Giant Rincon 2003 Hardtail

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 38  
[Apr 17, 2016]
Mike rossell
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Well wear do i start ther is nothing weak about this bike but maybe the fork suntours bottom end forks are really heavy almost six lbs i put a rs tk 30 on mine nice entry level fork and way nicer adjustments the rincons fliud form framework is outstanding at this price i think the whole 300$went into the frame and than 30dollars for the parts lol...no the huds are nice and rims pretty light and very strong but lowend and ugly neck that says giant stamped on the front .

Weakness:

The shock for sure suntour but for under 400$what do expect a sid lol. So ther are alot of weak points but if you are abike builder like me than please buy this because the frame is super light and gorgeous and its 6061t6 fliudformed cant be beat at this price i got a two thousand dollar bike now all upgrades out rides everybike i own and its even lighter amazing!

Ii really like this bike especially the hydro formed frame they call it fluid form same and this price for a 6061t6 frame wow at u can easy upgrade everything to a thousand dollar bike i changed out the wheelset to blackflag expert on sale for 169$great deal for a 400$wheels andcarbon handlebar and seat post and brakes shifters didnt change the derailer because its a aliveo and they work very well.

Similar Products Used:

gt,avalanche,trek 4100,8900,8500,800,820,830,970,

[Jul 06, 2012]
Mark G
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Great frame, good components, very good value

Weakness:

RST shock is weak, front derailleur needs periodic adjustments

At the time I bought my Rincon, back in 2003 I had about $300 to spend on a new bike. I wasn't planning on doing too much trail riding, but I wanted decent components to hold up to the occasional trip in the dirt. I shopped around a lot checking out $300 bikes from Trek, Gary Fisher, Specialized, etc, but I kept coming back to the Giant as it was the best bang for the buck. Frankly, most of the bikes in the Rincon's price range were junk! I finally found the bike on sale at Performance Bike plus it included lifetime adjustments, so I had a little extra piece of mind with my purchase. I found myself doing street riding almost exclusively and soon switched to street tires. Besides tires the only upgrades I've performed so far has been a Blackburn MTB rack and Crank Bros. Candy pedals. I have an upcoming camping trip coming up, so knobby tires will be going back on shortly, and I'm sure the complaints about the RST fork will become obvious to me :)

[Sep 30, 2010]
Duncan
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

I had the 2006 model with V brakes. Great bike for $500 NZD. Have ridden well over 10000km of light trail and road riding as well as alot of jumping, skate park and BMX tracks and a few endurance races on mine before the frame broke. Well balanced and light.

Weakness:

RST front shocks were terrible and needed replacing not long after I got it. Some of the components didn't enjoy endurance racing, but for the price and age I can't argue.

Excellent buy, wouldn't go past it in it's price range.

Similar Products Used:

Apollo, Scott

[Jul 17, 2003]
Robert Bramblett
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

cassete, derailer, crank set

Weakness:

none

The best bike for your money. fun to ride and reliable. I think this bike is great for ages 14-50 years. many people should buy this bike.

Similar Products Used:

2003 Boulder se

[Jul 06, 2003]
James-Dad
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Great frame, paint job, light. Well balanced for my 14/15 yr old son. Super comfortable seat. Pedals and cranks seems sturdy.

Weakness:

RST Capa shocks are too soft. The adjustment appears to do very littel. Low end Altus front derailleur. I;m a little concerned about the head.

This is a great bike for my 14/15 yr old son. The frame seems to be a good quality so it will be worthwhile to upgrade the components to better equipment as funds permit. Definitely those front Altus need to be changed and the Capas will probably be upgraded to Bomber shocks next year because he is starting to ride a litte rougher and enjoys the XC riding. He managed to do wheelies on it the first time he rode it.

If you weigh over 200 lbs you may want to consider a similiar Giant model with better shocks (Bombers, Fox, Judy) and derailleurs (Deore, LX or XT). Or you could get this one and be prepared to upgrade to the exact specs you need.

Similar Products Used:

Trek 4300 Norco, Raleigh (Chromoly but with similiar groupings).

[Jul 05, 2003]
Ryan
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

price, frame

Weakness:

front derailleur needs frequent adjustment

This is my 3rd rincon (replace them as they get stolen). For general commuting, campus, urban stomping and limited off-road use they cannot be beat. Taking price into consideration I wouldn't buy anything else. Frame is great and componentry is adequate. If you want to do "real" mountain biking you will probably need something more. My prior Rincon(s) experienced 3 broken front axels- (shock "bottoming out?") as a result of riding Sandia mountains in New Mexico. I am 5'11, 180lbs.

I would recommend buying this bike and just start riding it. If anything breaks or bothers you then replace it. There probably isnt a 'huge' difference between this bike and a $700 bike anyway. Maybe the $700 bike shifts a little smoother or is a little lighter but -- who cares? This frame is worth upgrading if you want to spend money anyway.

Basically, this is a great bike for a great price. Looks good too. Even the seat looks like it was $70. You won't be disappointed.

Similar Products Used:

2 giant rincons 1999 and an "old red' one (1997?)

[Jun 20, 2003]
Leonard

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

2004 Rincon:
-fork upgraded to an SR XC-60
-eye-catching red/black paint scheme
-light frame (easy to handle)
-comfortable seat
-unbeatable value

Weakness:

-Rims (If you're a more aggressive rider, look to upgrade
to double wall rims)

If you can find one, go out and buy the 2004 model instead. I haven't ridden the 2003, but I've read all of the previous reviews. For 2004, the Rincon's fork upgraded from a RST Capa to an SR XC-60 w/preload adjustment. My old bike (Boulder SE) had the RST Capa as well, and I agree that it is a bit on the soft side. The new fork offers a stiffer ride and makes uphill climbs easier to handle. The rear derailleur is the same (Alivio) but the front derailleur has been upgraded to an Acera. The 2004 also has meatier tires @ 26" x 2.1".
I am new to mtbiking and, as a college student, I am on a tight budget. The Rincon is the perfect introductory bike for anyone looking to get into the sport. I have ridden it over rocks, roots, dirt, mud, gravel, uphills, downhills, and even knee-high log jumps without any problems. The bike is light and easy for a small rider like me (5'5" 155 lbs.) to throw around. I hit the trails at least 3x's a week, and I haven't had any problems yet with the bike. Initially, I was going to buy the Yukon model over the Rincon, but after giving it some thought I decided that the Rincon was a better choice for my budget. There was a $130 difference between the Rincon and the Yukon, yet they are very similar. Buy this bike if you're new to mtbiking and want the biggest bang for your buck. As your skills progress, do what I plan to do and just upgrade as needed.

Similar Products Used:

Giant Boulder SE

[Aug 27, 2003]
Ron
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Frame, Alivio rear derailer, shifters, brakes, seat comfort, has a neat transparent plastic chain guard on the big sprocket, the two available frame colour schemes are excellent

Weakness:

Fork springs were too soft, seatpost ridgid, rear cassette, lacked 34T, large crank sprocket has probelms, seat creaks, tires had too much rolling resistance, steel pedals injure legs when foot slips. Crappy looking black painted parts everywhere. The frame Giant logos are too big.

I ordered two almost identical 2003 Giant Rincon bikes for my wife and I, her's has a smaller frame.

First the good stuff.

The bike is quite light, but the frame seems very sturdy. The seat is comfortable. The brakes are very good, the Alivio rear derailer is excellent. I like the shifters. The available frame colours are my favourites of all the bikes I have ever seen. I would have bought the blue and white frame to match our blue and white Sun Velocity Kayaks, but the shop only had the dream silver. This proved to be very nice in the end.

For overall feel, joy of riding, these bikes rate very high IMHO. My wife loves her new Rincon, and would not change a thing, except that I had a number of things changed before she got it. We both find them a joy to ride on the road and offroad.

I like the fact there is a nifty clear plastic chain guard on the big sprocket of the crankset. I sometimes ride with regular pants, and this has kept my pants clean and out of the machinery. Nice touch.

Now the bad.

I think they could reduce the size of the painted on Giant logos. I feel like I am cruising on a billboard, advertising Giant. A friend of mine commented that the bikes would look much better if I could remove the offending logos altogether. I agree. This is a rec bike, not a comp bike, and Giant is not sponsoring my riding. Imagine, if everything you bought had such ridiculously large logos. I think that if they can't make the logos smaller and more subtle, they should make them so you can peel them off.

I did not like the ridgid black seatpost and had it changed for a Tranz-X JD-415 aluminum finish suspension seatpost. Cost $30 CDN.

I test rode the bike and found the tires had too much rolling resistance. I changed to a Kenda OEM crossover tire with good offroad qualities, but less rolling resistance. (The weakness of these Kenda tires is deep sand and mud, but I try to avoid those anyway. I don't race, and getting my bike and my person covered in mud or sand, is not my idea of a good time. The tires handle loose gravel and dirt fine. They also grip well when climbing off road. This is my idea of a good recreational tire compromise. The Rincon *is* sold as a rec MTB. The stock tires are better for mud and deep sand) The shop made this change no charge.

I am 190 lbs. and found that I could bottom out the forks on some of the most severe single track dips or on a nose-down drop of about only eight inches. Also when making tight turns the front had a tendency to dive and rebound, affecting rider balance. This was with the preload set to full. The RST Capa TL 76mm travel fock is made to accept three different spings, soft, regular, and hard. I had the springs changed to the hard version and this corrected the problems. I think that when you order a bike, you should have a choice of springs, to suit your weight and riding habits. Most of the complaints about the RST fork would disappear if this were done. The cost was $30 USD, which is much less expensive than changing the whole fork. The part number is FK7935. Search the WEB for FK7935 and you will find many suppliers. You get a set of two springs. No specialty tools are required to change the springs. It is quite simple, but you need to grease the new springs.

My wife who is much lighter and a less agressive rider, is very happy with the stock springs, although I do have another set of hard springs on the shelf, if she ever wants them installed.

When replacing the springs, I became concerned about the design of the RST fork. The springs are changed by unscrewing the plastic bases of the preload adjusters at the top of the fork. It appears those plastic threads are the only thing holding the springs in place. The spings must be constantly pushing against those plastic threads under load. It worries me that the plastic will become weak and brittle eventually with age. Many plastics dry out like extremely slow drying paint, and in the process lose their original properties, including their strength. The plastic threads may give way in ten years. I kept my last bike about fifteen years.

My son's full suspension bike has a Megarange cassette, and I have found the 34T sprocket very useful for climbing, crossing over logs, and riding on duff littered forest floor. I did not like the fact that the Rincons did not come with the 34T rear sprocket. Also, we use the bikes on the road most often, and I wanted a gear ratio to handle the road reasonably well for top end. Mountain bikes have smaller front sprockets than road bikes, and so to compensate you need to use an 11T rear high gear to get a gear ratio near as possible to 4:1. Consequently, when ordering the bike I got the shop to change the rear casssette to an 11-34T Megarange cassette. This was a $10 CDN upgrade, since the shop just charged the price difference. (Note: 11T is also the stock high gear.)

Another problem was the metal pedals, which injure your legs, if your foot slips off the pedal. I did not want to go to clip-ons, and wanted to keep the metal pedals, since they do keep your foot from slipping as much as plastic pedals, so I added plastic foot cages to the existing pedals. I got them without the tie straps and cut the back half of the plastic off, so only the toe part remains. Removing the excess plastic makes it way easier to get your feet in. Since I added the foot holders, I no longer suffer steel pedal leg injuries. The shop gave these to me for free. They had a whole box of them in the back.

The front large sprocket seems to make chain noises at times.

In top gear, at speed, under forceful pedalling, the chain sometimes slips off the big front sprocket and then jumps back on, causing chain snatch. I am not sure this is a derailer problem. It seems to be more related to the crank design, since the front derailer is not touching the chain on either side when running on any sprocket. Also, shifting up to the big sprocket often takes a few seconds. It seems to struggle. This may be a derailer adjustment problem, or could be related to crank set design.

The seat is very comforatble, but makes load creaking noises that come and go. I do intend to lube the seat rails to fix this, but have yet to get around to it. I do not know if this is a common problem, or if it has something to do with switching the seatposts. The noise seems to be coming from the seat itself and not the post.

The last thing is personal. I really do not like all the black painted parts on the bike. I prefer plain aluminum alloy finish. If you ever look at a bike rack with a bunch of older bikes, you will see the nature of my complaint. The black parts, when the paint gets faded, dirty and scratched look, well frankly, disgusting. Check it out sometime. Anyway, since I changed the seatpost from black ridgid to aluminum suspension, I changed the seatpost clamp to aluminum finish, which matches the new seatpost and dream silver frame. I also had the brakes changed from black to aluminum finish. I had to stop at that, since it would have been getting into too much addition cost to get rid of the rest of the black crap. The shop changed the seatpost clamp and brakes at no extra charge. In fairness, I don't mind the black parts on the handlebars too much, since the black is less distracting when riding, much like a black dashboard in a car.

To finish off the bikes, I added a couple of Echo-7 bike computers, some warning bells with built-in gimbled-like magnetic compasses on top, Vistalite LED tailights, and finally BLT Super Doppler head lights. (My mistake. $45 CDN. Get the Planet Bike Beamer. Exactly the same light for $17 CDN at MEC. So get two for $34. Very good product in either case.)

I would rate the bikes we have as excellent, except for the crank problems and creaking seat, which are really minor.

For a value rating, I feel you have to compare what you get in a product, compared to other similar products costing much the same. Stock these bikes are a very good value. With mods they are an excellent value, but if you get one, make the mods pre-purchase as part of the purchase deal. That way it will cost you less, since you should only have to pay the price difference, if any, for the parts.

For the overal rating, I am not comparing to other bikes, but rather comparing to what *I* want from a rec mountain bike.

Our customized bikes I would rate 5/5, but the stock bikes need too many changes, IMHO, so I am only giving the stock bike a 3.

Similar Products Used:

$4000 carbon fiber custom XC bike, Trek 4300, various others

[Jun 08, 2003]
Chris

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Good frame, comfortable seat, great looking bike

Weakness:

None when considering it's a $330 bike.

I haven't ridden a bike in 15 years, however I recently have been looking for one to do some road riding, and occasional trails. The Giant Rincon seems to give the most bang for the buck in the lower price range. The Hardrock was good, however the fork bobbed a lot, even when tuning it to it's stiffest position. The Trek 4300 seemed to upright for my tastes. It felt as if I were on a Sunday ride, and didn't seem agressive enough. The Giant had exactly what I was looking for; a mountain bike that could handle some trails, and have more of a BMX feel to it. I've decided on the Rincon and I'll just upgrade parts as they wear out. You could go up in price a bit and get slightly better parts, but they are still bottom line parts that you'll end up replacing. Just get the same frame for a lower cost, and upgrade as needed. I'm giving the Rincon 5 chilis. Of course the parts aren't as good as you'll get in a top line bike, but I'm rating it based on other $300-$400 range bikes, rather than based on a comparison to a top of the line bike. The Rincon gives you more than your money's worth if you're a beginning rider. Pick one up, get away from the TV, and enjoy some fresh air and exercise. As you become more serious, then you can start looking at the $2000 bikes.

Similar Products Used:

Specialized Hardrock; Trek 4300

[Jun 07, 2003]
GiantBoy
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Rear Derailleur (Alivio), Price (for what you get compared with competition), Paint Job (Silver and Black is very classy), Shocks (RST Cappa TL seems to do the job), Seat (quite comfortable compared to the stock seats on the other bikes I tried.

Weakness:

Front Derailleur (Altus), Paint isn't as cool as the Giant Iguana (Yellow/Silver), no mounting holes for rear disc-brakes.

This is my first bike in 10 years (I always bought the typical hardware/department store special when I was younger), so this is my first "real" bike. I shopped around town and found the Giant Rincon was what I consider the best deal for the money. I was tempted to go with a Giant Yukon but being the same frame I decided it was better to save my money now and replace the parts that break or wear out with higher-end parts as the need arises. I am rating the Rincon a 5/5 because even though I would have loved to get an Giant Iguana which had everything on my wish list, it was too expensive for someone like me who is just getting into this cycling thing. The Rincon doesn't really cut corners anywhere except for the Altus front derailleur and it's such a nice rounded package for the price I think it is a good bike to start out with. Not too cheap that I get frustrated and give up, and not too expensive that my wife questions my sanity (well at least no more than usual).

Similar Products Used:

Specialized Hardrock, Gary Fisher Advance, Giant Rock

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