Should you let it Reign or go into a Trance?
Let us guide you through the 2018 range of Giant mountain bikes. Whether you’re a beginner or an looking to race enduro, Giant have you covered.
Understanding all the 2018 Giant mountain bikes
Giant have one of the better laid out and logical websites out there among the big bike brands but they are still guilty of either using some genre terms and classifications that a lot of people will scratch their heads at or Giant don’t quite classify bike models specifically enough. Let’s clarify our terms and break the range down in categories we all know.
What type of mountain bike do you want?
Kicking things off, you will already most likely know what form of bike you’re after: hardtail, full suspension or electric assist. With that decision made, let’s go on to a more nuanced and tricky question…
What type of riding will you be doing?
Hmm. This is a tricky question. First off, don’t think that you have to commit to one solitary type of riding and you can’t ever do any other style. What style of riding will you be doing mostly? You can niche yourself into oblivion but to our minds there’s only three main styles: cross-country, trail or downhill.
So now, with your bike type chosen and your riding style chosen, you;ll be left with a much smaller list of Giant mountain bikes to choose from. Indeed, you may even have it down to one model already and you then just have to pick your budget. Happy days.
There are four hardtail models in Giant’s 2018 range of mountain bikes: ATX, Talon, Fathom and XTC.
Like most bike brands, Giant give their frame materials their own names. Their carbon fibre bikes are either Advanced or the fancier Advanced SL stuff. Giant’s aluminium bikes are either Aluxx, Aluxx SL and Alluxx SLR (in order of fanciness).
As with other big bike brands, Giant have their own range of finishing kit and components. Unlike some brands though they don’t try to disguise this fact with other branding. Giant bits are called Giant.
The Giant ATX is the entry level hardtail that’s suited to cross-country duties. There are two models, ranging from £375 or £425. They are very similar in terms of essential frame and spec and as such most beginners would be wise to get the cheaper one or save up for a Talon.
Speaking of which, the Giant Talon bikes straddle entry level up to almost mid-level hardtails. The geometry is a bit more capable with more standover and a more confident stance in general. Price range goes from £499 up to an impressivley specced £849 version. The Talon is available in 27.5in wheels or with 29in wheels (the Talon 29).
Next up are the Giant Fathom hardtail mountain bikes. These have a a bit more suspension travel (120mm) and a similarly capably geometry and stance to the Talon models but the frames are significantly fancier Aluxx SL alloy and the spec is a higher quality, albeit reflected in the higher price tags. Prices: £899 to £1,199. Like the Talon, the Fathom models are available in 27.5in or 29in wheel sizes.
Top of the hardtail tree are the Giant XTC Advanced. The Advanced suffixed clearly denotes that these bikes have carbon fibre frames. The Giant XTC Advanced 29 is the cross country racey 29er and comes in two models: £2,499 or £3,499. The Giant XTC Advanced 27.5+ is a fantastic curio of a racey trail bike with Plus tyres, price £2,299.
Giant full suspension bikes
There are five full sussers in Giant’s 2018 range: Stance, Trance, Reign, Anthem and Glory.
Giant’s suspension design is called Maestro. It’s a twin link floating pivot design (the rear swingarm is attached to the front triangle by two pairs of links) of which Giant have been using variation of Maestro for years and as such it’s arguably one of the most refined suspension platforms out there.
As with their hardtails, Giant differentiate the frame materials by branding; Aluxx for the alloy frames and Advanced for the carbon fibre frames.
The Giant Stance is only one model. It’s an entry level full suspension trail bike with 120mm of travel and a price tag of £1,349. Despite its modest price tag there’s nothing missing from the spec. There’s even a dropper seatpost in it.
The Giant Trance is classic 27.5in wheel trail bike full susser with 140mm of rear travel (150mm fork travel). The Trance is chock full of modern features like Boost, trunnion metric shocks and carbon rocker linkage. There are four models with alloy frames (£1,749 to £3,599) and three models in the Advanced carbon fibre range (£3,549 to £6,299).
The Giant Reign is the 160mm travel enduro race bike. For 2018 the Reigns get all the modernisation that the Trance had: Boost, trunnion, metric, carbon rocker etc. There are two alloy Reigns (£2,649 and £4,299) and two carbon Reign Advanced models (£4,699 and £6,499).
The Giant Anthem is the cross country race bike that can handle aggressive trail riding in its stride as well. The 27.5in wheel Anthems have 110mm of rear travel paired with an upscaled 130mm fork up front. The 29er Anthems are 90mm at the back, 100mm up front. There are quite a lot of Anthem models, eight in total. There are three alloy 27.5in Anthems (£1,899 to £3,449), one carbon 27.5 Anthem (£3,999), two alloy 29er Anthems (£2,449 and £3,449), and two carbon fibre 29er Anthems (£3,449 and £4,249).
The Giant Glory is the downhill bike with a full-on 200mm of travel at either end (the carbon has 203mm rear travel technically). There’s an alloy Glory for £3,999 and a carbon fibre Glory Advanced for £4,499.
Giant electric mountain bikes
There are three electric assist mountain bikes from Giant: Full-E+, Full-E+ SX and the Dirt-E+.
Giant’s electric assist bikes use their own Giant SyncDrive motors and Giant EnergyPak battery systems.
The Giant Dirt-E+ electric bikes are all hardtails with 120mm travel suspension forks. They’re more aimed at light trail use and general go-anywhere bikes for beginners and casual all-round cyclists. Three models in total. Prices range from £2,299 to £3,299.
The Giant Full-E+ is an electric full suspension trail bike with 140mm of travel. The fork and frame can accept Plus tyres but they come specced with slightly narrower 2.6in tyres. There’s only one model in the range, the £3,999 Giant Full-E+ 1.5 Pro.
The Giant Full-E+ SX is a more aggressive 160mm travel full suspension e-bike designed for trail use and a bit of enduro style riding. Equipped with all the mod cons including Boost axles and dropper seat posts. There are two models in the range ranging from £4,249 to £5,249.
Giant Women’s mountain bikes
Giant have a separate brand altogether for their women’s bike and it’s called Liv. We’ll be doing a whole new buyer’s guide to Liv mountain bikes very soon.