Giant’s $1,800 Stance 1 Review: More Traditional Than Trendy | 2020 Pinkbike Field Trip


– I see him look at it, it’s Oriole. – Oh the red thing? – Yeah. (mumbling) Yeah. (mumbling) Oh, go away. (upbeat music) Everybody, I’m Mike Kazimer. We’re here in Sedona, Arizona for the annual Pinkbike Field Trip. We’re taking a look at a bunch
of affordable trail bikes. Right now the focus is gonna
be on the Giant Stance. Giant says the Stance is the perfect entry into singletrack fun, and it’s aimed at new
riders who are interested in getting out on some cross
country light trail ventures as it sits the bike retails for $1800 and includes a dropper post
which is pretty impressive for a full suspension bike. 29 inch wheels, 130 millimeter
fork and 120 millimeters of rear travel. The geometry is relatively
conservative on this bike, the reach on our size
large is 454 millimeters. The head angle is a fairly
steep at 67.5 degrees. Looking at a seat tube angle of 75 degrees. Chainstays measuring at 438 millimeters. Of course, keep in mind this
bike isn’t aimed at riders who are hell bent on
seeking out enduro glory. It’s made more for the
newcomer in the sport. Someone who wants to get
a taste of mountain biking without dropping thousands
and thousands of dollars. This bike is Giant’s Flex
Point suspension design. Basically, it’s a link driven single pivot and you’re not gonna find any bearings on the seat stays or chainstays. Simplicity is the name of the game here. That likely allows them to
save a little bit of money in manufacturing compared
to the more complicated Maestro suspension design, you’ll find on their higher end offerings. What do you get for 1800 dollars? On the Stance, you have an SX 12 speed drivetrain from SRAM RockShox Recon fork,
RockShox Monarch rear shock, Shimano handles the brakes as for the tires you have a fast rolling Maxxis Forecaster tire. The Stance is aluminum frame
has internal cable routing, room for a water bottle
inside the front triangle, chain slap protector on that chainstay and he can even mount the
front derailleur if you’d like. There’s no ISCG tabs. So if you want to run some
type of chain guide system, you have to use that front derailleur mount. Now, one more little design feature we didn’t actually realize
until the bike showed up for testing. It’s uses a quick release. Now we have eight bikes here on test and this is the only
one with a quick release rather than a thru axle. Again, might save a little bit cost, but we’ll talk about that more in the ride impressions as well. Those are the basics. We’ve been riding the Giant Stance
for the last couple weeks, so let’s dive into those impressions. (upbeat music) – Alright, so we’ve been
riding this Giant Stance here in Sedona, Arizona, it’s 120 millimeters in the rear 130 up front. Set up first. Again, it’s got that Recon
fork up front Kazimer, how much air pressure are you running? – Like 120 to 130 pounds, they
recommend somewhere around 85 to 100
– 85 to 100. So you’ve got to over
pressurize the fork again, add an extra 20 psi in there. So just to get that support,
rear end we are going 25% sag, tires, tubeless ready,
20 psi for both of us. And yeah, setup is pretty
straightforward again. (soft music) Let’s go straight do it
climbing, what do you think? – Climbing on this bike,
kind of has more of a almost an old school cross country feel. – like a 90s feel. – Yeah, you’re pretty upright the front end, – You know it’s a little bit
twitchy, pretty steep head angle, not a super long bike, has
a 60 millimeter stem. You got to kind of really
control the steering a little bit more. A lot of these longer
slacker bikes that we ride, they have a more calm handling. – They don’t, it’s not
calmer when they’re slacker. – Now not you if all the numbers go together in a nice package. But it is the lightest bike we have here. 31.6 pounds, which isn’t light
in the grand scheme of thing. But remember, we’re focused
on affordable bikes. So we have some bikes here they’re pushing that 35 pound mark. four pounds makes a difference. So this bike a little lighter, got some faster rolling tires. It does help you get up
to the top of the hill with a little less effort. – Yeah, so if you were a
traditional cross country rider, you’re not riding anything too rowdy you just want to cover a
lot of ground long climbs. Something like that. – Yeah, – For sure. (upbeat music) Alright, so you get to
the top of the mountain, you got to come back down. And that’s where the story
takes a turn for the worst here. – Yeah, it gets interesting descending on this is an
interesting experience. You’ve got those low profile tires, but it’s not really that the tires you can get along with those. It’s the actual frame
itself, the geometry, and potentially the lack
of stiffness I’d say. – The rear end is a quick release. It doesn’t feel like
there’s enough material there. When you get really, when you get into the
really rough fast stuff. It honestly feels like
the bike is just like doing this, like it doesn’t
feel connected front to back. We know it’s a short travel trail bike. It’s not meant for anything too rowdy, but there’s definitely more
capable options out there. – Yeah, it’s always nice to be on a bike and know that has a little
bit more margin for error. This one you’ve got to be on it. And if you push it too
hard, it lets you know. – Hey, but hey, you can get
the rear wheel out real fast It has a front derailleur
mount for your triple. – Ready to go. – So, really, we’re not trying to shit on Giant super hard here. But the bottom line is the frame, it feels like it was made 5, 6, 7 years ago, it doesn’t feel quite as contemporary as the other options here, geometry and construction. – Yeah, does seem a little bit dated. And that’s kind of
what’s frustrating about it. Giants a huge company,
one of the biggest out there, they have all the resources to make a bike with modern geometry and come in at a nice price point. This is bike on paper,
that price is great. And you know, more people
getting into the sport the better. But there’s a number of factors
that kind of really hold this bike back. – Yeah, definitely, I
mean, I would go so far as to say the $1,400 Bossnut is probably a more capable bike and it comes down to the frame. It’s a stiffer frame,
that uses better geometry. – Exactly. – Yeah. (upbeat music) – Now the funny thing here
though, is we’re sitting here and we’re talking shit about this Giant on the downhills Kazimer. I had my fastest time on the descend. Now the descent, it’s not super rowdy, it’s representative of trail bike riding. It’s rough at the top. It’s got some bermy, flowy
stuff, got some jumps. Had my fastest time on this thing. – But how safe did you feel
while putting down that time? – I personally think that I’m just used to riding scary short travel
cross country bikes fast. So it felt okay-ish to me. But we did ride the bike
on a lot of other trails, things that were a lot more challenging, and in those settings,
I wasn’t comfortable. – Yeah, I got my second fastest
time overall on this bike, I think a lot of that
had to do with the climb is my seventh out of eight
slowest for the descent. So climbing is pretty quick, you know, those lower profile tires
a little bit lighter. But, you know, like we said, the descent is where the bike gets held back. (upbeat music) We’re looking at this
1800 dollar bike comes with a dropper post, diving a little deeper
into these components. What’s your favorite
component on this one? – That’s a tricky question cause (laughs) – I can do this one, dropper
post lever on this Contact post. It’s really nice. – Your favorite component on this 1800 dollar bike
is a dropper post lever? – Yeah. – That’s where we’re at. – I know, but it’s a nice
little lever and it works well. I think it’s my favorite cause
I know all these other bikes they have weird clunky
levers that don’t work well. This one nice,job with
that dropper post on a bike at this price point it’s good to see but there are some other
components that are not impressive. – Number one being the brakes. So these are a Shimano two
piston trail bike brake, resin pads, resin pad only rotor
close to zero initial bite. Well, that’s an
exaggeration just not nearly enough initial bite,
not nearly enough power. I never felt comfortable. – No, I mean, there’s a reason
those levers are designed to use three fingers, you almost
need to use three fingers. It’s just the one of the
lowest end mountain bike oriented bike brakes, that Shimano makes. Retail price is very low. You know the reason it’s on this bike, but again, mountain biking,
it’s nice to get good brakes. I also talked about that Recon fork a bit, we keep mentioning it. Again, it’s an entry level fork, you have to kind of put a
bunch of air pressure in there to make it feel decent and at
least hold you up higher in the travel. – If you’ve rideen nicer forks, like if you’ve been on a Pike, you’re gonna notice the difference but if you’re a new rider, you’re just starting out the Recon isn’t gonna be terrible
and I mean for 1800 dollars is probably appropriate for the bike but you will need to
over pressurize the fork maybe put some more low
speed compression on there via the dial up here to make it work Good enough for you. – Yah, I guess hit on the
tires. Maxxis Forecasters are tires they’re appropriate for
this bike fast rolling you could maybe put on
a meatier tire if you want a little bit more traction
but for going quick they’re kind of nice here
in Sedona pretty hard pack with loose over hard pack
they’re pretty predictable and I can handle them just fine. – So you bought yourself a Giant Stance. What are you gonna upgrade, the frame? – Right yeah, that’s the
frustrating part. A budget bike is a great place to start and ideally, you have one
that’s a good solid chassis that you can hang nicer parts
on as they wear out, you know, just with that extra cash flow. But this bike you don’t
have a thru axle. There’s no way to change that. Geometry can’t be changed either. You can’t stretch the bike
or do anything like that, so – I think a lot of trail riders in places where they have the option to
ride more aggressive trails and progress themselves. You’re gonna outgrow this
bike within a year or two. Just starting out. – Yeah, that’s what it comes down to. If you could get a beginner
rider into the sport, there are better options. It’ll give you more room to improve. (upbeat music) – Alright, Kazimer I know
how I feel about the Stance. Tell me how you feel. – Yeah, I think well more
frustrated than anything. You know, the potentials
there like the price point, like the fact that it on paper,
it seems decently equipped. It’s just not modern enough
to make it really worth it. – But if you’re just a casual trail rider, you don’t want to spend a ton of money it’s not gonna hold you back. If you’re gonna end up doing
more stuff on the bike. This isn’t the bike for you. – Exactly, that’s the Giant Stance. Stay tuned for more bikes from Pinkbike’s Field Trip, including a round table
discussion where we talk about the pros and cons
of all these bikes. (upbeat music)

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