As the title says, I dropped by Giant to check out the Trance 29 and was told I couldn’t take it out for a test. Anybody else have a different experience recently? Hard to buy a bike without seeing if the fit is correct.
You’re lucky you found anything in stock! I’ve been looking for a few months and there is not much available in my price range. I’m in a bit of a different situation because no one has a bike in my price range to test (or not), but like you I am probably going to have to buy a bike without so much as sitting on it. And it’ll be months before it arrives. I haven’t committed to a purchase yet because I am nervous about laying thousands of dollars out for something I’ve never sat on nor even laid eyes on.
Unfortunately though I feel like if I don’t put down some money on something someone else might and bikes are going to be coming in the back door already sold.
That’s kind of odd. Is it a COVID-19 thing? I bought my Trance 29 from Giant Halifax last spring. This spring I bought my Revolt from Hub Cycle. I didn’t test ride either come to think of it but I did get in trouble for riding around the showroom, understandably.
What size are you looking at? Mine is a medium and you are welcome to take an easy ride. I’ll bring sanitizing spray and you’ll have to wear a condom for protection.
I bought a bike in june from giant and yes it is a covid 19 thing preventing them from letting us test ride and at that point u werent even allowed in the showroom unless u told them u were gonna buy something.
I wasnt too happy about it either at the time. Spending over 3000 on a bike and not even sitting on it.
I did some research and decided to buy the Trance 3 anyways because i didnt wanna wait for things to get back to normal to test drive a new bike.
I lucked in and bike fits great and i love it but i can totally understand not wanting to buy a bike without sitting on it.
@Coaster2 That’s very generous of you! PM inbound.
I’ve got a large to try if you find the medium too small.
Didn’t test ride either their weren’t any in New Zealand when I pressed the button on it!
Bought my last bike sight unseen online from Commencal. Of course, I’ve ridden a lot of bikes in the past and had a whole spreadsheet of all of the nerdy geo details to compare it, so I was reasonably certain that it would fit before I pressed go on that purchase.
All that to say, you can buy a bike without trying it first. But, this kind of policy, especially given the current state of the pandemic in NS, isn’t doing local bike shops any favours in elevating them over those that can do proper e-commerce. ‘Great service’ is supposed to be a benefit of buying local, but some didn’t get the memo.
well said @brightwhite
We allow test rides where I work. We make sure the bikes are well cleaned after each ride. Unfortunately, we don’t have much in stock, but the 2021 bikes rolling in weekly.
I think that the farther up you go in price the less likely that you can sit on the potential purchase. But in most cases anyone buying a bike that far up the price ladder already has a solid idea based on experience of what size they need.
But yeah not allowing any test rides is a bit dumb.
I haven’t seen any demo days in NS this year for obvious reasons but I saw a few advertised last year. Back in NZ every big brand and a lot of the boutiques had demo days. They’d turn up with all there highest spec bikes and let you have at them.
One store in the Wellington CBD would even let you demo a selection of Yetis and Transitions free of charge during your lunch hour(s). Wellington has two MTB parks within 15min ride of the CBD so you could test anything from killer climbs, flow trails, jump lines and grade 5 tech then head back to the office for a shower. Their philosophy was you couldn’t test ride a bike in a car park.
Other stores would charge you for rental then take it off the cost of the bike which I thought was pretty rough. If you knew the right people and they thought you were serious you wouldn’t have to pay.
If I knew what bike dimensions work for me I wouldn’t be bothered by this, but I haven’t really dialed in what works for me geometry-wise. All I know was that my previous trail bike (Norco Fluid FS, size M) felt too small and resulted in discomfort on long rides, and the Trek Fuel EX (size L) I tried a few days ago felt pretty good, aside from the dropper post being too long and needing to ride it partially lowered (thanks again @dbar for the test ride) .
The Giant Trance 29 (size M) is closer in geo to my old Norco, which makes me dubious that it’ll fit me correctly, and the large Trance 29 has a long enough seat tube that I can’t set my seat correctly at full dropper extension. Pretty annoying! I realise I could go for a shorter dropper, but I don’t want to buy parts to make a new bike fit better. It just doesn’t make economical sense to me.
Typically bike companies do demo days, however, the bikes and folks running the demos come from Ontario and Quebec. Hence, no demos this year.
Most brands these days have fit calculators on their sites to help you choose. You input height, inseam, riding ability and level and it spits out the best option. For my height, I’m right on the cusp of medium or large for many brands these days, and the larger option is suggested for more stability, but I like a flickable bike so that brings me back down to the medium.
Look at the reach, stack height and seat tube length to get a sense of what you have vs what you want. That should be a good start. Then, you can make your decision around angles and chain stay length to achieve the feel you like. Suspension characteristics could also play into it, which you really need to read/watch multiple reviews to get a sense of. It’s a lot of legwork, but even if you could test ride your dream bike, it’s still not going to tell you everything you need to know without a few weeks on it.
Sounds like lots of folks would be happy to offer up their rigs to try out, so that may be a good option before you pull the trigger.
It’s worth (when they reopen) talking to a bike fit specialist if you’re between sizes, they will be able to offer advice to get you dialled in. A proper fit makes a bike feel way better to ride.
Don’t stress about changing bits out on a new bike to get a better more comfortable ride. They’re usually lower spec items than the frame/ drive train and wheels as brands expect people to personalise them.
I’ve used the same saddle and bar/ grip/ brake lever setup on my last few bikes. My preference is a 760 carbon bar over a 780 35mm alloy bar (that every bike seems to come with atm), a Selle Italia flow saddle, ODI ruffian grips and Guide brakes with a swing arm lever (works better for my hands).
I find my Medium Trance 29 a bit small and I am 173cm. With the slacker head tube and steeper seat tube angle than my previous bike, a 2011 Reign, I felt quite cramped. I lowered the stem and shoved the seat all the way back but it still feels a tad small. I’m used to it now. With the longer offset for the bike still turns quickly so I wouldn’t be worried about upsizing. Yeah it sucks having to buy a new post but you can sell the old one or keep it as a spare.
@Coaster2 I’m 176cm, which got me thinking that I probably wouldn’t be happy on the Medium Trance, despite the solid component spec. Unfortunately Giant doesn’t have it available in Large (at least when I checked). I really like the fit of the Trek Fuel EX7 but the build kit is kinda “meh” for the price. Granted, they have offered to install a shorter dropper (130mm vs 150mm) if I want to buy.
My husband has a 2020 Trance 29 in a large. I expect he’d be happy to have you jump on for a quick test ride in the neighbourhood.