What are Giant Mountain Bikes?

Giant mountain bikes have been around for many decades. Giant Bicycle Company is a reputable and well-known company that has a wide selection of mountain bikes, including xc race, xc trail, all mountain, freeride, downhill, and hardtails. They also have a couple of 29ers in their line-up and a line of bicycles made specifically to fit the female rider.


Company History

Giant Bicycle Company started out as Giant Manufacturing Company in Taiwan in 1972. Giant was the first manufacturer to mass-produce high-end aluminum bikes. A few years after getting started, they began building bicycles for the already existing Schwinn company because Schwinn was too small to keep up with the increasing demand for bicycles. In 1984, Giant produced Schwinn's first chromoly mountain bikes, the Schwinn Sierra and High Sierra.

In 1987, Giant Bicycle opened a subsidiary in the United States in California. They now have stores around the world and are one of the world's largest bicycle manufacturers. They produce all of their own bicycles from the beginning to end stages, including the process of weaving their own carbon raw material.

Giant Bicycle Technology

All mountain bike companies have their own specific technology that they use to make their mountain bikes. The following are descriptions and explanations of the types of technology that goes into Giant mountain bikes.

Advanced Composite Technology:

Advanced Composite technology is found in the higher end Giant mountain bikes to provide their best balance between stiffness, light weight, and ride quality. These Giant mountain bike frames are built with a strategically layered, unidirectional (UD) carbon. There are 2 types or grades of Giant's Advanced Composite Technology:

  • Advanced SL- Giant's highest quality composite. Professional grade carbon raw material is woven in Giant's own factory and then the frame is made with their most advanced construction technique, Fusion.

  • Advanced- Performance-level carbon raw material is woven in Giant's factory and frames are made of their advanced monocoque construction technique.

Alliance Technology:

Alliance Technology is Giant's mixed-material technology. Giant was one of the first companies to use both composite and aluminum together to make their bicycle frames. The rationale behind this is to provide the maximum benefits of both materials. Aluminum provides stiffness and efficiency on the parts of the bicycle where it is needed, and composite provides more comfort in parts where it is needed.

Aluxx Aluminum Technology:

Technology that is featured on all Giant mountain bikes, which is their method of manufacturing frames. It refers to Giant's science-based blend of materials and their method of manufacturing aluminum frames, from the microscopic level to the hydroforming process.

Maestro Suspension System:

The award-winning suspension system featured on Giant mountain bikes that has 4 pivot points which are designed to neutralize pedal bob and braking forces but allow the suspension to still be fully active. The Maestro suspension system has 6 different travel-frame configurations that can be adjusted for a wide range of trail conditions.

Giant for Women:

Special line of Giant bicycles that are specifically designed for women. These models include modifications in the construction, sizing, styling, geometry, and components. Giant mountain bikes for women include the following:

  • Anthem X1 W and Anthem X3 W: Cross country race/competition mountain bike

  • Cypher 1 and Cypher 2: cross country trail bike

  • Rainier and Rincon: affordable hardtails

  • Rainier 29er: Lower end 29er mountain bike. The first one 29er made specifically for women!

Further descriptions of the Giant for Women mountain bikes are included in their respective categories listed below:

Giant Mountain Bike Line-Up

Competition/Race XC

Giant's competition/race XC line-up includes:

Anthem X SL: Carbon composite frameset

Anthem X: ALUXX aluminum frameset

The Anthem X SL series includes the following features:

  • Giant's top of the line Advanced SL composite frame
  • 100 mm of Maestro suspension
  • Massive downtube and bottom bracket area to increase pedaling efficiency
  • Oversized tapered headtube to increase steering precision
The Anthem X SL 0 also features top of the line Sram XX components and Mavic CrossMax SLR wheelset. It is the fastest XC bike ever made by Giant.

The Anthem X series features the following:

  • ALUXX SL aluminum frameset
  • 100 mm of Maestro travel

Competition/Race XC for Women:
None available in the Anthem X SL composite models. ALUXX Aluminum models for women include the Anthem X1 W and Anthem X3 W.

Trail XC

The Trance is Giant's high performance Trail XC mountain bike. The Trance line-up includes:

  • Trance X Advanced SL: Made with Giant's Advanced SL-grade composite frame.
  • Trance X: Made with ALUXX SL aluminum frameset
The Giant Trance series has 120 mm of Maestro suspension. The Trance X2 was chosen by Bike Magazine as having the "Best Value in Class."

The Trance X Advanced SL 0 features high-end components including a Fox Float RP23 rear shock, Shimano XTR components, and Mavic CrossMax ST Disc wheelset.

Trail XC for Women:

The Cypher 1 and Cypher 2 are Giant's XC trail Women specific mountain bikes. Features include 120mm of Maestro travel and a lightweight easy-handling ALUXX SL frame

Lower Priced Options:

The Giant Yukon mountain bike is a very affordable cross country bike that is under $1000. This Giant mountain bike is included in Giant's Sport line-up. Features of the Giant Yukon include:

  • disc brakes
  • 100mm fork with lock-out
  • 100mm of rear suspension

All Mountain

The Reign and Reign X are Giant's all mountain bikes. Both models feature Giant's ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum. The Reign has 150mm (6 inches) of Maestro suspension and the Reign X has 160mm (6.7 inches).

The Reign XO weighs 30.2 pounds. The 2010 model was chosen by Bike Magazine as having the "Best Bang for the Buck"

Freeride Bikes

The Faith is Giant's freeride mountain bike. Features of this bike include:

  • 180mm (7 inches) of Maestro suspension
  • ALUXX SL aluminum tubing

Downhill Mountain Bikes

The Glory is Giant's downhill mountain bike. Features of this bike include:

  • 203mm suspension (8 inches)
  • Lightweight and rugged ALUXX SL aluminum frame

Bike Magazine referred to the Giant Glory 0 as "Ridiculously light and quick DH thoroughbred with buttery smooth suspension."

Giant Hardtail Bikes

Performance Category: More serious riding and higher priced Giant mountain bikes

  • XtC Advanced: Advanced-grade light weight composite frame
  • XtC: ALUXX SL butted aluminum frameset

Sport Category: Recreational riding and lower Priced Giant mountain bikes:

  • Giant Yukon: ALUXX frame with roomy cockpit offers comfort and control
  • Rincon: ALUXX aluminum frame, 100mm fork, disc brakes
  • Rincon W: Women specific design

29er Mountain Bikes

Performance Category: More serious riding and higher priced Giant mountain bikes

XtC 29er:

  • ALUXX SL aluminum tubing
  • Performance XC geometry- 60mm BB drop with 305mm BB height
  • 29er-specific flat handlebar
Sport Category: Recreational riding and lower priced Giant mountain bikes

Talon 29er: Very affordable option

Rainier 29er: The first one 29er made specifically for women! This is a good start, but I would like to see some higher performance 29ers built with women riders in mind.

More Mountain Bike Brands...

Gary Fisher

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