Giant XTC 29er Hardtail

4.44/5 (104 Reviews)
MSRP : $1599.99

Product Description

The Giant XtC 29er combines the best of both worlds. With highly engineered ALUXX SL aluminum tubing and performance XC geometry, it delivers stability and surprisingly agile trail manners.

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Reviews 1 - 15 (104 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by FranciscoMTB4 a Racer

Date Reviewed: September 27, 2014

Strengths:    Everything about it is bombproof. Marzocchi fork is super smooth still (after 2-3 years). Fast. Rolls over anything you throw at it, allows a lot of room for error. Love the qr15 thru axle. Also the stock saddle is amazing even though it's just Giant brand.

Weaknesses:    HEAVY. I have the 2011 or 2012 xtc 2 and it weighs in at 30 lbs, heavier than some dh bikes I've ridden. The stock wheels weigh about 7 lbs with tires and rotors. Bike is a bit unstable on some technical sections, also loses traction in the back fairly easy. Shimano alivio is not ideal but works.

Bottom Line:   
This is a review for the 2011 or 2012 (not sure which) Giant XTC 29er 2 (aluminum). Bought 2-3 years ago at my LBS for really cheap. Immediately started riding it, loved the handling and SPEED compared to 26er, so much snappier and holds speed so much better. I've been riding on average on and off probably at least 2x a week, for 2 or 3 years.

The brakes are amazing, never had any trouble with them. Marzocchi fork is heavier than most but SO smooth, haven't yet had to service it although lockout stopped working. Stock Giant brand saddle is surprisingly one of the best saddles I've ever ridden. I did have the rails separate from the shell once during a crash but fixed it. Does anyone know if Giant sells these separately? I'd definitely buy one.

Anyway, back to the bike. Love that thru-axle, I always had trouble with front wheels falling out of the dropouts but now I feel much more confident that won't happen. However, the wheels are the heaviest chunks of metal I've ever seen, though they can take anything you hit em with. The frame itself is much the same way, though I don't know about the weight part. I've done super-d and downhill on this rig multiple times, it's still rolling smooth. And those wheels, heavy as they are, just refuse to go out of true no matter how hard I beat up on them.

The only other thing I didn't like as much about the bike was the drivetrain. This bike was equipped with shimano alivio, which is not the ideal gruppo for racers but it works most of the time.

Bottom Line:
If you are a racer or you're looking for something light, don't get this. Get the xtc composite or xtc 1.
If you're just a casual rider who's not a huge weight weenie, this bike is perfect for you. You'll get every bit of your money's worth.
If you're trying to compare, this bike is much more stable than a trek x-caliber but compares better to a niner emd.

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Favorite Trail:   Sidewinder at Kingdom trails

Duration Product Used:   2-3 yrs

Similar Products Used:   Niner emd

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Fork
Giant p-xc2 wheels
racing ralph tires
alivio and deore components
avid elixir 1 brakes

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Diane a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: May 24, 2014

Strengths:    Light and fast

Weaknesses:    Very very week - first accident only three months old and frame broke in three places giant nz refused to replace

Bottom Line:   
If you are so good that you never come off your giant xtc then worth the risk but if you are mountain biking and it hits a tree which is highly likely if you are trying them don't buy this. We avoiding gisnt and carbon

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Duration Product Used:   3 'months

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Volsfan

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2014

Strengths:    Light, Seems to be strong, stiff, quick, balanced, nimble

Weaknesses:    Other than some of the components (but that was known at purchase), none that I know of yet.

Bottom Line:   
This is for a 2013 model Giant XTC Composite 3. Three rides in. First 29'er I have owned. I have been riding an Intense Full Suspension for almost 10 yrs. Completely different ride of course. To early to give a true break down on it but my pros are right on. Hope it can survive the drops or me blasting off a log when the occasion arises. Time will tell.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kyle

Date Reviewed: December 23, 2013

Strengths:    reliable, well balanced.

Weaknesses:    can't think of any

Bottom Line:   
this bike has truly exceeded my expectations in every way. Everything is very high quality, rides amazing, climes very well, brakes good, shifts perfectly. This is my third bike and I can’t say enough about how reliable this bike has been so far compared to others in the first year of ownership. Giant has made a fan out of me.

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Duration Product Used:   10 months

Price Paid:    $1775.00

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jehannum

Date Reviewed: December 2, 2013

Strengths:    lightweight, comfortable, fast, smooth

Weaknesses:    Internal cable rattle

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this bike after selling my anthem 0 29er for a good price. The reason I went for a HT was that I rarely ride singletrack and tend to ride predominately fire-trail- gravel roads + commuting. i was after a bike that ticked the lightweight endurance exploratory ride boxes and would make a great commuter/road bike with slicks - this is a bike that gets to see many 3+ hr rides on road/gravel/trails, usally all three surfaces in the same ride.

Well how does it ride? I 've left the bike stock except for putting on some ergon grips and a prologo saddle. I believe that the stock setup is more than adequate for my needs. I've even left the tubes in as I don't need the faff of a system that may or may not hold the tyre on the rim (also I swap tyres fairly often).
The ride is smooth and comfortable for a HT. There is so much vertical flex in the rear end/seatpost that it's made me realise that after 20 years of road/mtb I am not a smooth pedaller! Let me tell you that the bike HAS rear end suspension, it's just very short travel and undampened - there is that much vertical compliance. It makes for a really comfortable ride. I'm not sure why you'd need an aftermarket syntace post as other commenters have described adding - there is a lot of vertical compliance in this frame.
There is zero lateral flex, this beast has massive tube joins and massive carbon tubes. This bike is not flexing anytime soon. The ride is sharp and a little skittish, the rear does skip out under power and down hill and takes some body english - not forgiving like the anthem. Curiously the top tube is long and the stem ultra-short. I feel that it would benefit from a more evenly balanced geometry but i'm sure this is to try and make the ride more '26er' like.
With slicks the ride is very road-bike like. It is so light - i reckon it is like a Giant defy with discs and big tyres. At about 1 kg heavier than my cannondale ultegra CAAD 8 I don't see my old roadie getting much use anymore.

I bought this as a 'do it all' bike and it delivers. If I was into lots of technical singletrack and raced MTB I would go the anthem but this bke is probably as good as it gets when it comes to carbon HTs, at least for the price. I got this at a significant end of season discount - I'd never buy it at full price, I'd go the composite of alu XTC with a suspension or flexy seatpost.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by MJ1

Date Reviewed: November 19, 2013

Strengths:    The components as is are a pretty good bargain but worthy of upgrades since the frame is awesome. I upgraded the brakes to XT's, the rotors to Ashima Ai's, converted the crankset to a 1x with a direct-mount wolftooth, upgraded the rear derailleur to an XO type 2, put a 2.25 Rocket Ron on the front, changed the grips to ESI chunky, and put on XO grip shift. Converted the tires to tubeless of course and upgraded the hub to 10 degrees of engagement. All this done at cost neutral with the shop, awesome deal. Bike comes in right at 20.5 pounds. Almost forgot, put on a Syntace P6 HiFlex post on to help my back, that was an extra $150 I think but worth it.

Weaknesses:    Picky but I don't like Avid brakes and the RR on the front is not a great idea, need something with more bite and bigger volume. I get some cable rattle inside the frame but its fixable.

Bottom Line:   
Awesome value, lightweight, great climber, handles great.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Marco a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: November 7, 2013

Strengths:    I would like to begin this is my first HT. Coming from an Epic and Scalpel full suspension. This machine is powerful and stiff without any compromise in performance. I am not a racer but like to play with parts which I think make the bikes run well. I didn't like the first day I rode it on the trails. I almost took it back to get a full suspension again after riding in Santos Florida for 36 miles in my Cannondale the day before I purchased. I was patient and installed my old setup of schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.25 in the front and back making the setup tubeless with Stans. Wow just that made it so much more enjoyable with the right tire pressure that made me think why didn't I get this bike before. Another thing I changed is the brakes which are horrible the Avid's just don't cut it. I love shimano so XTR's with Ashima rotors and what a perfect combination this is once they break in. Now we are stopping like it should be. I then removed the front derailleur and installed a XX1 with 34T and a XX 11-36 in the rear, swapped out the saddle to Spyder and isntalled a 36 step ratchet kit on the DT Swiss hub and we got a sweet 20 lb. beast. I love this bike I barely get tired and want to keep riding like never before. I asked a few riders online about the bike and was told I would like it well they were wrong I love it. I had trouble with the Scalpel 29 it made me tired and couldn't keep up with the boys so I decided to give a HT a try. I don't plan to get another full suspension any time soon. It feels like my Epic with the brain suspension but with better handing, at least for me.

Weaknesses:    Even though this bike is well built and performs excellent the tires Scwhalbe's Racing Ralphs 2.1 are too stiff and make the ride like riding on the rims. Upgrade the tires and you will see the big difference and will enjoy much more. The appearance of the wheel set are not up to par with the color scheme of the frame which in turn make the bike look cheap. I love to peak at my bike every now and then. A flashier set of wheels will make this a top all around HT. Brakes are horrible and don't do a great job stopping this fast machine. It only has a 140 mm in the rear which I think its too small for the speeds that you achieve on it.

Bottom Line:   
Overall I would recommend this bike but would upgrade little by little. I hope this has been a helpful review. I will spend some money on getting the correct fit done at my local shop to make it even better. I was going to buy a Niner Air RDO and almost did but was a bit more than I could afford. I don't regret getting the giant and with lifetime warranty on the frame compared to others well that just made it even better.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $3200.00

Purchased At:   Mack Cycle 2013

Similar Products Used:   2011 Specialized Epic Comp

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by keithlys a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: November 4, 2013

Strengths:    Smooth and agile, frame geometry, good components for the money, quick/precise shifting, brakes, relatively light weight

Weaknesses:    Occasional chain slap, tires are so-so, marginal seat

Bottom Line:   
I'm really happy with this bike. I've owned it for two months now and have given it a thorough shakedown -- from moderately technical singletrack to a six-day ride on the Continental Divide towing a BOB Trailer to around-town commuting. It hasn't disappointed me yet and I love the feel of the ride. Full disclosure, this is the first mountain bike I've bought and I was looking for a good price/value ratio, but not a bike that felt cheap. I was looking for a bike I could be happy with now, as a relative beginner, and still be happy with a few years later. I can confidently say this bike fit that bill. The shifting is crisp, the handling is very responsive (noticeably better than other similarly-priced 29ers I tested), and the hydraulic brakes are smooth. The XT rear derailleur is great to have and the Deore shifters/front derailleur are almost flawless -- surprising as Deore is a notch below XT and I figured I'd notice a performance penalty. Not so. The wide handlebars are comfortable (some riders may opt for skinnier ones) and the shock is fine for what I need. Altogether it feels durable and as a beginner-intermediate rider, I feel like it will serve me well for a long time to come.

As far as the cons, I have experienced some limited chain slap, though it's not a huge deal. As other reviewers have mentioned, the seat seems a bit on the unforgiving side -- six days and 250 miles of continuous riding off-road is going to make any butt sore, and it's easy to blame the seat. It's fair to say it's a little uncomfortable and it will probably be among my first upgrades. Lastly, I was a little disappointed with the tires. I swear by Schwalbe, and roll their tires on my 'cross and touring setups. These just didn't perform that well, particularly on gravel and loose dirt. They're an easy upgrade and I can put up with them for now.

I think Giant has put together a nice package here that offers great value -- probably at or near the top of this class of bike. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for an all-around solid hardtail.

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Favorite Trail:   Blue Sky/Devil's Backbone

Duration Product Used:   August 2013 - present

Price Paid:    $1299.00

Purchased At:   Full Cycle, Fort Col

Bike Setup:   Stock, except towed a BOB trailer while on the trail. Worked great with the 29er trailer fork.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Corey Kennedy a Racer

Date Reviewed: August 14, 2013

Strengths:    Drivetrain, weight, stiffness, brakes, performance

Weaknesses:    Tires, wheels are decent for the cost but heavy.

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Favorite Trail:   Any

Duration Product Used:   1 month

Purchased At:   LBS

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.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by bbenner a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 10, 2013

Strengths:    Agile, climbs very well, geometry fits my frame well

Weaknesses:    Grips, Racing Ralphs suck, crazy chain slap, front deraileur issues, saddle

Bottom Line:   
Let me start by saying this bike was a demo. It's in great shape, but it definitely had been ridden.

I was a devout Yeti 575 lover. After a long, beautiful relationship she cracked a weld on me and left me stranded. Due to life change issues I was searching for a bike to hold me over until I could get another high end bike. I was looking for a rebound relationship. Found this one at the local bike shop on sale as a demo. I had ridden a buddy's Niner and knew that one day I would have to have one. Find something cheap and easy, use it hard and dump it at the first opportunity. Hit it and quit it.

After riding my XTC for a month I've found intimacy again. Climbs extremely well. Doesnt have any of the "boat" issues I was worried about with the wheel base being long. Rolls smooth and loves to be opened up and ripped down the trail. Swapping out the stock saddle, tires, pedals and I'm a happy camper. Definitely going to upgrade the wheelset. I miss my Kings and NoTubes rims.

I'm having issues with front deraileur shifting. I was dialed in perfectly when I got it, but when I was doing a tough climb in the granny/granny gear I was rubbing the wheel with the deraileur. Had it adjusted, but now I'm not real happy in any chainring. I'll be taking it back for adjustment. I heard a flaw in the design was not having enough clearance for the deraileur.

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Favorite Trail:   Dinosaur Valley, Cleburne State Park

Duration Product Used:   month

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Spokes Bike Shop (Bu

Similar Products Used:   Jet9, Yeti 575, Kona Unit (26"), Jamis Dakar

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Daniel Kucera

Date Reviewed: June 29, 2013

Strengths:    Brakes, fork, looks

Weaknesses:    Handlebar grips, pedals, possibly chain, tires

Bottom Line:   
This was a solid first bike purchase. As a relatively new rider, I wasn't looking for top of the line, but I wanted something that was considered a good bike. That is what I got. I got the bike for $1250 at a reduced price. The avid hydraulic discs grab like no other. The crank and derailleurs are great. The air fork is cutting edge allowing you to adjust the stiffness and return on it, or you can lock it out all together. It is a very comfortable bike to ride. I feel very confident when I ride. As far as the weaknesses I've listed, the grips are bad. If you sweat when you ride, then they will do nothing for you. Spend $80 like I did and upgrade. I added Oury lock-on grips ($30) with Garneau full-finger gloves ($50). Mine came with basic platform pedals, but I upgraded to Shimano PD-M785 clipless for $70 on Ebay. As far as the chain, the mechanic said it was a bit stretched after only owning the bike for 6 months. I suspect the employees at the shop rode the bike too much before they sold it to me. The chain will probably have to be replaced before the year is up. All in all, I paid about $1400 (suggested retail) for a bike that has superior components to other bikes in the market for the same price. Definitely buy this one of you have the chance.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Caburtle a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: June 21, 2013

Strengths:    Speed! Handling, weight, pedaling efficiency, Shimano group set

Weaknesses:    Chainslap, CTD on Fox fork, No chainstay guard, tires

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Approx 200 miles

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Fishers Cyclery Utah

Similar Products Used:   2012 Specialized Epic Comp

Bike Setup:   Stock, Continental Mountain King Protection 2.2, Stans Arch Ex w/ Hope Pro hubs

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gooordo a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2013

Strengths:    Acceleration, speed, weight, colors, brakes, cranks, suspension, traction

Weaknesses:    Need an allen wrench to adjust seatpost. (No lever on clamp), wheels maybe a bit heavy.

Bottom Line:   
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!

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Favorite Trail:   Tijuana River Trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2400.00

Purchased At:   Zumwalt's Bicycle

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by maurizio a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 20, 2013

Strengths:    Light frame. Fox fork.Good quality-price ratio.

Weaknesses:    Brakes could be better. Saddle too hard. Tires Schwalbe Racing ralph not the best for mud.

Bottom Line:   
This is my first 29er.I find it very good as compared to the 26" is much faster and agile.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   mixed

Duration Product Used:   1 months

Price Paid:    $2431.00

Purchased At:   Local bike shop

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Stock but i will change brakes with Avid Elixir 9 because I ' m 209 pounds, 6'2 so brakes are not enough.
The XL frame has a beautiful design and color.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jose a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 18, 2013

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.


• 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.

Future upgrades:
• Shadow rear derailleur
• Grips

Bottom Line:   
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 ?

I will be buying the xtc line for a long time.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Santiago - Puerto Plata Dom rep

Duration Product Used:   2 months and a half

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   BICI centro

Reviews 1 - 15 (104 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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