Giant VT 3 Freeride Full Suspension

User Reviews (31)

Showing 1-10 of 31  
Puffercon   Weekend Warrior [Mar 02, 2011]
Strength:

The frame and drive-train, that's about it. For the first three months (of riding season) it was in the shop with a creeping leak in the rear shock (I consider it a lemon, all other VT's that I have seen had no problem. Thanks to Manitou I got a new 2005 rear replacement).

Before I go any further I must say that I am a demanding hard and fast rider. I have put countless miles (about 6 years worth now) on this rig and could not be more satisfied with the bike other than the specific instances listed in the review. I got the bike for the frame and drive-train the rest was trivial for me.

Weakness:

After getting the bike back from the shop I had some riding to make up for. I promptly cracked both of the lightweight rims that came with the bike. I was doing some DH riding (Which I am fully aware the bike is not made for). Took a 8ft drop and watched my tires on both rims flop off and took a face-full of dirt. After replacing with Azonic Outlaw's (Surprisingly light for what they are) I got back to it. About a week later I was doing some urban riding took a gap and was rewarded with a deluge of shock fluid to the face. I completly blew the Manitou Black front shock, I rack it up to having a nylon screw cap on the shock. Replaced with Manitou Firefly Elite. Messed with the geometry of the bike quite a bit with the shock was in 155mm setting but in the 120 it is one of the best rides I have had and still continue to get.

Wonderful frame but if you want to ride hard such as SS or light DH don't rely on the stock equipment. Yes, it was designed to be a XC bike which I was fully aware when I purchased it. Thus, all of the problems I have had were understandable. As one can see I graduated from casual riding to more aggressive riding. I still ride this bike to this day, great daily rider/ occasional session bike. I am too ADD to pass up a good drop or DH run, that's my problem not my bikes.

Bike would work great for an entry level XC rider.

Similar Products Used: Trek Fuel, Trek Liquid, Specialized Epic.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
redbranch68   Weekend Warrior [Nov 10, 2010]
Strength:

Strong frame, takes more then I can give it. Goes up... ok. Goes down even better. Really gives you confidence in the rough.

Weakness:

A bit on the heavy side, though I am use to a very light hardtail. Original shocks were Manitou Black comp. way too much dive on breaking. and felt as though an endo was just around the next berm, swapped them out and put on brand new Manitou R7 with much better results, plus a lock out. The rear suspension has crazy pedal bob (Manitou Swinger 3 way) have played with settings but still not happy with its performance. Get rid of the bob and she'd be right as rain.

Basically stripped the frame down and redressed her. Fun bike, confidence builder once some ironing out was done. Price is a real bonus. Yeah I spent a great deal kitting it out my way. But as an off the shelf full suspension bike that with some calorie burning, will get you up a hill. Makes up for this unkindness by taking you back down with a hell of a smile on your face.

Similar Products Used: Can't compare as this is my first foraye into full suspension
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Rudy   Cross Country Rider [Mar 02, 2006]
Strength:

This is a follow up review to my last post about a year ago. The SPV shock is still kickin butt. Frame is a bear. and the feel of the bike is still pure joy.

Weakness:

Ditched the seat post, it started to squeel enough to irritate me and put on a 30.9mm (i think) and no more squeeking. I also have a little stiffer wheelset, I started to feel the flex of the original ones as I got more aggressive, thanks to the bike. And unfortunately the fork is still on the soft side, but I'm not a big guy (5'7'' 175) and it has been 70% ok and 30% bounced me off a few times. Probably going to get the stiffer spring kit like the other guy down below did. That sounds like an easy, cheap and quick fix. Oh yah, the cable rub has been a bummer to the paint, but so have the scratches that I have put on it since last review.

I am so happy I bought this bike. I have been able to climb right along with SC Blur riders and really good hardtail guys. I even got the guts to join a riding club with some really talented guys on some really great rigs and the VT helps me hold my own. I even got the guts up to start trying a bunch of small to medium sized freeride stunts. I crash more now than ever but, every time I pick up the VT I jump right back on with no major problems to the bike. I highly, highly recomend a Giant for aggressive trail riding. Now I have my sights set on a Reign 3.

Similar Products Used: Trek Fuel 90 Disc
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Sam-I-Am   Weekend Warrior [Apr 10, 2004]
Strength:

Greate bike that allows you to peddal easily up hills and descend with confidence.
Not as heavy as a freeride bike but tougher than a XC bike.
The manitou Swinger rocks. It Sucks up drops and jumps easily with the 5.75" of rear travel.
* The brakes work well and it's great to be able to adjust them on the fly.

Weakness:

* Stock tyres suck. Rip them off straight away as they pinched too often.
* Manitou Black Comp forks are to soft for a big fella. I am 6.2 and 183kgs. Still waiting for the spring upgrades to arrive in the country. Would like to get the Sherman Firefly's.

I am not a downhill demon or a xc marathon rider. I consider myself an aggresive trail rider. Someone who likes to hit all the jumps and drops along the way down, but needs to peddal back up again. She handles drops and jumps well but its not design for anything bigger than a few feet. If you want more, buy an AC. I would also consider the Santa Cruz Heckler.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Mark   Weekend Warrior [Oct 29, 2006]
Strength:

Loves bumps. Excellent rear suspension with almost zero pedal bob when seated. Handles great on high speed decents.

Weakness:

Front shock (Manitou black comp) a bit soft and dives alot under moderate braking. Avid cable brakes worked fine but replaced with magura julie to get more progressive braking.

Excellent value for money as a second hand bike. Great fisrt dual suspension bike. A fork equal in quality to the swinger rear shock would make this an outstanding setup.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
CLINT PETERS   Weekend Warrior [Apr 11, 2004]
Strength:

Light,components, comfort, performance for the $$, all around great bike

Weakness:

None as of yet. I will post if I run in to any.

Been riding this bike for just about a month and I love it. I had the AC 1 stolen from my front porch when I was moving and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. The VT3 has been perfect for the local trails and is lighter than I expected. This bike is about as good as it gets for the price (I payed $1600. I haven't ridden it more than a dozen times just yet but so far I am very impressed. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an all around bike that can take just about any trail you throw at it. Not only that, but it makes you a better rider and more confident the more you ride it.

Similar Products Used: Giant AC 1, Specialized Rock Hopper (2002)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul Ulbrich   Weekend Warrior [Apr 12, 2004]
Strength:

Great "All Mountain" bike. Good for beginners & great for the value. This bike is super fun to ride! I got an unbelievable deal on this bike, but I would definately spend the $1,600.00 it is going for at your LBS, for this bike.

Weakness:

The Python Scorpions that come stock on this bike suck for the Santa Monica Mountains around Los Angeles. The Scorpions are fast, but terrible on sand, loose gravel, or loose stuff on top of hardpack (like in Los Angeles). Also the seatpost/shim thing is stupid. Mine squeaks on every ride. If you are going to buy this bike, you better budget for a new seatpost (probably $80) and new tires ($40 a piece for me).

I am a beginner and I love this bike. It has 5.75 inches of travel in the back (Manitou 3 way swinger) and an adjustable shock in the front, 90 - 120mm (Manitou Black Comp Fork). I am happy I purchased an "All Mountain" bike. This bike is probably to heavy if you want to race, but perfect for fun downhill and jumps, and also climbs back up the hills well, no bob while in the seat - does bob when you are out of the seat. If you are a serious climber you might want to go with the Specialized Epic the Santa Cruz Blur, the Intense Spider, or the Giant NRS. All of those are much more stable out of the seat, but all have 3.5" of travel - they are much more XC bikes, not all mountain like the VT's. The Intense 5.5 PPV is probably a better bike than the VT all the way around, but also probably costs twice as much as the Giant VT3. I usually ride with the front fork at 100mm. I crank it down to 90mm if there is a lot of tough uphill single track and up to 120mm if I am bombing downhill singletrack.

Figure out what kind of riding you are going to be doing, look at the wallet, and if you are like me, you will get the Giant VT3. 5 Flaming Chilis, from The P.U. Ripper!

Similar Products Used: Have not tried any similar products. I think some similar mountain bikes are the Santa Cruz Heckler, Gary Fisher Cake, and some Specialized bikes.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ed   Weekend Warrior [Oct 15, 2006]
Strength:

Great value, Swinger shock, solid build.

Weakness:

Stock tires and the rear brake cable guides.

This bike was a great deal. It had been nearly nine years since I had done any real mountain biking (job, wife, kids, move to different cities, and several other bad excuses). I went out with a buddy on my old Raliegh with an original Rock Shox Quad 10 and decided that if I wanted to keep up, I should probably make a small investment into some new equipment. Looked at alot of different bikes, but all priced out over $1500, this one seemed a steal and the reviews sounded pretty good. Since making the purchase, I've been riding regulary with guys on much more expensive set-ups and I don't seem to have an issue keeping up (at least on the equipment end). Several have commented on the value of the VT Three as well. The bike has performed well, however I will likely move to a stiffer spring in the fork (I'm 6' and weigh about 215). Also, the stock tires are pretty bad. My rear tire is about worn completely down, and didn't seem to offer as much grip as I would have liked when it had a fresh tread. Overall though, a couple of tires and a new spring set-up on the forks are a pretty small price to pay for what is a great bike.

Similar Products Used: None, this is my first full suspension bike.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
DirtMan Weiss   Weekend Warrior [Feb 03, 2004]
Strength:

*Plush ride, Great Climber, Fairly light as well...
This bike just eats up all bump you encounter. Although I have the Vt3 with the Manitou Black Comp (much rather had the Minute) but $$$$ was a little tight. I will probably upgrade to a Marz or Fox TALAS or comprable. I swithed out the wheels for a more durable pair (Salsa Gordo laced to XT)w/ IRC Kujo 2.25, and up'e the rr der to Xt as well. Very tight and stable ride - can eat up the XC tracks and play in the in the rough and technical with ease and pleasure. I also do 5-6 ft drops with it and no problems... Love it! I am considering using Stan's Tubless Kit to lighter her up a lil bit more. And try a lighter tire as well. Great bike if you don't want to shell out the $$$ for two or three bikes for your different riding styles - this bike can do it all pretty much. If you specialize in a certain area, buy the best bike you can for that specific style - This bike will handle an all day play fest and then the ride home!!!

Weakness:

*Cable routing seems to rub the paint off is certain areas (used Carbon patches to solve that lil prob)
*Damn seatpost shimmy thingy! I hate it, it sqeaks the entire ride! I am certainly going to replace the post with the correct size seatpost soon!

No other pressing weaknesses at this point - Will review again in another 6 mos or so.

This a great do all bike that will put a smile on the toughest critics out there! Great ride and great suspension that enable you to rip uphill without thinking (I consistently fly by my riding partners up hill all the time, he he he)Tight and precise handling and it's a GIANT!
Try it out, you will not be disappointed!

Similar Products Used: Marin agrro xc hard tail
Mongoose Dualie (1st mtb bike)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ralph   Weekend Warrior [Jun 11, 2006]
Strength:

Very plush yet pedals very well with Swinger SPV shock. Lightweight for 5.7 inches travel, yet seems solid and durable. Great value.

Weakness:

Integrated headset

Got the VT frame and Sherman for $650, maybe the best money I ever spent. This is a great all-day epic bike and is very versatile. The bike climbs surprisingly well, especially with the fork set at 110mm. Set it at 150mm for the descents and it can handle just about anything. The rear end is very plush with a quick ramp at the end of the travel, so it feels pretty bottomless. I hope to enjoy this one for a long long time. Can't wait to take it to Mammoth this summer and Moab in the fall.

Similar Products Used: Ellsworth Truth, Titus Locomoto, Jamis XLT
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 31  

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