Giant bikes reviews and buying advice

Giant bikes reviews and buying advice

Latest on Giant’s road and mountain bikes

Giant Bicycles is the biggest bike brand in the world — a case of nominative determinism if ever there was one. Giant by name, giant by nature. What’s more, its road bikes and mountain bikes get reviews that suggest they’re among the best you can buy.

Who is Giant

Giant Bicycles is a Taiwanese bicycle and equipment manufacturer founded in 1972 by businessman King Liu and several friends.

Giant started out as an original equipment manufacturer, producing bicycles to be sold under other brand names, such as Schwinn. The first Giant-branded bikes came onto the market in 1981, first in Taiwan and then in Europe, North America and elsewhere around the globe.

Giant went on to create iconic models, such as the Cadex 980 road bike in 1987 — regarded by many as the world's first affordable carbon fibre road bike — and the ATX One DH downhill bike in the late 1990s, which paired distinctive looks with 8in of suspension travel via a simple single-pivot design, a short wheelbase and World Champ-winning potential.

Other innovations have included what Giant called the Compact Road design (late nineties), which combined a sloping top tube with a smaller rear triangle to create a lighter, stiffer and more responsive frame, and OverDrive tapered head tubes (2006) for more torsional steering stiffness.

What Giant bikes are there?

Giant's Defy is a solid, capable endurance road bike
Giant's Defy is a solid, capable endurance road bike

Naturally, Giant has a gargantuan selection of road bikes, mountain bikes, cyclocross and gravel bikes, hybrids and e-bikes to choose from. There’s even a separate range of women’s bikes sold under the Liv brand name (check out our Liv Bikes page for more info). It’s a huge range, it really is, so let’s try to break it down for you…

Giant’s road bike range consists of aero race bikes such as the Propel, lightweight race bikes such as the TCR Advanced, endurance-focused models such as the Defy Advanced, entry-level all-rounders such as the Contend, and triathlon-TT models such as the Trinity Advanced. 

There’s also a selection of drop bar gravel bikes including the alloy-framed Revolt and AnyRoad models, and versatile cyclocross models such as the TCX Advanced.

If you’re up for some adventure or touring but want flat bars, consider the ToughRoad range, which comes with custom front and rear pannier racks.

Giant's Trance Advanced is able to crush some XC riding then go head-to-head with enduro bikes
Giant's Trance Advanced is able to crush some XC riding then go head-to-head with enduro bikes

Mountain bikers have a similarly expansive number of options: competitive cross-country riders will be interested in the Anthem full-suspension XC models and XTC hardtails, while trail riders will want to look at the Trance and Stance lines of full-suspension bikes or the Fathom hardtails.

Finally, downhillers have the choice of Reign and Glory bikes.

Giant's Road-E+ model made our tester feel omnipotent on an Austrian mountain
Giant's Road-E+ model made our tester feel omnipotent on an Austrian mountain

Giant’s also going all-in with e-bikes. There’s the Quick-E+ mobility bike for commuters (top speed 28mph!), the Road-E+ road bike that our tester said made him feel “like a god” on Austria’s Kitzbüheler Horn, the Dirt-E+ hardtail mountain bike and the Full-E+ full-suspension mountain bike.

Finally, don’t overlook Giant’s hybrid and city bikes. These include the Escape flat bar bike that can do a bit of everything, the more speed-focused Rapid and FastRoad models, and Giant’s folding bike the Expressway, which comes with full mudguards and a rear pannier rack.

Does Giant make anything besides bikes?

Yes it does. There’s an extensive range of Giant-branded clothing, components and accessories, including saddle bags, bottle cages, bike computers, lights, locks, bib shorts, shoes, gloves, helmets and hydration packs. Oh, and bike bells.

Where are Giant bikes available?

Giant goes the traditional retail route of selling its bikes via bike shops around the world — more than 12,000 retailers worldwide, in fact. There’s bound to be one within reach, no matter where you live.

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