The Giant 2017 Launch is here and yesterday I got to see the new line up. Giant as always put on a great display of their new bikes.
It’s 5:30am and I am leaving wales, heading to Giant Uk’s Leicester based Headquarters to get a preview of the 2017 Giant line up. There have been rumors that there were going to be big changes coming in the 2017 range and Giant have not disappointed.
Upon arrival, breakfast is laid out for us in the staff cafeteria and we have time to have a coffee and chat with other dealers and our Giant representatives. The offices are not as big as you might think, but they do incorporate a fully stocked version of their concept store, just for us dealers to have a look at what is possible in a Giant Store.
After breakfast is finished it is a quick presentation from the Director of Giant UK before getting in to see the new bikes.
New for 2017
Out goes the entry level aluminium Defy range and in comes the new Contend range. These bikes are a completely new platform for Giant, not just a colour/frame update. From the ground up these are new bikes.
Contend, from a geometry point of view, sits between Defy and TCR. This gives riders the chance to ride a bike that is both comfortable and sporty. That is not to say that the Defy wasn’t sporty, instead the Contend feels more edgy like the TCR whilst retaining as much of the Defy’s comfort as possible.
The Contend range includes 2 models that have disc brakes. But instead of using the stock Shimano option, Giant have opted to create a cable operated hydraulic system. This is a refinement of other under-stem systems that have been on the market for some time now. The feel of the brake is very good with a well defined bite point and good modulation. Add to this the sleek looking flush mount calipers and 140mm disc from Tektro and the the new Contend really does look the business.
There have been movements within the mountain bike ranges too. The entry level bikes are still the ATX with their class leading hydroformed aluminium frames. But the Talon has had its range reduced to just 3 models. This reduction has paved the way for the all new Fathom to fill the top end of the Trail specific hardtail section.
The Fathom is an all new platform for Giant. They have listened to the riders and have produced a frame that is longer in the top tube to allow for a shorter stem and slacker in the head angle to make the bike more planted on the trail. The Fathom is available in two options, the 27.5″ wheel for the out and out trail warrior and the 29″ wheel for those of us who want an all rounder.
The Fathom also has a much fatter chainstay than previous models in the range. This helps make the bike accelerate well. But to keep the bike comfortable they have made the seatstays thinner and angled them to meet the seat-tube below the top tube to give the back end that little bit more compliance.
The Maestro bikes have all seen improvements. The Anthem now has more travel and has been moved into the trail bike category. The Trance has also had it’s angles adjusted and more travel to put it in the all rounder category. Both bikes, Anthem and Trance, have got a new rocker which is made from pressed carbon fibre. This is stiffer and lighter than the old aluminium versions. Also the shocks an the Anthem, Trance and Reign are Trunnion mounted to allow for more shock travel and thus better damping and temperature control.
Propel, TCR and Defy
All Pro models of the Defy, TCR and Propel will come with Carbon wheel systems now. This is an update over 2016 where some models were coming with alloy clinchers. Also the top end bikes are coming fitted with the new SRAM wireless gear system instead of the Dura-Ace Di2. This is mainly due to lack of supply from Shimano this year.
There are two new Disc models in the TCR range. Some customers had picked up on a review that was posted on a cycling website of a Disc equipped TCR in the 2016 range. This was an American market only model. However Giant have decided that they are going to give us two models in the range this year. The TCR Advance 1 Disc is Ultegra equipped and the TCR Advanced Pro Disc is Ultegra Di2 equipped with the Carbon wheels.
Giant have been working hard on their electric bike technology and they have launched a bigger range for 2017. All these bikes come with the new Giant Li-Ion batteries which are made bespoke by Panasonic for Giant. This makes them the lightest battery per Watt-Hour of any bicycle battery on the market. They also have worked with Yamaha to create their own motor system that takes the Yamaha motor and uses Giants own gearing and software to provide one of the best electric bike rides on the market.
The range starts with the Ease-E, this is a simple E-Bike for the masses. It does not use the Center mount motor that the rest of the range has because it is aimed at the leisure market rather than the commuter/performance market.
A new model to the range is the Quick-E which is aimed at the commuter market. It has some great styling and the new battery and motor combo.
There is also the Road-E+ bikes, one of which was introduced last year. Now there are two bikes in the range. The Road-E+ 2 has a Tiagra groupset and cable disc brakes and the Road-E+ 1 has an Ultegra groupset and a Hydraulic disc brake.
But the big news in E-Bikes are the new Full-E+ and Dirt-E+ bikes. The Full-E+ bikes are Maestro suspension bikes with motors! They feature 140mm of travel and come in two versions, the Full-E+ 2 has a 2×10 shimano groupset with Rockshox fork and shock and the Full-E+ 1 has a 2×11 shimano groupset and Fox fork and shock.
2017 for 1868 Racing
Though there are going to be changes coming to the shop over the winter months, Giant will remain as our premier brand within the store. The changes will be detailed in another update in the future, but for now the important news is that I will be continuing to offer Giant bikes to my Customers.
Unfortunately I wont be able to offer the Maestro or the Pro level bikes this year as part of the changes in the shop will mean a reduction in space for the bikes. Therefore I have had to concentrate on those bikes that the majority of my customers are after.
Don’t fret though I am looking into alternative, custom build options to go forward with for all you big travel and light weight road bike fans. Watch this space.