- This entry-level full suspension will give you more confidence to crush challenging descents.
- This is a capable all-around trail bike with a balanced ride that will be great for progressing riders.
- The flexpoint rear suspension system is lightweight, simple, and reliable.
- The weak point on this build is the 10-speed Shimano drivetrain that’s under-spec’d for big climbs.
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If you’re buying your first full suspension bike, it’s hard to know which to get. This review will help you know if the Giant Stance 29 2 is the one for you.
The Giant Stance 29 2 gives solid full-suspension performance at an amazing price. At $1,800, this one of the most affordable full suspension bikes out there. While Giant definitely made some compromises to hit this price, you’re not likely to be disappointed if this is your first full suspension.
I’ve been riding mountain bikes since I was 12, and I love trying out new bikes on my local trails. For this review I dug up all the info I could on the Giant Stance 29 2 to give you everything you need to decide if this bike is the one you should get.
Giant Stance 29 2 Performance
Most serious mountain bikers these days ride a full suspension bike to handle modern mountain bike trails. The Stance 29 2 is designed to be a low-cost option for someone wanting full suspension performance, and it delivers on that promise.
While the geometry is not very aggressive, this is a well-balanced bike with good all-around trail riding capabilities. The Stance 29 shines on flowy singletrack descents and long days with lots of climbing.
If you’ve only ridden a hardtail, a full suspension bike will give you much more confidence to tackle challenging terrain. A slacker headtube angle would make this bike more fun on rough downhills, but the overall design gives you a confident ride for intermediate trails.
The 130mm front and 120mm rear wheel travel may be overwhelmed on really rugged terrain, but they are enough that you can crush challenging descents comfortably.
Where the Stance 29 2 really excels is when climbing. At around 30 pounds, this bike is awesomely light for such a budget full-suspension, and that shows while climbing. This bike is easy to maneuver uphill and will make you feel ready to tackle technical climbs.
The well-tuned rear suspension helps keep your rear wheel on the ground during rough uphill sections without stealing power from your pedaling.
Where you may find a problem is in the gearing. The Shimano 10-speed drivetrain is limited to an 11-46 tooth cassette, which doesn’t give you the best low-range gears for winching yourself up steep hills. For many people this won’t be an issue, but in mountainous areas, a bit more range would be welcome.
Giant Stance 29 2 Frame and Geometry
Giant’s durable Aluxx aluminum frame is well-built and very lightweight for a bike in this pricepoint. With a shorter reach than many other trail bikes and a 67.5-degree headtube angle, this bike is built more for a more nimble, maneuverable ride feel rather than ripping downhill at max speed.
Specs and Components
The components on this bike are definitely selected with the $1,800 budget in mind, but the build has fantastic value and performance. As a system the entire setup works together well to give you a bike you don’t really have to think about on the trail.
A Shimano Deore 10-speed drivetrain gets the power from your legs to the rear wheel. This is a budget-focused drivetrain, but it’s reliable and functional.
The 11-46 tooth cassette gives you a smaller range than modern 11- and 12-speed drivetrains, but with the 30-tooth chainring you still have some decent low gears for climbing.
If you ride in hilly, mountainous terrain, the drivetrain will likely be the first thing you want to upgrade to get better gear range.
The Crest 34 RCL fork offers 130mm of suspension that has been custom tuned for Giant. It’s air sprung, so it’s progressive and gives you plenty of adjustability. This isn’t going to be as buttery smooth as higher-end forks, but it does a great job of flattening out the trail.
The flexpoint rear suspension system with a Suntour Radon rear shock gives you 120mm of smooth suspension travel. This design is a super simple and very lightweight way to give you that 120mm.
All together the suspension system does a great job of keeping you planted on rugged terrain and technical climbs.
The Tektro HD M745 brakes that are included in the build aren’t anything fancy, but they do the job. Combined with the 180mm rotors they offer ample stopping power for this ride.
The wheels are 29er Giant-branded hubs and alloy rims. They are tubeless ready, which is great because converting to tubeless is probably one of the first things you’ll want to do with this bike so you can ride at lower tire pressures for more grip.
The Stance comes fitted with Maxxis Forekaster 29x2.35” tires. These tires aren’t lightweight, but they offer plenty of cornering grip for twisty singletrack descents. These tires are tubeless ready.
The maximum tire clearance on the frame is 2.4”.
The Stance includes the Giant Contact Switch Dropper seatpost with 100mm of travel in size small, 125mm in size medium, and 150mm in size large and extra large. The dropper post is a great addition to this bike, especially at the pricepoint, and puts you in a better position for descending.
What I Like About the Giant Stance 29 2
- The stance has great trail riding capabilities and is a lot of fun on flowy singletrack.
- It has a lightweight, efficient suspension design that keeps you comfortable on long rides.
- The build kit is well-spec’d for the price.
- It’s awesome to have an included dropper post.
What I Don’t Like About the Giant Stance 29 2
- The biggest downfall is the 10-speed drivetrain with limited range for climbing.
- The geometry isn’t as aggressive as some other bikes.
- The short suspension travel and mild geometry don’t make this the best bike for rocky descents.
Competition for the Giant Stance 29 2
The Giant Stance is a capable, versatile, and high-value trail bike, but you never have just one choice when looking for a new bike. In general, the Stance is a very competitive build with similar bikes. It’s shortcoming is the limited 11-46 tooth cassette where other bikes pack in better drivetrains for similar price.
There aren’t very many good full suspension bikes under $2,000, so you only have a few options to choose from. Read on to see how the Stance 29 measures up against the competition.
Giant Stance 29 2 vs Marin Rift Zone 29” 1
At the same price and with similar specs, the Marin Rift Zone 29” 1 is a direct competitor with the Stance. The Rift Zone gets you a better 11-speed drivetrain, slightly more front suspension travel, and a slacker 65.5-degree head tube angle.
While the Marin does have some advantages, it’s also 2 lbs heavier than the stance and doesn’t come with a dropper post. The lack of a dropper is a big difference and may be enough to swing you toward the Stance.
Overall, the Rift Zone is better designed for rough descents, but it’s a bit more sluggish under pedal power. In contrast, the Stance is a quicker, more lively ride.
Giant Stance 29 2 vs Polygon Siskiu D7
Polygon is an Indonesian bike manufacturer that sells direct on their website, so they offer some great value. The Polygon Siskiu D7 is a very similar build to the Giant Stance, with comparable suspension, geometry, and components.
Unlike the Marin Rift Zone, the Siskiu also comes with a dropper post, which is a win.
Overall, I think the Giant Stance provides better value and performance, but the Polygon definitely has an advantage in drivetrain with a Shimano 11-speed setup. If gearing range
Giant Stance 29 2 vs Ghost Kato FS
The Ghost Kato FS is a 27.5”-wheeled bike that competes with the Giant Stance 29 in the sub-$2,000 full suspension category.
Like the other bikes mentioned, the Kato beats out the Stance in terms of drivetrain. It comes with a Sram 12-speed group and an 11-50 tooth cassette for improved gear range.
Beyond the drivetrain, though, the Giant Stance wins in all-around performance. The Kato has a cheaper coil spring shock, is heavier, and doesn’t have a dropper post.
Who Should Buy the Giant Stance 29 2
If it’s your old hardtail bike’s time to retire so you can upgrade to a full suspension, but you don’t have a ton of cash to drop, the Stance 29 is a fantastic option for entering the world of rear squish.
For more aggressive riding, something like the Marin Rift Zone would be a better option, but if you like cruising on flowy trails, you’ll love the Stance.
This is a fantastic bike for someone who just wants to get out on the trail without thinking to much about the bike. For the price, I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.