SOC13: Bike Check - Steven Bafus' Merican Rad Trance X 29er

Whoever says you can’t get rad on a 29er hasn’t told that to Steven Bafus, one of the four people behind Merican Radness. When he’s not killing it on his true jump bike, the Deity Cryptkeeper, Steven also has this Giant Trance X 29er that caught our attention due its unique set up that allows you to pull Nac Nacs on the Sea Otter DH course. Well, if you have the skills of Bafus of course.

Jump past the break to see how Bafus mounted up those Deity Vendetta Cranks to a press fit mountain frame..

SOC13: Bike Check - Steven Bafus' Merican Rad Trance X 29er

This definitely falls into the category of don’t-try-this-at-home-unless-you’re-ok-with-voiding-your-warranty, but for Steven it worked out perfectly. After spotting the fact that the press fit shell on the Giant was almost exactly the same diameter as a BMX mid bottom bracket, Steven was able to press the bearings directly into the frame using the plastic shell from the press fit BB as an internal bearing spacer. The cranks spun a little tightly, but he mentioned he hadn’t ridden on it much, and for tricks where your feet leave the pedals it’s actually beneficial.

SOC13: Bike Check - Steven Bafus' Merican Rad Trance X 29er

SOC13: Bike Check - Steven Bafus' Merican Rad Trance X 29er

Bafus also runs the Clutch clamp on ISCG adapter they sell for Giant frames. The adapter basically just clamps around the shell providing ISCG mounting tabs to run whatever guide you prefer.

SOC13: Bike Check - Steven Bafus' Merican Rad Trance X 29er

Due to his home in the Pacific Northwest, Steven runs a “custom” mud guard on his X Fusion Hilo dropper post to keep crud out of the mechanism.

SOC13: Bike Check - Steven Bafus' Merican Rad Trance X 29er

Obscured by the number plate is a super short deity stem and wide bars. Of Course, Bafus has his Contour mounted up to the X Fusion Trace to capture the footage on the DH.


  1. RADNESS!!!! Thanks Zach!! Stoked I ran into at the Otter and even more stoked to see my bike on BikeRumor!!!!

    A few things,

    I’m one of four behind MericanRadness! Its My roommates Rob and Jessica Crump, Myself and our Friend Tommy, not just me. Also my seatpost is an X-fusion Hilo SL, not the Giant Contact. The day after I ran into Zach at the event the Shimano Team hooked me up with the New Shimano SM-CD50 Saint Chainguide!

    Thanks again for posting up my bike dudes!
    Keep up the woodwork! BikeRumor Kicks ass!


  2. Yeah, but he had more fun than 141 other guys. Steve has a full DH rig he didn’t bring. If you are just looking at results you are missing the point.

  3. Why do so many keep bit#ing about wheel size? It’s very simple in mho, if you are a big guy the bigger wheels just feel fantastic. I am 6 foot 3, but my father is mutch smaller so I guess for him the bikes feel mutch different than they do for me. For him a 29er seems illogical, but I’m buying one after a weekend with a test specialized epic! Geometry is just as good as any 26er I’ve ridden. Wheels give a more secure feeling, more grip and super speed for me. Because of the good geometry tight cornering was no issue at all.

  4. The trance x 29er is awesome. I have a fuel ex 8 as well. The trance blows it away in any section of the trail. When they built this bike they nailed the geometry. There is always stubborn people that want to rip on the bigger wheels and what not. I was the same way but try one out and the results speak for them-self.

  5. @NOPE:

    How is this “Marketing” the Giant 29er? I thought it was more about how someone took an existing model, and modified it. If ANYTHING, they’re marketing Deity and Clutch, not Giant (not that I believe they’re doing either).

    The BB mod IS inspired, and this article has helped me figure out how to mount a full chainguide on my 29er that is not equipped with ISCG tabs.

    Who cares who can keep up with your or not? Is that why you think everybody rides, to see who can keep up with who? Did you race Sea Otter?

What do you think?