Giant Stance 29 1 - rider in the air

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 LAB
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.

Giant Stance 29 1 side view

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.

Giant Stance 29 1 Review
Riding the Giant Stance 29 1 downhill

THE DIRT
Since we’re giving away all of the bikes we tested in this shootout we decided to spread the sizes out a bit and Giant supplied us with a size medium Stance 29, which was definitely a bit small for our 5’11 riders. Nevertheless, we made it work in hopes of finding a smaller winner to call this bike their own. After getting accustomed to the short reach and small size, we felt right at home on the Giant Stance. That being said, we’d probably suggest more aggressive riders take a hard look at the geometry numbers as Giant’s reach dimensions are a bit shorter than many newer-school bikes. Sizing up may be something to consider as long as the seat tube will still work for you.

We all gave the Giant Stance 29 1 major kudos for suspension spec, feel, and climbing performance. The Giant climbs quite well, offering a lot of traction and support for riders who like to climb rough and bumpy trails. The 75-degree seat tube angle puts riders in an efficient climbing position while the steepish 67.5-degree head tube angle keeps the handling precise and snappy while navigating the terrain.

Rider turning hard on the Giant Stance 29-1

The same short reach and steep head tube angle did however present us with the only critique we had for the Stance, it was a bit unnerving entering high-speed, high-G corners or big, steep lips at speeds over about 18-20MPH. We are confident that a larger size bike would give us a more stable feeling, however the head tube angle still would be an issue if you’re regularly riding at high speeds over 25MPH or on very steep terrain. The upside is that the bike is a precision machine everywhere else!

The bike is certainly one of the most fun and playful in the bunch and we absolutely loved it on the jump trails. After upgrading the tires, some of our testers agreed that their next upgrade would be a 140mm fork and some burly wheels as this bike is ready to hang it out. When it came to jumpy, flow trails, the Giant Stance 29 1 effortlessly went into orbit and could be moved around mid-air. Landings were smooth and composed, unlike some bikes that had “simple” or unrefined feeling suspension.

Giant Stance 29 1 going off a jump

The Wolf’s Last Word

To put it simply, the Giant Stance 29-1 feels like a bike that should cost more than it does. It is a real value when it comes to the ride quality and performance you get for $1,800. With a fresh set of tires better equipped for mountain biking, the Giant Stance can be an excellent bike to take your riding from zero to hero.

We believe the Stance is equally fun for beginners looking to comfortably venture off-road or for more skilled riders who want a nimble, sporty-feeling trail bike. You don’t need to spend a ton of money to enjoy your local terrain and the Giant Stance exemplifies that. This bike is ready to go out of the box but can also benefit from some pretty easy upgrades in the future as you continue to evolve as a rider.

Price: $1,800
Website:
Giant-bicycles.com

SPECIFICATIONS

CHASSIS
Frame: ALUXX-Grade Aluminum / 120mm
Fork: RockShox Recon RL Solo Air / 130mm
Shock: RockShox Monarch R

COCKPIT
Brakes: Shimano MT201
Handlebar: Giant Connect Trail
Stem: Giant Contact
Shifter: SRAM SX Eagle
Seatpost: Giant Contact Switch Dropper
Saddle: Giant Contact

WHEELS
Wheels: Giant XCT 29″
Tires: Maxxis Forekaster 29×2.35, EXO, TR

DRIVETRAIN
Cassette: SRAM SX Eagle, 11×50
Cranks: SRAM SX Eagle DUB, 30t
Derailleur: SRAM SX Eagle

Giant Stance 29 1 front view at an angle

We Dig

Rides Like it Costs More
Jump Trails!
Playful
Suspension Platform
Color
Looks

We Don’t

Short Reach Numbers

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