Giant AC Air 2002 Full Suspension

4.74/5 (72 Reviews)
MSRP : $1700.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (72 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by hanser102 a Weekend Warrior from washington

Date Reviewed: May 9, 2009

Strengths:    strong frame/fairly lite

Weaknesses:    stock back shock does not hold up and overal back shock setup does not hold up to 30 ft gaps
bent rear shock twice and broke both bolts atleast 3 times
recommend aftermarket rear shock/hard to find


Bottom Line:   
good for cross country but doesnt hold up for big gaps or drops,especialy back suspension

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   collanade

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   swap meer

Similar Products Used:   bighit,cannondale prophet

Bike Setup:   marzoccchi forks rest is stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by j duncan from wendell,MA, USA

Date Reviewed: November 16, 2007

Strengths:    Bullet proof frame. Haven't changed the bushings or noticed play and I've been riding it sine 2002. Seated climbing is efficient. Point and shoot on roots and rocks, no problems. Enough clearnace for DH tires.

Weaknesses:    Had to cut the left swingarm to fit a Marzocchi Roco Air shock. Wasn't using less than 5" setting so it wasn't a big deal. No other weakness

Bottom Line:   
This is far and away the best bike I've ever owned. I work at a shop that deals Giant, Felt, Iron Horse and K2 and I can't figure out why Giant ever went away from this bike. Although,the new shock position of the Trance X reminds me a bit of the AC.
Mt. Snow, Kingdom Trails, Ninja Woods, Wendell St. Forest, Batchelor St., Hawley, Northfield Mt., this bike does it all.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wendell St. Forest

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Online as Frame and Fork

Similar Products Used:   Giant NRS

Bike Setup:   Pike 454, Roco Air, Nevegals, XTR 8spd, Xt cranks/BB, Avid BB7's, Alex rims/XT-Redline hubs, Rocket-V saddle, Thomson post, Monkey-Lite bars, Race Face stem. Bike is set up to hang with the XC hammerheads on the flats and climbs and drop them when the trail points down or gets nasty. Oh yeah, I painted it flat black last year too.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Greg a Downhiller from Tolland, CT, USA

Date Reviewed: May 31, 2007

Strengths:    Very good price for a full suspension bike with the components that are on it. It has a great rear shock that includes a lockout and isn't a pain in the ass climbing. Great color I must say, I have the Orange/Silver color. Oh lifetime warranty on the frame is great, if you tend to crack the frame.

Weaknesses:    Weak frame...at least for the riding style I am into. Broke the frame three times before finally realizing I need a stronger bike. (Bought the bike for cross country, while increasingly becoming more and more interested in Freeride/Downhill, therefore I kept the bike for that riding style..hucking this bike off 20 footers{bad idea})

Bottom Line:   
If you are into Cross Country, and only cross country, this bike is perfect for you..its top notch. It has withstood everything I threw at it in terms of using it as a freeride and downhill bike, so it is basically a tank for cross country. Great buy, I no longer ride it, and i can def tell yawl i miss it for sure.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Some Local Shop

Similar Products Used:   Kona Coiler Garbanzo, Kona Stinky Deluxe, Iron Horse Yakuza Kamicho, and finally Specialized Big Hit 2. (I go through bikes like nothing) This was only after I used the Giant by the way..after freeride became my thing.

Bike Setup:   Barely stock..Manitou Black Fork, Race Face Prodigy DH Cranks, Yeti Lock-On Grips, Hayes Sole Hydraulic w/ V8 rotor Brakes, Sun MTX-S Rims, and Maxxis Minion 26x2.5 Tires.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mikey O a Weekend Warrior from PA

Date Reviewed: January 17, 2007

Strengths:    Super beefy frame with gussets in all the right place, time proven suspension design, sealed bearings on all pivots, fairly light (31 lbs), adjustable travel on rear

Weaknesses:    Crappy race-face chain rings and low end BB failed quickly, hated the stock Manitou Black Elite fork (maybe just me, but it left me on my face after a double at Plattekill...ow)

Bottom Line:   
I took this bike downhilling in Plattekill the day after I bought it in '03 (yup...bad idea) and it took a beating with no complaints. Also been abused at Killington, Diablo FR Park in Mountain Creek, NJ, and Snowshoe, WV, with many Pennsylvania XC miles on it. Still like this bike alot and the suspension design is one of the few that is finding it's way onto alot of other bikes these days. Can downhill one day and go for a 22 mile XC ride the next. I started shopping for a new bike last month and decided to just fix up this one... it's that good.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Merli

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Main Bike World

Similar Products Used:   Jamis Dakar Expert, Trek Fuel, Jamis Dakar Comp

Bike Setup:   Now has Rock Shox Ario rear shock, Zoke's Z1-FR SL front fork, Conti Diesels, LX/XT, Sun Rynolites/XT hubs

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Perry Taylor a Cross Country Rider from Brooklyn, NY

Date Reviewed: September 7, 2004

Strengths:    The frame is tough as nails, the stock component set was great. Very little tweaking.

Weaknesses:    Avid Mech brakes...not good enough, and the shop I purchased the bike from swapped out a couple of parts before shipping. Lastly, handlebars with a little rise would have been nice.

Bottom Line:   
When I bought this bike, I looked high and low. Gary Fisher, Trek, I even considered another KHS. But then, I found the Giant AC Air. This bike had very impressive specs, and the paintjob, PHAT! I finally figured, screw it, I'm going for it. Thank God I did! I've been riding the hell outta this rig. I live in the city, so I have to deal with concrete drops and quick cab dodging maneuvering. I feel comfortable and confident when I'm riding. And when I get out of the city and into the trails, the bike really kicks ass. I'm 195 lbs, and I've put a hurtin' on every bike I've ever ridden. But once again, this bike can take it. Not to mention, it climbs suprisingly well. Have three travel settings is gold. 4.5 in for the city 5.25 for XC riding, and 6 for descents. Nothin' but love. Giant's made me very happy, and when it's time for a new rig, it will probably be a Giant again.
This bike is for anyone who needs high quality and mid-range pricing. It's perfect for XC, and it can take the abuse of a serious freeride adventure, and I'd consider racing it even though people say it's too heavy at 29 lbs. You just gotta pick the right kind of race.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   "Yellow Trail" on Bear Mt. (NY)

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Some shop in Or. (online)

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper, KHS FTX Pro

Bike Setup:   Shimano 525 hydro brakes, RaceFace Evolve DH cranks, big fat WTB MotoRaptors tires, SID XC rear shock, Manitou Black Elite forks, hand built Rhyno Lite rims w/XT hubs...yadda, yadda, yadda...

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dave Hellgeth a Downhiller from Elgin, IL

Date Reviewed: August 26, 2004

Strengths:    Suspension, best mechanical breaks out there, shifter components, unique look

Weaknesses:    Did not come stock with a quick release set post. The front derailer makes noise.

Bottom Line:   
I would definitely stick with Giant products.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Palos Hills

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Schaumburg Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   Diambond Back

Bike Setup:   Pretty much stoc.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike a Cross Country Rider from Ann Arbor, MI

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2003

Strengths:    VERY comfortable ride. Good frame, nice components for the money.

Weaknesses:    Looks.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great riding bike, but I couldn't bring myself to spend that much money on a bike that was so ugly. I know looks aren't the reason to buy a bike, but this was truly the worst looking paint job of any bike in the shop.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Great Lakes Cycle

Similar Products Used:   Giant VT1

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Clark from The OC

Date Reviewed: September 2, 2003

Strengths:    Great Value, Very versatile performer, great geometry

Weaknesses:    Limited seat adjustment range

Bottom Line:   
The is a great all round performing bike. I leave the rear at 6" of travel and love the comfort. As far as the seatpost clamp complaints, Titec will send you a free new & improved replacement so I'm not sure why so many are complaining about that. Also the seatpost shims just needs a good coat of lubriplate to keep it quiet. This bike feels like a real motocrosser and inspires confidence.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $875.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Specialized, Fisher

Bike Setup:   Pretty much stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jon a Weekend Warrior from Colorado

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2003

Strengths:    Price, value, fork, drivetrain, Durability, stiff clean looking frame.

Weaknesses:    Mutano Raptors dont grip enogh. Spokes.

Bottom Line:   
I found this bike very cheap, and even though some of the components seemed a little more cross country oriented then i wanted, i decided to buy it anyway and replace them as they broke. Much to my surprise, a year later and the bike is still mostly stock. I expected to have a new fork, rear shock, wheelset by now, but not so. This bike is super beefy. Even after two serious crashes involving fork on tree impacts, the fork still feels as nice as the day i bought it. I did, however blow both of the seals in the fork over the summer. I love the feel of this bike. It makes me want to ride all the time. The travel change in back makes a huge difference. In 4.5 inches it really does climb like an XC bike, and in 6 it feels like a free-ride bike on the descents.
I'm not sure if this is the fault of giant or my bike shop, but the bike was built with 15 guage spokes. After a year of riding, the front wheel was so flexy that the tread rubs on the brake arch of the fork, and the rear wheel is equally flexy, though there is so much clearance it isnt much of a problem, just doesnt track terribly well anymore.

This bike is truly an all mountian bike.

This bike is good for anyone who needs to climb, but also wants to have a plush, long travel feel on the downhill.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mountain Goat

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Similar Products Used:   Specialized enduro, kona stinky.

Bike Setup:   Stock AC Air except WTB 2.5LaserDH Weirwolf tires, Azonic shorty stem, Front wheel, bash ring, flat pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rafael Ertel a Cross Country Rider from Amherst, Ma. USA

Date Reviewed: July 7, 2003

Strengths:    The AC Air is a good climber. I was pleasantly suprised the the first time I hit a real climb, this is in comparison to my old hardtail which was light and fast, and RED! The suspension system in general works. Feels great over roots, and fast rocky descents. The brakes are powerful and the rims seem to be holding up.

Weaknesses:    Like many have stated the seatpost just won't stot its insistant creekinging, I also, like many swapped out the tires.

Bottom Line:   
I am very happy with this bike. I do not race so I do not worry to much about the weight. I ride primarily to stay in shape so the weight just makes me work harder:) If you can still find an AC Air and are looking for a go anywhere ride, this is the one.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Amethyst

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   EBAY

Bike Setup:   stock with the exception of the tires and the good old Shimano 747's.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Neil a Cross Country Rider from Lake Stevens, WA

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2003

Strengths:    Parts mix and value for price paid.

Weaknesses:    Seatpost creak and Avids require mucho adjusting.

Bottom Line:   
You can't find a sweeter spec'd bike for the money, and it "ain't all show, no go" either! I've only got about 2 seasons of "real" riding under my belt and this bike has done more to improve my skills than I could have reasonably expected. Haven't had any of the problems others have (except as noted above), but I ain't no mongo huckster either. This bike is more than capable of taking everything I can dish out and then some. Wanted a go anywhere, do anything ride that will be with me for the long haul and that's EXACTLY what I got. Ride in the 4" mostly and have no problems climbing, descending, etc. (except for ones I create myself . . . ). Put it in 6" for trails like Preston and just glide, glide, glide. As for the complaints on the paint, maybe I'm just crazy but - it's an aluminum framed MOUNTAIN bike!!!!! What possible harm can a few paint chips do????? If it's still shiny you ain't riding anywhere near hard enough folks.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Preston RR Trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Bothell Ski and Bike

Similar Products Used:   Tried Sugar 3 and NRS 3

Bike Setup:   Completely stock except for the pedals. Replaced the nylon caged 424 SPD's w/ the metal caged 545's. May be heavier but I get much better clip in performance. Looking for a new seatpost too.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Josh a Racer from Old Orchard Beach, ME, United States

Date Reviewed: April 28, 2003

Strengths:    This Thing is Kick ass the best bike.
It is like you are on a coson of air the hole time
no pedle bomb eather
So nice for drops and jumps


Weaknesses:    S*** Man Thats Not Cool

Bottom Line:   
This bike kicks ass peroid..................................................

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Killer S*** Trail

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   All Speed Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Suger One and Two
Shwin S- 10
Santa Cruse Bulit


Bike Setup:   Marsocki Bomer
Rear suspention At 7.75 inches in rear
Race Face and XT set up

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by mike from Mill Valley, CA , USA

Date Reviewed: April 27, 2003

Strengths:    Good frame and components

Weaknesses:    rear shock, I can't get it very stiff and I bottom it out on the littlest of bumps or drops.

Bottom Line:   
Its a good beginning freeride bike, good at trails and an ok jumper. It's also pretty light.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   stock with various upgrades

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jon from Tulsa, OK

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2003

Strengths:    front triangle stiffness, do-it-all-ness: very plush yet can still climb very well, components, price.

Weaknesses:    Slight Rear Triangle flex, seatpost creak, seatpost shim BS, seatpost not really XC and DH friendly (I have 2 posts, 1 for XC [long] and 1 for DH/FR [short], Wheels are built with crappy spokes (its been 1 year and I have had to rebuild both wheels), brakes need frequent adjustment compared to Hayes or Shimano Hydrolics.

Bottom Line:   
This is my last follow up, unless I break the thing. It has been over a year and this bike has been abused. Still working well, no play in pivots, rear shock still working surprisingly well (with routine lube and seal checks).

I totally fried the rear wheel, broke about half the spokes on the non drive side, and had to rebuild it. Giant should have used better spokes, all spokes broke at the threads, just inside the nipple.

The seatpost area developed a horrible creak (in the frame/post area not the saddle). I replaced the post with a Thompson and it seems to have stopped. maybe it was the post flexing and causing it to creak against the frame.

The rear Triangle flexes a tiny bit in high speed technical situations.

Thats about it :)

It has been a great bike. I would buy it again :)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Greenleaf SP & Turkey Mtn area

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   BOT

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Enduro, SC Bullit, and various high and low end FS XC rigs

Bike Setup:   Giant AC Air w/ mods: Sun Rhyno Lite/DT spokes/REAL (rear), Sun DS-1/WS spokes/Real (front), Thompson seatpost, Continental Vertical (front), Continental Survival (rear), THE front fender, Bash Ring, Time Pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tim a Downhiller from Alaska

Date Reviewed: April 16, 2003

Strengths:    very plush in 6, while very stiff in 4.5. 5.15 is nice for ups and downs together. The sid is okay, but i want a coil, and no rock shox

Weaknesses:    heavyish, and sorta slow on uphills (still works though)

Bottom Line:   
This bike is awesome. It will soak up the big drops and keep your tires on the ground on the descents. The sid is really nice, but i need something stronger and a coil, and not rock shox. the psylo sucks, and i'm gonna get a shiver and helix pro. After that - this bike will be awesome. Even with rockshox, it still does handle good, although the suspension just really bugs the heck out of me. Its a good bike, but if you don't do a lot of hucking drops and going down hills, but want to go up more of them, get something lighter: a slayer or jekyll are both nice. This bike is great though for doing a little bit of uphill, with a lot of down.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   kona stinky-five and dee-lux, rocky mountain slayer, cannondale jekyll

Bike Setup:   2001 psylo, sid XC, fat 2.5 and 2.3 tires.... hayes 8" discs, prodigy DH cranks, azonic shorty, easton monkeybar, lx shifters, xt derailleurs (work excellent with xtr cables)

Reviews 1 - 15 (72 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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Best shock upgrade for 2002 AC Air Lite?

Going back a few years here... I've got a 2002 AC Air Lite with the Sid XC and wanted to upgrade the rear shock to something more plush and better pedaling. I'm a bit out of touch with rear suspension technology. Was told before that a Manitou swinger would be a great improvement (but this was se ... Read More »

XCL as replacement for Giant AC Air?

As the title states, I'm trying to find a replacement for my old Giant AC Air. My riding is 90% "trail"... I live in the Midwest so we don't have extended climbs, but we do have roots, rocks, logs, and ditches. How does the XCL do on tight singletrack? I always felt the AC was maybe overkill for ... Read More »

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