Giant Fully Commited to 27.5 for 2014

27.5 News
Official Giant 27.5 Bikes Press Release

Giant Launches World’s Most Extensive Line of 27.5-Inch Off-Road Bikes
From World Cup-bred hardtails to full-suspension XC, trail and enduro bikes, Giant applies innovative 27.5 technology to a full range of performance bikes

Giant, the world leader in cycling technology, is revolutionizing its 2014 off-road lineup with a full range of new bikes featuring 27.5-inch wheel technology. Some of Giant’s most recognizable and successful off-road models—including XtC, Anthem, and Trance—will now include 27.5 choices in both composite and aluminum frame options.

For 2014, a total of seven new men’s series and 28 global models feature 27.5 wheel technology, which Giant has been developing for the past two years. Several prototype Giant 27.5 bikes have already been ridden to major race wins in pro XC and enduro competition.

“The diversity and range of our new collection of 27.5 bikes shows how strongly we believe in this new technology,” said Kevin Dana, Giant Global Off-Road Category Manager. “That belief is founded on a lot of internal research and testing. We worked with a wide variety of riders—and from our World Cup XC pros to our enduro riders, all of them feel strongly that the end result is improved performance.”

Research and ride testing in different off-road racing disciplines, and in a variety of terrain, showed that the 27.5 wheel size delivers significant performance advantages in three key areas: weight, efficiency and control. Bikes with 27.5-inch wheels displayed some of the best characteristics of 26 and 29-inch wheels—but without the compromises associated with each.

Truly capitalizing on the advantages of 27.5 required a deep commitment to engineering and development. Giant’s team of engineers, product developers and athletes looked at each new model individually, dialing in the frame features and geometry to optimize the new wheel size for particular types of terrain and performance goals.

The end result is a full line of purpose-built 27.5 performance bikes for all different types of off-road riding. From the XC World Cup-proven XtC Advanced 27.5 hardtail to the trail and enduro focused Trance Advanced 27.5, each series has undergone extensive development from the ground up.

For elite-level Giant XC pros like Swedish national champion Emil Lindgren, the lighter weight and quicker acceleration offer a huge advantage.

“When you’re racing cross-country, you’re pushing the limits,” said Lindgren. “The heart rate is maxed and you want a bike that responds and makes the effort feel a little easier. Going from a 26 to a 29, there’s a big difference in the way the bike rides. But with 27.5, it’s the perfect balance of quickness and acceleration of a 26 with the traction and stability of a 29er.”

To meet the needs of racers like Lindgren and teammate Michiel van der Heijden, who recently won the Dutch XC Championships aboard a prototype 27.5 hardtail, Giant developed 27.5 versions of its XtC platform in both Advanced-grade composite (XtC Advanced 27.5) and ALUXX SL aluminum (XtC 27.5).

For technical XC terrain, Giant developed 27.5 versions of its legendary Anthem platform, available in both Advanced-grade composite (Anthem Advanced 27.5) and ALUXX SL aluminum (Anthem 27.5) frame options featuring Maestro Suspension with 4 inches of travel. Giant Factory Off-Road rider Adam Craig played a major role in the bike’s development, and rode his prototype Anthem Advanced 27.5 to a win at an Oregon Enduro Series event earlier this summer.

“For cross-country racing, the 27.5 offers a very clear advantage,” Craig said. “It’s not just about how fast a bike rolls, but how fast it can be in real racing scenarios, and that involves accelerating, braking, climbing, a lot of low-speed stuff. A bike that’s a little more nimble and quick is ultimately an advantage.”

For more aggressive trail and enduro riding—the type that Australian enduro racer Josh Carlson has been racing with his prototype Trance Advanced 27.5, which features 5.5 inches of Maestro rear suspension technology—the added control and stability makes a huge difference.

“It feels amazing,” said Carlson, who rode a prototype Trance Advanced 27.5 to several enduro race wins in North America this spring. “You can charge through rock gardens and gnarly terrain with total confidence that it’s going to be quicker and faster and safer than any bike you’ve ever ridden. You can come into corners quicker and exit with so much more speed.”

The Trance platform is also available with the Advanced-grade composite frame (Trance Advanced 27.5) or ALUXX SL aluminum (Trance 27.5). Both the Trance Advanced 27.5 and Trance 27.5 also come in an “SX” model for more aggressive, gravity-oriented riding.

In addition to all of the above off-road performance models, Giant is also making its 27.5 technology available to more riders of all levels with its full line of Talon 27.5 ALUXX aluminum hardtail off-road bikes.

For 2014, Giant is offering the following off-road series with 27.5 technology:

XtC Advanced 27.5 (Advanced-grade composite hardtail XC)
XtC 27.5 (ALUXX SL aluminum hardtail XC)
Anthem Advanced 27.5 (Advanced-grade composite full-suspension XC)
Anthem 27.5 (ALUXX SL aluminum full-suspension XC)
Trance Advanced 27.5 (Advanced-grade composite full-suspension trail and enduro)
Trance 27.5 (ALUXX SL aluminum full-suspension trail and enduro)
Talon 27.5 (ALUXX aluminum hardtail XC)

The 2014 Giant 27.5 off-road bikes will be available through Giant retailers later this summer.

Continue reading for the Liv/giant 27.5 Official Press Release.

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 12 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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  • Luiggi says:

    Yeah, right. All the major players needed to segment the market and force us to upgrade/update our bikes because the bikes/frames were so good that we were all happy with our current bike, and nobody was buying a newer model. And yet they want to convince us it was for our own good. I’ve tried four 650b bikes, and in my humble opinion they aren’t as playful and nimble as my 26ers. Now if I’d like to upgrade my frame for a newer model, I’d have to buy a new set of wheels, a new fork, etc.

    Cool infomercial, but I still believe this isn’t in our best interests, but in the commercial ones (i.e. maximize revenues) of the bike industry.

  • John Park says:

    Wheel diameter has no bearing upon acceleration. If the rim and tire are the same weight the larger wheel will also be rotating slower; the effects cancel out. In order to get to the same rpm will take more energy, but that’s not the comparative case here.

    If you use the same type of rim and tire, the net overall [rotating and non rotating bike plus rider] acceleration loss between 27.5 and 29 is about .15% or one six hundredth difference. Plus the bike will be about a third of a pound heavier.

    There may be valid reasons for going 27.5 but noticeable differences in acceleration are hard to measure.

    • Ryan says:

      odd, since 29ers are noticeably more sluggish.

    • Chris says:

      Wheel diameter makes no difference to acceleration?? That’s flat out wrong mate, I’m sorry.

      A smaller diameter wheel in effect changes the “final drive ratio”…. and 1.5″ most certainly would make a difference.

      But dont take my word for it, just google “rolling diameter” and its effects on acceleration- and you will quickly find a lot of motor racing references proving my point. 1″ bigger on a car makes a difference…. so on a bike with only your own 2 legs, its even more noticeable.

  • the-one1 says:

    “superior technology”. WTF is that suppose to mean. It’s just a wheel of a larger diameter. The wheel was a “superior technology”, everything after that is just fluff.

  • Rideordie says:

    What the fail to mention is that all the slight differences in percentage points we because 650b isn’t really a 27.5 more like 27.125 making there arguments moot. Imma hold out for the 31ers. Now that’s a monster truck mobbing down the trail.

  • Rideordie says:

    Predictive text arrrrr what they fail… points are there their

  • EagleScout says:

    I did notice a BIG difference from 26 to 29. The 29 doesent handle well in twisty sections, Its seems to make me go slower. But it also seems like I can climb up hills and ride rock gardens with less effort on a 29.

  • Brooks Yancey says:

    What a $%^&*#@ load. 2% here, 1.5% there. Here’s a stat for you, 95% of riders out there with suspension forks don’t even know what their settings are, they just ride. All of this sounds like an attempt to over hype bikes that will ride poorly.

    • Dr Dog says:

      I tried a 650B frnt wheel with good results over 3 years ago. Also found that many cross country racers were secretly using this combo on some courses with great effect (some in spite of sponsors not having a 27) .
      Three years later I have given away a 29er, only will ride my 26 as an indoor trainer!
      On my third 27.5 conversion, & find them completely superior to the original designed for 26, except climbing on pavement!
      Finally as Scott won almost every 2012 cup race with a 650 (they did-NOT even have a 650 production bike at the time!) & many other XC wins later (Sea Otter 2013), I can have a 5″ travel bike made for 27.5!!!
      Ride what you like, but I will never ever ride a 26er off-road again!

  • Acupunk says:

    Here is what it comes down to: Ride the bike. If it fits you and “disappears” underneath you then buy it. Who cares what wheel size? I compared the Santa Cruz Bronson, the Tallboy LTc and Tallboy at a demo day recently. The Bronson felt more balanced and fluid of the 3 bikes. While I loved how the 29r’s rolled through the rock gardens I felt too up in the air on them. (I’m 6’1″) They were amazing and I wouldn’t turn them down, but the Bronson just felt right to me.

  • James Workman says:

    and short riders cheered! as tall people got the shaft once again!

    being tall in a world designed for the numerical averages, so as to reach / tap a broader market, ALWAYS! leaves the tall people CRAMPED!

    Long live the 29ers!

    BMX barrowed from the road racers in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s.. same as the MTB crowd.. and the 700c will NEVER! die.. because it is not a FAD! Not that 650b / 27 is a FAD.. because the short people of the World can reach the pedals easier.. and the middle of the road / normal or better yet the numerical average height crowd will feel better moving to a bike that is smaller.. thusly more maneuverable. because none of the men that are 5’5″ to 5″10″ want to ride a Small Frame 29er.. because of the word SMALL! being stuck I their SMALL(ish) Napoleon Complexes, LULZ!

    the 650b boils down to the majority of men riding are less than average height, look around on the hill and at the Pros.. what do you see, don’t hate me for speaking the truth!

    and these men who are spending money.. ALREADY!! have Small issues.. and thus a Bike with SMALL written on it or more accurately when a woman notices how short in length their top tube is.. some women go around measuring top tubes.. would then laugh openly at the demure size of the little(ish) man with the little(ish) top tube.

    why does everyone try to be so Polite to these angry little Napoleon Types?

    mean while the tall people.. who are always reaching stuff and being helpful in general.. are stuck being made the bad guys because we had finally an area where we could come together and be clumsy together.. with not a lot of people watching because we would be in the woods where they couldn’t see us being clumsy!

    Tall People are being forced out of MTBing! by the little people! they steal everything!

    if you didn’t find this entertaining and or funny.. You Suck! not me.

  • Wacko says:

    Please.. 29ers aren’t going away and stop thinking all short people are bitter and vindictive. I could care less if my bike had a XXXXS stamp on it as long as it fit correctly to how I want to ride.

  • BigAussie says:

    I own a Giant Anthem 26″ custom build and a Giant talon 0 29er
    The anthem is my number 1 choice every time its just more fun
    I can see the point of a 27.5″ anthem it should be good but I will not be in a rush to get rid of the 26″
    back to the talon its spot on for moor rides but it feels a bit dull at the trails
    also giants own brand wheels on the cheaper models are not good my 29er wheels lasted 1 winter then I changed them for some mavic crossrides made it a better ride

  • sam says:

    I was holding out on the 29 er fad as long as I can and I believe it is for taller riders (5’10″) above guys. I am 5’8 and happy with my 26 until i rode a 9er after much hesitation. For starter going over roots and logs got much confident just cause it dint want to trip as easily as my 6er did and this was a hard tail as compared to my 6er full suspension and still the tire size soaked up the bumps and was easier to pedal climbs ! I am still going to hold out for the 27.5 , cause I think vertically challenged rider like myself will have trouble throwing around a 9er like i do with my 6er. But the 27.5 may be a happy medium for guys like me !

  • Mick says:

    I just moved from a Nomad to a Bronson and the 27.5″ are better. Most times I don’t notice them but when doing slow techie rocks they’re way better. Easier to hold a line through sketchy stuff too whether fast or slow, carves berms better, even seems to do skinny north shores better too although I’ve no idea why, and compared to the Nomad, it hops through the All Mountain Trials sections of the track I ride like a trials bike, but that’s probably down to the bike, who knows, and I reckon I ride faster, but it’s sometimes hard to work out if that’s because the bike is so refined or it’s the wheels, but probably a combination of both. End of the day 27.5′s are evolution in progress but that’s not to say that a good bike, regardless of wheel size, will always be a blast to ride, but IMO 27.5′s are more fun to ride than 26′er’s. The only thing I don’t like is that I’ve clipped my balls a few times on the back tyre when hanging off the back of the bike (ouch) but seem to have unconsciously adjusted my riding style as it’s not happened for awhile. I’m thinking that 29′er riders must have problems with the family jewels.
    A 27.5″ Nomad would be a game changer I reckon.

  • Tomek says:

    Holy s$&t! I was looking for some help in deciding if I should “upgrade” my 14yr hard tail stump jumper … I love that F-er and I feel like I can attack any trail without hesitation. Maybe it’s the engine? But seriously – if I’m having fun attacking the hills on my old 26er … Why the F should I be considering spending a lot of money on a new bike? Somebody shed some knowledge – I am cheap but I invest wisely for long term use! 27.5 or stick to my O.G. ride?

  • Mickey says:

    GIANT is the biggest bicycle producer in the world !

    But in the factories they actually produce aswell for other brands:

    i.e. Scott, Trek, Colnago, Bonetrager, ….whatever.

    Do not think that a bicycle brand is producing his own frames or parts…….

  • Shawn McAfee says:

    I like that Giant is pushing the envelope and trying something different. It shows a lot of confidence from the brand to step out and try something new.

    That said, I’m not 100% positive I agree with the 27.5 as a platform. It makes sense in some applications and regions, but others maybe not. I guess only more testing on the trails will prove to be right or wrong.

  • Si Walker says:

    Hi All,
    I have had 26ers for years and last year got a 29e, they are just too big in tight rutted ground like the peaks etc and at 5’9 i think the bike is just too big even on a medium frame. I am just about to buy a 650B and going for the Giant, it just has it for me cant wait to hit the trails and getting out for a long weekend in Wales 

  • DV says:

    I just got a 27.5 Giant Talon 4 in a the small frame size since I’m 5′ 7″. It’s acceleration is incredible, boy does it grab and grip and go, although I’ve never ridden a 26 so take my opinion there with a grain of salt. I tested a handful of 29ers, specifically Cannondale, GT, and Marin and just found them to not be as nimble as I like. I feel like I can do laps around a 29er, not really, but you get the idea. Ride with the GIANTS!

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