Giant Stance 1 & 2 Reviews (2018)

Stance is here! Can these economical 120 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 Stance 1 and 2 review

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

2018 has Giant offering two spec levels for the bike – Stance 1 with more premium components, and 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 120 mm of plush, single-pivot frame suspension. Each Stance version is specifically equipped with your budget and intended uses in mind:

  • 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.
  • Stance 1, the premium build, includes 11-speed drive as well as a lighter component group. If you’re serious about taking on the dirt and want a tool for the job that will take you into the beyond and back.

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.

Giant Stance 1 specs

 

Components

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

Stance 1 is the more premium model, offering a few worthy options such as 1 x 11 gearing, Fox suspension components and a sealed-bearing front hub. The Stance 2 includes 2 x 9 gearing and Suntour 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 Fox, Suntour, Shimano, TranzX, KMC, FSA, Sapim and Maxxis – along with its own Giant-branded components. Stance 1, as you’d expect, shaves some grams with its more premium component set, while Stance 2 weighs a little bit more.

Aside from overall weight, the principal difference between models is Stance 1’s 11-speed drive versus Stance 2’s 9-speed. Stance 1, with it’s wide-range 11-46t rear cassette, uses a single front chainring. Stance 2 achieves its wide range of gearing through a two-ring crankset and front derailleur coupled with a 12-36t cassette.

Giant Stance 1 cassette and shock

1×11 and Fox Performance shock. Yes, and tubeless Maxxis Ardent tubeless,tires 2.4 on front and 2.25 on rear.

TranzX’s YSP-19 dropper post comes standard on both models – a key component when the terrain changes character, as it does during most mountain bike rides. The cockpits are rounded out with well-designed Giant handlebar, stem and saddle.

Generous stopping power is supplied by Shimano hydraulic disk brakes, one of the most reliable and popular mountain bike brake manufacturers. 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 brand disk-specific, tubeless rims and hubs, Sapim spokes and Maxxis Ardent tubeless knobby tires.

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Suspension & Wheels

Giant Stance 2 front suspension

The SR Suntour Axon RL-R, OverDrive, 120mm of Stance 2

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.

Front and rear Maxxis knobbies combined with 120 mm of front and rear suspension equal a very versatile off-road bike which can handle any all-rounder MTB fare, whether that’s eating up gravel roads all day or climbing and descending steep singletrack. Every 2018 Stance includes a dropper seat post with handlebar remote and hydraulic disk brakes – just like the exotic bikes do.

 

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

 

Pros and Cons

Giant Stance 2 2018 dropper post and rear shock

SR Suntour Epixon R rear shock and TranzX YSP-19 dropper post on Stance 2

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

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Proven Giant design and durable construction
  • Solid component spec on both models
  • Tubeless rims and tires
  • 120 mm travel works well for a range of terrain
  • 2.4” front and 2.25” rear knobby tires perform well in a range of surface conditions. From loose dirt to hard pack.

Cons:

  • Press-fit bottom bracket requires specialized tools and supplies to service
  • Economical mountain bikes tend to be relatively weighty
  • Minimal selection of frame colorways

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User Reviews

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 they appreciate it.

Giant Stance 1 front suspension

Stance 1 and its Fox 32 Rhythm with Grip Damper, Boost, Kabolt, OverDrive and 120mm travel

Number one is value. Giant has carved 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 – irrespective of its low price.

One reviewer found the Shimano M315 hydraulic disk brakes on the Stance 2 to be less effective than he preferred. Although, to be fair, this reviewer appeared to be a fairly heavy rider who owns other bikes with more premium brake sets.

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.

 

Bottom Line

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

Suggested bike by Bicycle GuiderYour budget doesn’t allow for the crazy, exotic bikes that cost $5000 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 Stance 1 or Stance 2, but the question must be asked: Why? Giant’s reputation for value and performance is unequaled within the industry, and these great Stance offerings are two great illustrations of that…

Giant Stance 1 & 2 (2018)

Giant Stance 1 & 2 (2018)
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

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