Giant AC Air Lite 2002 Full Suspension

AC Air Lite

User Reviews (42)

Showing 1-10 of 42  
Tully   [May 06, 2003]

Basically, this a good idea that needs some refinement. I think the first thing to change should be the price, as it's certainly not the best value on the market.

The XT shifters and XT/XTR derailleurs work flawlessly, the Raceface cranksets are strong and fairly light, and the Mavic wheelset has stayed true, even after numerous small jumps and three-foot drops-to-flat (I weigh around 160 lbs). Also, the adjustable travel on both ends makes a big difference in the feel and ride quality, although the rear end bottoms out easily and feels like less than six inches of travel.

However, the rear end bobs a great deal in the six-inch setting. That can be helped by reducing the travel, which, by providing a lower leverage ratio, reduces bobbing, but leaves the bike less smooth and forgiving. Furthermore, pedal feedback, which causes my pedaling to be choppy, the bike to shift on its own, and more than a few dropped chains, is an extremely noticable problem. The Psylo fork, although the lockout and rebound and compression adjustments are perfect, is just not the same as a Manitou Black or Sherman or a Fox Vanilla. I really notice the lack of a preload ajust, whose place is taken by the U-Turn system (the springs stiffen slightly as travel is shortened). It was rather surprising that RockShox assumed that one of the three or four available spring rates would work for everybody. I have had to compensate for the light spring rate with increased wompression damping, but that reduces the small-bump performance, which is already one of the fork's weakest points. However, the fork is excellent over medium-sized hits, and is one of the lighter five-inch forks.

Here are some things that I have done to my bike to improve the performance:
Tioga Factory DH 2.3 tires (the stock tires are strictly for hardpack and urban/asphalt riding).

MRP Long Range Patrol Chainguide (ends dropped chains, but still lets me use my two smaller chainrings.

Manitou Swinger rear shock (cures the pedal-induced boobbing and gives the added performance of a coil shock; it's the same as a 5th Element).

Axiom telescopic seatpost (takes care of the lack of seat-height adjustment, great for freeriders)

I am planning of putting on a different saddle as well, since the stock one is hard to move around during technical riding.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Josh   [Dec 07, 2001]
Strength:

Great parts, awesome value, Suspension is amazing, I jumped of a flight of stairs, and it felt like I was landing on a pillow, I LOVE the ajustable front and rear supension and lock out, Strong as an ox

Weakness:

Absolutely none, a little heavy (29 pounds), but it will definetely pay you back as you smoke your friends on the downhills, RACE FACE TURBINES!!

I changed out the rear shock to a Sid XC with lockout, rather than the stock one with out. Now, when i go up a hill, i flip the lever and get no suspension feedback while pounding on the cracks.

It is the best bike I have ever riddin, they dont lie when they say all conditions. I can ride up the slopes and through singletrack then hit a double black 70mph downhill, and then go huck a few drops NO PROBLEM!!

I say change the Titec stuff to something else, cause there are many things that are just as stong but much lighter. Happy riding!

YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT THIS BIKE!!!!

Similar Products Used: Specialized Enduro and Stumpy, Giant XTC NRS
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
fern   Weekend Warrior [Mar 12, 2002]
Strength:

you can change the travel in front and rear
set the travel to 3in front 4in rear XC
set to 5in front 6in rear Freeride!!!!!!!!!

Weakness:

its not lite
crakling in bb area comes and goes
cables are rubbing on frame taking off paint

got this bike because I wanted a all around bike the componets are XC but you can get crazy on it. theres the other ACs that are more freeride DH.Get this bike for 2100 you get XTR, XT, psylo,fu[k yeah!!!!!!!!If you do get the bike protect frame from cables before it gets ugly like mine.

Similar Products Used: i drive
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris Morrison   Weekend Warrior [Feb 28, 2002]
Strength:

Variable travel front and rear.
Race Face cranks.
Excellent brakes.
Decent components for now.

Weakness:

Cable routing causes a lot of wear.
No lock-out on rear shock.
Limited water bottle clearance inside frame.

Lizard Skin carbon fiber patches took care of cable rubbing. Modified a water bottle cage, lowering it and enabling side entry, so I can use a large water bottle.

This is a great versatile bike. The extra weight hasn't been too noticeable. It's holding up a lot better than me. And to think I took a whole month to decide whether or not this bike was worth the money!

Similar Products Used: Specialized Enduro. Giant NRS 1. Cannondale Jekyl 2000.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Don   Weekend Warrior [Jan 25, 2002]
Strength:

Great components for the price. For a full suspension bike with the versatility of the AC it is light at 29#. Goes from XC to DH in minutes and performs well at both. Great brakes and a comfortable seat (Thanks for change Giant).

Weakness:

None that I've found yet.

Going from a cross country dual suspension bike to the AC was no problem. I couldn't beleive how well it climbed even at max travel without using the lock out. It sticks to the ground whether you're grabbing the brakes on a steep drop or putting the power to it on a climb. My friends that have riden the bike all seem to agree the word "plush" is the perfect word describing the ride. That doesn't mean performance and strength is lacking. Trails that used to technical with medium drops, rock gardens and numerous log crossing seem a bit too easy on this bike. Looks like I'll have to move to the west coast to better realize the full potential of this bike. This bike is for someone who enjoys all aspects of mountain biking and can't afford to own multiple bikes set up for each condition.

Similar Products Used: Giant MCM 980 XC, GT I drive 2.0, Specialized FSR
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian   Weekend Warrior [Jul 16, 2002]
Strength:

Suspension front and rear are awesome, frame is great!
This bike does what they say it will!!!

Weakness:

Handle bars were not for me, went to a Easton carbon riser bar.

I do it all Free ride ,trail ride,race x-country. I found a bike that can do it all with just a 60 second adjustment of the suspension. I loved my Cannondale Jekyll but after 3 frames and 3 swingarms breaking I had to do something. I am so glad I did, this is a top notch bike with no draw backs what so ever. You can not find a better deal on a new bike then this.

Similar Products Used: 3000 cannondale Jekyll,trek vrx,super v
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Doug Wilson   Weekend Warrior [Jan 10, 2002]
Strength:

Light for the amount of travel, 28#, great components, sweet ride. XTR, Raceface, Mavic Rims, Tires, XT shifters, seat is nice.

Weakness:

None so far, maybe the bent seat stay. Limits the seat post length. I had to cut my post, it is now short enough and I can still raise it plenty high. But not high enough for a friend of mine.

I was pleasantly surprised with this bike. I studied for months looking for the best bike for me and my riding style. This bike fit perfect! The ride is real nice; bike seems real light and handles great. I am extremely happy with it, seems too handle great and ride real smooth. Plenty of suspension for me. My son got the Giant DH Comp at the same time, it is a great bike but totally different. I consider this bike perfect for what it was designed for and fulfilling a certain nitch. It is not a downhill bike or a XC. It is not an extreme freeride, but an awesome all around fun, fast, light, great handling bike. If you want extreme freeride, look somewhere else, if you want XC look somewhere else. But for all around riding, I couldn't be happier. I also have a Kona Stinky with dual crown Marzocchi's, it is a lot heavier and feels more like a downhill bike than the AC Air Lite. I also have a Giant XTC NRS. It is very light and feels weak, especially compared to the Giant AC. Yet, I felt the AC sprinted and climbed just as well, yet handled the bumps as nice as the Kona. I have to admit I am blown away and pleasantly surprised. I recommend this bike very highly!

Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Level Betty & Sugar, Giant XTC NRS, Kona Stinky, Giant DH Comp 2002
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Travis Scoresby   Cross Country Rider [Oct 22, 2002]
Strength:

It rocks on the downhills, but is still very light. It is the best bike you can buy for the price period.

Weakness:

None really, it's not the best at climbing super steep stuff, but I actually think it climbs better up rough unlevel stuff better than my hard tail, it seems to track better.

This is the best bike you buy for under $2000. It is only 29lbs and has 6 inches of travel!!!! Plus it's components are spect out great. I was really unsure if this is the one I wanted but after several test rides on this and other bikes it seemed like the best choice. Well in the week I've had it so far I've done the Wasatch Crest, Slick Rock and Porcupine Rim. This bike has made me feel like a rock star. It bombs on the downhill and is awsome on the uphill. For super long uphills that are steep just set the front to 3 and the rear to 4 and tighten the rebound and you'll fly uphill. This bike is SO awsome, I wish it had a cool name like Slayer, but this bike is better, I rode them both many times. Plus this bike is like $500 bucks less than the Kona and Rocky and has better components. Mountain Biking is fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Similar Products Used: Rocky Mountain Slayer, Kona Bear-Dee Lux, Specialized Enduro
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Joe   Weekend Warrior [Dec 12, 2001]
Strength:

Great components and frame for the price. Great brakes.

Weakness:

No lock out on the rear SID XC air shock. Some front fork flex at max length.

If you do all types of riding this is the bike. Slam the rear suspension down to 4.5" in and 3" in the front and you have a great XC racer- Max out the rear at 6" and the front at 5" and cruise the downhills. This bike will make you a better rider- good by hardtail!!!!!!!!!!!

Similar Products Used: Cannondale v700
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
BBOC   Weekend Warrior [Apr 10, 2003]
Strength:

Value of components, good trail geometry, lives up to AC moniker.

Weakness:

Seat post shim, unable to put post down as far as I want, horrible pedals, some chainsuck problems.

Great trailbike, I can use it for just about anything. Pedals great, climbs great, decends great. I've hucked it off of 4ft to flat without any problem (215lb rider w/ stiff spring on the psylo).

I've had no problems with the RS Sid on the rear, which I had figured to be one of the first things I was going to replace. I'm not entirely happy with the Psylo SL, it's not the most confidence inspiring fork out there. It's jittery on the small stuff, and has developed a slight knock when i rock the bike with the brakes on (yet to figure out the problem). Once I get rich I'll replace it with a Zoke.

I also rarely use the ajustable travel (front or back), so its more of a novelty item for me (although I first figured it would be something very useful). The rear is a pain in the arse to change during the ride since you have to adjust your air pressure each time. I just leave everything in the longest travel for the most part, unless I know I'm going to be hitting a long, smooth trail with lots of climbing.

Get rid of the pedals, the plastic platform part will break after three rock hits. They don't release well either, so you'll end up doing a lot of slow speed tipping on tech uphills.

Keep in mind that I'm being very picky. Overall I couldn't be happier with the bike. It's great for a Clyde like myself, especially since I really only have one MTB.

That's my opinion, although they've discontinued the Bike. So who cares!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 42  

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