Giant VT 3 Freeride Full Suspension

4.74/5 (31 Reviews)
MSRP : $1600.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (31 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Puffercon a Weekend Warrior from Duluth, Minnesota, USA

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2011

Strengths:    The frame and drive-train, that's about it. For the first three months (of riding season) it was in the shop with a creeping leak in the rear shock (I consider it a lemon, all other VT's that I have seen had no problem. Thanks to Manitou I got a new 2005 rear replacement).

Before I go any further I must say that I am a demanding hard and fast rider. I have put countless miles (about 6 years worth now) on this rig and could not be more satisfied with the bike other than the specific instances listed in the review. I got the bike for the frame and drive-train the rest was trivial for me.


Weaknesses:    After getting the bike back from the shop I had some riding to make up for. I promptly cracked both of the lightweight rims that came with the bike. I was doing some DH riding (Which I am fully aware the bike is not made for). Took a 8ft drop and watched my tires on both rims flop off and took a face-full of dirt. After replacing with Azonic Outlaw's (Surprisingly light for what they are) I got back to it. About a week later I was doing some urban riding took a gap and was rewarded with a deluge of shock fluid to the face. I completly blew the Manitou Black front shock, I rack it up to having a nylon screw cap on the shock. Replaced with Manitou Firefly Elite. Messed with the geometry of the bike quite a bit with the shock was in 155mm setting but in the 120 it is one of the best rides I have had and still continue to get.

Bottom Line:   
Wonderful frame but if you want to ride hard such as SS or light DH don't rely on the stock equipment. Yes, it was designed to be a XC bike which I was fully aware when I purchased it. Thus, all of the problems I have had were understandable. As one can see I graduated from casual riding to more aggressive riding. I still ride this bike to this day, great daily rider/ occasional session bike. I am too ADD to pass up a good drop or DH run, that's my problem not my bikes.

Bike would work great for an entry level XC rider.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything I have not tried yet...

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Bikes N' Boards

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel, Trek Liquid, Specialized Epic.

Bike Setup:   Manitou Swinger 2005 rear Firefly Elite front sus, Shimano LX drive-train, Azonic Outlaw Rims, VT3 Frame

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by redbranch68 a Weekend Warrior from Australia

Date Reviewed: November 10, 2010

Strengths:    Strong frame, takes more then I can give it. Goes up... ok. Goes down even better. Really gives you confidence in the rough.

Weaknesses:    A bit on the heavy side, though I am use to a very light hardtail. Original shocks were Manitou Black comp. way too much dive on breaking. and felt as though an endo was just around the next berm, swapped them out and put on brand new Manitou R7 with much better results, plus a lock out. The rear suspension has crazy pedal bob (Manitou Swinger 3 way) have played with settings but still not happy with its performance. Get rid of the bob and she'd be right as rain.

Bottom Line:   
Basically stripped the frame down and redressed her. Fun bike, confidence builder once some ironing out was done. Price is a real bonus. Yeah I spent a great deal kitting it out my way. But as an off the shelf full suspension bike that with some calorie burning, will get you up a hill. Makes up for this unkindness by taking you back down with a hell of a smile on your face.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   #2 Mt. Stromlo

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   from the local paper

Similar Products Used:   Can't compare as this is my first foraye into full suspension

Bike Setup:   Shocks= Manitou R7, Manitou Swinger 3 way. Run full SRAM XO kit, grip shift over trigger shifters. Syncros 100mm AM stem and riser bar. USE carbon seat post, with Syncros saddle. Time ATAC Z Controll pedals. FSA afterburner cranks, XTR hubs laced to mavic 717 disc spec. rims and Maxxis cross mark tyres

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mark a Weekend Warrior from Australia

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2006

Strengths:    Loves bumps. Excellent rear suspension with almost zero pedal bob when seated. Handles great on high speed decents.

Weaknesses:    Front shock (Manitou black comp) a bit soft and dives alot under moderate braking. Avid cable brakes worked fine but replaced with magura julie to get more progressive braking.

Bottom Line:   
Excellent value for money as a second hand bike. Great fisrt dual suspension bike. A fork equal in quality to the swinger rear shock would make this an outstanding setup.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $960.00

Purchased At:   Local bike shop

Bike Setup:   TT Larsen tyres. Magura julie brakes. 15wt shock oil. 175/50psi for rear shock (rider and backpack = 82kg.Everything else as standard.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed a Weekend Warrior from Spokane, WA, USA

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2006

Strengths:    Great value, Swinger shock, solid build.

Weaknesses:    Stock tires and the rear brake cable guides.

Bottom Line:   
This bike was a great deal. It had been nearly nine years since I had done any real mountain biking (job, wife, kids, move to different cities, and several other bad excuses). I went out with a buddy on my old Raliegh with an original Rock Shox Quad 10 and decided that if I wanted to keep up, I should probably make a small investment into some new equipment. Looked at alot of different bikes, but all priced out over $1500, this one seemed a steal and the reviews sounded pretty good. Since making the purchase, I've been riding regulary with guys on much more expensive set-ups and I don't seem to have an issue keeping up (at least on the equipment end). Several have commented on the value of the VT Three as well. The bike has performed well, however I will likely move to a stiffer spring in the fork (I'm 6' and weigh about 215). Also, the stock tires are pretty bad. My rear tire is about worn completely down, and didn't seem to offer as much grip as I would have liked when it had a fresh tread. Overall though, a couple of tires and a new spring set-up on the forks are a pretty small price to pay for what is a great bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pine Bluff Loop

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Spoke and Sport

Similar Products Used:   None, this is my first full suspension bike.

Bike Setup:   Stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ralph a Weekend Warrior from Glendale, CA

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2006

Strengths:    Very plush yet pedals very well with Swinger SPV shock. Lightweight for 5.7 inches travel, yet seems solid and durable. Great value.

Weaknesses:    Integrated headset

Bottom Line:   
Got the VT frame and Sherman for $650, maybe the best money I ever spent. This is a great all-day epic bike and is very versatile. The bike climbs surprisingly well, especially with the fork set at 110mm. Set it at 150mm for the descents and it can handle just about anything. The rear end is very plush with a quick ramp at the end of the travel, so it feels pretty bottomless. I hope to enjoy this one for a long long time. Can't wait to take it to Mammoth this summer and Moab in the fall.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Santa Ana River Trail

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $299.00

Purchased At:   Wheel World

Similar Products Used:   Ellsworth Truth, Titus Locomoto, Jamis XLT

Bike Setup:   Sherman Firefly Plus, Laserdisc/Mavic XM819 wheelset, SRAM X.9, Avid Mech 8" discs, Shimano 520's

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kirby Crosby a Cross Country Rider from Courtice

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2006

Strengths:    Durable, comfortable. Climbs well and suits me far better than my previous bike.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike. The geometry just seems to work for me and i find i can climb even better than my old stumpy. It soaks up alll teh bumps but still pedals well. Current setup has teh bike weighing in at 29.5 pounds. Not bad for a bike with almost 6 inches of suspension travel.
Great bike. No problems at all, even teh shifting has stayed true without any rel adjustments since i bought it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   3 rocks/Durham Forrest

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1450.00

Purchased At:   LBS (Impala)

Similar Products Used:   2003 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

Bike Setup:   Stock except for Reba Team on teh front and shimano 540 pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rudy a Cross Country Rider from Kutztown, PA

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2006

Strengths:    This is a follow up review to my last post about a year ago. The SPV shock is still kickin butt. Frame is a bear. and the feel of the bike is still pure joy.

Weaknesses:    Ditched the seat post, it started to squeel enough to irritate me and put on a 30.9mm (i think) and no more squeeking. I also have a little stiffer wheelset, I started to feel the flex of the original ones as I got more aggressive, thanks to the bike. And unfortunately the fork is still on the soft side, but I'm not a big guy (5'7' 175) and it has been 70% ok and 30% bounced me off a few times. Probably going to get the stiffer spring kit like the other guy down below did. That sounds like an easy, cheap and quick fix. Oh yah, the cable rub has been a bummer to the paint, but so have the scratches that I have put on it since last review.

Bottom Line:   
I am so happy I bought this bike. I have been able to climb right along with SC Blur riders and really good hardtail guys. I even got the guts to join a riding club with some really talented guys on some really great rigs and the VT helps me hold my own. I even got the guts up to start trying a bunch of small to medium sized freeride stunts. I crash more now than ever but, every time I pick up the VT I jump right back on with no major problems to the bike. I highly, highly recomend a Giant for aggressive trail riding. Now I have my sights set on a Reign 3.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bear Creek

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Weavers

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel 90 Disc

Bike Setup:   Most of what I replaced was either because I busted it or I had some xmas cash to spend. Race Face Evolve XC 30.9 seat post. Mavic 223s with XT disc hubs. LX bb and crankset (bounced the original crank off a rock) and Sram pg990 cog. And a spankin new set of Avid Flak Jacket cables with that cool red protector that covers the whole cable. Looks cool as hell against the blue paint.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by T(b)om a Cross Country Rider from Antioch

Date Reviewed: November 13, 2005

Strengths:    Fit; Function; Value; Fun; Components

Good choice for "large"
read: heavy, f.a., "big," "dieting," etc.

"Normal" people's eyes bug outta they heads!
- not always a strength...

Mech discs rock! I grew up with cablestretchy feel, no prob! After a while, figured out that brake should actuate with levers about halfway closed - that way I've plenty leverage vs. hands more open... 220 lbs. straight down? Get discs baby!


Weaknesses:    Cable Routing could be neater.

Giant discontinued VT line! I'd be pissed iffin' ah ever wanted to sell and "move up," however, I love-a my VT and my wife would kill me iffin' ah did that.

Didn't like the stock seat at first (prolly not like any seat after 25 yrs. hiatus from cyclin').

Those familiar with fullsus bikes not impressed.
- not really a weakness, though, is it?


Bottom Line:   
Well now, ah thought ah bought a XC bike; no wonder I couldn't find the VT3 thread earlier. Duh.

Whatever, the machine's been a joy for me, no complaints, very functional, sturdy, durable, FUN! The suspension is supple and responsive, yet pedaling is efficient. I'm set up quite stiff in back, so there's VERY little bob there in standing position (the fork will bob a bit), but still plenty give on the lumps.

I concur with others' assesment of forks - a lil' soft for a big, but dependable and consistent.

No trouble with the seatpost (there should be a dent in your hand after closing the clamp - read instructions?), nor any wierd squeaks.

Like-a I said before, if you're set on a particular niche, like downhill, XC racing, huge "hucks," leaning some bling against your garage wall, etc., perhaps VT isn't for you, else, TRY IT! Lotta good bike per buck, buckos!
Does check it out too!

See you "out there" pally; be sure to SPEAK UP (onna left)now - ride safe!

'n don't run over the tarantulas.

4 Overall 'cause I want (not need) X9 rear der; sleeker crank; X0 cassette; carbon post, stem, bars; yadda

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Grandma's house - Duh!

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1150.00

Purchased At:   Pacific (SF)

Similar Products Used:   I testrode a lot, including Konas, Jamis, the other Giants (NRS is fastest IMO), Spec'ized, Cannonfodder, SC, Cakes,
Sugar

The VT felt best to me; the 3 was in my price range. Several other machines had better components groups for same money, but not the feel.


Bike Setup:   Added barends, speedo, cage, minipump, and me.

Replaced 1% "stretched" chain w/SRAM 99 HollowPin; sweet chain that! Forget "bulged" sideplates, gimme tight, slick, sweet, SICK 99! It won't forgive you if/when you cut it with a cogtooth like one o' them bulged chains will though; learn to shift.

Replaced wornout Scorpion tire with.... yup, another Scorpion! Lotta complaints 'bout that tire from others, but I-a like it! It's light, fast, and handles our conditions well. While I'm sure some of the complaints are valid, I think many people just want a more knobby LOOK.

On the other hand, maybe I just don't ride very hard? Hmmm, maybe, but I do ride as hard as I CAN, am getting faster alla time, and haven't danced on limits of the bike in general, let alone the tires (yet).

I use LunarLight tubes.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nathan Dewar a Weekend Warrior from Melborune, Victoria, Australia

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2005

Strengths:    SPV 3Way Swinger rear shock, Geometry, Climbing ability.

Weaknesses:    Seat shim (changed to 30.9 post)

Bottom Line:   
Bought this bike after a couple of years riding hardtails. This bike is awesome! Climbs better than my old hardtail, decends like a cut cat, and inspires you to try things you thought were impossible. Back pain was an issue with the hardtail, but that is a thing of the past. Would recommend the VT1, 2 or 3 to anybody who can get there hands on one. I was lucky enough to find an old stock bike going cheap. If you are going to buy one, change the seat post to the right size and ditch the crappy Scorpion tyres.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Beechworth

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Ashburton Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Giant NRS2 04, Enduro Expert 03, Jamis XLT 05 and Raceline Comp Hardtail 04.

Bike Setup:   XT Frt & Rear Del, XT Shifters, Sram PG990, Mavic 223's, Selle Italia Seat, Hayes HFX9 Disc's, Truvativ OS bar & stem, Geax Barro Marathon 2.1 tyres, Shimano 540 SPD's.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tim Wong a Cross Country Rider from Fremont, CA

Date Reviewed: August 29, 2005

Strengths:    Price, swinger shock, component selection, nice smooth ride that soaks up all the bumps.

Weaknesses:    Tires suck. Black Comp could use a stiffer spring.

Bottom Line:   
Get it. Great bike for the money, and you can take it anywhere. SPV rocks. It smooths out all the bumps and you won't notice it when pedalling. Can't wait to test out my new wheelset. The only drawbacks were the tires, and I'll probably get a stiffer spring for the Black Comp. Otherwise you can't beat the value.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything downhill

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FRS, Trek Liquid, Cannondale, Rocky Mountain

Bike Setup:   Stock except for Hope wheelset, Thompson post, Precision Billet levers (from my old bike), Salsa skewers.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike Davies a Cross Country Rider from Lehi, Utah, USA

Date Reviewed: June 15, 2005

Strengths:    Value. This is lots of bike for the money. The Manitou swinger shock is easily tuned once you learn how different settings feel. Fork is easily modified. I added firm ride kit, (spring) rebound and compression/lockout for very little money. Frame is cool looking, rigid and strong. Mechanical disks work very well. (added Cool Stop pads on front). All pivots on RR sus. are sealed bearings. Even the paint job is great. Turns and climbs very well, feels very balanced. Good pedals. (Time Attack)

Weaknesses:    Hutchinson Scorpion tires. These are the worst I have ever ridden. This is like grafitti on the Mona Lisa. Way out of place on such a solid bike. Weight is a tad high, a trade off for strength and typical of freeride bikes. The seat post uses a sleeve or shim to make it fit the large frame tube. Get rid of it and get the right size seat post. It's 30.8 or 30.9mm.

Bottom Line:   
What I have ended up with is a rock solid bike that is plush to a fault yet is difficult to bottom out, a frame that a gorilla can't break, and a respectable list of components that all work very well once set up. I recommend this to anyone who needs a screaming deal on a rock solid freeride bike. If you are a weight weenie, you might not like it, but you won't like any freeride bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Porcupine Rim

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Bingham Cyclery, Sandy ,UT

Similar Products Used:   GT LTS 2, my old "not suspended in any way" SuperGo Access.

Bike Setup:   New tires, IRC Trail Bears. Increased spring rate, added rebound adjustment, compression and lockout. Easton Monkey Bars. Rear shock feels awesome at 175 PSI main and 125 PSI in the SPV chamber.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jimmy McSnorklebob a Weekend Warrior from Cazenovia, New York, U.S.A

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2005

Strengths:    Handles anything with ease. Climbs, jumps, and accelerates amazingly. Back shock is awesome!

Weaknesses:    Tires wear quickly and don't work very well. Front shock bobs a lot and bottoms out easily considering I'm only 120lbs.

Bottom Line:   
Great overall bike and a a lot of bang for your buck.Perfect bike for aggresive trail riders and moderate free riders.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Highland Forest

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Absolute Bikes

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by The Kraut a Cross Country Rider from Post Falls, ID

Date Reviewed: April 22, 2005

Strengths:    Climbs better than a hard tail, descends amazingly. Good on singletrack and switch backs. Strong bike for a burly guy. Manitou Swinger w/ SPV works in your favor. Time pedals, strong Mavic rims, and the Avid mechanicals are awesome. This bike makes the average guy a better rider.

Weaknesses:    Black fork seems spongy at times, but you can purchase a spring to make it not so spongy. Had a few problems with the Avid's at first but they work great. Seat post squeaks. Had some chain slap noise issues, but a lizard skin voided that problem.

Bottom Line:   
I consider myself lucky to have gotten such a great deal on this bike, as it was a left over from 2004. Giant does not sell this bike in the US any longer. I am 6'4" and 240 lbs and opted for the 20.5" frame, which is more than adequate. I am quite sure this bike could handle any abuse that you put it through. I test rode different bikes in this category and decided that the VT was the best fit for me. Overall, this bike has exceeded my expectations of what I was looking for in a bike in this category.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Loop

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Spoke and Sport

Similar Products Used:   Specialized hard tail, test rode amost every other bike in this category.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for changing out the Hutchinsons for some Panaracers.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tiny a Weekend Warrior from new jersey

Date Reviewed: April 18, 2005

Strengths:    light, fast, smooth ride climbs well too

Weaknesses:    none so far

Bottom Line:   
great ride!!! I love it excellent control on tight turns plush ride

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   chimneyrock

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1110.00

Purchased At:   cranford bikeshop

Similar Products Used:   marin pine mountain


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by TONY McLEAN a Weekend Warrior from THIRLMERE NSW AUSTRALIA

Date Reviewed: December 3, 2004

Strengths:    Light enough to have fun cross country racing.Strong enough for the rough stuff,the best all round bike for the money.
Rear swinger shock works really well especially with the spv.


Weaknesses:    Standard tyres suck.Standard forks flex and just dont feel strong.Rims are a bit weak if you ride like gumby.

Bottom Line:   
This bike handles everything i can do easily. I just did the 25 foot gap at the down hill track for the first time and it loved it!!!!
I have raced it cross country to and find it great for the rougher tracks.
The fox forks are unreal the hayes hydros are excelent.
PERFECT ALL MOUNTAIN BIKE!!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   LITTLE RIVER

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   PHANTOM CYCLES

Similar Products Used:   Giant NRS. Rocky Mountain Switch.

Bike Setup:   Fox Vanilla 125R Forks. Hayes Hydro brakes.50mm BBB stem for going down hill.STD stem for cross country.WTB moto raptor tyres

Reviews 1 - 15 (31 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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