A Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer and possibly the world’s best-known brand with the largest production line. Giant produces seven ranges of bikes with something for everyone from comfort bikes to high-end off-road and racing bikes.
- address: 3587 Old Conejo RdNewbury Park, CA 91320-2122
- telephone: (805) 375-6400
- fax: 805-376-8028
- website: http://www.giant-bicycles.com
- e-mail: [email protected]
Giant has literally become a giant of a company. They produce over five million bicycles a year and have dubbed themselves the “world’s largest bicycle manufacturer”. It’s most likely true because half the time you’re riding one of their bikes without knowing it as they also manufacture bikes for brands like Trek, Specialized, Schwinn and Bianchi. Most cyclists trust Giant for reliability and quality.
Giant Bicycles was established in 1972 as OEM and a manufacturer for other bicycle companies. But in 1986 they established their own brand and by 1998 were producing over two million bikes and in 2002 over four million. They later expanded into big biking nations like the Netherlands, USA, Canada, Australia and China; manufacture items like pumps, apparel and luggage (2002 in the United Kingdom) and established a European company in the Netherlands (1996).
Giant’s initial idea was to expand into the $200 and above price range, although today their bikes cater for all ends of the market. A quick look through their catalogue reveals 12″ bikes for children, carbon and aluminium road options, downhill mountain bikes and designs for women.
Something that sets Giant apart is their ability to manufacture their own carbon fiber bikes using the formulaOne carbon process. This means they start from bare carbon thread and build bikes into frames while most brands utilize manufacturers like Advanced or Martec to do this for them. Giant therefore has more control over their manufacturing process and the stiffness, weight and ride quality of the finished product. It has been successful for them though, with their high-end bikes taking racers such as the Global Giant Mountain Bike Team, T-Mobile and Team Rabobank to the podium.
The road bikes range from competition to fitness bikes and have both aluminium and carbon fiber frames. Giant has TCR and OCR ranges of road bikes. The TCR has steeper angles and a shorter wheelbase making for better power transfer, sprinting and climbing. The OCR is more comfortable and intended for touring with a longer chain stay/wheel base and more upright geometry.
About 10 years ago Giant also introduced the compact frame concept for road bikes that sloped the top tube downward at the seat stays to reduce the overall size of the front and rear triangles. This reduced weight and increased lateral rigidity and acceleration speed. The design changed UCI regulations and became a benchmark for compact frames in the industry. It was made particularly famous by the success of Laurent Jalabert and his Once team in the Tour de France.
Some of their road bikes like the TCR Advanced SL cost close to USD $10,000 so you may have to be a little crazy, or very good, to pay that much for a bike. It has a carbon fiber frame and integrates the seat post and frame as a single unit that must be cut precisely to fit the owner. More entry-level road bikes like the TCR Alliance are around the USD $2,000 mark.
Giant’s high-end mountain bikes use Maestro technology, a full suspension platform with six travel/frame configurations for various trail conditions. They have different bikes for novices and pros (competition, trail, freeride or sport) and options for the kind of ride you favour be it cross-country, downhill or freestyle. Mountain bikes cost from USD $500 to USD $8,000.
Giant also produces quality mountain, road and lifestyle bikes designed to fit women better. Lifestyle ranges target casual cyclists and are designed for comfort and convenience. There are also power-assisted bikes with lithium batteries for easy riding and bikes for juniors. Basically you could kit the whole family out with something from the Giant range.
Hours of work
Monday – Friday
9am to 5pm (PT)
- Standard Frames: Yes
- Custom Frames: No
- Retrofitting old bikes: No
- Year Established: 1972
- Products Made In: Taiwan, Netherlands, China
- Availability: Independent bike dealers in over 50 countries
- Types of Bicycles: road, mountain, comfort, BMX, mode, indoor, family, specialty
- Construction Methods: tig welded, formulaOne Carbon process
- Frame Materials: carbon fiber, aluminum, steel