XtC 29er combines the best of both worlds. With highly engineered ALUXX SL aluminum tubing and performance XC geometry, it delivers both predictable stability and a surprisingly stable trail feel. Featuring Giant’s OverDrive headtube for steering precision and a 100-millimeter suspension fork, it’s a fast way to elevate your trail-riding skills.
Strengths: I did not want to do a review a few days after I bought the bike; I was too excited to get back to cycling after a bad injury that took months before I could even considering riding a bike again, and second I Obviously bought a new bike (to excited) …
So after two months of ridding the bike here it goes.
• Bike feels like it has a motor hidden inside.
• Turns really fast. Even if though it has the widest handle bars I have ever seen.
• It a sports car going up hills. Feels like you’re cheating.
• Feel and looks much more expensive
• Breaks are better in every way than my 2010 SLX.
• Can’t say anything about the shifters. I guess that’s a good thing.
• Saddle takes breaking in. After that is Golden.
• I used to take my bike to the shop for maintenance every week or two but I still haven’t taken this one.
Weaknesses: • Wheelset could be lighter.
• Tires: Personally don’t like the Racing Ralf’s on the front, they don’t inspire any confidence. However it’s perfect as a back wheel. Changing the front one to Nobby nick’s for better grip. 45 US fix.
• Handlebars are really really wide. It’s easy to cut then to better suite your style of riding.
• Not a fan of Giant’s grip. 12 usd fix.
• Rear derailleur is loud while going fast downhill.
• Shadow rear derailleur
You will get to the top of the hill first than anyone so you can take your time going downhill. My last bike was a Giant Trance and I not regretting selling it for this. The trance was faster downhill but the XTC is faster everywhere else.
After only 2 months of being back I am only 7 minutes slower from my fastest 1 hour trail ride and 20 minutes from my 2 ½ hour trail ride. The XTC has a lot to do with that.
Did I say it feels like you’re constantly cheating ?
Strengths: Quick, agility and solid build and geo.
Weaknesses: raer derailleur was ghost shifting over bumps and the chain slap was insane
the brakes work ok just find them weak for my 210 lbs frame.
I have had this bike since the spring and other than the rear derailleur issue it has not let me down once. For the price the bike is sweet and you know that a sub 1500 bike will have some junky parts, no way around that. I myself love this bike and the frame geo is spot on. I am purchasing a bunch of new gear for the bike, my whole thought process in getting a cheaper bike was to upgrade with parts I want. In the spring this baby will be sporting stans rims, Hope hubs and brakes and carbon bars and seatpost, that should drop her weight as well.The bike climbs like a goat and decends great, I have nothing bad to say, this bike has shaved off at least 10 minutes off my current lap times for my local trails. The day I got this I jumped on and took right off on a lap, bike felt like I had ridden this one for years, not easy finding a bike that feels just "so right" .
Strengths: Feels tight and solid under my 105kg, nice balance of strength and weight, looks great. Apparently excellent build quality for the price. Fun!
Weaknesses: Drive components feel a little light, will have to wait and see how durable they are.
Pushing 50 and 110kg, under Dr's orders to lose a little weight, so decided to lash out and buy a bit more performance than I'm used to.
Couldn't be happier with my choice. Instantly climbing further up steeper slopes than before, love the geometry, handles great, gaining more confidence every day, especially downhill. Comfortable and fast on road rides too.
I'm hooked, riding about 80km/week lately, just what the Dr ordered....
Can highly recommend as balance of budget and performance.
Strengths: Super agile, solid and composed. Shocks are plush and precise, brakes work a treat and have plenty of feel. Schwalbe Racing Ralph are fantastic.
Weaknesses: Tubeless ready rims would be nice, as would a better shifter (who really needs an indicator - which you can't see anyway! - Cheap to upgrade anyway).
After having crossover weekend and commuting bikes for years I've finally got a dedicated and great value XC only bike. Most of my trail buddies have gone full sus but honestly I think this ticks all the boxes at a fraction of the cost. Save the money and upgrade the standard bits when they're worn out!
Moving to one finger braking is a must - even the entry level Avid Elixr 1 brakes stop hard and I'm pushing 100kg. Do it.
Weaknesses: Grips kinda. Mostly cause there white tho!! Gets dirty too easy!!!
This bike is DA BOMB!!!!! If u can get ahold of this 29er grab it up! Price point is exellent! I had a budget of $1000 and I waited 2weeks for a few extra bucks and it was well worth it! Bike rolls like there's a motor in it! Super fast! Forks work sooooooo smooth!! Bomber 44 tst2 are awesome!!! All I did was drop the seat 1" and it hasn't stopped rollin' yet!!! Long live the 29er revolution!!!!!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 12, 2012
Strengths: I have shopped around trying to find the best hardtail for under $1500 and have cross shopped XTC 29er 2 with models from Cannondale, Scott, Trak and Kona but in the end decided Giant offered the best overall package. Great frame (bike only weights 27lbs) with lifetime warranty, very nice fork [for the $$] good tires and solid, albeit entry level by mtb standards, components sealed the deal.
Weaknesses: Crankset gave out on me after about dozen of rides; arms must have become loose and I ended up "shaving off" splines upon lending after a small drop-off. Shop replaced the crankset with Deore and so far it's been great. Stock Avid elixir1 brakes squeak every now and then regardless of maintenance, including sending down the rotors/pads and installing new rotors (shop put them in during first free adjustment) applying rubbing alcohol does seem to help but only for a short while. Anyway...brakes grab great, but the noise gets annoying.
Overall I'm very happy with my purchase. Bike rides great, climbs like like a beast and looks real sharp (got many complements out on trial). I'll probably invest in remote seatpost and lighter wheels/tubeless setup next to make my rig even lighter and faster.
Similar Products Used: Trek X-cal, Cannondale Flash Alloy 3
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 27, 2012
Strengths: Geometry, speed, agility, weight, gear combo, overall rideability for the price
Weaknesses: For the price, none that I can find. Everything works as it should for this level bike, maybe even a little better. Still learning the bike.
This is my first 29er. What a difference over my hardtail 26" with mid-2000's tech. Loved it right out of the gate. Rolls over everything smoothly, and so much faster than I'm used to. Again, very reasonable components for this level of bike. If you want perfection, spend more money. If you want to get out and ride, buy this bike. I threw my saddle and pedals on, tweaked the saddle height and that was it, went riding. Enjoy!
Strengths: Very stable, shock is good. Turns great, climbs great too. Good geometry
Weaknesses: Components are just ok. Gets the job done, but thats it.
My first 29er, but have many bikes. Really a joy to ride. I did upgrade to XTR derailers and install teflon coated cables. Changed bars and did some minor tweaks to fit me. For the money, I'm really happy and have since parked my suspension bike for a while.
Strengths: Great frame and shock. Wheels just roll over stuff and once moving keep great speed. Bike handles great. This thing is fast!!! This is just a great looking, well built bike.
Weaknesses: Components are ok but I will upgrade when the time comes. Saddle & Grips are nothing to write home about. Those will be upgraded too.
This is a really great bike for the price. The frame is well built and solid. The shock works great. The components are really on the weak side for a bike of this caliber but they need to shave some cost somewhere. Components are the reason for 4 chilli's overall.
This is my first 29er and so far no complaints. It weighs in right around 28 pounds.
Similar Products Used: Scott Scale 29er, Trek X-Cal, Specialized Hard Rock
Bike Setup: All stock for now
a Cross Country Rider
from Bentonville AR
Date Reviewed: February 20, 2012
Strengths: Solid, well built, fast and fun. Great geometry for riding fast, flies over obstacles. Recomend the bike to anyone looking for a lower priced 29er that will do everything the more expensive will do but heavier
Weaknesses: Marzzochi for has been rebuilt twice. Tall big bike that struggles in very technical terrain and is quite heavy.
Perfect bike for someone who is looking for a fast 29er with solid build but trying to keep the price low. I have ridden FS thta have climber better but for terrain that you can carry momentum and speed this bike excels.
Bike Setup: Mostly Stock, upgraded seat, tires and running spd's
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 20, 2011
Strengths: Its a Giant, the over sized headtube is worth its weight in gold. The frame is awesome, and i have found it super easy to customize to fit me perfectly.
Weaknesses: shifter triggers (see below)
The Marzocchi shocks lockout is a silly alignment(easy to change), Didnt come with a QR for the seat post, the shifter indicator windows got in the way of proper break handle alignment (had to up grade to get one without that pesky indicator).
I love this bike and recommend it highly, its a great starting point if you think you want to do some races. As things wear out im going to upgrade them and get the weight a little further down, but i have had no major problems with this bike. The price didnt deter me at all i think its an amazing amount of bike for the price, i found for the price i would rather wait and upgrade the XTC2 components as they wear out rather then shelling for the XTC1.
a Cross Country Rider
from Tempe, AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: October 5, 2011
Strengths: This frame is second to none! The color combo of white with red and black trim is striking to look at. The geometry and wheelbase feel great on my 5'11 frame. The Bomber forks while a little heavy feel and work good.
Weaknesses: The drive-train is sub-par, the front derailleur is complete junk. The rear derailleur is ok and does the job along with the shifters but I will change those out in time.
Just buy this bike!! its awesome and once you can get some upgrades you will love it even more. It will serve you just fine until you can :)
Bike Setup: I Immediately changed the crankset with a red Raceface Turbine. It feels like a tank and I highly recommend one. I went with vittoria randonneur cross tires (love'em,) Salsa red Lip-Lock seat post clamp, Salsa Promoto Stem: Ti, and
FSA K-Force Carbon Low-Riser Carbon Bar (Both look and feel awesome! (also highly recommended) I intend on doing more in the near future!!
a Weekend Warrior
from Michigan, US
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2011
Strengths: Amazing frame, good fork, and better comp set than other makes at the same price point.
Weaknesses: Stock handle bar and grips
I have to say this is an excellent bike. I have not had one problem in 6 months of riding. I am 6'3" and found the Large to be a better fit than the Xl. I moved from a 26" FS to this bike and there is not a moment when I miss the Jamis. Take the time to fine tune this bike to your riding style and you won't go wrong. 2 in my riding group are selling their Treks to pur this bike. It just has a great riding position that makes you comfortable going faster than you were on your old bike. This bike has all the new tech that will become standard on all 29ers ie. Tapered Head Tube, 15mm air fork and Hydro brakes.
Strengths: This bike is amazing. It is my first 29er and I love it. Out of the box the large frame fit my 6'1" stature perfectly. After test riding the bike I knew that it was going to fly and it does. The Giant P29 factory wheelset is unbelievably stiff and strong and does not stop for anything. When building the bike, I stressed the spokes and couldn't get a single one to ping, threw each wheel into the truing stand and they were both dead nuts right from the factory. After one whole season of riding Michigan's UP the wheels are still perfect. The stock Shimano Shadow Deore drivetrain is very snappy and responsive for the low cost, this makes it an affordable replacement for any new riders not looking to upgrade until they know what to look and feel for in a shifting system. The integrated headset from FSA is super quality and you can't go wrong with the matching anodized parts like the headset, the fork lockout cap, and the derailleur hanger that Giant threw into the mix. The Kenda Karma Pro tires that come stock have been suprisingly durable and fast rolling. I have been running them around 28 psi and have never had a flat during this first year of riding. I have been running the 700x38c Serfas Vida tire for commuting and doing some long spinning rides on the road for endurance training. The versatility of a 29er is far above the rest. The Marzocchi TST2 Bomber fork is a tank! It is actually designed for all-mountain riding and feels stiff and burly, the air pressure adjustmants are very responsive as well as the rebound adjustments. Need I even mention the brushed aluminum appearance and hydroform tubing? Ride a Giant!
Weaknesses: The weaknesses found in the stock bike set up are most prominently the Shimano BR-MM45 hydraulic brakes with 160mm rotors; they are weak in their braking power and a hassle to bleed and adjust. The stock grips provide no support and reduce blood flow significantly. The bike is initially a little heavy, weighing in at 29lbs 4oz. The largest components that make up this weight are the TruVativ ISIS crank and bottom bracket, the Bomber fork which is a whopping 5.02lbs(also in need of a fluid level adjustment as the lock out has failed after one season but I never lock out anyway, the dust caps and seals seem to be holding well though) and the wheelset(sometimes a heavier wheelset is worth the lifetime and stiffness you achieve with the Giant P29's)
The Giant XTC 29 2 is one of the most affordable and versatile 29ers out there. It makes a great first 29er and makes a great race bike. It is a solid foundation to upgrade and make your own. There is nothing to be dissappointed with on this bike, only places to go and terrain to roll over.
Similar Products Used: Tested: Specialized Camber 29 Elite, Specialized Stumpjumper 29 Elite, Giant Anthem X 29, Niner Jet 9
Bike Setup: 2010 Giant XTC 29 2 (Large). Upgrades from stock: Avid Elixir 5 braking system with 204mm front rotor and 185mm rear rotor (the larger rotors help a lot when stopping these huge wheels!), Shimano XT Dyna-Sys Drivetrain (weighs 1.5lbs less than the Shadow Deore drivetrain), ODI Xtreme LockOn grips. Soon to add: Stan's No Tubes Crest 29er Wheelset and Kenda Small Block 8 tires. Dream addition: Fox Talas 29.