Giant Rainier 2002 Hardtail

4.47/5 (147 Reviews)
MSRP : $700.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (147 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Barkleyfan a Cross Country Rider from Iowa

Date Reviewed: October 5, 2008

Strengths:    Good spec, sturdy components, tuneable and upgradeable as you grow.

Weaknesses:    The Axel fork has no lockout, and the websites instruction to convert to 100 mm is incorrect, leaving you to figure out what they really meant. The 80 mm setting was FAR to pluch for my 240 lb Clyde riding style. The conversion to 100 mm seems to have stiffened them up nicely.
The Mosquitos wear fast. They also stick like glue, and are LIGHT.


Bottom Line:   
Good bike, well behaved on the trails, rode it home every trip out. Fork was too plush, so I finally converted it to 100mm, and as I was having problems pulling the front end up on climbs, I inverted the ugly stem. The bike came alive, the climbing is more predictable, flicking it back and forth on the trail livened up as well. Bike is now 5 years old, pads are just plain gone, and the rear Mosquito is now a semislick. And it still grips better than my brand new Mythos on my spare bike. Shame I can't get more. For a cross country beater, this bike is what it supposed to be. For a race rig, or a free ride big-air toy, look elsewhere. This bike is game to try any of it, but you're going outside of what it was designed for.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Shirley Meadows, Ca

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $750.00

Similar Products Used:   several hardtails

Bike Setup:   2003 Rainier frame, Manitou Axel fork, Truvative Fire X isis cranks and BB 22-32-44 with 11-34 cog. Avid BB7 discs with AD3 levers. Deore shifters and front derailleur, LX rear. mosquito tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike Spillane a Cross Country Rider from New Hampshire

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2008

Strengths:    Very fast and efficient on the trails. The components are all high quality for the price.

Weaknesses:    I've never been the biggest fan of the marzocchi fork
tires wore out fast riding to the trails on the roads


Bottom Line:   
I've had this bike for a long time now, 2003 model, and its seen some really epic rides and some epic crashes. Overall this has been a great bike and it has gotten me through highschool and half of college with very few problems. Always a smooth ride, and for only 700 dollars this make has been more than worth it. Earlier this year my axel fork blew out so I just ordered a new Marzocchi all mountain 2 online so hopefully this will keep my bike going strong. This bike has served me great and would be a good investment if you can find one used for cheap( I dont think they make this one anymore)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Musquash sand trail

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Cycles etcetera

Similar Products Used:   Pro-flex 814 stock
Specialized P.2 with bontrager earl rims, junior T and hayes disk brakes


Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Max Hanson a Weekend Warrior from Shorewood, IL, USA

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2006

Strengths:    great geometry, great avid brakes, solid components and marzocci shock.

Weaknesses:    slightly heavy

Bottom Line:   
great bike for the money, absolutely love the ride and it can take just about anything you throw at it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   sunbaum

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Antoine Pro a Weekend Warrior from Toronto, On

Date Reviewed: September 6, 2005

Strengths:    Outstanding Price Quality Ratio
Great fun, solid climber, capable descender
Fantastic brakes (avid mechanical disk)


Weaknesses:    Front Derailleur slow on downshift under power.
Moderate flex on Judy SL under breaking.
Low end cranks.
Pedals clog with mud relatively easily


Bottom Line:   
Unless you're a pro, you cannot go wrong with this bike. Solid frame, well spec'd out, more than equal to any (but not big hit) task you throw at it.

Short chainstays make for excellent climbing, the slightly relaxed geometry allows for confident descents and nimble, easy handling. The hardtail keeps the weight down, and makes for happy climbing. I'd beware of any FS bikes in the same price range - they might just be too portly to keep up with your friends going up hills.

Even the RS Judy SL does the job OK with a useful adjustable travel feature (nice for downhill stretches). ALthough under heavy breaking there is some flex and chatter (150 lb rider).

The brakes are definitely a bonus - reliable, easy to set up, powerful. They actually make riding more fun (can dive into corners with few doubts about the bike).

It's not a pro bike, but then again, it's far cheaper. I could spend twice what I paid and still not have more fun. At some point, it's simply more about the rider, and the Giant's quality takes you well beyond that point.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anywhere quick and dirty in the Don Valley

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Sporting LIfe

Similar Products Used:   Concorde (old...), Rocky Mountain hammer (feel of steel)

Bike Setup:   Stock (2004) with exception of flat handlebar and (old school) bar ends.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sean M. Murphy a Weekend Warrior from Middletown, CT, USA

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2005

Strengths:    Strong Frame, Avid Disc Brakes, Marzocchi Fork, Great Looking Bike....

Weaknesses:    Alot of complaints about the Hutchinson Mosquitos. The tires are beginning to wear, and have not ridden the bike more than a few times

Bottom Line:   
The bike was a great leftover pick up for me.

I have only had the chance to take the bike out a half dozen times so far, and am very happy with the performance and feel.

The bike climbs quickly, feels like it can take a good pounding, and is comfortable. The disc brakes are incredible, as is the front suspension. Some reviewers have complained that this bike is too heavy, but hey, this is not a competition-ready bike! This is a great bike to enjoy on trails, single track, and should be able to handle some good downhills.

IMO - You probably can't get much better value than this bike's set up.

Bottom Line - Learn how to MTN Bike wit the stock pedals, than swap out for clipless, and get new Tires!!! After this, you will be a happy Rainier owner!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Middlesex

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   Suburban Sports

Similar Products Used:   Trek

Bike Setup:   GT Bar Ends, Shimano PD-520s, rest of the bike is stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sean M. a Weekend Warrior from Middletown, CT

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2005

Strengths:    Great bike for the price, was a left over. Frame feels solid, components are solid, for price paid. Great Fork, Avid discs. Some reviews complain about the bike's weight, but this is obviously not a race-minded bike. A great training and XC bike to hit the trails hard with.

Weaknesses:    Reviews complainabout the wear on the tires, and I can agree. In the short time I have used the bike, the tires are showing their wear, and I am sure that they will need to be replaced soon.


Bottom Line:   
This bike is my foray back into XC. I had done some extensive biking while in college, and then gave up the sport for several years. In getting back into the sport, I wanted to buy a hardtail that was affordable, had reasonably good components, and the Rainier fit the bill perfectly!

The bike is perfect for the rider who wants to hit the trails hard, get a good workout, and feel great about the price paid for the set-up.

Performance: The bike climbs hard! You can dash up inclines, bomb down hills, manuver technical single track, and most anything else you can encounter. Avid Disc Brakes stopping power is incredible, and takes some getting used to.

The bike however, is not made for 5-foot drops, save that for a full-suspension with beefier treads!

Overall, I would recommend the Rainier to anyone who is looking for an affordable XC bike, with great components, and the has the intention of hitting the trails hard

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Middletown

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   Suburban Sports

Similar Products Used:   Trek

Bike Setup:   Stock bike, with the exception of Pedal upgrade to Shimano's PD-M520, GT bar ends

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Craig a Cross Country Rider from Kansas City

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2005

Strengths:    Great value for first mountion bike. A good base to start adding up-grades

Weaknesses:    heavvvvvvvvvvvvvy parts. But, lite parts cost $$

Bottom Line:   
Bought the bike in 03' as an 02 close-out. Rode for a year then raced the folowing year. Bought a used LiteSpeed Unicoi (love it) then the Rainier frame started to fracture on the head tube side of the weld at the downtube. I took it to my LBS and Giant warrantied it for me. No complaints. Now I have a new XTC2 frame. I had to buy a new seat post due to the difference in seat tube diameter, but hey, the stock one was heavy anyway. Overall this bike served me well. Good entery bike, go ahead, rough it up and modify the components. Then when you get good. Buy a better bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $600.00

Similar Products Used:   Now riding XTC2 due to cracking frame. I weight 135lbs. No extreme jumping, just trail stuff.

Bike Setup:   XTC2 frame. Thompson laid back post, LX cranks, XT rear Deraileur and cassett, Old school Nuke Proof Stem, Easton bar. Original marzochi fork, Giant seat and Avid disk brakes.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Michael Muller from Innsbruck, Austria

Date Reviewed: September 14, 2004

Strengths:    Looks great, Avid Discs brakes, perfect for entry level riders. You get what you pay for.

Weaknesses:    Terrible stock tires and pedals (I hate cages). Hutchinson Mosquitoes have the fastest wear-rate I have ever seen. Decent Fork, can wear out after 1 year of hard riding.

Bottom Line:   
Perfect for entry level riders, if you have some experience, get something more beefy! If you buy it, you'll enjoy it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All over Sweden

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $780.00

Purchased At:   The Bicycle Cellar

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Hardrock, Kona Stuff, Haro Escape 8.2


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sung C a Cross Country Rider from Northern CA

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2004

Strengths:    Avid Disc brakes, strong frame

Weaknesses:    Stock rims, Hutchinson Mosquitoes, cage pedals, stock saddle

Bottom Line:   
After much research, I bought this bike when I decided to get back to XC biking with occasional mountain riding. With my target price of $600 - $650, I felt that this bike offered the best value for my money. I taco'd my front wheel in my first crash, and decided to replace both wheels with something a little more heavy duty, Mavic 321 Disc with XT hubs ($225), Panaracer Fire XC Pro tires ($50). I weigh 250lbs and I am confident that my bike can handle my weight well now. I also upgraded to Time ATAC pedals ($60) and WTB Laser V Steath saddle ($65). By the way, swap out the saddle as soon as possible. It makes riding that much more pleasant.

After the upgrades, I'm quite happy with my Rainier. The disc brakes are awesome, but make sure to feather it coming down a hill. I have my taco'd front wheel to show my learning curve. Only semi regret is that at the time of purchase, I thought $1000 bikes were a little more than what I wanted to spend, and yet I ended up with one anyway. And a $1000 bike would have had a lighter frame than the Rainier. Oh well.

Overall this is a great entry level mountain bike and fits my riding needs. I give it 5 value rating and 4 overall rating.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Los Alamitos Creek Trail

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   Fast Bicycle

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4300

Bike Setup:   Time ATAC pedals, WTB Laser V Steath saddle, Mavic 321 Disc with XT hubs, Panaracer Fire XC Pro tires, Cateye Enduro 2

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Randy Deibel a Weekend Warrior from Ocean Shores WA.

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2004

Strengths:    Great bike

Weaknesses:    Entry level bike

Bottom Line:   
I cracked the down tube at the headset. Just riding along an snap! O-well I new it was a entry level bike a I am not riding entry level. It is a great bike and I loved it for two an half years. Ride Hard

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Dump

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   La Vogue

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   I just started to build it up, Race Face crank and bb, Scott bars, Mosh pedels, Bontage seat ODI lock-on gips, XT r-derailler, Rock-Shock Psylo XC 120mm travel fork and just bought Velluta freeride rims to build.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Hot Socks a Cross Country Rider from Boise, ID

Date Reviewed: February 26, 2004

Weaknesses:    Loose the pedals and get something clipless.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great little hardtail, especially for the entry-level biker. It’s a little too heavy otherwise (my bathroom scale says 27lbs). My first experience with disc brakes and I'm never going back! It climbs like a banshee (thanks to my ripple-y muscles), and corners like Al Green on speed. I bent the rear rim pretty bad trying unsuccessfully to bunnyhop rocks and it was cheap and easy to fix. It's not a big drop bike, but duh, enjoy it on those long cross-country rides.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Corrals

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $730.00

Purchased At:   Bob's Bikes

Similar Products Used:   An old giant back in high school...a yukon or something.

Bike Setup:   I've kept everything the same except for adding clipless.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Paul a Cross Country Rider from Montreal, Quebec

Date Reviewed: July 13, 2003

Strengths:    Geometry, Deore Setup, Avid Brakes, looks great

Weaknesses:    Bottom Bracket, Fork

Bottom Line:   
Got the Bike less than 2 weeks ago, noticed a defect with the Marzocchi EXR Air fork the next day. Now they want to take the bike back for 2 weeks so they can send the fork back and repair it. They don't think it's a good idea though to wait 2 weeks for the payment, do they??? Also I think I should get a NEW fork, cuz I didn't break it so they should just be replaced. Don't want a repaired defective product. The store doesn't want to give me a new fork until they get it from the manufacturer and there is no way to contact Giant besides a long distance call to BC. Contacted Marzocchi on the on-line Customer care page, maybe they will reply with a better idea!
Anyways, when you buy a bike make sure you have a manufaturer warranty shop around so you can go yourself and get new parts. Also broke the bottom bracket on my first trail. Very reliable! :)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mt Tremblant

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Sport Depot on Mont-Royal

Bike Setup:   Just got it, only changed pedals for Wellgo Platforms

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Charles Jones a Racer from Washington D.C. USA

Date Reviewed: May 19, 2003

Strengths:    Marzocchi shock, awesome avid disc brakes, Incredibly strong frame, race inspired geometry

Weaknesses:    First of all the stock tires suck. Next, the seat is a little small, my ass falls of after four hours of riding. The drive-train components are a little low-end but fine for an entry level bike. the stock pedals are useless, replace them with eggbeaters. lastly the frame is very heavy but depending on the conditions that could be beneficial.

Bottom Line:   
This was my first bike and it has served me very well considering the amount i payed for it. The Zoch shocks are very smooth and easy to adjust but don't bottom out even on a four foot drop (i only weigh 150). I have put close to 9000 miles on this bike and never broken the s, BB, derailleur, ed the frame or even gotten the wheels out of true(remember i only weigh 150).
remember this bike was designed to be a fast entry level xc racer. for someone in my weight group the component spec is not terrible and the problem with parts breaking is a null issue. It climbs like a goat and descends even faster. if you want the best bang for your buck buy the 2002 frame-set with the zoch shock and add your spec of other components. However if you are planning on racing in a higher level consider a higher end bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Poor Farm State Park or any fast rocky technical track

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle Outfitters

Similar Products Used:   Roadmaster Mt. Climber, 2003 rainer

Bike Setup:   stock + conti tires Sram chain and egg-beaters

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by johnnyb a Cross Country Rider from San Anselmo, CA

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2003

Strengths:    Strong frame, Great fork, Great brakes.

Weaknesses:    Bottom bracket, crank, headset,

Bottom Line:   
I have used this as my training-exercise bike for the past year and have put over 5,000 miles on it.

The rear wheel was relaced by Gravy Wheels in SA due to spokes being broken, probably because I weigh 210 lbs. The bottom bracket, cassette and crank were replaced after 4,000 miles. They were some unknown cheapo brand.

The fork had warranty work due to a scratch on the upper piston from Marzocchi (customer service did a great job and I even speced a heavier oil from them!).

The rotor was replaced due to uneven wear for free from Avid (another great customer service story here.)

And I just recently had the headset replaced. These replacements and repairs were mostly from riding the hell out of it on singletrack for 5,000 miles!

The frame and geometry are excellent. Slightly heavy, but this is my training bike. It handles great, just make sure you practice scooting back over the rear wheel on steep descents!

The bottom line, the 2002 Rainier is the best buy for under $700 imho.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tamarancho

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $620.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   Stumpy Pro, Fisher AL

Bike Setup:   Monkey bars, xt crank-bb and cassette, specialized seat, koski stem, mythos front and rear

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Mike a Weekend Warrior from Oxford, MI, USA

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2003

Strengths:    Disc brake, very strong

Weaknesses:    Chain suck after about 15 rides, averaging 8 miles a ride.

Bottom Line:   
I am writing this review to warn people about the unreliability of the bike. After only about 15 rides, averaging 8 miles a ride, I experienced "chain suck". The dealer, Main Street in Oxford MI, told me I had to replace the chain and the chain rings (over a 120 cost). I find this completely unacceptable as compared to the 6 years I rode my Specialized Rockhopper with only minor cost adjustments. Giant will not help and neither will the dealer. Being the bike is almost new I feel it should be fixed for free, covered under warranty. So my recommendation is do not buy the Giant and be very careful if you want to buy anything from Main Street Bicycles.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pontiac Lakes

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Main Street Bicycles in Oxford

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Rock Hopper

Bike Setup:   Added seat post and clip ons

Reviews 1 - 15 (147 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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