BUDGET BIKE SHOOTOUT
GIANT STANCE 29 1 REVIEW
DREW’S PICK – JUST PLAIN FUN
Photos by Dusten Ryen
Shootout Sponsored By:
ZOIC Clothing & USWE Sports
Giant has long been known as a budget-friendly brand that also makes some highly capable, high-end bicycles for world-class athletes. The Giant Stance 29-1 is a prime example of a bike originally designed for top-tier racers that has evolved into an attainable, $1,800 performance mountain bike. Over the course of our test period all of our testers grew to love the Giant Stance and found it one of the most fun bikes in our Sub-$2,000 Shootout. In fact Drew liked this bike so much that it if he had $2,000 to spend on a bike, he’d pick the Giant and use the leftover cash for a pair of burlier tires. Read on to see why we liked this bike so much.
The Giant Stance 29-1 has a 120mm ALUXX-grade aluminum frame coated in a stealthy olive green paint job. Giant spec’d the Stance 29 1 with an almost complete package from SRAM. SRAM’s SX Eagle makes up the drivetrain with an 11×50 cassette driven by a 30t chainring and SRAM SX Eagle cranks.
The Gian Stance 29-1 is suspended with a 130mm Rock Shox Recon Solo Air fork and a Rock Shox Monarch R shock. The deviation in the SRAM build comes in the form of Shimano MT200 brakes. Many of the bikes we tested had these Shimano brakes and while we found they worked alright, it is an area we look forward to improving as the ergonomics aren’t our favorite compared to higher-end brakes. But then again, we’re spoiled from riding top-shelf bikes. After a few rides, we were more than adjusted to the MT200 brakes and found that they offered enough power for their intended purpose and user.
Giant components make up much of the cockpit, including their Contact Switch dropper post, which brings the bike into the twenty-first century. A pair of 29×2.35” Maxxis Forekaster tires are the bike’s contact point to the earth, and as we’ve said in our other reviews, is something we suggest upgrading almost immediately. Even if you’re not an aggressive rider who will be folding the thin sidewalls over in corners or off the lips of jumps, the lack of grip will not be appreciated by beginners searching for traction on climbs or when trying to slow down on loose terrain.