Summit Bike Camp - Trance 29, SB150 and Troy 29.
We took three of our favorite bikes for 2019 down to the desert for a proper thrashing. The bikes fall into three categories — aggressive XC, trail and enduro. We rode them on the same trails and same features to get a good feel of what each bike was capable of. We were quite surprised to see the results. Our test tracks consisted of everything snow-free in St George — Zen, Barrel, Barrel Roll, Church Rocks, Suicidal Tendencies and Paradise Rim. We threw everything we could at the bikes — none of them let us down.
Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 1
Aggressive XC (downcountry) - The Trance was the lightest bike out of the bunch. It comes in right around 27 lbs. It’s a great bike for most trails. Light enough for some serious climbing, yet surprisingly capable on the descents — like really capable. I had mine equipped the the Trust Performance The Message linkage driven fork. I’m sure that only helped the Trance go faster. The Trance was one of the most surprising bikes in the test. It just keeps impressing me the more I ride it. Steep climbs? You got it. Rocky descents? Yup. Big hits? Alright, you’ll feel them but you probably wont die. The Trance doesn’t feel like it has more travel than it does. It feels like a short travel bike. What it lacks in travel though, it makes up for in Geometry.
On some chunky downhill sections of Zen, I was only two seconds slower over a few minutes when riding back to back on the Yeti SB150 and Trance. That just goes to show you how capable this little bike is (or how slow I am on big bikes.) It’s fast and precise. The Yeti SB150 was a much more comfortable and confident ride. The top speeds were higher on the big bike too. Where the SB150 started to slow down on tight corners and undulating terrain, the Trance kept its momentum and encouraged me to get on the pedals. It does require you to stay focused, pick good lines and commit. It rewards those efforts with a fun and fast ride.
We rode the Barrel trail for the first time over the weekend. We wanted to ride it on the Trance to see how the bike would handle the bigger jumps and drops. We hit every feature minus one really big drop (we probably wouldn’t have hit it on any of the bikes. It requires some serious bravery.) The Trance handled all of the jumps and drops with good composure. We never felt sketchy on a landing or felt we needed more travel. In fact, the bike has so much pop it made it easier to clear some of the bigger gaps.
Trance 29’s Spirit Dog: Jack Russel Terrier — Small but feisty.
Devinci Troy GX LTD
Trail - The Troy might have been our favorite bike for the trails we rode. It’s a great do it all bike, but it’s no slouch when it comes to getting after it. The suspension felt nice and efficient while climbing, especially considering how plush it is on the chattery stuff. I never once felt the need to use the lockout lever. The Troy doesn’t have an ultra-steep seat tube like a lot of newer bikes, with that said however, the climbing position didn’t feel bad. In fact it felt really comfortable. I didn’t notice the bike wanting to wheelie up every steep pitch. The front wheel didn’t tend to wander. There’s certainly something to be said for a really steep seat tube, but having one is not always necessary. Case in point: the Troy.
Enough with the climbing stuff. The Troy is one of the more confident bikes I’ve ridden lately. It’s very quiet and planted. When you’re riding through the chunder, the bike has the pitter patter that you hear when watching World Cup DH races. You don’t hear weird pings and creaks — just the therapeutic sound of tires on rocks. Speaking of rocks, the Troy loves plowing through them at ridiculous speeds. I rode the Troy 29 GX version with the 150mm Rockshox Pike. Even without the Lyrik that comes specced on the GX LTD build, the bike felt very stiff and stable. I never once felt outgunned.
My only complaint about the bike would be the Super Boost 157 spacing. And, I guess I can’t really call it a complaint — the wider spacing probably has something to do with how bomber the bike feels. My dislike for the 157 spacing is that my calves would sometimes hit the upper shock link. It got a little annoying. Also, I broke a wheel while riding the Troy and couldn’t just swap it for another wheel we had laying around. As Super Boost 157 becomes more common, finding wheel parts will become easier. For now, it’s still a little tricky.
Troy 29’s Spirit Dog: Bulldog - A little wide, slightly squatty but deceptively strong.
Yeti SB150 GX
Enduro - No surprises here — so scary fast. The SB150 looks huge on paper. It also looks huge in real life. In fact, I had to downsize from an XL to a L. It doesn’t climb or pedal like a huge bike though. It feels relatively mild mannered — that is until you point it downhill. The scariest part about the bike is you don’t even realize how fast you’re going. Only when you look back at Strava and see your top speeds do you realize you were nearly breaking the sound barrier. The bike just has that quiet, planted feel. It doesn’t get knocked off line, it doesn’t get in over its head and it doesn’t care what you ask it to do — it just does it and then says “Is that all you’ve got?'“ It’s the kind of bike that makes fun of you for using the coward levers (read: brakes.)
The SB150 made it up the same technical climbs that I was able to clean on the Trance. It took a little more oomph, but the bike made it. I was a little more spent after riding the SB150 than the other bikes, but I think the grin on my face was bigger. The traction was great, due in part to the steep seat tube and the well-balanced climbing position. There were more than a few steep punchy climbs where other bikes would like to spin out as you really put the power down. The SB150 kept that rear wheel glued to the ground.
It’s hard to describe riding the SB150. It’s kinda like riding a cloud — a cloud with some rocket boosters attached. It just wants to go fast. It dares you to brake later and less. It makes short work of chatter and chunder. It’s not a couch (read: sluggish, slow bike that hates anything less than a -40 degree slope), though. The handling doesn’t feel slow, instead it feels quick and responsive. Cornering took a little more input and like other reviews have said, you need to really focus on weighting the front wheel. The way I like to describe it is “You need to ride the bike or it’s going to ride you.” Once you have it down, the stability and traction through corners are rock solid. The SB150 just hugs the ground, until you don’t want it to. It’s easy enough to pop off small lips and rocks. It doesn’t have Trance levels of pop, but it’s surprisingly easy to get in the air considering how grounded it rides.
SB150’s Spirit Dog: Irish Wolfhound - BIG.
Don’t just take our word for it though. Try one of these bikes out for yourself. We have all of the above, including the Trust Message fork, in our demo fleet. Reserve yours today using our online demo scheduler.