X Advanced Pro slated to cost AU$11,499, the Trance X Advanced Pro 29 1 costing AU$7,699, and the Trance X Advanced Pro 29 2 priced at AU$6,599. International pricing and availability are to be confirmed. 

Liv Intrigue Advanced Pro 29

Trance X

Liv introduced an updated alloy Intrigue in August, now it comes in carbon too (Image credit: Giant)

The Intrigue is Giant’s sister brand Liv’s trail platform, and they too have just launched a carbon version with 29in wheels. With a carbon mainframe, rocker, and rear triangle, the Intrigue 29 isn’t just a Trance that has received the shrink and pink treatment; the bike has a unique composite layup, geometry, and suspension tune designed specifically for female riders. 

The Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 is based upon Liv’s 3F design philosophy which draws upon female dimensional data gathered from around the world, to engineer frame geometry specifically from women by optimizing weight distribution on the bike. Liv says this puts the rider in the optimal position for power and efficiency, and the bikes see a custom suspension tune for improved traction and control.

“The Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 is the bike you can take anywhere. It’s the quiver killer that climbs and descends equally well,” said Ludi Scholz, Liv global off-road category manager. “This bike is built upon years of knowledge to deepen the Intrigue lineup and meet all the demands of riding any trail with more versatility than ever before.”

Trance X

The Intrigue gets a flip chip too (Image credit: Giant)

The Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 is also based around the Giant’s Maestro suspension platform with 125mm of rear-wheel travel and a 140mm fork at the front. Interestingly there is no mention of the double sealed bearing and pivot hardware the Men’s/Unisex bike gets. 

However, the Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 does receive the rocker based flip-chip which allows for slight changes to the geometry. In the high position, the head angle sits at 66.8-degrees and the seat angle at 77.8-degrees, and in the low position slackens to 65.8-degrees and 77.0-degrees, while chopping 10mm off the bottom bracket drop. 

Liv is offering the new Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 available in sizes small to large, with no XS available; Liv says the geometry with the 29in wheels doesn’t accommodate such a small frame — the Intrigue with 27.5in wheels does come in XS. In a size medium, the frame reach is 430mm and the stack is 625mm in the low position. 

Similar to the new carbon Trace X, the composite Intrigue receives chainstay and down tube protectors made from a new softer durometer compound, said to improve impact protection and dampen sound. In between the stays, there is room for a 2.5in tire, the cables are internally routed including provisions for Fox Live Valve, and the wheels come out of the box set up tubeless, including valves and sealant. 

Trance X

The top spec Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 sees Fox's Live Valve (Image credit: Giant)

Available this fall (or spring in the Southern Hemisphere) the Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 will be available in three builds with the Gucci Fox Live valve equipped Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 0 version set to cost $NA / €8500 / $AU$ 11,499, the mid-range Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 1 priced at $5400 / €5250 / $AU$ 7699, and the budget Intrigue Advanced Pro 29 2 set price at $3200 / €4500 / $AU$ 6599.

Colin Levitch
Freelance writer

Born and bred in Colorado, and now based in Australia, Colin comes from a ski racing background and started riding as a way to stay fit through the summer months. His father, a former European pro, convinced him to join the Colorado State University collegiate cycling team, and he hasn't stopped since. It's not often he pins on a number nowadays, and you'll likely find him in search of flowy singletrack, gravel roads and hairpin corners. Colin has worked at Bikeradar and is a regular contributor to Australian Mountain Bike and Cyclist magazines. 

Rides: BMC Team Machine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9, Ibis Ripley