until this year bike has been awesome - but repairs this year are killing me. Had to replace the shock. Broke the frame in half yesterday. need to replace the pedals - the platform broke off both. The Hanger went. Front shocks are leaking.
For riding the way I did for the last 4 years - the bike owes me nothing - but its just wierd that EVERYTHING went over the course of 3 months.
Bike Setup: Post broke first year - the one they replaced with is great. Just changed saddle to Azonic love seat - it is mint.
a Weekend Warrior
from United Kingdom
Date Reviewed: May 24, 2005
Strengths: THIS IS FOR A 2002 AC TEAM FRAMESET WITH 2004 Manitou Swinger 4way coil shock. Weight for travel. Solidness over rough stuff. Kickass paint job.
Weaknesses: Ugly asymetric chainstays. And Rear heaviness, compared to the front the back end weighs a tonne. Bit of brake Jack.
THIS IS FOR A 2002 AC TEAM FRAMESET WITH 2004 Manitou Swinger 4way coil shock. ^^^^To make that clear.^^^^
Rides well for weight, as I said a bit of brake jack but then thats expected (not as bad as the enduro I used to own), also makes quite a heavy back end (thats with a Hope Bulb on a 317Disc rim) but all up weighs around the 32lb mark (thats with 2.6" Nokian gazzaloddi tyres, it would weigh more like 29lb with some sensable trail tyres on). The Manitou shock makes it soo much more ridable with the 4way adjustability and the SPV valve. I either run it with a high pressure in the SPV chamber and high volume, for general trail riding, as it makes it pedal very well, but lacks small bump responce and does not bottom out. And for frequent DH runs I drop out 40psi from the chamber and lock it right down to max bottom out resistance, which makes it very supple, and very responsive but no use for climbing.
Bottom Line (seriously) I like, have riden a fair few 5-6" rigs and this I like, (mainly the paint job). I give it 5smoking Chillis for value (I paid £200 for a used one, they were only £900 new back in the day). And 4Smoking Chillis overall, as the back end does require some set up for different things.
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Hecklar, Titus Switchblade, Marin Wolf Ridge, Specialised Enduro.
Bike Setup: Psylo Race's, Hope stuff all round, and a pair of M4's for stopping, bit of race face in there too.
a Weekend Warrior
from Wales UK
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2004
Strengths: Strong, adjustable and reasonable weight
Weaknesses: Interupted seattube
When I decided to change frames I wanted one bike to do all reasonably well rather than purchasing two or more bikes. Having ridden it a few times I feel the AC-1 specced with mostly XC parts does the job admirably and exceeds my expectations in certain areas.
I've set the spring rate to my weight in 6inch mode as I thought that I would just leave the bike in this setting. How wrong I could have been. When moved to the 4 inch setting the suspension stiffens up so much that it feels like a short 2 inch travel bike and as the rear end is so stiff laterally the bike accellerates and climbs far better than I expected. It feels like a 26lb softail when climbing. The little give there is just right to give you the extra traction of a susser but there is no noticable bob at all.
I usually ride with a mixed group of riders, XC whippets, trail riders and newcomers of various fitness levels, and whilst never first to the top, I'm a lot closer on the Giant than I was on my GT.
At the top I put it into the 6 in setting (20 secs) and then blast down the hill. All the posts on here more than cover the DH abilities of this bike.
On road is also reasonably fast, I close the rebound damping on the back and lock out the front. After the bike sags, it feels just like a hardtail.
If your solely into one mountain bike discapline then there are better bikes around, however, as an allaround bike I can't fault the AC-1 and for the price it's fantastic. I've managed to build mine up with high end parts for around £1000, if I was in the states it would probably cost the same in dollars.
Bike Setup: AC-1 frame, Psylo SL's, Hope M4 Mono's, Raceface Turbines, XM519's on XT hubs, 850lb eibach spring, controltech stem and blackspire triple rings.
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2004
Strengths: -Pedals decently -flows through rolly terain,pumps well -a capable climber
Weaknesses: -Eats derailures for breakfast, lunch, and dinner -Tends to bob if you dont conciously tame it -A little weak for hucks, and big drops
I paid for this frameset to replace the lifetime warentied frame i previously owned, so this review can only aply to the frameset.
I think this bike finds it self on a very fine line, does it apeal to the free rider or is it the xc rider looking for a softer rear end. I would have to contend it be the later.
For me, a 190lbs freerider i found the bike to be a rocket ship through a rough single track or buttery off of 5 footers. The frame did have noticable flex on skinies when body english was involved.
I bent or broke the bolt holding the top end of the shock more then once, and managed to blow a weld on the chainstey. Derailures and dropouts where getting to be a bi-weekly purchase. All of this has led me to beleive there just isn't enough of a bike there for the burlier of freeriders.
However this bike would be an excellent purchase for the xc rider looking to move up to a softer ride, or mabe a freeriders cross country.
Similar Products Used: Giant ATX970, Da Bomb Mindbomb, Kona Stinky
Bike Setup: Jr. T, Ryno lites, Avid mech. up front, Deore mech. in the rear, Truvativ hussefelt cranks, xt/lx group
a Cross Country Rider
from antwerp, belgium
Date Reviewed: March 11, 2004
Strengths: its all in the name "All Conditions" a very versatile bike good climb, smooth going down
Weaknesses: what every owner says: the damn seatpost ( for 2004 giant solved this problem )
this is a freeride light bike, with 16 kilos,a machine that climbs ,relatively,like a goat. very good for the work in the alps or at lake garda, italy. altough, i doubt he could handle the really heavy (downhill)stuff.
Similar Products Used: also own an nrs air and a cube ams, but those are xc and enduro
Bike Setup: bought as a frame set, marzo Z1 FR QR20,north shore DH cranks,diabolus stem and bar, XT 205mm brakes,DEEMAX wheels
from Denver, CO USA
Date Reviewed: February 16, 2004
Strengths: Pretty good stock set-up
Weaknesses: Grips, seat, post, stem; I don't understand why Giant didn't put more travel on this bike (they have gone to more travel on the '04 model)
This is a great bike to start out with. It handles well. The Hayes hydraulic brakes were my first experience with hydraulic brakes. They are good brakes. Overall, the bike performs well stock. It climbs like a mule despite the weight (that is until I put on the extra travel). You really can't go wrong with this bike unless you are looking to do some serious corss-country or are a hard-core downhiller/freerider who does 15' + drops. I, at 185 lb. found that I bottomed-out on 7' drops before I decided I needed more travel. I've yet to ride this bike on a professional downhill course, however, I have ridden some pretty serious stuff and it is a really plush ride. Bottom line if you are someone who is really hard on sh*t and breaks stuff, this is a great bike to start out with.
Similar Products Used: Rocky Mountain RM7; Rocky Mountain Switch
Bike Setup: Azonic Hammer stem; Azonic Love Seat; Azonic A-frame platform pedals; Stan's tubeless conversion (this is a GREAT product); Lizard Skins chainstay guard; Marzocchi '03 Super T's; SGF Components 7" rocker arms (SGF will replace these if you break them and they guarantee that the 7" of travel is the maximum amount you can get without bottoming-out, unlike the BETD 7.5" rocker arms which will bottom-out on the seat clamp. Go to SGFcomponents.com to get them); Odi lock-on grips
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 24, 2004
Strengths: way stronger than the Warp ds3 i broke. got the frame under warranty and there is pretty much nothing stock on the bike, plush ride good shock adjustment.
Weaknesses: a bit too much chain slap but i will probably get some kind of guide down the road, otherwise perfect.
great bike for any conditions, i havn't ridden much but it seems perfect for me, i might get an 850 spring for the pro delux, i'm a little on the heavy side at 6'4, 225. I would reconmend that if you have a warp that may be broken, trade it in for the Ac.
Bike Setup: 04 Marzocchi Drop Off II, Sun Rims Doubletracks, Stout 2.6 on front, Wtb Motoraptor 2.4 on rear, deore derailers, stx shifters,Avid Discs 8" with avid levers,yeti lock on grips, axiom seatpost with NRG saddle. only thing that remains from my warp is the sh%^@y cranks and the stem and bar, but not for long.
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2003
Strengths: Awesome all round bike thats great for free riding, I would not use for DH racing.
Weaknesses: not very happy with the Hayes Comps. Saddle a little uncomfortable.
This is a great all round bike that is not afraid to go big. I have raced at the pro level, but after I had quit Idid not want something that was as heavy. I ride mostly free ride now and I ride hard. Have put a couple a days up at Whistler and the bike took everything I threw at it. This past summer I had a Super T 03, now I have upgraded to 888's
Can't wait to ride those next year. I know Giant says they don't warrenty these bike if you put A Dc fork on it but oh well. If they don't I'll try another bike from a diff. company and they'll lose my business.
But this BIKE rocks and I hope it lasts.
Oh ya would also like to get BETD rear suspension plates to upgrade to 7" in the rear. I'd like 8" in the rear though(stop laughing) Later
Bike Setup: Mostly stock. New paint job and custom decals. 888 up frontwhich makes the bike a little raked. Hope to get Hope Brakes Mono 4. LOve my Michelin tyres(had them siped for better traction) 2.8 up front and 2.5 in rear.
a Cross Country Rider
from Miramichi NB, Canada
Date Reviewed: July 19, 2003
Strengths: Strong frame, Shiver forks, Hayes Discs brakes, Race Face BB and DH cranks, Shimano Xtr / Xt / Lx comps. Titec components. Excellent controll. Easy to setup. Quick change rear travel.
Weaknesses: Rock Shocks Pro Deluxe. Leaked after the 2nd ride. Returned for service and new seals installed. Service dept said a lot of the 2002's with the AC 1. New seal kit will last much longer. Been out on 2 trail rides since and they are working great. I hope they hold out.
WOW!!! This bike rocks. It can really improve your skills and is so stable at going downhill you have to be carefull not to over do it. This bike is so forgiving at going fast that it gives you more confidence in all XC rides. I'm able to go faster and stay out longer on all trail sections compared to the Giant Rainer hardtail. I highly recommend this bike to any of the bigger guys out there who think they can't find or get a full suspension trail bike that can handle the extra weight. If you think your stuck to riding only hardtails because of your weight then this bike is for you. This bike can handle the roughest trails, climbs and downhills with such ease that you'll understand why full suspension is so much fun. I truly admire the Giant AC 1. Bravo Giant, Bravo
a Weekend Warrior
from Fukuoka, Japan
Date Reviewed: May 6, 2003
Strengths: Very versatile, reasonably light, climbs well for a freerider, good component selection. The travel adjustment on the rear suspension is useful, but not really essential.
Weaknesses: Lack of seatpost adjustment, crappy stem, tyres. Seat should be outlawed under the Geneva Convention.
Excellent all round bike. I really liked the Shivers, but they were kinda heavy. I'm more of a rough trail rider than a freerider, so this bike was overbuilt for what I do. I did a deal with a mate and swapped forks, brakes, and wheels, plus a nice pile of cash. That chopped the weight down to under 30 pounds, mostly from the wheels and tyres. Much faster on XC stuff, and still descends ok. On long climbs it's pretty reasonable for what it is. Not an XC racer, but handles any terrain very competently. My mate's Big Hit descends much better, mostly due to tyres and forks, but the Specialized rear suspension is better. The 8" brakes were fantastic, but had to swap them with the fork (would have had to buy a bunch of adapters to get everything to fit otherwise). I now have 6" Hayes, which are more than adequate for what I do.
The lack of saddle height adjustment is a big problem. I made a telescopic seatpost which gives about 6 inches adjustment. Norco sell telescopic seatposts, so I'd highly recommend getting one.
The saddle is up there with the most uncomfortable things I've ever tried.
In the 4.5 inch travel setting I don't really notice much bob, except in the big ring. The 6 inch setting is much softer, and easier on rough terrain. It's well worth spending some time adjusting the damping and trying different suspension setups. On rough climbs out of the saddle, the grip is pretty good.
The stock tyres were simply horrible on anything except dry hardpack. Very heavy to spin up on the road or flat singletrack, and lacked grip. I'm going to try a few different tyres, but the Motoraptors were a big improvement.
As a versatile all round fun bike, I highly recommend this. Not a DH bike, not an XC bike, but handles everything very competently.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Big Hit, Specialized FSR, Trek VRX400, Giant NRS
Bike Setup: Sold the Shiver to a mate and put in an RS Psylo for the adjustability. Changed the creaky little stem for a three bolt job, biffed the seat. Fitted a telescopic seatpost. Swapped to 6" brakes and XC wheels. Biffed the tyres and fitted WTB Motoraptors.
a Weekend Warrior
from Thousand Oaks
Date Reviewed: May 2, 2003
The AC may be a good freeride bike, but it's no downhill rig. The frame is too lightweight, needs several more pounds of aluminum if you really want to thrash it. Recently dumped the Shiver for a '03 Super-T, talk about a huge improvement. Climbing sucks now (can't keep the front wheel on the ground), but for everything else it is truly awesome. Considering a Chris King Steel-Set to beef up the head tube, concerned the the drops and high-speed across rough terrain that the Super-T allows will split or egg out the head tube. Still very happy with the bike, but starting to wonder if I should have gone with something beefier instead of trying to keep this one together.
a Cross Country Rider
from EMERYVILLE, CA USA
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2003
Strengths: This bike is BEEFIE and gives a sense that it and its rider are indestructable. Great component mix! Swopped out the seat post to Easton, Stem to Azonic Shorty, Hubs to Profile 20mm (front and back), pedals to ATAC and clamp on grips. Oh yeah, I swopped the rear shock for an SID air (better for cross country riding). The adjustable rear travel is great and easy to change (would be better with quick release). I wanted a bike that I could use as a trail bike and some moderate downhilling - this is it (GREAT PRICE).
Weaknesses: VERY HEAVY! I realize that it needs to be to take the big hits, but is there a "light" big hit bike out there. Not fun going up hill, but coming down is a rocket ride. Creak coming from the rear swingarms. I found out that one of the spacers under the bearings wasnt set properly. Once set properly, bike is quiet as can be, but it took me forever to find the creak.
Great bike, great price!!! Compromise is weight, but is probably one of the best huckster options out there right now. I would recommend it for heavy riders or moderate downhillers. Light riders should go with something a little lighter if you can.
Similar Products Used: Raven, Scwhinn s-10, Tomac titanium.
Bike Setup: azonic stem, race face cranks (set with chainguard), atac pedals, hell bent handlebars.
a Weekend Warrior
from Thousand Oaks CA
Date Reviewed: March 12, 2003
Weaknesses: Wish the seatpost adjustment had more range (interrupted seat tube), can't drop it as low as I'd like and still keep the seatpost long enough for full extension when climbing.
This is another follow up: don't try to eliminate the shim in the seatpost, you'll barely be able to adjust the seat up and down. Looks like the shim is there to help the seatpost miss the first part of the interrupted seat tube, take it out and you lose at least an inch of the mere two inches or so there is to begin with.
Running a 50mm Azonic Shorty stem (the Titec Big Al started creaking) and Azonic A-Frame pedals now, working great.
Love the Shiver.
The coil in the Rock Shox Pro Delux is rubbing on the shock body, I only weigh 160 so it's not like I'm overloading it. I did have to max out the preload to get the recommended sag though, so maybe it is too soft at the 6" setting.
All of this talk about axle to crown height and handling with different forks brought up another question. After doing some searching of the entire MTBR site I did not really find anything on tapered vs 1 1/8 steer tube strength/ stiffness.
I was set on getting a tapered steer tube fork but am b ... Read More »
Hey guys! I am new to the forum and have been out of biking for sometime now due to my business. A new bike is out of the question due to the my economic condition. What i do have though is an AC-1 I had built up about 6 years ago. I have the original Rock Shox Rear shock( forgot model) and the Marz ... Read More »
Hello all, my Giant AC1 is currently tipping the scales at 38+lbs and I need to lighten it up!
I already know my main issue.... My wheels, tubes, and tires....
Wheels: Sun Rhyno Lite XL - 32 spoke
Tires: Panaracer DH Pros
Tubes: Intense DH
I plan on keeping my wheelset for now but chang ... Read More »
I don't know if it will do any good to post this, but I'm ticked. My SUV was broken into overnight and my bike was stolen. Silver/Grey Giant AC-1, shiver forks, blah, blah. I live in a nice neighborhood of San Jose, but I still shouldn't have left in locked in my car overnight...hindsight is 20/2 ... Read More »
my bike is out of my hands for a little while.. im looking at a new crankset, but i cant check the BB shell size. do you know it off the top of your head if its a 73 or 68. my NRS is 68, so i want to guess 68, but im not positive. i couldnt find it on the giant webpage or search engine. my ebay ... Read More »