Giant XTC 29er Hardtail

The Giant XtC 29er combines the best of both worlds. With highly engineered ALUXX SL aluminum tubing and performance XC geometry, it delivers stability and surprisingly agile trail manners.

User Reviews (104)

Showing 1-10 of 104  
FranciscoMTB4   Racer [Sep 27, 2014]
Strength:

Everything about it is bombproof. Marzocchi fork is super smooth still (after 2-3 years). Fast. Rolls over anything you throw at it, allows a lot of room for error. Love the qr15 thru axle. Also the stock saddle is amazing even though it's just Giant brand.

Weakness:

HEAVY. I have the 2011 or 2012 xtc 2 and it weighs in at 30 lbs, heavier than some dh bikes I've ridden. The stock wheels weigh about 7 lbs with tires and rotors. Bike is a bit unstable on some technical sections, also loses traction in the back fairly easy. Shimano alivio is not ideal but works.

This is a review for the 2011 or 2012 (not sure which) Giant XTC 29er 2 (aluminum). Bought 2-3 years ago at my LBS for really cheap. Immediately started riding it, loved the handling and SPEED compared to 26er, so much snappier and holds speed so much better. I've been riding on average on and off probably at least 2x a week, for 2 or 3 years.

The brakes are amazing, never had any trouble with them. Marzocchi fork is heavier than most but SO smooth, haven't yet had to service it although lockout stopped working. Stock Giant brand saddle is surprisingly one of the best saddles I've ever ridden. I did have the rails separate from the shell once during a crash but fixed it. Does anyone know if Giant sells these separately? I'd definitely buy one.

Anyway, back to the bike. Love that thru-axle, I always had trouble with front wheels falling out of the dropouts but now I feel much more confident that won't happen. However, the wheels are the heaviest chunks of metal I've ever seen, though they can take anything you hit em with. The frame itself is much the same way, though I don't know about the weight part. I've done super-d and downhill on this rig multiple times, it's still rolling smooth. And those wheels, heavy as they are, just refuse to go out of true no matter how hard I beat up on them.

The only other thing I didn't like as much about the bike was the drivetrain. This bike was equipped with shimano alivio, which is not the ideal gruppo for racers but it works most of the time.

Bottom Line:
If you are a racer or you're looking for something light, don't get this. Get the xtc composite or xtc 1.
If you're just a casual rider who's not a huge weight weenie, this bike is perfect for you. You'll get every bit of your money's worth.
If you're trying to compare, this bike is much more stable than a trek x-caliber but compares better to a niner emd.

Similar Products Used: Niner emd
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Diane   All Mountain Rider [May 24, 2014]
Strength:

Light and fast

Weakness:

Very very week - first accident only three months old and frame broke in three places giant nz refused to replace

If you are so good that you never come off your giant xtc then worth the risk but if you are mountain biking and it hits a tree which is highly likely if you are trying them don't buy this. We avoiding gisnt and carbon

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Volsfan   [Mar 12, 2014]
Strength:

Light, Seems to be strong, stiff, quick, balanced, nimble

Weakness:

Other than some of the components (but that was known at purchase), none that I know of yet.

This is for a 2013 model Giant XTC Composite 3. Three rides in. First 29'er I have owned. I have been riding an Intense Full Suspension for almost 10 yrs. Completely different ride of course. To early to give a true break down on it but my pros are right on. Hope it can survive the drops or me blasting off a log when the occasion arises. Time will tell.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
kyle   [Dec 23, 2013]
Strength:

reliable, well balanced.

Weakness:

can't think of any

this bike has truly exceeded my expectations in every way. Everything is very high quality, rides amazing, climes very well, brakes good, shifts perfectly. This is my third bike and I can’t say enough about how reliable this bike has been so far compared to others in the first year of ownership. Giant has made a fan out of me.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jehannum   [Dec 02, 2013]
Strength:

lightweight, comfortable, fast, smooth

Weakness:

Internal cable rattle

I purchased this bike after selling my anthem 0 29er for a good price. The reason I went for a HT was that I rarely ride singletrack and tend to ride predominately fire-trail- gravel roads + commuting. i was after a bike that ticked the lightweight endurance exploratory ride boxes and would make a great commuter/road bike with slicks - this is a bike that gets to see many 3+ hr rides on road/gravel/trails, usally all three surfaces in the same ride.

Well how does it ride? I 've left the bike stock except for putting on some ergon grips and a prologo saddle. I believe that the stock setup is more than adequate for my needs. I've even left the tubes in as I don't need the faff of a system that may or may not hold the tyre on the rim (also I swap tyres fairly often).
The ride is smooth and comfortable for a HT. There is so much vertical flex in the rear end/seatpost that it's made me realise that after 20 years of road/mtb I am not a smooth pedaller! Let me tell you that the bike HAS rear end suspension, it's just very short travel and undampened - there is that much vertical compliance. It makes for a really comfortable ride. I'm not sure why you'd need an aftermarket syntace post as other commenters have described adding - there is a lot of vertical compliance in this frame.
There is zero lateral flex, this beast has massive tube joins and massive carbon tubes. This bike is not flexing anytime soon. The ride is sharp and a little skittish, the rear does skip out under power and down hill and takes some body english - not forgiving like the anthem. Curiously the top tube is long and the stem ultra-short. I feel that it would benefit from a more evenly balanced geometry but i'm sure this is to try and make the ride more '26er' like.
With slicks the ride is very road-bike like. It is so light - i reckon it is like a Giant defy with discs and big tyres. At about 1 kg heavier than my cannondale ultegra CAAD 8 I don't see my old roadie getting much use anymore.

I bought this as a 'do it all' bike and it delivers. If I was into lots of technical singletrack and raced MTB I would go the anthem but this bke is probably as good as it gets when it comes to carbon HTs, at least for the price. I got this at a significant end of season discount - I'd never buy it at full price, I'd go the composite of alu XTC with a suspension or flexy seatpost.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
MJ1   [Nov 19, 2013]
Strength:

The components as is are a pretty good bargain but worthy of upgrades since the frame is awesome. I upgraded the brakes to XT's, the rotors to Ashima Ai's, converted the crankset to a 1x with a direct-mount wolftooth, upgraded the rear derailleur to an XO type 2, put a 2.25 Rocket Ron on the front, changed the grips to ESI chunky, and put on XO grip shift. Converted the tires to tubeless of course and upgraded the hub to 10 degrees of engagement. All this done at cost neutral with the shop, awesome deal. Bike comes in right at 20.5 pounds. Almost forgot, put on a Syntace P6 HiFlex post on to help my back, that was an extra $150 I think but worth it.

Weakness:

Picky but I don't like Avid brakes and the RR on the front is not a great idea, need something with more bite and bigger volume. I get some cable rattle inside the frame but its fixable.

Awesome value, lightweight, great climber, handles great.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Marco   Weekend Warrior [Nov 07, 2013]
Strength:

I would like to begin this is my first HT. Coming from an Epic and Scalpel full suspension. This machine is powerful and stiff without any compromise in performance. I am not a racer but like to play with parts which I think make the bikes run well. I didn't like the first day I rode it on the trails. I almost took it back to get a full suspension again after riding in Santos Florida for 36 miles in my Cannondale the day before I purchased. I was patient and installed my old setup of schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.25 in the front and back making the setup tubeless with Stans. Wow just that made it so much more enjoyable with the right tire pressure that made me think why didn't I get this bike before. Another thing I changed is the brakes which are horrible the Avid's just don't cut it. I love shimano so XTR's with Ashima rotors and what a perfect combination this is once they break in. Now we are stopping like it should be. I then removed the front derailleur and installed a XX1 with 34T and a XX 11-36 in the rear, swapped out the saddle to Spyder and isntalled a 36 step ratchet kit on the DT Swiss hub and we got a sweet 20 lb. beast. I love this bike I barely get tired and want to keep riding like never before. I asked a few riders online about the bike and was told I would like it well they were wrong I love it. I had trouble with the Scalpel 29 it made me tired and couldn't keep up with the boys so I decided to give a HT a try. I don't plan to get another full suspension any time soon. It feels like my Epic with the brain suspension but with better handing, at least for me.

Weakness:

Even though this bike is well built and performs excellent the tires Scwhalbe's Racing Ralphs 2.1 are too stiff and make the ride like riding on the rims. Upgrade the tires and you will see the big difference and will enjoy much more. The appearance of the wheel set are not up to par with the color scheme of the frame which in turn make the bike look cheap. I love to peak at my bike every now and then. A flashier set of wheels will make this a top all around HT. Brakes are horrible and don't do a great job stopping this fast machine. It only has a 140 mm in the rear which I think its too small for the speeds that you achieve on it.

Overall I would recommend this bike but would upgrade little by little. I hope this has been a helpful review. I will spend some money on getting the correct fit done at my local shop to make it even better. I was going to buy a Niner Air RDO and almost did but was a bit more than I could afford. I don't regret getting the giant and with lifetime warranty on the frame compared to others well that just made it even better.

Similar Products Used: 2011 Specialized Epic Comp
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
keithlys   Weekend Warrior [Nov 04, 2013]
Strength:

Smooth and agile, frame geometry, good components for the money, quick/precise shifting, brakes, relatively light weight

Weakness:

Occasional chain slap, tires are so-so, marginal seat

I'm really happy with this bike. I've owned it for two months now and have given it a thorough shakedown -- from moderately technical singletrack to a six-day ride on the Continental Divide towing a BOB Trailer to around-town commuting. It hasn't disappointed me yet and I love the feel of the ride. Full disclosure, this is the first mountain bike I've bought and I was looking for a good price/value ratio, but not a bike that felt cheap. I was looking for a bike I could be happy with now, as a relative beginner, and still be happy with a few years later. I can confidently say this bike fit that bill. The shifting is crisp, the handling is very responsive (noticeably better than other similarly-priced 29ers I tested), and the hydraulic brakes are smooth. The XT rear derailleur is great to have and the Deore shifters/front derailleur are almost flawless -- surprising as Deore is a notch below XT and I figured I'd notice a performance penalty. Not so. The wide handlebars are comfortable (some riders may opt for skinnier ones) and the shock is fine for what I need. Altogether it feels durable and as a beginner-intermediate rider, I feel like it will serve me well for a long time to come.

As far as the cons, I have experienced some limited chain slap, though it's not a huge deal. As other reviewers have mentioned, the seat seems a bit on the unforgiving side -- six days and 250 miles of continuous riding off-road is going to make any butt sore, and it's easy to blame the seat. It's fair to say it's a little uncomfortable and it will probably be among my first upgrades. Lastly, I was a little disappointed with the tires. I swear by Schwalbe, and roll their tires on my 'cross and touring setups. These just didn't perform that well, particularly on gravel and loose dirt. They're an easy upgrade and I can put up with them for now.

I think Giant has put together a nice package here that offers great value -- probably at or near the top of this class of bike. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for an all-around solid hardtail.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Corey Kennedy   Racer [Aug 14, 2013]
Strength:

Drivetrain, weight, stiffness, brakes, performance

Weakness:

Tires, wheels are decent for the cost but heavy.

I have been shopping for a hard tail for two years and I think this is the best bike out there for the money. It climbs like a scalded monkey. It descends with comfort and agility especially considering it's a hard tail. I wanted more comfort then my 26 hard tail and better efficiency then my full squishy. This bike may be the only bike I ride. It's that good. I changed the wheels to cobalt race wheels, SRAM x9 cassette, titus carbon seatpost and mountain king tires. Other then that its stock. Large frame 24 pounds. I am very pleased and would recommend this bike to anyone looking for a fast, fun and nimble trail, cross country, and even race bike.

Similar Products Used: Specialized epic, stump jumper 29 HT, trek stache, Santa Cruz highball, yeti arc, jamis dragon 29
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
bbenner   Cross Country Rider [Jul 10, 2013]
Strength:

Agile, climbs very well, geometry fits my frame well

Weakness:

Grips, Racing Ralphs suck, crazy chain slap, front deraileur issues, saddle

Let me start by saying this bike was a demo. It's in great shape, but it definitely had been ridden.

I was a devout Yeti 575 lover. After a long, beautiful relationship she cracked a weld on me and left me stranded. Due to life change issues I was searching for a bike to hold me over until I could get another high end bike. I was looking for a rebound relationship. Found this one at the local bike shop on sale as a demo. I had ridden a buddy's Niner and knew that one day I would have to have one. Find something cheap and easy, use it hard and dump it at the first opportunity. Hit it and quit it.

After riding my XTC for a month I've found intimacy again. Climbs extremely well. Doesnt have any of the "boat" issues I was worried about with the wheel base being long. Rolls smooth and loves to be opened up and ripped down the trail. Swapping out the stock saddle, tires, pedals and I'm a happy camper. Definitely going to upgrade the wheelset. I miss my Kings and NoTubes rims.

I'm having issues with front deraileur shifting. I was dialed in perfectly when I got it, but when I was doing a tough climb in the granny/granny gear I was rubbing the wheel with the deraileur. Had it adjusted, but now I'm not real happy in any chainring. I'll be taking it back for adjustment. I heard a flaw in the design was not having enough clearance for the deraileur.

Similar Products Used: Jet9, Yeti 575, Kona Unit (26"), Jamis Dakar
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 104  

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