Giant Rainier 2003 Hardtail

4.25/5 (65 Reviews)
MSRP : $820.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (65 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jaymark a Cross Country Rider from Plymouth, UK

Date Reviewed: October 17, 2010

Strengths:    Great all rounder goes everywhere, strong and indestructible...so far

Weaknesses:    Mech Brakes weren't best upgraded to Shimano Deore Hyraulics They're sweet and strong

Bottom Line:   
Love the bike so much I can't part with it. It was one of the first to have disk brakes and so is a trend setter. Shame they don't make that model anymore.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Black mountains

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Leesburg, Va

Similar Products Used:   First MTB and now 6 years old! Going as good as it did although I have ridden Kona and GT and honestly they're no better

Bike Setup:   Manitou Axel forks but upgraded to Shimano XT Cranks, & Rear derailleur and deore front derailleur and bottom bracket. Same wheels, but use Kenda Kinetics extra wide tyres

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by TulsaClint a Cross Country Rider from Tulsa OK, United States

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2010

Strengths:    Great frame, sturdy wheels. Good frame to upgrade components on as you progress in riding.

Weaknesses:    Fork is worthless. Manitou Axel fork adjustment seems to do nothing, finally broke the fork this year, arch snapped in half. Seatpost bolt snapped on me after 1500 miles.

Bottom Line:   
Great hardtail platform to add upgrades too, great frame that I've ridden hard for years on tough technical trails. Only gets a 4 overall rating because some of the original components really don't belong on this bike and the bike could be a lot better, although more expensive, with better components (main thing i.e. is the Manitou Axel fork).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Turkey Mountain

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Giant Iguana SE, Specialized Hardrock disc.

Bike Setup:   Fox Float RL, Shimano XT rear deraileur and crankset, WTB seat.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by butterbeMTB a Racer from ellicott city, md, usa

Date Reviewed: June 20, 2010

Strengths:    very srrong & reliable

Weaknesses:    seat is very hard, handlebars are wierd

Bottom Line:   
great beginner mountian bike will last longer than you.

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Favorite Trail:   raystown lake

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   more forum

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   manitou platinum black fork, thomson elite seatpost, wtb grips,kenda kinetics tires

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

Date Reviewed: August 11, 2008

Strengths:    Brakes are a work of art, component spec is great for the price level, bike is plain sturdy overall.

Weaknesses:    Fork is WEAK. I weigh 230 lbs, and the fork simply can't handle me. Also notice alot of flex at the bottom bracket when I hammer.

Bottom Line:   
Sturdy, not TOO heavy @ 28lbs, and a nice, precise drivetrain. This bike was the best hardtail Giant offered at the time, and by far the best hardtail I could find anywhere near the pricerange. I've beat the bike for years on Shirley Meadows, Mt Pinos, Keysville, Mt Elden, and various CC trails around Iowa. Tires wear pretty quick, but they're pretty decent otherwise. Drivetrain stays true (I've had to adjust it a couple times since 2003) and wheels have never had to be touched. Brakes are everything I could ask for; high power, good modulation, and low maintenance. The geometry is comfortable and responsive without getting nervous (19 inch)

I don't like the fork. At 230 lbs, I'm not a finesse rider. I'm thinking about trying to upgrade the fork to a heavier spring and a lockout. My only other complaint is BB flex, but at my weight, I have yet to find a frame that won't flex when I hammer.

All in all, this bike is hard to touch in it's price range, and it can be lightened up if you want to race.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Shirley Meadows

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   http://finishlinebik

Similar Products Used:   Too many to list

Bike Setup:   Deore front derailur, LX rear derailur, Deore shifters, Avid CPS disc brakes Avid Ad3 levers, Truvative Fire X crankset with Isis bottom bracket, Snafu concave pedals, shimano disc hubs, Mavic X139 rims, Hutchinson Mosquito tires, Giant stem, riser bar, seat, and seatpost, and the Manitou Axel Super fork.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by jeepmb a Cross Country Rider from lake wood,co,u.s.a

Date Reviewed: June 26, 2008

Strengths:    high quality components,nice suspension, great tires, and very, very, very durable

Weaknesses:    durability comes at a price, this bike is a very heavy bike and has a hard time coasting

Bottom Line:   
this bike rocks but it is extremely heavy for my needs so i am looking at other bikes such as the fuel ex 9, but for beginners this is a dream but being surrounded by a family of full suspension bikers its hard to resist them.


yes i would recommend this to a friend

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   mesa loop

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $412.00

Purchased At:   adventure cycles

Similar Products Used:   trek 4100

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dave a Weekend Warrior from Richmond

Date Reviewed: November 13, 2007

Strengths:    Light frame, handling, brakes, rims

Weaknesses:    Sh-t stock pedals, worthless fork/shock

Bottom Line:   
Great starter Mt. bike, a few steps up from entry level with some good stock components, Deore Lx rear DR, Avid bb-5 brakes and Mavic rims give you a competent, solid ride with good handling and shifting. Will want to replace fork and especially the worthless, cheap Forte pedals. Giant rocks! Excellent frame geometry!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pony Pasture/Huguenot Flatwater

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $310.00

Purchased At:   Craigslist

Similar Products Used:   Demoed GT Avalanche 1.0, Giant Yukon, own a Specialized Corssroads Sport

Bike Setup:   Stock w/ Rock Shox Judy fork, Avid BB 5 brakes, Mavic Rims

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jon a Cross Country Rider from Newark, DE, USofA

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2007

Strengths:    Great Price and components. Frame rocks! great geometry, light, unique color. Fork has never bottomed out, holds up well, 1/2 air, 1/2 spring.

Weaknesses:    Tires: Kenda, wear fast and way too thin for real riding (puncture easily).

Bottom Bracket: I have had it for about a year now with no problems, but it has begun to click with the force of pedaling, annoying.

Pedals: Cheep. Dont hold my feet very well. Easy upgrade, no worries.

No Bash Gaurd: The bike did not come with a bash gaurd which is lame. I had to replace my biggest chain ring with a bash gaurd, well worth it though. I never really used the big chain ring on trails anyway.


Bottom Line:   
This bike is sweet. My first mid range bike--I was used to riding fully ridged, early 90's bikes--and it has proven heavy-use worthy.

While I haven't really upgraded too extensively, this bike is a keeper that I will continually upgrade for years and years to come.

Great beginners bike, and not too expensive.

I am giving it an overall rating of 4 chilis b/c I have never owned a high end bike and can not compair. However, for a mid-range bike 5 chilis all the way!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Plantation Trail, WV

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Wooden Wheels

Bike Setup:   Stock except Panaracer XC pro tire (front), Panaracer DH (rear), better pedals, and bash gaurd added.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Satchel a Weekend Warrior from Santa Cruz, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: March 22, 2007

Strengths:    Frame rocks, avid brakes, Marzocchi EXR is pretty good for the price, kenda tires

Weaknesses:    Pretty much the whole crank set, and the peddales could definitly be upgraded.

Bottom Line:   
Great bike if your into mountain biking but dont want to spend thousands of dollars to get a good bike.Overall a great bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Delaveaga

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $532.00

Purchased At:   Family Cycling Center

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Hardrock


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike a Weekend Warrior from Brighton, Colorado

Date Reviewed: May 6, 2006

Strengths:    Mavic X139 rims, AVID disk brakes, Fram,

Weaknesses:    Axel pro fork-Stock spring had to put in a stiff spring and add a lockout $90 for both, now this shock rocks. Crank is average I may upgrade. Grips suck upgraded to Ergon grips.

Bottom Line:   
I got this from a student for $300 with less than 500 miles on the bike. $90 for new stiff spring and Lockout. $40 for new tires. This bike kicks butt for the trails I ride in and around Denver Hardpack signle track etc. It is not a downhill bike so don't get it thinking you can go play with those boys. The Shock is one of the keys to this and any bike. If you are over 160lb you need to upgrade you stock shock with a heavy spring or get a new air shock that you can tune to your weight a lockout is a must also if you want to blow past all the weenies in the climbs!
The Value Rating is a 5 because of the steal I got. and the overall is a 4 because there is always you can do to improve this and any bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Apex

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Used from C.U. Student

Similar Products Used:   Stumpjumper.

Bike Setup:   IRC Mythos, upgraded shock spring and LO, Ergon grips. Everything else is stock.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Fred Prather a Weekend Warrior from ft scott

Date Reviewed: June 30, 2005

Strengths:    light frame, quick handler, avid disc work great, drivetrain shifts good, price, wheels seem strong, wide gearing, clipless pedals, color

Weaknesses:    hutchinson tires to soft(wore-out the back in 3 months), Manitou axel way to soft for my 185 lbs, having a problem with crank bolts working loose, Top tube just a bit short for me

Bottom Line:   
My wife bought this bike for my birthday, and did a great job(praise bicycles etc. for being so nice to her!) I love the bike, very fast and probably 10lbs lighter than my ancient boulder. The spring is too light in the fork for my lard @$$, but easily fixed when I find a firmer spring. My only two real complaints: the top tube is too short(which was fixed for the most part with a new stem), and the cranks(can not keep the bolts from loosening, even with RED loctite!) I really like the quick handling, now that I am use to it, quite a change from my old boulder(69.5 head). Soon as I find the spring and swap my bracket/cranks(I hate taperlocks) for octilinks or isis; I will be extremely happy. Great bike for the dough, especially a birthday gift.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   neosho, mo

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   bicycles etc.

Similar Products Used:   giant boulder se(rode into the ground), raleigh m80, trek 4500, and giant rincon

Bike Setup:   Kenda Klaw back tire, easton ea70 stem, mini pump, saddle bag(2 spares) 19" frame

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alan a Weekend Warrior from Ottawa (Ontario, Canada)

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2005

Strengths:    Avid Mechanical disk brakes and Mavic X139 rims
Marzocchi EXR fork (air)
Deore LX rear derailleur
Paint job and frame quality


Weaknesses:    Hutchinson Mosquito tires - rapid wear
Shimano Deore Bottom Bracket - ticking noise


Bottom Line:   
I posted a review in October 2003 regarding this bike. Here is an update... Still love my Rainier (2003 model) !!!!
I have replaced my Hutchinson tires with something else and I will be changing my bottom bracket with an upgrade because of an annoying ticking noise. The BB works fine and turns smoothly without being wobbly. I had my LBS look at it (taken apart for maintenance and put back together) but the noise is still there (I can confirm the noise is from the BB after a lengthy search). I will simply upgrade the BB and I might spend the $$$ for a crank upgrade. The Deore HollowTech crank does flex somewhat under heavy use but it has held up (rider weight 190 lbs).

The Mavic X139 rims have performed well given the variety of road and trail use. Recently, I have purchased a 2nd set of rims for my city tires (Alex ACE19).

The Marzocchi EXR (air) fork has performed very well. Very reliable and I have yet to bottom it out (I use my bike for transit and XC trails - not drop offs).

I absolutely love the Avid Mechanical brakes. They brake hard with very little maintenance. They are easy to adjust as the pads wear down (dials). Replacement pads are inexpensive (16$ Cdn per pair).

For approx. 1100 $ Cdn, this is a hard bike to beat. The overall package is a good bang for the buck !!! I highly recommend this bike for the average user. This is not a competition bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   other hardtails (nothing worth mentioning)

Bike Setup:   Stock except for 2nd set of rims - Alex ACE19 with Atomic hubs

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eric a Cross Country Rider from Buxton, Maine

Date Reviewed: November 17, 2004

Strengths:    Great Frame, Avid Discs, Price

Weaknesses:    Tires, Crank, Deore parts

Bottom Line:   
A Great bike for the price. I upgraded to an XT drivetrain for more reliability, although after my expirience with SRAM's X-9 on my NRS, I may go that route also. The tires are absolute junk and need to be replaced, but other than that, no complaints. A good bike and component spec for someone looking for their first serious bike, and a good starting point to upgrade from for those of a more serious nature.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pride's Corner Loop

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $675.00

Purchased At:   Quinn's Bike

Similar Products Used:   Old Iguana SE Hardtail, NRS 3

Bike Setup:   Stock except Kenda Front & Velociraptor Rear Tires, XT Drivetrain

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew a Cross Country Rider from Wyndmoor, PA, USA

Date Reviewed: September 26, 2004

Strengths:    awesome light frame, avids are nice too, frame geometry good, included clipless pedals

Weaknesses:    hutchinson mosquito tires suck on ice, dirt, loose rocks, hell everything! cranks stink, just had to replace them (LX - very light and rigid), fork bottoms out alot when i ride...i am waiting for it to pop one day.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is great for the type of trails that I am riding in the Wissahickon. The terrain is very rocky and hilly at times, and this bike has taken everything that I have thrown at it so far. While the fork and the included tires are a weakness to the overall package, for what I paid this bike is a steal. Currently, I am turning this bike into a race machine, where the only stock part will be the awesome frame and maybe the brakes. I would recommend this bike to anyone with a tight budget but a willingness to upgrade. If you ride hard, then this bike will survive, but only if you maintain it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wissahickon Backcountry

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Performance Montgomeryville

Similar Products Used:   first bike

Bike Setup:   stock + shimano PD-520 SPD pedals + Panaracer XC tires + shimano Deore LX Crank + shimano octalink bottom bracket + raptor light system

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Francis Marcoux a Cross Country Rider from Mascouche, Quebec, Canada

Date Reviewed: August 27, 2004

Strengths:    -Avid mechanical break are working great
-Seat is confortable and not as sleepy as last one
EXR air fork is working on the way I was expecting
- Very good painting


Weaknesses:    - Mosquito tires wore too fast
- My chain brooke twice on paved road (after only 200 km)even with a great care and maintenance
- Air fork needs a special pump while my Louis Garneau can do the job and it is a standar mini pump
- My front derailleur broke in two after 200 km
- a litlle bite on the heavy side


Bottom Line:   
A good bike in this category, a lot of extra's like Air fork and mechanical break, such thing you'll find on pricier bike.
I lost one front break pad after 50 km and they cost as much as my car ones!!! My chain brooke twice on very smooth road and the second time it also broke my front derailleur. So i updated for XT chain and front derailleur and it works better now.

Mosquito tires are real piece of scrap. I not able to climp very big step as the tire loose the grip very easily. Also i found that the tire are not very good in corner while they are fast on paved road. But it is a good idea to upgrade; I installed Panracer XC pro and I very satisfied.

In overall I am satisfied with what i got

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mont Ste-Anne

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Sport Expert - Mtl

Similar Products Used:   Minelly Montain Diablo Extreme 2000 edittion
Devinci Catctus 2002


Bike Setup:   Stock + XT chain + XT Front derailleur

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Luke a Cross Country Rider from Blacksburg, VA, USA

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2004

Strengths:    It's been great so far. I love the brakes, and the smooth shifting. The shocks are fun (my old bike didn't have anything like it). Great for trail riding, I wouldn't do anything too hardcore though.

Weaknesses:    I already broke the Uturn knob on the shocks, had to order the new part which was very hard to find. I thought the shocks were leaking at first but it was the "trikle down" technology and it was trickling down to the floor. I have had no other problems. If I do anything to this bike I will get a new fork/shocks.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great bike, all of my biking friends envy it. I'm really glad I got it, and it wasn't so expensive for what you get. The frame is strong and defintely a good bike to upgrade if you so desired. Seat was uncomfortable until I road it for about 50 miles then my butt got hard or something because it doesn't bother me now. To get smoother shifting I noticed to let up on the pedaling some and it is barely noticible that it shifted. I'd say this is a keeper, and if you don't have one go out and get one!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Bike Setup:   Stock, except bike rack.

Reviews 1 - 15 (65 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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