HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Moving out: Before throwing a leg over the Stance, we didn’t
expect that this budget-friendly option would hold its own against
Giant’s higher-end offerings—bikes with more complex suspension designs, lighter materials and fancier components. We know
from experience, however, not to judge a book by its cover. The
Stance proved on its first few rides that it was a serious machine
and not simply a compromise.
Climbing: Rolling out of the garage, we darted directly to the
nearest incline, a punchy three-mile climb that can make even
the best cross-country racers wince in pain. Once on the dirt, we
noticed the 27.5-inch wheels provided the snappy and quick-ac-celerating feel we love. Both front and rear suspension controls
worked well, which gave the bike a firm pedaling platform and
responsive feel. While the bike impressed us when pointed uphill,
we’re not going to say the Stance climbs like a rocket. Instead,
the bike feels like a heavy rocket ship that takes a little time to get
up to speed and into orbit. It requires a little extra effort to get it
moving, but once the momentum starts rolling, it’s easy to keep
the bike soaring uphill.
Cornering: Flying around fast, sweeping corners, the Stance 0
provides a nice bit of confidence thanks to neutral geometry that’s
neither twitchy nor too sluggish. On smooth terrain, the Stance
handles impeccably with sure-footed stability. On rougher terrain,
however, our testers noticed a quick drop-off in confidence. On
tight switchbacks, the wheelbase feels a bit longer than that of
some of the other 27.5-inch bikes we’ve tested, but not enough to
bother us. The bike is not overly twitchy, but it requires a skilled
pilot to navigate trail chatter when cornering.
Descending: The word “stance” refers to posture and the way
someone stands. With that being said, Giant’s Stance really shines
when completely upright and moving in a straight line. Whether it
be through rough rock sections or super-fast singletrack sections,
No Maestro needed: Giant opts for a modified, single-pivot
suspension design rather than their more complex Maestro
suspension offered on their top-end bikes.