Spoke Magazine

Giant 2013 Product Launch

Posted by Caleb Smith on Tuesday August 14 2012

I have to admit that I don’t know Giant’s line of bikes very well. I owned one once, an old XTC high-end XC race frame that I had built up with Pyslos and a short (by 2001 standards) 70mm  stem. But since that day I haven’t really paid too much attention. So arriving at the 2013 product launch in Melbourne yesterday I had to play catch up quickly.

Luckily 2013 has seen some big changes in Giant’s range. The biggest being that, apart from the Glory DH, there will only be TWO bikes available in Australasia with 26” wheels: the Reign 1 and wait for it, the Reign 2. Yup, no Trance 26”, no Anthem 26″ and no 26″ hardtails. Even the dedicated Liv women’s models are all 29”. Some might say that’s a lot of eggs in one basket but Giant’s sales of late have pushed them this way and it’s safe to say that they are backing the 29″ wheel hard. And just so you don’t ask, there are no 650b wheels in the lineup.

There’s four bikes in the Trance X range, from the top of the range alloy Trance X 00 (pictured) down to the Trance X 2.

We may as well kick things off with Giant’s redesigned Trance X. For 2013 the Trance X, Giant’s flagship 5″ trail bike, gets a bit of a makeover with shortened up rear stays which bring the wheel in nice and close, shortening up the wheelbase while still making it possible to have a reasonably slack head angle and a fun, flickable bike. Internal cable routing is catered for in a big way with routing for the rear brake, the dropper post and the rear and front derailleurs (that’s all the cables right?) so the frame is super tidy. And like most of the high end Giant bikes this year they have moved to Giant’s Overdrive 2 tapered steerer (1 1/4″ up top, and standard 1.5 down the bottom)

To shorten up the rear stays Giant removed one side of the rear triangle (the side that would have interfered with the drivetrain) so they could move it forward resulting in a 1120mm wheel base (on a medium).

With the Trance X Giant have really tried to tidy up the lines and routing and to that end every cable on the Trance X bike can be routed internally. However when the bikes are shipped the rear brake is attached to the down tube (see the bosses) and then will have to be routed in-store when the bike is purchased.

You’ve heard enough about SRAM’s Type 2 rear derailleur, with its cage lock and clutch system, so I don’t need to say again how rad this is. The Trance X 00 runs a pretty sexy 2 x 10 XO drivetrain.

And then of course keeping with the XO theme, the 00 also features SRAM’s epic four-pot, insanely light XO trail brake. Make no bones about it, this bike is for shredding.

I still can’t believe how svelte this caliper is!

The Anthem X. There are five bikes in the Anthem X range for 2013 (plus two women’s specific models). Two of the models feature carbon front triangles, and then there are three full alloy models. The bike pictured here is the top spec’d Anthem X Advanced 0 (it will retail in New Zealand for $8999) but the alloy Anthems start at a paltry $2899.

There’s a lot of SRAM love going round the Giant camp. A tonne of the bikes featuring Rock Shox rear shocks (as well as drivetrains). The Anthem X Advanced rocks the top model Monarch RT3.

Again like the longer travel Trance, the Anthem features Giant’s new Overdrive 2 tapered steerer for super stiff responsive handling.

This bike is made for going fast and SRAM’s new lightweight redesigned XX brake fits that bill.

For 2013 Giant have partnered up with DT Swiss to make them some flash as carbon and alloy MTB wheels. The Anthem Advanced features the top of the line P XCR 0 model.

Keeping with the going fast on big wheels theme this is the radically redesigned XTC hardtail. It features some pretty big changes for Giant.

Probably the biggest head turner at the show was the XTC Advanced’s seat clamp and 27.2 seat post. The clamp is located under the top tube and gives the bike one seriously striking silhouette.


One of the other big changes is to shift the integrated brake post mounts inside the rear triangle. We’ve seen a few other companies do this of late and it’s for the same reason here; while the chain stays are super stiff, without the post mounts on the seat stays the carbon can be programmed in with a much more compliant ride. Plus it just looks rad! Oh, did you know SRAM made a 140mm rotor?

Again cable routing is smart on the XTC Advanced, this bike is missing its rubber bungs that would make it look even tidier and the rear brake isn’t currently routed internally (but it does). And yup that’s that super stiff Overdrive 2 again, because it’s so stiff Giant have been able to have very short headtubes keeping the bars and front end low on their extensive range of big wheeled bikes. The XL headtube is only 119mm (the medium pictured is 99mm)

For 2013 the front mech also moves to direct mount.

Like the Anthem Advanced the XTC also features some of Giant’s new carbon hoops, this P-XCR 0 wheelset weighs in at 1430 grams, while still featuring a 19mm wide bead width and ETRTO tubeless compatibility.

The Reign is now the only 26″ wheeled trail bike left in the Giant lineup and given that there are only two models available in Australasia and that neither of them are amazingly spec’d there is no denying that the market for long travel 26″ wheeled trail bikes is shrinking. So for 2013 there are very minimal changes to the Reign.

After a bit of a backlash from the press-fit BB featured on 2012 models and the bike’s inability to run a guide, Giant have reverted to a standard BB and ISCG05 tabs and even supply you with a nice MRP 2X guide to boot. The only other notable change is a move again to the Overdrive 2 steerer.

And this one is for all you Danny Hart and Andrew Neethling wannabes out there, The Glory 0. Now this bike pictured is pretty much exactly what Danny rides and it can be yours, race ready out of the box for NZ$6999. 2013 sees the bike get the Danny Hart angles makeover, with the head angle changing to 63.5 and the seat tube moving to 61.8, combine that with rear stays at 445mm and total wheelbase of 1212mm (on the medium) and you have no excuse not to be on a World Cup podium!

See you even get to feel like a you’venwon a World Championship with Danny’s UCI stripes emblazoned on the headtube. SRAMs XO Trail levers mated to Code calipers look after stopping duties. You may want to swap out that 750mm wide bar though…

Custom stickered Boxxer World Cups look after you up front, while the custom (you see a theme here) stickered DT Swiss wheelset keeps you rolling smoothly.

The Glory 0 marries Danny’s and Giant’s strong SRAM relationship, Rock Shox Vivid R2C handles the 8″ of travel, while the drivetrain is SRAM’s DH specific 1 x 10 XO setup.

And it’s probably worth mentioning this guy. Cross is exploding in Aussie as well as NewZealand right now and 2013 will be the first time this bike is offered to Kiwis and Aussies as a complete bike, not just a frameset. It’s actually the last year of this model and I’d say the 2014 model might just feature recently UCI sanctioned disc brakes. There’s two models, this TCX Advanced Carbon model that retails in New Zealand for $5699 or the Alloy TCX 1 which will hit the shop floors at $2249.

More internal routing…

Oh and SRAM Red throughout as well… nice.

So I’m running out of time and need to wrap this up, but something you may have noticed in that lineup is none of the bikes feature 12mm rear axles. When I asked Giant’s marketing manager he informed me that because the Giant Maestro suspension platform has a unified rear triangle it’s stiff enough. He went so far as to say they had even tested 12mm rear triangles but they showed little to no stiffness improvement but more of a weight penalty. That said the Giant wheels which are available to purchase as stand-alone items will feature the ability to run on 12 x 135mm bikes. The one question I didn’t ask, which I’ll try to get an answer for today is, because the wheels have DT Swiss-made hubs will you be able to run SRAM’s new 11 speed freehub on them without having to purchase a whole new rear wheel?

So I just heard from the guys at SRAM that Giant’s MTB wheels are based on DT Swiss’s 240 hub so it will fit the XD driver body and in turn SRAM XX1. That means switching one of these bikes to 1×11 is not as cost prohibitive as it could have been if you had to replace the whole back wheel.

I’ll do a bit of a rundown on Giant’s MTB wheel programme later in the week too, hopefully with the XX1 answer…


Image Gallery (53 Photos)

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  4. And then of course keeping with the XO theme the 00 also features Srams epic four pot insanely light XO trail brake... Make no bones about it this bike is for shredding.
  • Israel Magalit

    Giant website shows Trance X 26ers

    • http://www.spokemagazine.com Caleb Smith

      That would be 2012 bikes you are looking at… These are 2013 bikes, they wont be on the web for a few weeks…

  • Israel Magalit

    Oops… sorry, you did say “Australasia.” The North America site has the Trance X 26ers.
    A big fail for Giant though, IMO. I for one, would still be interested in a 26er Anthem X.

  • Israel Magalit

    That Trance X 29er is one of the ugliest bikes I have ever seen. That top tube-down tube junction looks ridiculous.

  • Craig

    *sigh* no Reign X again this year??

  • rabo rubish

    warning don’t buy giant quality is poor standand trust me i’ve had 4 of their high end rubish bikes you will be sorry

  • rabo rubish

    Giant Australia has the worst customer service, don’t help you, ignore you and disrespect your rights. Their agents lie and their dealers dont know how to build bikes and sell you wrong parts.

  • rabo rubish

    don’t buy Giant trust me

  • rabo rubish

    Don’t ever buy Giant bikes pay a little extra and buy quality believe me.

  • rabo rubish

    Giant bikes are crap

  • do you research

    “…neither of them are amazingly spec’d there is no denying that the market for long travel 26″ wheeled trail bikes is shrinking. So for 2013 there are very minimal changes to the Reign.”

    Wow, looks like you did no research. Differences for the 2013 Reign 1:
    – Dropper seat post
    – ISCG tabs
    – 2×10 with chain guide and clutch rear mech
    – Cable routing on top of down tube

    And SLX throughout with Fox CTD fork and shock is not exactly a poor spec!

    I paid ~$2,500 for mine, great ride and it’s the best bang for buck all mountain bike on the market.

    • do your research

      Opps, forgot one more change: move from press fit bottom bracket to shimano hollowtech II. I already had the tools for this so nice bonus and avoids noise issues with the press fit some folks were having.