Strengths: Strong frame, solid fork. Took everything I threw at it and all I've changed in the past three years is the brake pads, and recently the chain and casette.
Weaknesses: Heavy, but you can't stop this ride!
I took this bike on Utah trails far and wide, from the Porcupine rim and Slickrock, to the Wasatch Crest trail and this bike handled everything like a dream. Threw on a thud buster and bamb, full-suspension was at my fingertips. I love this bike as it has taken my 210lb frame and made a XC enthusiast out of me. There is no better bike for the money and I will never let this one go.
Similar Products Used: Giant butte (tank), kona hanahana
Bike Setup: Stock with a thud buster suspension seatpost.
a Cross Country Rider
from Encino, Ca
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2003
Strengths: Great beginner mountain bike, decent price for o.k components. Deeore derailure is pretty good. Overall solid structure
Weaknesses: Fork, the Rock Shock Judy TT isn't very good. Has no adjustments to it, preload, lockout, rebound, none of it.
It's a very good beginner bike for my first few years, but if you drastically improve very fast, this bike is not for you, for 200 more bucks you can get something alot better. It was fine for me for 2 years, but I just had to let go. It is very dependable, I have friends with Deeore LX deraileurs and they've had many problems. The regualr deeore might not be the best put it sure is dependable. I am currently 16 years old, and it served me well as a beginner. If you plan to improve alot, i'd suggest upgrade to a better hardtail, but if you want to take cross country riding easy, i would very much reccomend this bike.
Similar Products Used: Previous bike is an Avanti Pro series competitor. Paid 3 time as much for it, but enjoy riding iggy more.
a Cross Country Rider
from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Date Reviewed: September 10, 2002
Strengths: It's been said in every review so far but the catch with this bike is that it is an incredible value! The shifters along with rear derailleur and cogs work well enough for competition. It's light and strong for the price. Looks great. Good stock seat.
Weaknesses: Again, everyone has said it but the cranks and front derailleur are considerably less then competition performance (ok, they kind of suck). The upright seating position makes it a bit more effort to keep the front wheel on the ground during steep climbs.
I have to give this bike full marks. I've entered the sport as a novice and found that my bike was able to allow me to grow. By now I ride well and find this bike will take me much farther. I did a lot of study before buying the bike and found it to be the best buy for under a $1000 Canadian. Now my passion for the sport runs high and I've studied and ridden the spectrum of bikes it competes with and again, I find that nothing can touch this bike.
Some may disagree but I like the seat more then seats that are worth 5x as much. After countless kilometers it's never made me sore.
I plan on changing the front derailleur to Deore to match my crank upgrade to complete the Deore component drivetrain. After all my upgrades are done, the bike has still only cost $1000 Canadian (about $650 US) and the bike competes with others worth $250 US more.
The upright position is apparently better on the 2002, but I still feel comfortable with the 25 degree stem. In fact, while on the road it's actually kind of nice.
a Cross Country Rider
from Boise, Idaho, U.S.
Date Reviewed: August 2, 2002
Strengths: none for the price paid ($600)
Weaknesses: -bottom bracket comes loose frequently -cheap tires -preload adjuster broke on Judy TT fork -heavy -Could have better front derailler than Shimano Alivio -Had to upgrade rear derailler to Shimano Deore XT -Tektro brake handles come loose
The Giant Iguana is a good hardtail for a beginner rider. If you have some experience, you'll need a bike with better components.
Very good bike for the price, but you get what you pay for! Great for a first bike. Aimed at beginners/intermediates - note the upright seating position.
Gaint gives you a very good frame (strong, kinda light)fork, derailleurs, shifters and brakes, but from then on they try to save money. That is why....: My bb stopped turning after 4 months and I dont even do jumps. My chain got completely stuck between the front chainrings, because the gap was too wide (sloppy manufacturing)! That is also why front shifting was bad - not the Alivio's fault. I've had to true the rear wheel twice. Tighten the head every now and then. I've had to pay an extra 130 dollars for upgrades. I can have heaps of fun really trashing the bike, cause its worth less than a car (unlike other peoples bikes!). Buy it, you'll like it in the long run.
Similar Products Used: Kona, Trek, Specialised, other Gaints
Bike Setup: Clipless pedals, longer less angled stem, Koolstop brakepads, Deore crankset and BB.
a Cross Country Rider
from Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Date Reviewed: May 21, 2002
Strengths: - everything but the weaknesses
Weaknesses: - Judy TT fork, Alivio front derailleur, Tektro brake levers, 25 degree stem was too upright (quick and easy swap through the LBS). Pedals with toe straps. - Note: you get what you pay for, wouldn't expect better components for the price.
- worth every penny, especially for the weekend warrior - worthy of occasional XC racing with a few upgrades
Similar Products Used: - 1995 Raleigh Serengeti rigid.
Bike Setup: - stock with the exception of the stem, changed to an inverted 15 degree. - 1st real upgrade will be the pedals
a Weekend Warrior
from Brisbane, Australia
Date Reviewed: May 9, 2002
Strengths: - light weight - performance - well balanced component mix - value for money
Weaknesses: - non disc rotor ready front Acera hub, no caliper provision on rear stay for brake upgrade to disc (minor) - SR/Suntour crankset (minor) shifting - one length crank (175mm) for all frame sizes
As an entry level MTB rider, I took the opportunity to save some cash with the Iguana se 2001 model which met my needs with its front V-brake. Overall the bike is light, user friendly & responsive representing great value for money. The lightweight reliable components offer above average performance making the bike an absolute pleasure to ride. Your average non-competitive rider from entry level through to intermediate would be hard pressed not be delighted with this package. The bike is a great climber, although getting sufficient weight over the rear wheel to avoid wheelspin on those steeper climbs can be a traction challenge. This could of course be exacerbated by a lack of expertise on my part.
Only a couple of minor niggles. Whilst chain suck hasn't been a problem, the SR/Suntour chainwheel lifter design destroys the otherwise silky smoothness of the Deore RapidFire shifters and Deore rear derailleur. Reading the earlier comments here, initially I had blamed the Alivio front derailleur. But IMHO it isn't. Whilst the SR kit is not inadequate, I suspect replacing the SR chainwheel/crankset with Deore would smoothen out front chainwheel change, improving and balancing overall geartrain performance. However it's not urgent, just desirable. Also, with an S frame and being of short inseam, I would also have preferred 170 or 172mm cranks instead of 175. Minor niggles though. I'll just replace the SR with a 170 spin Deore when it wears out. Even on the 2002 Iguana you need to replace it to get that. Overall 5 chills for value, with 4 overall rating for that SR MD302 crankset & one size fits all crank arm length fitment.
Excellent bike for the price. I bought this bike to try and get my riding rythm back and it is an excellent performer. If you are a beginner to intermediate rider looking for a good value then this is it. Just change out the stem, crankset, and the tires and you will have yourself one burly bike! I enjoy riding this bike with my friends who are more advance then I am and ride FS bikes. I will be riding this hardtail for awhile! RIDE GIANT!
Bike Setup: Thomson Elite Stem and Seatpost, Azonic World Force Raiser Bar, XT Crankset, XT front and rear Der.
a Weekend Warrior
from San Jose, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: August 2, 2001
Strengths: Judy TT front suspension fork, great rear derailleur, light and durable frame, strong rims, great shifters
Weaknesses: front derailleur is fickle
This bike represents the perfect mix of value and performance for my skill level. I'm a beginning mtb'er, and was looking for a bike that I wouldn't outgrow in a few months. Advanced riders may feel restricted by the bikes features, and upgrades would be a must. For me, the Yukon had the best collection of components for the price, and I felt very comfortable and in control during my test rides. I ultimately chose this over the Trek 4900 as it was $70 less from my local store. I've ridden everything from paved trails to challenging singletracks, and the bike hasn't given me any problems. This is a great bike to introduce yourself to the sport, so buy it!