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Giant Stance 1 – 2 & E+1 – E+2 Reviews (2020)

Jeff Balton

Giant Stance 1 & 2

Giant Stance 1 and Giant Stance 2 are here! Can these economical 130 mm trail bikes be your gateway to good times on dirt trails and roads? We think you’ll be impressed by these all-rounders, and we know you’ll like the price!

Giant’s Stance mountain bike line is a fantastic way to save money while you get tooled up for singletrack and other dirt ridings. Proprietary ALUXX aluminum frameset and rear swingarm, FlexPoint rear suspension design and solid component specs are part of what makes Giant Stance worth investigating.

Giant Stance Models

Giant is offering two spec levels for the bike – Giant Stance 1 with more premium components, and Giant Stance 2, a more economical (but reliably solid) build. Each runs 27.5-inch wheels – the best of all worlds for diverse dirt experiences – and each sports 130 mm of plush, single-pivot frame suspension.

However, Giant Stance 29 1 and Giant Stance 29 2 are available as well. The only difference is in the rims, tires, and paint jobs. All other components are completely the same. The prices are the same as well.

Two electric models are available as well, called Giant Stance E+ 1 and Giant Stance E+ 2.

Let’s learn more about them!

 

Giant Stance 1 & 2 Review

Each Stance version is specifically equipped with your budget and intended uses in mind:

  • Giant Stance 2 – The more economical Stance model saves you dough with a less-premium component spec. However, don’t think that there is anything slouchy about Stance 2; it’s ready to rip any dirt trails and roads you can envision, and do it with confidence.
  • Giant Stance 1, the premium build, includes a 1×12 (previously 11-speed) drivetrain as well as a lighter component group. If you’re serious about hitting dirt and mountain tracks and want the right tool for the job, this model is the one you need.

 

Both Stance models in this review employ Giant’s proprietary OverDrive head tube spec: 1 1/8-inch to 1 ¼-inch tapered for lightweight rigidity and industry-standard compatibility.

Technologies used on Giant Stance

Giant Stance 1 & 2 come with a tubeless-ready wheelset.

 

Components

Yes, Giant Stance 1 and Stance 2 offer a nice breadth of alternative prices and component groups.

Giant Stance 1 is the more premium model, offering a few worthy options such as 1×12 gearing, RockShox Recon RL and Monarch suspension components and sealed-bearing hubs.

The Stance 2 also comes with a 1×12 SRAM SX Eagle gearing and Suntour Raidon shock and fork – more than sufficient for MTB fun on most any trail.

Giant equips the Stance with well-known and reliable component brands, including RockShox, Suntour, Shimano, TranzX, KMC, FSA, Sapim and Maxxis – along with its own Giant-branded components.

Giant Stance 1, as you’d expect, shaves some grams with its more premium components, but Stance 2 does not weigh a lot more.

Main Differences

Aside from overall weight, the principal difference between these two models is the suspension. Stance 1 sports a much more sophisticated RockShox Recon RL fork and Monarch R rear shock.

On the other hand, Stance 2 rides on a Raidon 34 fork and Raidon R shock. Both SR Suntour and RockShox forks have air springs and offer 130 mm of travel. The differences are in adjustability and subjective feel.

Stance 2 rear shock and drivetrain

Giant Stance 2 Raidon R rear shock and SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain.

Sadly, Stance 2 has a regular seat post, so if you want a dropper setup, you’ll need to get Stance 1. The cockpits are rounded out with a well-designed Giant handlebar, stem and saddle.

Brakes and Tires

Generous stopping power is supplied by Shimano MT200 hydraulic disk brakes on both models. Rotor sizes are 160 mm rear and 180 mm front, a nice, lightweight combo for confidently checking your speed with a single finger on each lever.

Wheels include Giant’s brand disk-specific, tubeless rims and hubs, Sapim spokes and Maxxis Rekon (front) and Maxxis Ardent (rear) tubeless-ready knobby tires on 27.5″ models. They’re 2.6″ wide.

The 29″ models come with Giant’s XCT wheels and Maxxis Forekaster 29×2.35 tubeless-ready tires.

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Suspension & Wheels

Giant Stance 1 RockShox Recon RL fork.

Giant Stance 1 RockShox Recon RL Solo Air fork.

Giant is well known for innovative and highly functional suspension design, and the Stance line incorporates that expertise. The single-pivot design of the Stance framesets provides super solid and reliable squish and will require less maintenance going forward than more intricate suspension designs.

FlexPoint technology, exclusive to Giant bikes, eliminates extraneous linkage and swingarm pivots, resulting in a lighter design with fewer moving and connecting parts.

All suspension shock and fork options for the Stance include adjustable damping thresholds, rebound and low-speed compression – just like premium bikes costing thousands more.

All Giant Stance models provide riders with more than enough grip and stability on rough trails and dirt roads.

Front and rear Maxxis knobbies combined with 130 mm of front and rear suspension equal a very versatile off-road bike that can handle any all-rounder MTB fare, whether that’s eating up gravel roads all day or climbing and descending steep singletrack.

More expensive 2020 Stance models include a dropper seat post with handlebar remote, but all models come with hydraulic disk brakes that stop on a dime.

 

Sizes

Giant covers nearly every rider – from under 5’2” to over 6’8” in height – with frame size designations as XS, S, M, L and XL:

  • XS for rider height 5’2″ – 5’5″
  • S for rider height 5’5″ – 5’8″
  • M for rider height 5’8″ – 5’11”
  • L for rider height 5’11” – 6’2″
  • XL for rider height 6’2″ – 6’4″

 

However, the 29″ and electric models are available in four distinct sizes:

  • S for rider height 5’4″ – 5’8″
  • M for rider height 5’7″ – 5’11”
  • L for rider height 5’10” – 6’2″
  • XL for rider height 6’2″ – 6’6″

 

Pros and Cons

Giant Stance 1 Rear Shock

Giant Stance 1 RockShox Monarch R Rear Shock.

While no bike will work fantastically for every riding application, the Stance covers a lot of ground. For both the Giant Stance 1 and Giant Stance 2 we noted:

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Proven Giant design and durable construction
  • Solid component specs on both models
  • Tubeless rims and tires
  • 130 mm travel works well for a range of terrain
  • Wide knobby tires perform well in a range of surface conditions. From loose dirt to hardpacked roads.

Cons:

  • Press-fit bottom bracket requires specialized tools and supplies to service
  • Economical mountain bikes tend to be on the heavy side
  • Minimal selection of frame colors

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User Reviews

Stance 29 2 Maxxis Tires

Giant Stance 29 2 with Maxxis Forekaster tires.

Let’s talk about other Stance 1 and Stance 2 reviews.

The comments from Stance owners and reviewers have been overwhelmingly positive, and many cite similar aspects of the Stance as the reasons why they appreciate it.

Number one is value.

Giant has carved a well-deserved reputation for itself in this regard, and that is not lost on consumers and bike reviewers. Giant bikes at all price points share this trait, but reviewers found the Stance is a stand-out in this regard, as noted by the performance and capability of both Stance models.

But “value” also speaks to the bike, its components and how well the package works as a unit. There, again, reviewers were quick to notice the great performance and comfort of the bike – regardless of its low price.

Positive aspects of the Stance that were noted by owners and reviewers included its overall comfort, paddle-style dropper remote, stable combination of 780 mm bar with 50 mm stem, and on-the-fly adjustable frame shock and fork.

 

Giant Stance E+ 1 Pro & E+ 2 Power Electric Bikes

 

Stance E+ 1 Pro 29Giant Stance 1 and Giant Stance 2 have finally gotten their electric twins. We can see that they are quite modern and offer a lot in terms of specs and technology. The introduction of e-bikes to the cycling world has been one of the biggest revolutions in the cycling industry. It has allowed riders to explore wider and further and go beyond what they had previously thought were their limits.

Giant Stance E+ 1 Pro and E+ 2 Power are mid-range full suspension e-bikes that have a lot of similarities with the original Stance models. However,  they come with a modern surprise in the form of Giant’s SyncDrive Sport Motor.

It develops 80 Nm of torque and provides up to 360% tuneable assistance on the trail. The 500 W battery is elegantly integrated inside the downtube and seamlessly continues towards the bottom bracket, where the motor is stashed.

A neat surprise when investigating the Giant Stance E+ 2 and E+ 1 is the high-grade ALUXX SL aluminum frame. The bike is built around this Giant’s high-end frame that can be seen on some of their more expensive models. Therefore, it’s a big plus that they have built these full-suspension e-bikes around it.

Best For Whom?

These Stance electric models are perfect for those who are recovering from an injury or are entering old age. But, simply disliking grinding up a steep hill is a reason enough to buy an e-bike as well. It’ll let you go on longer rides once again and climb hills like you used to do before.

Giant Stance E+ 1 Pro and E+ 2 Power are great choices if you want to ride longer with less effort.

That said, Stance E+ 2 is more suitable for recreational riders who do not plan to take their bike to the extremes on every ride. If you’re a weekend warrior or a regular explorer, this Stance e-bike will prove to be your perfect partner in crime.

On the other hand, if you still want to ride hard downhill after the electric motor helps you get to the top, we recommend the higher-spec’d Stance E+ 1 Pro.

Components

Stance E+ 2 rear shock

Giant Stance E+ 2 Monarch R shock and drivetrain.

We’ve already seen that the electric Stance models do not mess around when it comes to electric components. However, can the mechanical ones keep up with them?

From what we can see, they certainly can as the Stance E+ 2 comes with a full Shimano 1×10 drivetrain. It sports a wide-range 11-42T rear cassette that will get you anywhere with a little bit of extra juice from the powerful Yamaha motor.

On the other hand, Stance E+ 1 has a 1×12 SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain, with an 11-50T cassette. Much better for climbing.

On flats, these electric Stance models can develop up to 20 MPH, so they need a mighty set of brakes to stop quickly. Luckily, the hydraulic Tektro disc brakes with massive 203 mm rotors front and rear are the perfect candidates for the job.

If you need even better brakes, get E+ 1 and it’ll come with Shimano MT520 4-piston brakes.

Suspension and Wheels

The FlexPoint suspension system is pretty much the same that can be found on the other two regular Stance models. Why change something that has proven to be excellent on the trails? This single pivot suspension on both electric models offers 130 mm of travel packed into the RockShox Monarch RT shock that can be custom-tuned.

Moving to the front of this e-bike, we can see the RockShox Recon RL fork with 130 mm of travel on the more expensive model. On the other hand, the cheaper models sports SR Suntour XCR 34 Air, which is a bit heavier, but also customizable.

The RockShox Recon RL 130 mm fork adds incredible value to Giant Stance electric models, extends their off-road capabilities, and makes them suitable for different types of riders.

When it comes to the tires, the more expensive e-Stance model rolls on Maxxis Ardent 29×2.4″ tubeless-ready tires, whereas the less expensive model has Maxxis Rekon 27.5×2.6″.

 

Sizes

Giant Stance E+ 1 and E+ 2 come in four sizes marked as Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. They fit a wide range of different riders, so you’re guaranteed to find one that suits you.

  • Small – 5’5″ – 5’8″ (165 – 173 cm)
  • Medium – 5’8″ – 5’11” (173 – 180 cm)
  • Large – 5’11 – 6’2″ (180 – 188 cm)
  • Extra Large – 6’2″ – 6’4″ (188 – 194 cm)

Pros and Cons

Stance Giant Stance E+ 1 Maxxis Ardent Tires

Stance Giant Stance E+ 1 with 29″ Maxxis Ardent Tires

Of course, like any other bike out there, these electric models come with both strong and weak sides. We can say that the strong ones definitely outweigh the weaknesses, but let’s check out both, so you can decide for yourself.

Pros: 

  • High volume Maxxis tires.
  • Enough room for a water bottle on the frame.
  • Fully-integrated Yamaha motor and battery.
  • Quality Shimano and SRAM components.
  • Hydraulic disc brakes with massive 203 mm rotors.
  • High-end ALUXX SL Aluminum frame.

Cons:

  • No dropper post on E+ 2.
  • On the heavier side due to the electrics.

User Reviews

One of the best ways to determine whether a certain bike is any good is to take a look at the user reviews. Sometimes, you should take them with a grain of salt, but most of the time they are a good sign of what the bike is really like on the trails.

The Giant Stance E+ 1 and E+ 2 bikes have some fierce competition since the electric bike market is pretty saturated at the moment. However, the reviews are quite positive overall, and people seem to really like and appreciate what it has to offer.

What most riders seem to point out in their reviews are the extra-wide tires which give them lots of confidence on the trail. They’re able to take the power from the Yamaha motor and transform it into speed without losing grip. Another positive thing that we’ve noticed from the reviews is that the 500 W battery pack has a decent lifespan, even though it is smaller than on other Giant E models.

The bottom line for the Giant Stance E+ 1 and E+ 2 can be summed in one sentence – Incredible value for money.

Electric Stance models excel when it comes to the components. They are an excellent combination of Giant’s in-house parts, coupled with Shimano, SRAM, and other high-profile brands that guarantee awesome performance on the trails. The Stance lacks a bit more juice in the batteries, but it certainly has enough to get you through a long day’s training session.

Finally, some riders report that they really miss the dropper post on the more economical model, but this can be easily upgraded. After all, it is an entry-level e-bike with an affordable price. You can’t get everything at this price point, but you certainly get more than you bargained for.

 

Bottom Line

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Giant’s Stance line represents tremendous mountain bike value, well beyond expectation. Stance’s frame and suspension design, plus a mix of proprietary and brand-name components deliver performance normally associated with bikes at a considerably higher price point

Your budget doesn’t allow for the crazy, exotic bikes that cost $5,000 or more, but you don’t want to suffer through your novice MTB learning and riding with an entry-level bike. The Giant Stance is your bike. Performance, comfort, optional build levels, economy – you get it all with Giant’s Stance, at either level, Stance 1 or Stance 2.

You can spend quite a bit more of your hard-earned cash for a novice-level MTB than you would on the Giant Stance 1 or Giant Stance 2, but the question must be asked: Why?

The bottom line for the Giant Stance E+ 1 and E+ 2 can be summed in one sentence – Incredible value for money. Giant is one of the biggest bike companies for a good reason, as it always gives its customers a bit more than what they would expect to get for the price they are paying.

Giant’s reputation for value and performance is unequalled within the industry, and these great Stance offerings are two great illustrations of that…

Giant Stance 1 - 2 & Electric (2019)

8.7

Quality

9.0/10

Components

9.0/10

Price

8.5/10

Geometry

9.5/10

Weight

7.5/10

Pros

  • Tubeless tires
  • Nice suspension & shocks
  • Economical
  • Nice looking design
  • Five sizes

Cons

  • Press-fit bottom bracket requires specialized tools to service
  • Weighty