Giant XTC 29"er: Sneak Peek!

In our recent post on rumors from Frostbike, we heard that Giant was preparing some 29″er models for a 2010 release. Now the cat is out of the bag. Indeed, Giant is introducing a 29″er hardtail, at the least.

The Giant produced sketches, which first appeared on their Facebook page, show a rendering of a hardtail frame with what appears would end up being all hydroformed tubing. The seat stay bridge appears to be a forged type piece. It appears that the seat tube may be slightly bent, ala Specialized’s 29″ers, as well. We can also see that the frame will have an integrated or semi-integrated head set and the 1 1/8″th to 1 1/2″ steer tube. We fully expect that the fork will be the new Marzocchi 44 model with the tapered steer tube, which is already in production. Also noteworthy is that Giant’s Facebook page indicates that there will be a single speed option as well.

Giant typically doesn’t introduce new models until later in the summer, but we will keep our eyes peeled for anymore news on this or any other 29″er model being worked on by Giant.

No Responses to “Giant XTC 29"er: Sneak Peek!”

  1. MMcG Says:

    I guess this may be big news to some, but it is just another company doing a 29er – I mean – has Giant ever been known for the amazing qualities of their hardtail frames regardless of wheel size?

  2. Guitar Ted Says:

    MMcG: Well, yes, as a matter of fact. Back in the day, the Cadex line from Giant was one of the first carbon fiber 26″ers widely available. They also were one of the first major companies to jump into single speed 26″ers. The NRS, albeit an FS bike, was a workhorse on the endurance circuit, and my buddy, Jeff Kerkove piloted those rigs to many podium finishes not long ago.

    Giant gets the Trek/Specialized, big company bad rap, but they make a decent bicycle and yes…..some are ground breaking designs. If Giant would do a FS 29″er based on their current 26″er FS platform, you’d see them selling quite well, I think.

  3. big chris Says:

    I keep reading people bag on Giant as of late in all these forums. Just because they have a line at that big shop we all buy tubes at…..dont mean they suck and don’t think saying so make you an expert, yo. hey mmcg look they are so behind the times they dont even run disc,

    I am interested in the rear stay(s) config and the stay bridge is kinda cool as well

  4. grannygear Says:

    Looks good. My tastes don’t run to alu HTs, but I like the hydroformed tubing. That has to be an advantage over a simple, butted round tube. I am not hung up on names on the headtubes. Build it and let the buyer decide with their wallets.

  5. CJ Averett Says:

    Didn’t use to be that the way Giant went, the way the industry went? I am glad to see Giant get on board the 29’er wagon. It just shows that this is not just a passing fad like neon chain rings.

  6. MMcG Says:

    I’m in no way bagging on anyone. I just don’t see the excitement in this stage of 29ers about a Giant 29er Hardtail or fully. 29ers have long since been a fad – they are definitely mainstream.

    Giant makes fine bikes, their Maestro’s ride great (some may argue the point about the suspension design and how they decided to go that Maetro route – but that’s for another day and another forum). I’m just saying – that in MY opinion it isn’t anything that groundshaking.

    I’m not sure there is really anything left with regard to 29ers that could be called groundshaking anymore. I mean, they are here, they work and they’ll be here for as long as I’ll be alive that’s for sure (and well beyond that).

    I guess what’s exciting to me are some of the component tweeks, geometry tweeks, and perhaps ways to improve upon 29er FS design that intrigue me. Hell, maybe Giant will do something “groundbreaking” in the 29er FS realm – I’ll wait and see.

    But for now I just see another Aluminum hardtail 29er among the crop of many other AL 29er contenders (Astrix, Cannondale, Fisher, Niner, Soul, Bianchi, Kona etc. etc. etc.).

  7. big chris Says:

    YOu could say the same about Kona and even Niner and other HT’s really in my humbel opinion. I have a Kona 2-9 HT because it was the right fit and price at the time but by no means is it revolutionary.

    there are little tweeks here and there they all make and push competition and inovation

    for example as much as I like niner they could learn form the stay bridge design here and others…

    they only real fear is the biggies taking design form the smaller companies and claiming it is theirs and selling it while forcing litigation and I don’t think we need to name names

    GTed, do you have any write-ups on Spot Brand Longboard?

  8. big chris Says:

    I mean really is there a difference between any of the 26 hardtails? so still I dont get your point

    Looking at the design above I see some major attempts to shape tubes…..

  9. jncarpenter Says:

    I think more importantly than just “one more alu HT” is the notion that the potential for higher volumes of 29er specific OEM parts just likely went up & that is good news for 29er enthusiasts. It’s hard to argue against the likely leverage that a Giant 29er can generate for the current 29er market.

  10. jeronimo Says:

    For the money, a Giant aluminum hardtail frame is awesome (sub 3 pounds for under $300).

    Unfortunately the’ve gone to carbon stays and such on their hardtails as of late.

  11. Guitar Ted Says:

    big chris: We were talking with Spot at Interbike, I e-mailed them afterwards, but have never heard back. At one time they seemed interested in a test/review, but I am not sure what happened there. (???)

    Just one note I wanted to add: Those that can not see the “why” behind the XTC might note that it has a tapered head tube for the Marz 44 (1 1/8-1 1/5 steer tube). This will be a first in hardtail 29″ers and I suspect a first in hardtails of any wheel size. (I am not aware of any other mtb hard tails that feature this.) I am expecting to hear comments of better steering precision/stiffer front triangles as a result.

    I am expecting these Giant XTC 29″ers will redefine how precise and stable a 29″er can steer in techy terrain. Climbing out of the saddle should be much improved as well. If they indeed do a single speed, I will be heading to the front of the line to try it.

    That’s how big a deal this is in my opinion. 😉

  12. Glenn Says:

    At minimum, this completes the 29er move from fad to mainstream. Some people will not be happy that they are on mainstream bikes now, but who really cares? Bikes is bikes. I’ll admit I like having a weird big wheeled bike for a while but I don’t think about it any longer.

    I’m happy because this gives me another option for my next 29er. It’s not just Fisher any longer in town (my town at least). Now I can choose between Fisher, Spec and Giant.

  13. Guitar Ted Says:

    Glenn: That is an interesting observation. I have been thinking this for some time now- that 29″ers are mainstream and not a niche anymore. Maybe someday 29″ers will become just “a mountain bike” and not a “29”er”, and then we’ll know that it’s been totally assimilated. 🙂

    I think that will be a long way off though.

  14. Cloxxki Says:

    Been telling you. It’s THE adult wheel size.
    One day 26″-specific forums will arise for those with a strong preference to keep wheels small.

  15. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Wow! No disc tabs or canti bosses! Progressive!

  16. JeroenK Says:

    So it is a fixie? 😉

  17. t0m Says:

    I think Giant is a good manufacturer, though they aren’t cool in the homegrown company way. They are the biggest, and have probably the most advanced hydroforming capabilities (they make a lot of other maker’s frames, as I understand it). Hydro forming aluminum is a big deal. It’s closer to a forging than just extruding a tube. Hydro tubes are stronger and more fatigue resistant (better crystalline structure) for the same weight. This drawing shows a tube with almost every tube hydroformed. I bet it’ll be very light, a nice ride, and affordable.

  18. professed Says:

    Glenn is right – as are you GT (as almost always! ) – This is big from a market point of view. One of the biggest players in the industry joining the 29er field eliminates any fringe aspect that might still exist and should increase the range of accessories.

    Here at the bottom but sunny side of the earth, us big wheel riders and our bikes are still considered faddish and goofy which is great – we enjoy not having to pedal so hard as our kids bike riding brothers when we race along the trails….

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Not trying to play “gotcha” or anything, just an FYI.

    Specialized Carbon-framed Stumpjumper hard tails are 1.5-1.125 tapered head tube. The Sworks ones use a Specialized fork, the Expert uses a specific SID.

    I suspect most reviews of these bikes would rave about their steering, etc, but who knows how much is really attributable to the steerer size. I’m curious to see this concept in a 29er, though I also suspect a lot of flex comes from the lowers/stanchion interface. Weren’t headshoks supposed to have awesome steering precision? Why don’t we see more of those on 29ers?

  20. jimmythefly Says:

    PS that last comment was from me.

  21. Davidcopperfield Says:

    We seem to be stuck at 100mm travel at most. Why not a longer travel 130mm am/trail bicycles? Am guys want to switch but won’t sucrifice talases 36mm stanchions and 20 axles and MaRZOCCHI 44 is unbecoming with 32mm and 15mm.

  22. maximumradness Says:

    i like neon chainrings….
    and all bikes.
    hydroformed is neat.
    giant is cheap.
    these are good things.
    kids bikes jump better.

  23. Guitar Ted Says:

    jimmythefly: Thanks for that information. I thought perhaps somebody had already done the tapered seer tube on a hardtail, but I wasn’t sure. 🙂

    As to your comments on stiffness/steering precision, I think the tapered steer tube will absolutely make a difference. Keeping in mind that the 29″er, by nature of it’s design, means longer top and down tubes which are generally mated to a short head tube to reduce front end height. All these things conspire to make for a twisty front end on many 29″ers. This, of course, gives you a vague steering feel and can cause big problems in handling through technical terrain.

    The tapered steer tube does a couple of things. First, it makes for a stiffer steer tube which will help with lever forces at the crown/steer tube junction- right where the taper is its largest. The taper will also dissapate energy in a better way as well. Secondly, the bigger diameter at the down tube/ head tube junction means larger cross section tubing can be utilised with a bigger weld surface area. This makes the front end stronger. Also, that bigger down tube resists twisting better, so the front end will feel more prescise.

    I really do not see any downside for 29″er freaks and I suspect that in five years the straight steer tube may be extinct. I do know that by 2010 all major fork manufacturers will have tapered steer tube 29″er forks in their lines. I think in conjunction with the through axle fork, the tapered steer tube fork will make 29″ers handle far more precisely than we are accustomed to now.

  24. Dirt McGirt Says:


    Here here. Kids bikes make the best jumpers… and they’re cheap cuz you go through them so quick.

  25. large and fit Says:

    I think I remember Marz sending out an industry wide memo stating that they would never make a tapered steer fork…not too long ago

    good thinkg we have all these new 29er frames poping up to push technology along…

    keep the new frames and products coming; big company or small

    nice work GTed

  26. am_dude Says:

    I typically ride mostly technial AM, vs XC trails. I’ve ridden several 29’ers in the last year and like them, but do not think any of the current 29ers perform any better than the AM 26’ers.

    I ride a Giant reign with Fox 36 fork w 20QR — so I have found that most of the 29ers are not stiff enough in the front.

    I would jump at the opp to buy a 29er with a stiffer front, and another 1 inch of travel.

  27. pilotpapakilo Says:

    I just got my XTC 29 1 today and absolutely love it!!!! Great Bike!!!!

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