I recently got an upgraded 29er and was completely blown away at the comfort and control that the new Giant XTC Composite 29er 3 carbon fiber frame provided. I was astounded to find that it had provided an excellent fit right out of the box, and this machine was surprisingly light and nimble. I was also really pleased with the response and acceleration the ride provided especially for a bike costing under $ 2,000.00.
Typically in this price point you would find yourself on an aluminum frame, which is nice for the most part, but the biggest improvement is in the comfort and control. The feeling was immediate and impressive. The bike almost wanted to leap forward with each pedal stroke. This happens while keeping me comfortable and with precision control of a bike twice it’s price. This is a phenomenal set-up. I was blown away by the fact that Giant could put such an impressive bike at such a low price in your hands.
This XTC Composite 29er 3 wouldn’t quit. This bike kept giving me reasons to love it. After being in the mix and even having my friends try out this 29er, the conclusion was clear. Not only was I, but even my friends were considerably faster on the 29er hard tail in comparison to their 26 inch dual suspension. This was confirmed by checking rides via Strava – it was no joke. This bike ramps up the game for anyone competitive, looking for comfort, and wants to dominate the trails – up and down the hill. I also feel compelled to mention it’s a suitable transition for roadies. It’s a premium choice for the roadie who’s looking to play in the dirt and wants to spice up their workout routines and have a little more fun.
That being said this bike is an outstanding platform to start on. If you’re looking for upgrades I have a few to recommend. First off, ditch the aluminum seat post. It’s good, but when better is in reach, why stop yourself? I highly recommend a carbon fiber seat post. Carbon fiber is far superior to aluminum because of its comfort qualities. I had one guy stress that it is not any lighter, but shaving weight isn’t the factor, we want comfort. The comfort control and dampening that carbon gives you is what makes all the difference. When I made the upgrade to my seat post, it felt like I gained another ½ inch of rear suspension. This is perfect for most of the trails we have here in Southern California.
One day I had forgotten my road bike at home, but brought my road shoes, and happened to be leaving from the shop for a standard Friday 6:45 AM road ride from Empire Bikes. So, not being the guy to skimp out on a ride, I decided to put road pedals on the 29er and keep on truckin’. The first hill approached and a few of the guys went blasting up Chino Hills Parkway. I sat in taking advantage of the groups draft on the lower part of the climb, tucked in nicely it was half way up the hill before I began to make my move. Keeping the bike in the big chain-ring I muscled the gear and picked off the riders in the early move, and by the top I was the second rider to the Strava checkpoint. Not that bad for being on a bike 10 lbs heavier than my road bike. With 10 lbs extra, it proves weight makes no difference, another reason why we don’t have a bike scale in the bike shop.
In closing, the Giant XTC Composite 29er 3 composite is a screaming deal on a great riding bike that delivers a professional grade bike feel, handling, and an excellent fit for a bike to ride in Southern California. And, it also comes in two grades of components. The Giant XTC Composite 29er 3 comes in with a mix of SRAM and Rock Shox at a sweet $ 1,974.99. Then, there is the Giant XTC Composite 29er 1 that comes with Shimano and Fox at $ 2,774.99. Being the guy who has ridden bikes costing over twice that amount, you would be hard pressed to find a better bike, and a better deal.
By Rock Sanchez, Empire Bikes