WHERE WE WERE AND WHERE WE ARE; THE TRAIL HELMET

MY TROY LEE EDGE COMP. IT SERVED ME WELL.
MY TROY LEE EDGE COMP.
IT SERVED ME WELL.

When I look back at all my years of mountain bike riding and racing I have done, then come across something I have kept as a memento from my early days, it makes me think just how far we have progressed with bikes, parts, and riding gear.
While reorganizing my mountain bike area of my garage I came across my first DH helmet. This was one of Troy Lee Designs first helmets that he brought out, sort of, but he did and it was the “Sh_t to have” (read on).
After strolling through memory lane in my mind of those fun DH days, it made me think about what this helmet resembles or more about what it represents today. There’s no way this would be close to a DH helmet by today’s standard. Then it hits me! It’s more like an Enduro or All-Mountain helmet.

THE FUTURE IN THE PAST
It was called the EDGE Comp, but what most of you out there may not know is, the Edge Comp started life with a well-known helmet company. My guess is they thought their name would make the sales in mountain biking, but as we all know this may not be the case and back in the early days of mountain biking this really didn’t work to often by name and reputation alone.

FULL REMOVABLE CHINBAR PROTECTION WITH ONLY FOUR SCREWS
FULL REMOVABLE CHINBAR PROTECTION WITH ONLY FOUR SCREWS

Shoei Helmets brought out their first mountain bike helmet with no chin bar at the time, it was a new cool style XC helmet. Something way different then the traditional XC helmet (which had about as much style as an all foam helmet from KMART).
We go back to 1990, Shoei helmets (big in the moto market) thought to break into the MTB market, calling the new helmet the RC3 it came with no removable chin bar (like the TLD Comp) and looking to capture the XC crowd by storm Shoei was heading in the right direction, or so they thought.
Shoei knowing Troy Lee for being a leading graphics painter in Moto race circles, thought Troy Lee could do something with it, spice it up a bit, make it look COOOOOL.
Troy Lee recognized the potential with the helmet. He tweaked the peak, added a decal graphics package with it so you could make it cool and “BAM” you have a seller.
BIG VENTS KEPT YOU COOL UNDER PRESSURE.
BIG VENTS KEPT YOU COOL UNDER PRESSURE.

Next you have some of the top pro riders at the time wear it, BAM!! Pros loved this helmet, Troy Lee eventually acquired the rights to the RC3 and Troy Lee called it the Edge Comp.
With Downhill becoming more and more popular in the mid 90’s, Troy Lee saw the need for more protection. At this point he added a chinbar that could be removed simply by unscrewing the four screws. suddenly you have the best of both worlds, a DH helmet or an open face XC helmet.
Something we call All-Mountain, Trail, or Enduro helmets today.

THE FUTURE NOW
I started noticing what made this helmet so unique in itself is that when you look at all the features it has, you see what a lot of the newer helmets have in them. The DNA of the Troy Lee EDGE Comp is evident with the new designs out there from Its full rear / side head coverage, removable chinbar, large venting and overall fit, not to mention cool style.

TROY LEE STILL MAKING COOL HELMETS. LOOK AT THE GREAT REAR PROTECTION
TROY LEE STILL MAKING COOL HELMETS.
LOOK AT THE GREAT REAR PROTECTION

I found it funny to look at it and think, “Wow, the new helmets out there today are not that much different in the style and design structure (OK structure is different, but you know what I’m talking about).
FOX ALL MOUNTAIN TRAIL HELMET
FOX ALL MOUNTAIN TRAIL HELMET

GIANT BICYCLES RAIL HELMET MIPS.
GIANT BICYCLES RAIL HELMET MIPS.

THE BELL AND THEIR SUPER 2R CHINBAR REMOVED.
THE BELL AND THEIR SUPER 2R CHINBAR REMOVED.

Just look at the Bell Super 2R, Giro Switchblade, Leatt DBX 3.0., 6D, Fox and so many more. When you compare the look of these helmets in full-face or All-Mountain mode to the older Troy Lee Edge [RC3] they share the same general DNA features. Some may be a full-face helmet with removable chinbar, big venting, or All-Mountain / trail helmets like 6D, FOX, and others. In other words you get great coverage and comfort for long rides all in one.
THE LEATT DBX 3.0 LIKE THE BELL HAS A SIMPLE REMOVAL SYSTEM
THE LEATT DBX 3.0 LIKE THE BELL HAS A SIMPLE REMOVAL SYSTEM

GIRO SWITCHBLADE LOOKS LIKE A DH HELMET, BUT NOT RATED FOR THE HARDCORE STUFF
GIRO SWITCHBLADE LOOKS LIKE A DH HELMET, BUT NOT RATED FOR THE HARDCORE STUFF

QUICK CHINBAR REMOVAL ON THE GIRO.
QUICK CHINBAR REMOVAL ON THE GIRO.

LEATT'S DBX3.0 IS A CLEAN HELMET FROM THE GUYS THAT INVENTED THE SAFETY NECK BRACE. YEAH THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF
LEATT’S DBX3.0 IS A CLEAN HELMET FROM THE GUYS THAT INVENTED THE SAFETY NECK BRACE.
YEAH THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF

LOOKING AT THE NEW
With the advent to new technologies, better materials, and better understandings of head trauma, cycling helmets have become far better safety wise these days.
Style is everything to most of us, I mean really, we have to look good on the trail. From the moment you pull up to the trail and unload your bike the style points are starting with your peers, Lol.
All kidding aside we do care about safety and the manufactures care as well, especially to the head.
You will find many companies out there using the regular old EPS designs still and there is nothing wrong with that at all, but if you have the chance to help save your head with a bit more safety, why not be smart and do this for yourself.

We may all know someone that may have had a head injury from mountain biking, I know I have and with what’s out there now makes me wonder if it would have made a difference had my friend been wearing one of these new helmets today.

THE NEW MOUSE TRAP
These new designs come in many acronyms. The most well-known of them all and I believe one of the first was MIPS. You have 360Deg Turbine Technology by Leatt, and 6D has ODS.
These new technologies have been the big game changer for off-road cycling helmets today. Manufactures are making helmets that will help the rider to better survive a nasty shot to the old noddle. Even if you may not have a whole lot up in that area, let’s keep what you do have intact, shell we.
What do these safety features do? There are two things that are being achieved here, one is the reduction of rotational acceleration to the head and brain and number two is the absorption of energy during impact at concussion level.
So, let me give a brief explanation of what these do for you, told by the companies that make them.

MIPS

GIANT SHOWS HOW THE MIPS SYSTEM WORKS WITHIN THEIR HELMETS
GIANT SHOWS HOW THE MIPS SYSTEM WORKS WITHIN THEIR HELMETS

Most of you out there may know or have heard of what MIPS is. The MIPS system is used widely by many companies.
Some will simply add this to their helmets EPS liners, while other companies will design it into their helmets for better fit with your head.
Bell uses it in their Super 2R, Giro in the new Switchblade, and many bicycle manufactures like GIANT use the MIPS systems with their MTB helmets.
MIPS PLACEMENT WITHIN THE BELL SUPER 2R HELMET
MIPS PLACEMENT WITHIN THE BELL SUPER 2R HELMET

BELL SUPER 2R WITH MIPS INCORPORATED. YOU CAN SEE IT WITHIN THE HELMET
BELL SUPER 2R WITH MIPS
INCORPORATED. YOU CAN SEE IT WITHIN THE HELMET

MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, this is a leading slip-plane system placed within the helmet to help reduce the rotational forces that result from impact.
Kind of like having a floating layer the will move when hit.

360Deg Turbine Technology

LEATT TURBINE 360 WITHIN THE EPS.
LEATT TURBINE 360 WITHIN THE EPS.

LEATT, a leading safety company known for the development of neck brace protection has developed their own system called 360Deg Turbine Technology. Turbines made of 3D molded energy absorbing material.
The best way to describe this is they look like small rubber disc that are placed within the EPS liner around the helmet.
The two advantages to this are the reduction of rotational acceleration to the head and brain and the absorption of energy upon impact at concussion level.

ODS

THE 6D ODS IN THE EPS
THE 6D ODS IN THE EPS

6D helmets is another company that takes their helmet safety seriously. They have developed their system called Omni-Directional Suspension technology (ODS for short).
What make their helmet safety unique is how it works. You will notice the word Suspension in their description of the technology.
That’s right, suspension in a nut shell or brain bucket in this case. 6D has dual EPS liners with Elastomeric Isolation Dampers in between. What this does is allow for downward and upward, rotational, and side to side impact safety.

UP CLOSE AT 6D SUSPENSION FOR YOUR HEAD
UP CLOSE AT 6D SUSPENSION FOR YOUR HEAD

SAFETY AT ITS BEST FOR THE HEAD
SAFETY AT ITS BEST FOR THE HEAD

If you look at one of their cut-away, it seems like it would be free floating within the two EPS liners with little rubber shocks so to speak. Very cool.

PICK YOU POISON
This is just the tip of what is out there when it come to new helmet safety. It blows me away to look at my old Troy Lee and see what we have today versus what we have now. It makes me think, “WOW, I rode in that thing and took a killer hit to my head in it while racing a Big Bear AM-CUP. I rang my bell for sure and it saved my head, but how would that hit have differed to my head while using one of the new helmets with this new safety technology in.
With all research in head trauma, new technology and materials, it has made one thing clear.
Companies care about their customers well-being, not just making a buck off of us.
So, when you are out there and you are ready to make that next helmet purchase give a little thanks to guys like Troy Lee and Shoei for seeing the future, pushing the envelope and making us safe.
And give thanks to all the new guys that are pushing forward on how to keep us riding everyday.

GIANT RAIL MIPS IN ACTION
GIANT RAIL MIPS IN ACTION

Ride safe and ride on….

RIDE REVIEW: GIANT’S FULL-E +1, RIDING THE ELECTRIC BAND WAGON!!

2017 GIANT FULL-E+ 1
2017 GIANT FULL-E+ 1

So, a few months back when we were having all this rain, yeah SoCal had “RAIN”!! Can you believe it…

With all this rain we had it was hard to get out for one good day? You have to hit it before the rain came.
I was able to do some CX riding (Cyclocross all) with the bros, which lead to a slight trail mishap (injury story soon).
Well one particular Sunday a few months back was the window of opportunity to finally try out something new. I got a call from a friend of mine to come out a demo a new GIANT mountain E-Bike. I jumped at the chance to try this new bike out. The tech of E-Bikes has come a long way, but we still don’t understand the whole thing about E-Bikes. Throttle or pedal assist?

OPENING YOUR EYES TO NEW THINGS

We have never really crossed the gap of the mountain E-Bikes here at MtnBikeRiders.com and before I go into what the bike was like on the trail, I have to say a little something about this new market as well as what you will see in the future of MtnBikeRiders.com.
Not only will we do the standard stories of product reviews on mountain bikes and products, fun stories, and how to’s, you will see us bridging the gap into new niches such as Gravel bikes and mountain E-Bikes, and Cyclocross. Maybe even some Adventure Biking.
If it’s made for the dirt we want to bring it to you because playing on dirt is fun.
We also want you to know that we are not here to change your minds, only inform you as best as we can. Ultimately once you have done your homework, you will make the decision to what best fits your needs on the trail.
I know there are those out there that are fully against any kind of E-bike, no matter what it’s meant for.
After posting some pics and doing a live vid on our Facebook fan page (MtnBikeRider.com Facebook fan page / Please go and like) of the ride on the new Giant Full-E +1, I was kind of taken a back at the comments.
“You’re cheating!” “Its called a motorcycle!” “Really a motor?” “The motor does “ALL” the work and you just sit while it goes.” I was like, ” people relax!!”

That all being said, please keep an open mind and always go demo something new.
Remember, you never know till you try something new you might just end up liking it.
Hell I was never going to trade up my 26” bikes for that new-fangled 27.5 stuff or a 29’er (not for me, I’m height challenged). Now all my bikes are 27.5, see!!

THE BIKE!!

THE GIANT FULL-E +1 LOOKS LIKE ANY OTHER BIKE, BUT PACKED WITH A LITTLE EXTRA FUN.
THE GIANT FULL-E +1 LOOKS LIKE ANY OTHER BIKE, BUT PACKED WITH A LITTLE EXTRA FUN.

OK, so let’s look into the 2017 Giant Full-E +1. For the most part, I say “MOST” because it is a mountain bike.
It has cranks, pedals, chain, shifters, gears, suspension, wheels, you get the picture.
The Full-E +1 is equipped with top of the line parts you would expect from any high-end bike for trail riding at this price range. Big names like, Shimano, Fox, Schwalbe, and Giant’s own parts to round it all out.

What’s the exception to this bike, well that would be the Giant SyncDrive Sport , 80Nm, 500Watt motor powered by Yamaha.
You could say this is the only thing that would be associated with a motorcycle is the name of the company that made the electric motor.
This as I said is a bicycle, you have to pedal it up hills, on straights, and wherever you would pedal any other bicycle. There is no throttle on it like some E-Bikes. The Giant Full-E +1 is a pedal assist motor. In order to get the benefits of the pedal assist you HAVE TO PEDAL!!! Yes pedal, so if you’re a lazy person wanting to sit and hit a throttle you’re out of luck.
Now the Full-E +1 frame is made with Giant’s ALUXX SL grade aluminum to give it a stiff ride, 140mm rear Maestro suspension with a FOX Float Performance DPS, Trunnion mount shock, front suspension is handled by a FOX 34 Float Performance, 15mm thru-axle, OverDrive fork that is 140mm. Sizes range from Small to XL.

FRONT AND REAR DERAILLERS, STANDARD SHIFTING LIKE A NORMAL BIKE, AND GETTING TO PEDAL YOUR HEART OUT.
FRONT AND REAR DERAILLERS, STANDARD SHIFTING LIKE A NORMAL BIKE, AND GETTING TO PEDAL YOUR HEART OUT.
GIANT'S NEW TRUNNION MOUNT REAR SHOCK.
GIANT’S NEW TRUNNION MOUNT REAR SHOCK.
GIANT MAESTRO REAR SUSPENSION WITH 140mm OF TRAVEL.
GIANT MAESTRO REAR SUSPENSION WITH 140mm OF TRAVEL.

The cockpit is setup with Giant’s own GIANT CONNECT handlebars, stem, seat, and Contact SL Switch Trail dropper seat post.
Wheels are again Giant’s own hoops and hub systems, with Schwalbe putting the rubber on the ground for you. Drivetrain and brakes are all Shimano XT, SLX, and M615 brakes.
Let’s talk about the heart of the dive system, I mean pedal assist system.
Giant as always does their homework and when they decide to bring out a new product, Giant makes sure it works the first time. This system works quite well, now I will admit I don’t have a lot saddle time on E-Bikes and coming from a moto background I do know power. This pedal assist motor feels really great when you’re pedaling your heart out up the hills.
The Full-E +1 is equipped with;
• Motor – Giant SyncDrive Sport, 80Nm, 500w, system powered by Yamaha.
• Sensors – Giant PedalPlus 4-sensor technology
• Display – Giant RideControl EVO, grip launch control with walk assist, mini USB charger
• Battery – Giant EnergyPak500, 36V 13.8Ah rechargeable Lithium-ion

Now what is cool about this system is that you have three modes for the system on the display.
When you turn it on the display has ECO, NORMAL, and POWER. Each mode gives a different feel when you pedal. ECO mode has more resistance when in use, but when using ECO you save battery life.
NORMAL mode has better assistance and will of course use more battery. Hit that POWER mode and pedal the cranks you really feel the Full-E +1 go. This will use the most battery life of course.
One other great feature with the Full-E +1 is the button for the grip launch control with walk assist on the handle bar. This allows you to get off the bike and when you press the button the bike will go at a slow pace to assist you when say you have to go up a very steep hill (perfect when you have to “Hike-A-Bike”).
The Display also has a built-in rider computer to help track your miles and ride info. You also have a USB charge port for your lights, pretty nifty I’d say.
All in all this bike is laid out like any other, but with the pedal assist.

YOU KEEP THE GIANT FULL-E +1 GOING, BUT WHAT HELPS YOU IS THE GIANT EnergyPak500, 36V 13.8Ah RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM BATTERY.
YOU KEEP THE GIANT FULL-E +1 GOING, BUT WHAT HELPS YOU IS THE GIANT EnergyPak500, 36V 13.8Ah RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM BATTERY.
A WELL LITE DIGITAL CONTROL PANELS FEEDS ALL THE INFO YOU NEED.
A WELL LITE DIGITAL CONTROL PANELS FEEDS ALL THE INFO YOU NEED.
EASY TO USE ON THE FLY. GAINT'S RideControl EVO, GRIP LAUNCH CONTROL WITH WALK ASSIST, AND MINI USB CHARGER.
EASY TO USE ON THE FLY.
GAINT’S RideControl EVO, GRIP LAUNCH CONTROL WITH WALK ASSIST, AND MINI USB CHARGER.
IF THE BATTERY IS THE HEART, THE MOTOR IS YOUR TRACTOR. SyncDrive SPORT, 80Nm, 500W MOTOR POWERED BY YAMAHA. THIS WILL DELIVER SMILES FOR HOURS.
IF THE BATTERY IS THE HEART, THE MOTOR IS YOUR TRACTOR.
SyncDrive SPORT, 80Nm, 500W MOTOR POWERED BY YAMAHA.
THIS WILL DELIVER SMILES FOR HOURS.

THE RIDE

CLIMBING
I wanted to go to a place where I could really use the pedal assist motor. I wanted to see if this was really all worth it or not
I was told by the Giant rep to meet out at “The Luge”. Now I hate riding there and if anyone in SoCal has ridden there you would understand. It’s one big fire road climb up, up, and UP some more. Not my cup of tea at all, but what better way to see how Giant’s Full-E +1 works.

Now this is the first time MtnBikeRiders.com has tested a mountain E-Bike on our site and the first time I have ridden a mountain E-Bike, so I really didn’t know what to expect.
After a quick going over the controls with Giant rep Mark Helms, it was really quite simple to operate the three modes, so off we go to start the climb on the paved road to the entrance of the fire road, climbing of course.
The first thing I noticed was how the pedal assist motor really helps on the climb. Mark Helms encouraged me to play with the power modes, Power Mode being the best and most fun and I’m here to say it was. You really got going in a climb.
Normal mode was not to bad either, you could feel the slight resistance in comparison to the Power Mode and it worked great on the climb.
ECO mode was a lot slower in the get up and go department, however pedaling in this mode would save the greatest amount of battery and you feel the burn (man I’m getting a workout here).
OK, “I LIKE THE POWER MODE” … The bike feels fast in helping you climb up the hill and I hate climbing PERIOD!!! The pedal assist motor made climbing fun and as we were able to pass some people riding up the trail I couldn’t help but feel a sense of resentment, or maybe that was guilt on my part. The funny thing I noticed was, when we would stop these riders would catch up to us within a couple of minutes (these were riders that were in obvious shape) and pass us by as we were resting.
We hit some steep hills a couple of times, again fun, fun, fun!! As Giant Rep Mark Helms put it, “Riding uphill on the Full-E +1 is like descending a fun signal track.” You are moving at a rate of speed that’s actually making climbing fun with all the benefits of getting in shape, this is exciting and makes me want one just for that fact.
Bottom line is, I liked climbing on this bike!!

DESCENDING
Going downhill on the Giant Full-E +1 is no different than any other mountain bike, of course it may weigh a bit more than your average Enduro bike, maybe more like a Downhill bike and going downhill at speed was a blast. You really don’t feel the weight at all.

The Full-E +1 has great handling skills. You can carve the turns with ease, it handles the jumps great.
Giant put together a great bike with geometry that feels like a cross between their Trance and Reign, add the full active Maestro suspension with its Trunnion mount and you have one stable bike on the descend. 140mm of travel front and rear make for one plush ride.
The Shimano XT drivetrain worked perfect as always and the Shimano M165 hydraulic brakes took care of business in the stopping department. The Schwalbe tires did a great job of holding you on the ground and Giant’s cockpit made the ride solid with their own Connect stem and bars, Contact seat, and Contact SL Switch Trail dropping seat post.

THE WRAP

OVERALL I HAD FUN RIDING THE GIANT FULL-E +1. THE PEDAL ASSIST WORKED GREAT  IN ALL MODES AND THE BEST PART WAS THAT i GOT A HELL OF A WORKOUT. IF YOU HATE TO CLIMB, BUT LOVE TO DESCEND, AND WANT TO LOVE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME THAN THIS IS A WAY TO GO.
OVERALL I HAD FUN RIDING THE GIANT FULL-E +1. THE PEDAL ASSIST WORKED GREAT IN ALL MODES AND THE BEST PART WAS THAT i GOT A HELL OF A WORKOUT. IF YOU HATE TO CLIMB, BUT LOVE TO DESCEND, AND WANT TO LOVE BOTH AT THE SAME TIME THAN THIS IS A WAY TO GO.

OK, so I finally got to try out a top of the line mountain E-Bike and I have to say I’m very impressed with the overall ride, feel of handling, and performance of the system.
Now this was only a two-hour test ride and not a full “run it through the ringer” test review that we would normally do, I just had to see what it was like and see if its worth all the hoopla. We at MtnBikeRiders.com have not bridged the gap of the mountain E-Bike and with the advent of more E-Bikes being made and the prices coming down we want to keep you the readers up to speed on the newest anything made for the dirt.

So, what is my assessment of Giant’s Full-E +1. “FUN!!!” This is a bike plain and simple, you have to pedal it where ever you are going. The pedal assist helps to make the climb easier, but not really.
OK I may sound as if I am contradicting myself a little by saying an E-Mountain bike makes things easier. “SEE I knew it!!” Well no, it helps to climb faster, yes, go quicker on the flat trail, yes, however you are doing this by having to “PEDAL” and I mean “PEDAL” everywhere. So what’s the advantage of all this, well You’re now training or riding harder.
I found myself overlooking the speed and started seeing the benefit of an E-Mountain bike.
I got one hell of a workout just at the point of going anaerobic, yet was able to continue on. If we hadn’t stated our ride late I would have gone on longer to till I ran the battery out.
When asked how long the battery last, Giant Rep Mark Helms made mention with a full charge on his FULL-E, he took it out on a full days ride with a combination of a 6000 feet of elevation gain in total with a 37 mile ride with no problem. So depending on your mode your in you can have a great day of riding.

The next question is, do I need an E-Bike or can I do without. Let’s face the truth, when you’re ready to spend your hard-earned clams on a new ride and you’re looking at about the same price as you would spend on any high-end mountain bike without pedal assist, with bells and whistles ($5,300), you want to make sure this is what you want.
I can say from my short ride on the Giant FULL-E +1, I would for sure add this to my quiver of bikes.
If you are going to be purchasing your first bike and not sure what you may want go and try one out, you might just be surprised that you may like it.
Giant has two models, the FULL-E 0 SX ($7,700) and the FULL-E +1. ($5,300). Again as I said, these are priced at the same level as any high end mountain bike today and you are getting a lot for it in my opinion.

Thank you, GIANT BICYCLES and Mark Helms, for the great time on letting MtnBikeRiders.com see what your E-Mountain bike was all about.

MtnBikeRider.com readers, if you are interested in trying one of Giant Bicycles New E-Mountain bikes out, you can visit your local Giant dealer to find out if they have a demo on hand or go to GIANT Bicycles website at
giant-bicycles.com to see when they have a demo day come near you.

INTERBIKE DIRTDEMO 2015

Well as I descend upon Las Vegas and make my way to the 2015 Inter bike Dirtdemo, I saw fat tire bikes, cool bikes from the past, Mountain E-Bikes, and products galore.
The weather was windy, sunny, and just enough rain to make it just right, so here are some pics of the 2015 DirtDemo.

Canopy city, now let the games began.
Canopy city, now let the games begin.

 

Welcome, but you need a pass. Don't worry we got you covered.
Welcome, but you need a pass. Don’t worry we got you covered.

FAT TIRE

Fat tire bikes seemed to be the cool thing again this year.

The Surly Fat tire brigade.
The Surly Fat tire brigade.

 

Oh please no tight shorts on a Fat tire bike.
Oh please no tight shorts on a Fat tire bike.

 

9:ZERO:7 Carbon framed Fat Tires were very cool.
9:ZERO:7 Carbon framed Fat Tires were very cool.

 

Full Carbon, 1x9
Full Carbon, 1×9

 

Carbon fork with thru axle
Carbon fork with thru axle
Belt Drive made to last
Belt Drive made to last

 

KHS Fat Tire
KHS Fat Tire

Best way to travel goes to this guy.

Now this is plain cool.
Now this is plain cool.

 

Got all your gear.
Got all your gear.

 

Now there no trail you can't get to with this setup.
Now there no trail you can’t get to with this setup.

OLD SCHOOL BIKES IN THE DEMO

Nothing like seeing an old KLEIN. These still look cool in my book.
Nothing like seeing an old KLEIN. These still look cool in my book.

 

Elastomer Manitou OG.
Elastomer Manitou OG.

 

Repack cruisers, where it all began.
Repack cruisers, where it all began.

 

The start of MTBing
The start of MTBing

 

Early suspension fork, yeah!!
Early suspension fork, yeah!!

DAINESE DEMOING THEIR GEAR

You won’t see to many safety companies doing a demo of their protection and I have to say it was great to see them out there. From what I gathered it was a hit and you can tell with most of their popular sizes checked out for most of the day.

The Dainese Crew was busy both days demoing the newest knee and elbow protection.
The Dainese Crew was busy both days demoing the newest knee and elbow protection.

 

"DO IT!" "JUST DOOO IT!"
“DO IT!” “JUST DOOO IT!”

 

The newest protection from the best.
The newest protection from the best.

MISHAPS & ODD BALLS

When at a DirtDemo you will have injury and that one guy that will reinvent the wheel.

The boo boo brothers were out having a good time, I think.
The boo boo brothers were out having a good time, I think.

 

Suck it up Buttercup.
Suck it up Buttercup.

 

I don't know which guy looks better off, the guy on the right or the guy on the left.
I don’t know which guy looks better off, the guy on the right or the guy on the left.

 

"I just know this tire size will be a way bigger hit then 29er guys."
“I just know this tire size will be a way bigger hit then 29er guys.”

 

So far this one took the overboard award.
So far this one took the overboard award.

 

With great big tires you need great big stopping power, obviously.
With great big tires you need great big stopping power, obviously.

 

Dual spring seat is the rear suspension on this baby.
Dual spring seat is the rear suspension on this baby.

 

As Doc Brown has forsaken his greatest invention of the time machine and his Flux Capacitor (due to mishaps in time) he moves on in search of another tire company to pitch his do all tire size. Good luck Doc.
As Doc Brown has forsaken his greatest invention of the time machine and his Flux Capacitor (due to mishaps in time) he moves on in search of another tire company to pitch his do all tire size.
Good luck Doc.

HARD WORKING CREWS

When at a Interbike DirtDemo there is a no harder working staff then that of the bike companies. They are constantly moving bike in and out of there tents, adjusting bikes to fit their customers and hopefully potential new customers. For two days in any weather condition they are cranking.
A quick look at the hardest working people. Thanks guys.
20150915_114722
20150915_114732
IMG_9005
IMG_9054
IMG_9055
IMG_9056

LAST LOOKS

Finish Line lubes and cleaners for your bike.
Finish Line lubes and cleaners for your bike.

 

GT CARBON SENSOR 27.5
GT CARBON SENSOR 27.5

 

Cannondale bikes looking cool and fast even on a rack.
Cannondale bikes looking cool and fast even on a rack.

 

Giant's Woman LIV line.
Giant’s Woman LIV line.

 

Good crowds made it easy to see and try it all.
Good crowds made it easy to see and try it all.

 

G-Form always at the Demo.
G-Form always at the Demo.

 

Take one out for a try.
Take one out for a try.

 

Alpinestars at the demo.
Alpinestars at the demo.

 

HARO Hardtail 27.5
HARO Hardtail 27.5

 

Great product for all to see.
Great product for all to see.

 

New Deuter Hydro pack.
New Deuter Hydro pack.

 

Back protection insert new for Attack 20.
Back protection insert new for Attack 20.

Well there can be so much more, but we have Interbike to go see next. Hope you enjoyed.

REVIEW – 2015 GIANT REIGN 27.5 2 RIDE TEST

2015 GIANT REIGN 27.5 2
2015 GIANT REIGN 27.5 2

GIANT REIGN 27.5 2
Well here we are a new year and look what we have for one of our first test review, the all-new 2015 GIANT REIGN 27.5 2.
If you recall last year we did the review on the new GIANT ANTHEM ADVANCED 27.5 carbon that was one step down from the team model and I found this to be an amazing ride for someone that is in the 5’ tall range in comparison to a small 29er. https://www.mtnbikeriders.com/2014/04/11/2014-giant-anthem-advance-27-5-1-test/)
Giant Bicycles went full boar in 2014 committing to the new tire size with their top of the line mountain bikes for women and men. Now they didn’t drop the 29’er as they do have a place in the market.
This is a big thing for any company to do and Giant has always done their research and it was a huge success for Giant Bicycles if you ask me.
The only two models left out of the 27.5 line in 2014 were the REIGN and GLORY.
With the advent of Enduro racing soaring to new heights, Giant’s Enduro weapon was the TRANCE 27.5 with 5” travel. The Trance did very well in the Enduro racing scene, but Giant needed to excel further in this realm and what better way to do this then bring your Enduro team to the table, send them out on countless test rides and races, bring the team back to the table with all the data heads, and go back out till everyone involved got what they wanted. The end result is the all-new 2015 GIANT REIGN 27.5.
THE REIGN LINE
Giant has come out with four models of the all new REIGN for 2015. Starting with their carbon framed bikes, the REIGN ADVANCED 27.5 0 Team and the ADVANCED 27.5 1.
The next step down is the ALUXX aluminum REIGN 27.5 1 and the REIGN 27.5 2.
Price ranges for the ADVANCED to the ALUXX are $8250 to $3400.

ATTACKING THE TRAIL ON THE REIGN 27.5 2 IS ALL FUN
ATTACKING THE TRAIL ON THE REIGN 27.5 2 IS ALL FUN

The prices may seem a bit high, but when you look at the range of parts and frame materials, this is relevant to all the competition out there.
GIANT’s full REIGN line is well equipped to get the job done, whatever that may be for you.
“So, Pick your REIGN and REIGN down on the competition “. I should use this line at the end of the review, but this bike rips!! (Getting ahead of my high praise)

LAYOUT
In comes the all new REIGN 27.5 2. Its stout looking frame with clean lines is built for speed in the rough. RockShox Monarch Debonair RT shock with 2 position compression (Open/Pedal) lever and 6.3”/ 160mm rear travel does the duty in the rear with the Maestro suspension, while up front RockShox Pike RC Solo Air w/ 15mm thru-axle and 6”/ 6.3mm travel will smooth out the bumps and jumps in your path, now this is the only REIGN model without a dual positon travel fork.

RockShox Pike RC Solo Air
RockShox Pike RC Solo Air
RockShox Monarch Debonair RT
RockShox Monarch Debonair RT

Giant chose Shimano equipment to fill in the duty of breaks and drivetrain, starting with Deore 203mm rotor front and 180mm rotor rear. Deore shifters, Deore front derailleur, and SLX Shadow + rear derailleur, Deore cranks, 24/38 w/ MRP 2x Guide.
Giant finishes off the REIGN 27.5 2 with a few of their own components like the P-AM2, Double wall rim set with Giant hubs, Contact SL DH 31.8mm bars that are nice and wide with the Truvativ’s Holzfeller 40mm stem.
To finish off the REIGN, Giant’s Contact SL Switch-R Dropper seat post and Contact seat handle getting low on the descents.

SHIMANO SLX REAR DURAILER
SHIMANO SLX REAR DURAILER
THE REIGN COCKPIT WITH WIDE BARS AND 40MM STEM
THE REIGN COCKPIT WITH WIDE BARS AND 40MM STEM

My Giant REIGN 27.5 2 came with Maxxis Minion DHF on the front and a High Roller on the rear.
If you look at the spec sheet on Giant’s website the REIGN 27.5 2 is supposed to come with Schwalbe Hans Dampf, Performance tires, but I’m not complaining with tire choice here at all. (Big smiles)

GIANT'S CONTACT DROPPER POST WITH INTERNAL CABLE ROUTING
GIANT’S CONTACT DROPPER POST WITH INTERNAL CABLE ROUTING

RIDE TEST
This will be the second 27.5 Giant bicycle I will be reviewing for MtnBikeRiders.com, so with blind faith and no reviews out at the time of their released I went straight away and purchased this beauty for my own.
Now the first thing that you will notice if you ride DH bikes is the layout. To look at the 2015 REIGN 27.5 2 you see DH written all over it, slack head tube, slack seat tube, wide bars, DH tires, this bike is a mini DH rig. Is that what you want in an Enduro bike?
When you sit on the bike it even has the feel of a DH bike, just less weight to it. When I sat on it for the first time I was so at home on it, the REIGN is just calling you, no begging you to go and ride it.
So now that you know what an awesome machine it is (wait I’m getting ahead of myself here), let’s see if it will perform the way you expect an Enduro bike should.
We will review the climbing, descending, and handling of the GIANT REIGN 27.5 2, get down to the nitty gritty so to speak.

THE CLIMB
I owned the earlier 07’ REIGN X 6.7 and I loved the way it preformed, though I might add these are two different beast all together, but in comparison when it came to climbing my old REIGN did climb better, “ WAIT, WAIT I must explain okay…” There are reasons for this. First off the rake between both bikes is night and day of course and you really can’t compare each together.
The 07’ had a 67deg head angle (steeper), while the new 27.5 REIGN has 65deg head angle.
When climbing the REIGN 27.5 2 on a somewhat steep hill (Aliso Woods, Cholla trail) you feel the front end wanting to come up on you quite often. This meant really playing with your body English on the bike’s seat to keep the front end down.
This is very noticeable on the 2015 REIGN 27.5 2 in steep climbs only. Handling is not a bear, but it will make you work for it. On moderate climbs the REIGN would do well without the front end coming up. The new REIGN 27.5 2 may not be a climber, but put a dual position fork on it and I would say watch out.

The second is the absence of a dual position travel fork. All the other REIGN’s come spec’ed with this type of fork and this is the only issue I see so far while climbing.
When you look at the price point of the Carbon Advanced 27.5 1 ($4750) and the REIGN 27.5 2 ($3450) that we tested, this is a $1300 difference. I bring this up only because with this caliber of bike for the price, I would pay that little extra for a dual position travel fork to be on the REIGN 27.5 2.
Having the option to dial the fork down would have been a big help while climbing.
Now what does help with the climbing though is that the rear Rock Shox Monarch Debonair RT is equipped with a 2 position compression (Open/Pedal) lever. When its locked out it helps with the uphill pedaling, you feel the rear working to keep you moving like a tractor. The Maestro suspension has come a long way also. I notice the smooth efficient way it works while you mash those pedals to propel you to the reward you seek at the top of the climb, which is that downhill.
OK, so it’s not like you will be winning any King of the Mountain awards for climbing right. Enduro is stages with more descending then climbing, Right? After all you don’t get scored for the uphill, right.
I really have to try an Enduro race.

HANDLING
OK so you read what I thought of the climbing aspects, so let’s talk about the handling.
I set up the suspension to the recommended settings for sag and hit the trails.
You heard me say that the REIGN 27.5 2 feels like a DH bike when you sit on it, well I’m here to tell you it not only feels like a DH bike, it rides like one too. With its 65 degree head angle and its standover height of 28.2 inches (small frame tested), it made me feel right at home. Turning on the REIGN 27.5 2 was effortless with its geometry layout.

IN THE AIR WITH THE REIGN 27.5 2 IS A GREAT FEELING
IN THE AIR WITH THE REIGN 27.5 2 IS A GREAT FEELING

I loved every minute running this bike through its paces at high speeds and low. Mild climbing was great as the 27.5 wheel size motored you up hill no problem, like I said just steep made you work for it.
Add the GIANT Contact Dropper post, wide GIANT Contact bars and 40mm Truvativ’s Holzfeller stem for the descents or maneuvering through single track and you have a lethal combo of an Enduro racer.

DOWN THE HILL
This is always my favorite part of any test when it comes to a bike and I’ll get right to it. The REIGN 27.5 2 descends with prowess. The Maestro suspension works so well tracking in the bumps at low speed as well as in the rough you forget you are even on a 6.3” travel bike.
When you get this kind of feel on a bike it makes riding easy. It puts you in the zone to concentrate on other thing at hand.

BIG BUMPS AND LANDINGS, NO PROBLEM
BIG BUMPS AND LANDINGS, NO PROBLEM

Now I know I made mention of the fork not having a dual position setup, well it may not be so important on a descent. The Rock Shox Pike RC Solo Air does a great job handling the rough.
Braking with the Shimano Deore brakes isn’t bad. I did experience some brake fade when pushing the REIGN 27.5 2 really hard all day. Something you don’t want during racing.
The Maxxis DH tires of course did the job of keeping you on track.
Descending in a whole was outstanding on the REIGN 27.5 2. It ate up the rough and didn’t miss a beat.

OVERALL
What make a good Enduro bike, better yet what makes a great Enduro bike? It has to encompass all the makings for an All Mountain trail bike that will keep you on it all day for that push to each stage, a little bit of XC to run the distance, and finish it off with all the ability to look at rough terrain and laugh all the way down.
GIANT has hit the mark here yet again (OK I need a GLORY 27.5 now to round out the quiver, wink, wink).
With the whole redesign of the REIGN line I went on blind faith and did my purchase and I am very happy with the outcome of the bike.
I found few flaws with the REIGN 27.5 2. Sure it could use a better fork and better brakes, but GIANT has managed to bring it to the table at an affordable price in comparison to some. Sure one could upgrade the bike’s week points, but if you do that you might as well go to the next level and if you only have a certain amount of cash flow this would be a bike worth getting.

HANDLING THE ROUGH IS NO PROBLEM HERE
HANDLING THE ROUGH IS NO PROBLEM HERE

If there is one thing I look for in a bike is comfort, the minute I sit on a bike I want that feel that I am right at home in the cockpit. Upon my first ride I felt I had been on this bike for a while. The handling gives you a point and shoot ride with no thought of the bike other then you looking at the line you want and making it yours.
When it comes to the Maestro suspension, the progression in high and low speed bumps was top notch. You stay tracking the ground in total control. This inspires confidence in your riding. I have been on the first and second gen Maestro suspension and this has got to be the best yet.
I like the way the Rear Rock Shox Monarch Debonair RT shock worked on the bike. It felt as though I was on a DH bike the whole time.
The Deore and SLX drivetrain do the job in the shifting department with no issues.

AN ENDURO RACER WITH A DH SOUL
AN ENDURO RACER WITH A DH SOUL

With my last words I have to say this being the lowest on the tier of GIANT’s REIGN model, it should take any weekend Enduro race warrior to the podium.
Seeing that the REIGN 27.5 2 gives this kind of performance I would love to see what the REIGN Advanced 27.5 0 Team rides like.
With all the time and effort that went into the designing of the new REIGN 27.5 lines GIANT has brought to the table a world class racer.
Thank you Giant Bicycle for another great ride. You can find a Giant dealer near you by going to giant-bicycles.com

2014 GIANT ANTHEM ADVANCE 27.5 1 TEST

NO BOUNDARIES


Now if you remember we did a little post on”COMMITMENT” ( Interbike 2013) when we came back from Interbike about Giant Bicycles taking a big leap for their top Off-road line. Giant had been testing the 27.5 wheel size for just over a year, so when we saw the line up, no one was more excited then me to try one out.
Well the wait is over and this will be one of our first test for the year with a 2014 bike and Giant is a bike company that truly believes in “No Boundaries” and this is apparent more then ever with the new line up they have this year.
Giant has equipped 29 bicycles in 12 model titles with the 27.5 size tire, “Phew I did the math and hope I got that right.”
Now we all know this isn’t the first company to do 27.5, let alone in a Carbon frame, but if you look at any of the Advance line and the degree of thought put into it, you will come back walking away saying these are the most sexy looking, cleanest lines, and coolest parts groups you could get on a bike short of a custom build.

THE BIKE
When I first received the Anthem Advance 27.5 1 I really didn’t want to ride it, I wanted to just look at it, sounds weird, but we all do it when we get a new bike. Its a beautiful bike. I just wanted to sit there and check it out up close, from one end to the other, studying the curves of the Carbon frame, looking at the links, and parts. One thing comes to mind “Feng shui”. This bike has a sexy flow of lines from the headtube through to the Maestro links, to the rear triangle and the parts package is spot on, Shimano XT, Fox suspension, topped off with Giant’s very own components.
After I was snapped out of my state of bliss from my friend rapping me on the head, I noticed his strange look of discuss in me and I felt the drool running off the side of my lips, he gave a loud “LET RIDE MAN!!!” OK so after composing myself it was time to work this baby out and see what this 27.5 thing is all about…

THE LAYOUT

I might add the Giant rims that come on the Anthem Advance 1 are Tubeless compatible and have all the parts to set them up, but out of the box they come with tubes in them.
With that all said lets get down to the nitty gritty of what you want to hear, “THE RIDE”!!!

CLIMBING

I will start with the thing I hate most on an XC bike, the climbing. I’m a Downhiller by nature, but riding a XC bike is important to training, I do like going on a long ride with friends, so its important to have a great bike that can do this efficiently and the ANTHEM 27.5 1 does this with ease.
I noticed very quickly that the Anthem Advance feel while climbing up was lighter feeling then a 29″, but ascended a little better then a 26″. The weight felt better then a 29″, yet it feels like a 26″.
Reaching down to lock out the FOX CTD Pro Pedal to lock out mode on the fork and rear shock was no problem. Once you have this on the ANTHEM 27.5 1 was a tractor up the hill. Tight switchbacks were more manageable then being on a 29er.
While doing any type of climbing the bike felt nimble and reactive to my input on the trail at all times, in a standing pedal, mashing the pedals its light feel will get up and go. The Maestro suspension preformed by far better then all passed Maestro suspension’s. How do they get it any better.
This was truly a nice bike to climb. I never felt like I got the work out from the bike itself.

DESCENDING
Now this is where I want to have my fun and this is reward time after the climbs, so how did the new Anthem Advance 1 do? “It did better than great. At times I didn’t feel like I was even no XC bike, but more like on a tail bike with more suspension.”
In comparison to my first gen Anthem Team 26″ and the last of the 26″ Anthem X (I did call upon a friend to try out his Anthem X to compare), the descending on the 27.5 was by far more stable at speed, line choice with the 27.5 size wheels was a mere point and shoot feel to it. with the bigger tire size, raked out headtube and a frame that is stiff in all the right spots, the Anthem Advance puts the fun in XC riding. The stock tires held grip good and I would look for something more to my needs. Under braking the XT disc brakes work awesome and pull you down in speed with no problems. In the photos you will see the comparison of the 27.5 to that of the 26″ wheel and that of the 29″ wheel. I doesn’t look like a lot, but size matters.
Before going down I turned the CTD levers to descend and the Anthem’s Fox fork and Shock worked great. One thing I have to put in here is that since getting this bike I have not dialed in the front or rear suspension at all. Out of the box it has worked fine.Jumping on the Anthem Advance is a dream, it handles air time nicely if you want to have fun on some little jumps on a trail.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
As I mentioned I had asked a friend who I knew had the last of the 26″ Giant Anthem X 1. I had not ridden his bike before and I wanted to see just how much of a difference it would be, plus he had never ridden a bike with the bigger wheel sizes. This was a in the field blindfolded test ( really wanted to try that).
Just to see how much of a difference there is between a 26 inch and 27.5 inch I called my friend Juan Arrello to bring his Anthem X to do a ride compare and what I found out was there is a huge difference in how both bikes feel.
The older Anthem X feels so twitchy in the handling compared to the Anthem Advanced 27.5. You wouldn’t think this small amount would make this much matter when it comes to the overall ride-ability between the two.
The 27.5 wheel size feels like no other Anthem since and the 29″ does have its place. With this being said I have to say that the 26″ wheel size may be a thing of the past sooner then later. In my opinion the 27.5 wheel size is truly the choice for my size over the 29er.
You get all the characteristics of the 26″, the feel of the 29er without the wheel weight, and without loosing to much of the handling characteristics in tight areas.
My friend Juan had this to say about his ride on the Giant Anthem Advance.

I own one of the last of the 26″ wheel Giant Anthem X.  The ride is great but after riding a 27.5″ Giant Anthem it was like night and day.  First of all the 27.5″ rolls so much smoother over exposed tree roots, fixed rocks, and wash board surfaces at breaking points.  On the 26″, one is more dependent on a well tuned suspension to smooth out the ride, as for the 27.5″ it felt like I had more suspension even though both bikes have the same 4″ travel.  The 27.5″ really complimented the 4″ travel suspension the Anthem.   On the descent I also noticed the amount of speed I picked up and to sustain the speed without much rider input to keep up the momentum.   I liked the fact that I was able to brake a bid late going into a turn but at first I had to get used to turning the larger wheel but I quickly adjusted.  Even though the 26″ is more nimble on tight turns I like the fact that the 27.5 rolls much better if there are obstacles in the turn.  There was a very slight difference in acceleration but with proper gear selection acceleration differences was insignificance to me.  Overall I wished I would have waited one more year so I wouldn’t buy the last of the 26″ Anthem and I could have been one of the first to purchase a 27.5 Anthem.”

In a nut shell I have to say that every time I ride this bike I love mountain biking more and more everyday.
 The parts group is top notch as it should be at what your paying and Giant is not skimping here. They are giving you a race ready bike out of the box, now its up to you to take it to the podium or race it at your favorite trail.

Oh and what is this little baby going to cost you, only $4750.00, is it worth it, I would say an outstanding “YES!!”

 

INTERBIKE 2013: COMMITMENT

LETS TALK COMMITMENT

Commitment is a big word for some people, some will run from it, some will half commit and not fallow through, and some will go head long into it all the way knowing they have done their homework believing in what they are doing.
Now a lot of you may know already that GIANT BICYCLES has done just that, they have went head long into the 27.5 tire size for just about all their 2014 mountain bike line and have all but sent the 26″ mountain bike way of the Dodo (for our younger readers this is a saying referring to an extincted bird) except for their DH Glory and Reing X which I would bet will fallow next into the 27.5 line, after all their are others that are doing DH and Freeride bikes in 27.5 with some success.
For those who know GIANT this wouldn’t be the first time they have done this. In 2006 GIANT was the first manufacturer to bring the tapered headtube to market, known as OverDrive2. So you can bet that when Giant decides to do something big it won’t be on a whim.
Here is a look at why GIANT feels the 27.5 is superior performance without compromise and cool pics of the 2014 27.5 line.
IMG_9390
tech27-5_image1

Overall Bike Weight
Compare the weights of identically equipped bikes with different wheel sizes and you’ll see substantial weight differences. As expected, the 26-inch-wheel bike is somewhat lighter than the 27.5, and substantially lighter than the 29 (up to two pounds of overall bike weight savings from 29 to 27.5). Every gram saved helps you ride faster.

Wheel/Tire Weight
The overall weight of a 27.5 wheel set (wheel, tire and inner tube) is only 5% greater than that of an identically built 26-inch wheel set. Compare this to the 12% increase of a 29-inch wheel set and you can see how a seemingly small increase in diameter results in substantial weight gain—and poorer performance when climbing or accelerating.

Weight Comparison
Static wheel weight
Lighter wheels/tires result in a quicker acceleration and lighter overall bike weight – a win-win combination.

ANTHEM ADVANCE O TEAM

IMG_9386
tech27-5_image2

Snappier acceleration and a reduced angle of attack for a smoother, more agile ride.
Rollover
Increased wheel diameter decreases the angle of attack (the angle in which a round object intersects a square object). This is a good thing. A 29-inch wheel rolls over a 6-centimeter square-edge obstacle 14% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel does. In comparison, a 27.5-inch wheel rolls over the same obstacle 9.8% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel does.
Another way to analyze angle of attack is the degree of impact—where 26-inch equals X degree, 27.5 equals X-4 degrees and 29 equals X-6 degrees. Again, a shallower angle is better—so 29-inch takes the win, with 27.5 exhibiting nearly the same performance but without the weight penalty.

TRANCE ADVANCE O
IMG_9382
tech27-5_image3

Acceleration
Arguably the most important benefit of 27.5 over 29 is quicker acceleration. This is the “snap” that a rider feels when they push hard on the pedals. It is affected not just by overall static weight but also where the weight is distributed throughout the wheel. The farther the weight is from the center of the hub, the slower the acceleration. So a similarly constructed 1000-gram 29-inch wheel is slower to accelerate than a 1000-gram 26-inch wheel—because the larger diameter rim and longer spokes place weight farther from the hub. The key to snappy acceleration is minimizing the weight of the outermost components (rim, nipples, spokes, tire, tube). As you can see, a 27.5-inch wheel is only 1.5% slower to accelerate than a similarly constructed 26-inch wheel, but a 29-inch wheel is 3.6% slower than a similarly constructed 26-inch wheel.

TRANCE ADVANCE SX
IMG_9384
tech27-5_image4
A larger tire contact patch, increased stiffness, and optimized frame geometry improve traction, braking and handling.
Traction

The larger the diameter of a wheel, the greater the contact patch of the tire. A larger contact patch results in better traction, which leads to improved acceleration, deceleration and cornering. As you can see, a 27.5-inch wheel has a similar contact patch to the 29.

TRANCE ADVANCE O
IMG_9385
tech27-5_image5

Frame Stiffness
Lateral (side-to-side) frame stiffness can be affected by wheel size. To accommodate larger wheels, frame dimensions must be elongated. Therefore, a size medium 29-inch wheel frame has more lateral flex (bottom bracket and headtube) than a size medium 27.5 or 26-inch wheel frameset. Additional flex compromises handling under heavy pedaling or sharp cornering
Frame Geometry
The larger the wheel, the more difficult it is to optimize geometry, especially on smaller frames. As the frame size decreases, headtube heights become higher (in relation to saddle height). On 26 or 27.5-inch frames, it’s less of a problem, but geometry limitations can affect smaller 29-inch-wheel frames.

XTC ADVANCE
IMG_9388

Their was quite the buzz around the GIANT both and it was great to see them back at Interbike. The Advance line was beautiful to look at and people were very interested in the bikes, with the reps super busy and questions being ask I have to say GIANT may have a very good year in 2014.
IMG_9375

FINAL NOTE
So you got a glimpse of the 27.5 tech and a look at GIANT’S Advanced Composite line, but if you don’t want the Advance bike GIANT also has their ALUXX SL aluminum framed 27.5 Bikes, and Frame sets for the ANTHEM XC and TRANCE in Advance composite, as well as ALUXX aluminum, so they have your taste cover one way or the other.

Commitment, a big word for most brands out there. Most will want to wait and see what and where the current trend will go before they commit major resources and time to something as big as this. GIANT has the resources, takes the time, and has always brought their brand one step further then most I have seen with a lot of bang for the buck.
You could go to GIANT’s website at giant-bicycles.com or see your local GIANT dealer today.

We want to say thanks to GIANT for the 27.5 Tech provided on their website and Mark Helms for the time at DirtDemo going over the 27.5 bikes.