Giant’s first-ever composite 29er was developed to meet the demands of our professional racers. They asked for the stability and control of a 29er, but with razor-sharp handling. Made with Giant Composite Technology, the frame’s massive MegaDrive downtube and OverDrive headtube give it quick, precise steering. Asymmetrical chainstays boost traction and acceleration. Find new confidence, and speed, with XtC Composite 29er.
Fox F29 RL with QR15 through-axle suspension fork
SRAM X.7 components
Giant Connect seatpost and stem
Giant S-XC29 2 rim/Shimano and Giant Tracker (15mm) hubs, wheelset
Weaknesses: Tires, wheels are decent for the cost but heavy.
I have been shopping for a hard tail for two years and I think this is the best bike out there for the money. It climbs like a scalded monkey. It descends with comfort and agility especially considering it's a hard tail. I wanted more comfort then my 26 hard tail and better efficiency then my full squishy. This bike may be the only bike I ride. It's that good. I changed the wheels to cobalt race wheels, SRAM x9 cassette, titus carbon seatpost and mountain king tires. Other then that its stock. Large frame 24 pounds. I am very pleased and would recommend this bike to anyone looking for a fast, fun and nimble trail, cross country, and even race bike.
Similar Products Used: Specialized epic, stump jumper 29 HT, trek stache, Santa Cruz highball, yeti arc, jamis dragon 29
Bike Setup: SLX brakes, SLX Shifters and front derailleur, XT Cranks and rear derailleur, Crank Brothers Cobalt race wheels, X9 Cassette, Continental Mountain king tires, Fox CTD Fork, Titus carbon seat post and Easton EC70 bar.
Strengths: Speed! Handling, weight, pedaling efficiency, Shimano group set
Weaknesses: Chainslap, CTD on Fox fork, No chainstay guard, tires
Before this bike I rode a 2012 Epic Comp. the switch to this bike was quite noticeable. The XTC climbs better, pedals more efficiently, and is more responsive. The switch from SRAM to Shimano was very impressive, most noticeably the braking power. I have ridden approximately 200 miles so far over varying trails in Utah and Arizona. The bike is a rocket but very stiff. Tire pressure adjustments make a large different in ride comfort.
I have two beefs with this bike so far. The first is the Fox fork. The CTD switch stopped working. The fork is stuck in the fully open position. After research and talking to the LBS it seems this is not an uncommon issue with new Fox forks. I guess they can come underlubricated from the factory. So I will be sending it in or service. Secondly, I have a serious chainslap issue. I don't know if it is due to a faulty derailleur or not but the chain consistently falls off the chainring to the inside and then off the crank. Because it is so loose, the chain is starting to eat into the carbon chainstay underneath. More to follow on these issues when they are resolved.
Bottom line: this is a very fast and affordable carbon XC bike. The group set is great and it can handle most everything you throw at it. Would I buy it again? Yes, as long as the issues above we're addressed.
Weaknesses: Need an allen wrench to adjust seatpost. (No lever on clamp), wheels maybe a bit heavy.
Rocket on trails. Very good acceleration and speed. Very easy to keep constant on good speed. Shifts very fast and solid. Great on climbing. Fast at descending. Awesome on sand. I couldn't had done a better purchase for the price. Can't go wrong with composite frame. Makes me think I will never want to get rid of this baby!
Strengths: Relatively lightweight, stiff, fast, good handling, stock grips are surprisingly good, brakes are top notch, shifting is fast, climbs great.
Weaknesses: Some might say heavy for a carbon bike (I prefer strength to weighs so maybe this isn't a weakness), stock tires stink,
I got this as a 2nd bike to my Stumpy FSR 29er. Wanted a fast HT for the tamer trails I ride when I am not on more dificult trails. haven't ridden a hardtail in years but I am liking it. To be honest, the bike feels like a 26er with the steeper HTA and snappy acceleration. It is a pleasure to ride, especially on fast twisty trails. The simplicity of the bike makes think of when I first started riding mountain bikes almost ten years ago. One thing I do not like are the ultra skinny stock tires. Some say the wheelset is heavy, but they feel light to me. Overall, great bike!
Date Reviewed: March 29, 2013
Strengths: Quick, relatively light excellent geometry, amazing bike for the $$$
Weaknesses: None yet
I had been riding my 29 Anthem and thought no bike could ride better. I have had this bike for about a month now. Couple mild trail rides then straight into the True Grit Epic in Utah. I had never ridden a 29er hardtail and was worried about rough terrain and handling. This bike is amazing. Quick turn in for a 29er. excellent accelleration, climbs steeps and descends beautifully. I swapped the wheelset for Crank Bros Cobalt 3 29ers and put my Race Face carbon sl seatpost and WTB Silverado Team saddle, and now the bike is a respectable 23.5 lbs with pedals. Downhill it is suprisingly solid. I thought the Anthem would outshine itin descents, but riding the same trails and switching bikes the last few days I find the same downhill speed with easier climbing. Best bike of the 4 I have owned. Would recommend it to anyone.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 24, 2013
Strengths: sustainable speed over and through rough terrain. Quick steering without being twitchy. Good stability at speed for a short wheelbase bike. Excellent acceleration.
Weaknesses: Heavy for a carbon composite bike. Wheel set is not tubeless-ready.
I bought this 2012 XTC composite 29er 1 after riding many candidate bikes for Xterra competition. A steep discount offered on this bike got me into a carbon frame. I'm 5' 10" and 173 lbs. The year-end clearance discounted XTC was a medium frame with stock flat bars. I took a leap of faith, based on reviewers who recommended switching to low-rise bars. This I did and it improved the geometry tremendously. I feel that had the dealer done this the bike would have flown off the shelf.
Haven't yet ridden my first Xterra but rode a preview of the course with the XtC and it performed beautifully and seemed to be able to conserve forward momentum better than most of the competition, although most riders were on 26" bikes. Took a little getting used to the quick steering response because I was used to a slower, more raked-out front end. I was oversteering the bike in tight slalom turns. Just had to relax and point the bike where I wanted it to go. The short wheelbase is moderated by the rotational momentum of the big wheels netting a quick turn-in bike that is stable in turns. Also the bottom bracket and chainrings don't seem to ground out because of the short distance between tires. Riding position has been comfortable for long hauls. LOVE the bike and will offer a report after the race.
Bike Setup: Stock, except for low-rise, carbon bars (Ritchey EC-90 sl) and ESI foam grips
Date Reviewed: March 3, 2013
Strengths: Stiff on the climbs, smooth in the turns, very fast on the descends. Put 22 miles on tight single track, performance was perfect, did not feel big but rolled over everything!
Weaknesses: Maybe an up grade on the rims to a tubeless ready type rim.
This bike handled quick, I rode a 26 Rocky Mountain Vertex large frame and ordered the Giant in a Med frame, the cockpit was very similar and comfortable, I can't believe I waited this long to go to a 29er!
Date Reviewed: January 15, 2013
Strengths: Climbs like there is a motor attached.
Weaknesses: Wheelset is hard to go tubless with and is a bit heavy.
Absolutely love this bike. I bought the 2013 model took it on one ride and fell in love. For the price I don't think there is another bike on the market that gives you this amount of compontents for the price as low as it is. Not for a carbon fiber ride. It does it all.
This bike is a real rocket! Fast, agile, relatively comfortable, easy to set up. The wheelset is on the heavy side, although robust and easily convertible to tubeless with Stan's. The stock Schwalbe Ralphs are TL ready in theory, but not in practice. I replaced them quickly, although they grip and roll well, but they leak air, whatever I did. The frame and the ride is comfortable and fast at the same time. The geo is agile, easy to manouver with the wide bars. Absolutely love it. I replaced the brakes and the seat right away, I cannot comment those, but the stock shifting works very well.
Strengths: As others have said - very fast. Also very maneuverable in technical terrain. Can't speak to the quality of the components due to lack of experience. I did change from 2/10 to 3/10 for better top and low end - happy with that decision but the stock 2/10 works fine, too.
Weaknesses: I'm about 6'2" and riding a large frame. Sometimes I feel a little high on it, especially when descending very steep terrain. Adjustable seatpost helps that.
Overall, very, very happy with it. Very efficient. Large cockpit - good if you have a tall torso and wide shoulders.
Strengths: stiff frame, adgile in singletrack, climbs well
Weaknesses: the wheels are a bit heavy, a little light in the front end,
this bike is lightning fast everywhere. I raced this bike, the only real problems with it is the fact the components are very mid-grade. I believe it faster than my 26" bike 90% of the race courses. I absolutely love this thing so far. It weights in at 25.5lbs stock except a truvativ noir flat bar.
So, I finally pulled the trigger on this bike after wanting "to get back to my roots" with a hardtail. My main bike is my Stumpy FSR but I wanted an XC for epic rides and easier trails, sometimes full suspension can be overkill. Anyway, it is not the lightest carbon hardtail by a long shot, but the ... Read More »
I keep going back and forth on which one to get. Price is not an issue as I can get the C'dale for the same price as the Giant. I believe the c'dale is lighter with better wheels that I can go tubeless with immediately. My main concern is the Lefty. Does the new design really eliminate the travel lo ... Read More »
My new Giant was stolen from the Sale (Gippsland) area on 1/1/13. Details are
Bike: 2013 Giant XTC Composite 29er 1
Date it was stolen: 1/1/2013
Where it was stolen: Sale (Gippsland)
Specs: XT running gear, SLX brakes, XT trail pedals, Conti Race King ty ... Read More »
Looking at a carbon hardtail 29er and this one looks great value. anyone got one yet? any pics or reports?
Seems a good mix of XT and SLX gear with last years proven frame.
Nice colourway too.
SteveRead More »
Currently trying to decide between 2 bikes xtc 29er composite 1 or 0 2012 model size medium. Thinking about going with the 1 since none of the components on the zero offer that much weight decrease and they share the same wheelset which is where a weight decrease would count most. The extra $1200 ... Read More »