Strengths: Good Component Package, Durability, Looks, comfort. Versatile, equally good for single track or paved greenways.
Weaknesses: A Little Heavy, stock tires are great for single track, but a little soft and aggressive tread for paved greenway trails.
Bought my Rainier used on Craig's list 6 months ago to get back into greenway and trail riding. I was looking for a good used bike for mostly paved/packed gravel riding on greenway trails with an occasional single track ride. Put just over 1,000 miles on it since. This bike is a durable, comfortable,nice looking bike. I've had no issues whatsoever on a wide variety of trail riding. The only thing I changed were the stock tires which were great for muddy/rough single track, but rubber is a little soft and tread a little aggressive for the typical greenway trails I ride. I put slick tires on and now it's perfect for the kind of riding I do including an occasional single track (as long as the trail is dry). Can't think of anything else I would change.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 21, 2011
Strengths: A lot of bike for the cash.
I have ridden this bike for years and love it. over this winter i tore it down and replace everything but the seat post. I plan on using it mostly on the north east rail trails for long camping trips this summer.
Similar Products Used: 1992 trek 7000, rock shox 20 etc.
Bike Setup: xt shifters with hoods removed fo more handle bar space.xt derailleurs and hubs. Jagwire cables. Mavic 36 spoke xm719 disk rims. 2010 avid bb7 calipers. sid race fork with remote lock out. lx holow teck crank with shimano 520 pedals. sram 990 11/34 casset. 970 sram chain. bontrager rear rack. old man mountain front rack. continental town and country tires, brooks b17 saddle. adjustable stem with butterfly handlebars.
a Weekend Warrior
from Hill Country, TX USA
Date Reviewed: March 11, 2010
Strengths: Hayes brakes, fork, frame
Weaknesses: No complaints
This is my first MTB. I read through all the other reviews and decided this was too good an offer to pass up. I have been very pleased with it, but have made some upgrades. I have left the stock hydraulic brakes which are great minus some small adjustment issues. I can't think of anything I would replace this bike with.
Bike Setup: Marzocchi EXR, Deore XT derailleurs and shifters, Race Face DH crank, Panaracer Fire XC Pro, Mavic 321, Hope and Halo hubs, ODI grips
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 8, 2009
Strengths: The best value for money. Great brakes!
Weaknesses: Front derailleur (Shimano C050). I think Deore would be better solution.
I bought it a week ago and i like it very much! It's hard to find a bike with such components for such money. The frame is very good and brakes are just great. I'm only thinking about upgrading cassette and derailleurs after some time.
Similar Products Used: Previous Giant GRS FS, Mates Commencal Normal and others
Bike Setup: Shop Stock. Added Cat-Eye Lights
a Cross Country Rider
from Cedar Rapids
Date Reviewed: October 26, 2008
Strengths: component mix/price is hard to beat
sturdy enough for a clyde, nimble enough for XC
Weaknesses: Might be size, but my 19" had a problem pulling the front up on climbs, especially after I converted the Axel to 100mm
Manitou Axel is NOT a very good fork
I hate the quick wear of the Hutchinson Mosquitos. But those tires handle anything (except pavement) flawlessly. They stick to and shed mud better than some DH tires. And they are light. So light that the Slime tubes weren't even noticed, except for the fact that I've never flatted these tires in 5 years. I weigh 220, and got up to 249, and this bike handled it all. The Deore/LX drivetran is superb, the BB7's are as well. Front end came up on climbs, especially after I went to 100 mm travel, but inverting the stem settles that down, and made the whole bike more nimble in the twisties. The Fire X cranks and ISIS bottom bracket seem sturdy enough, altho I am getting a clunk from down there now, after 5 years of punishment from a clyde like me.
I give 4 chilis for overall because of the WEAK fork, and 5 for value. Even with the lame fork, it's still a bargain.
Bike Setup: stock 2003 Giant Rainier. Bikepedia.com has an accurate spec writeup
a Cross Country Rider
from Kansas City Missouri
Date Reviewed: August 27, 2008
Strengths: Great components for the price. I pulled the reflectors off and have done nothing but lube the chain for the last year of riding. Bike has been bullet proof.
Weaknesses: None so far. Not available in 2008.
Great value for the money. The bike and components have been flawless. If Giant would include a bottle of chain lube with the purchase you would need nothing but a trail to enjoy this bike. Since I got laid off from my job I have been on this bike at least 5-6 days a week, so this bike has a ton of trail miles on it.
Weaknesses: Cheap spokes - 5 rusted and fell out within first year of owning bike, cheap-ass pedals - don't grip worth a s**t and make hamburger out of your shins
Just like the Iguana this is another great bike. I had to buy this bike to replace my Giant Iguana, because some piece of s**t homeless bum, who chose that lifestyle out of pure laziness, decided he was entitled to my bike more than I was - that's life at the beach, if it's not bolted down some loser will steal it. But anyway my Ranier is guarded by Smith and Wesson now. I like the new shape of the frame, it kinda has a bit of a rugged look. I used to ride the bike alot around the beach area where I live, but when the yankee snowbirds come down during the Winter it gets quite dangerous to ride, so I pretty much just ride off-road these days, but that's the only way to ride when it gets down to it, and what a great off-road bike.
Similar Products Used: Kona Fire Mountain, Klein Pulse Comp, Giant Iguana
Bike Setup: Marzocchi EXR Forks (100mm Travel), Kenda Blue Groove/Nevagal Tires, Avid BB5 Mech Disc Brakes, TruVativ ISO Flow Cranks, WTB Speed V saddle
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 11, 2008
Strengths: 2007 Ranier - Great XC bike. Giant makes a great frame. WTB speed 5 saddle is very comfortable. Had to get the thudbuster! Kenda Blue Groove tires rock for my home track. Plenty of grip on the climbs over roots and rocks. Shimano Deore front and rear derailers work great. Avid shifters are good.
Weaknesses: SRAM rear cassette bent from stick getting wedged in it within the first month. Replaced with Shimano. Shifts much smoother now. Avid BB5 brakes take too break in. I have to continually adjust brakes after each ride. Thinking of replacing with Hayes brakes.
Riding at the White Water Center along the Catawba river takes top notch equipment. I had to take my old Schwinn in for adjustments about every month. I was finally convenced to spend the money and buy a quality XC bike. Giant exceeded my expectations! I have logged nearly 700 miles in the last year and the bike has held up great. Only two trips to the shop, 1 for rear cassette damage and 1 for routine tune up. Too bad the Rainer is not availabe for 2008. Upgrade the seatpost to a Cane Creek Thudbuster. You won't be sorry!
Bike Setup: Shimano clip in pedals, thumpbuster seat otherwise stock setup
from Morristown Tennessee
Date Reviewed: October 30, 2007
Strengths: This bike is excellent on jumps and ditches.Whenever i'm ridin along and see a chance at enjoying my well designed shocks,I take it.I love this bike for it's amazing body, shocks, and brakes.
Weaknesses: It's light weight can be good, but when your trying to go up a steep hill; you'll find yourself on your back. The brakes also tend to squeal.
I find myself enjoying hours of enjoyment on this tough bike. It'll go as fast as you can stand. And don't worry about hitting that ditch. It's got your back with it's Bouncy shocks. This bike is overall SPECTACTULAR!!!!!
I am considering buying a 2005 Giant Rainier for $425 from Craigslist. From his email, here are the components:
"SRAM x-7 with shimano hydraulic brakes, marzzochi exr air pro 105mm fork, Easton cockpit, wtb saddle, shimano SPd pedals, and truvativ crankset."
Can anybody advise as to whe ... Read More »
found a 2002 giant rainer, on craigslist for 50.00, talked him down to 45.00
plus it helped me being there and checking it out. it looks like it was riden the crap out of it. my main reason to purchase the bike was for the spare deore parts that look to be in good shape, after cleaning. also the ... Read More »
Looking at possible bikes for my 5' nothing wife. She liked the XS in the Revel W but I would love for her to get a 29er. Going to try mtn biking on her old walmart special for the time being and if she really digs it then we will drop coin on something good (hopefully a 29er as I love mine but then ... Read More »
After working all weekend, I was good and ready to get outside yesterday. Needless to say the weather was about perfect for a gruelling ride up to Crystal Mountain blvd and back. Parked on FR73 at the base of Skookum, rode up through the Dalles CG, up the hwy to White River TH up to Corral Pass Rd. ... Read More »