Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Giant TransEnd

Men's and women's TransEnd from Giant. Courtesy: Giant bikes.

The Giant TransEnd has an MSRP somewhere between $450-550.  It may no longer be available in the U.S. 

Clare from New Zealand contacted us about the TransEnd.  She is a 5’5 woman in the market for a new "comfortable" bike for weekend rides and shopping trips. She writes: “I haven't ridden a bike for many years but am very much looking forward to doing this with my 10yr old son, and to build up my own strength and fitness - as well as have fun!”

The question is whether the TransEnd is the right bike for Clare.  I asked her to explain why she was considering the TransEnd, and she wrote:

What attracted me to this particular bike is a combination of factors. Firstly a little research via my local bike shop & online taught me that Giant, Trek, and Specialized were the recommended brands available in New Zealand. Secondly, my initial research had also taught me a bit about "women specific designs", and because I do have a history of spinal (back/neck) problems that I'm currently seeing an Osteopath for, I figured a WSD bike with upright seating would be a big bonus for me. And lastly I wanted a bike that would be a comfortable ride, with adequate gears for the hilly country area I live in though in saying that, it's also very important for my purposes to be able to carry shopping, towels for beach etc, and have fenders as we can get wet weather all year round. Of course I realize these can be added on later, but if these are already attached at purchase that's another tick.

Clare says her short list includes the Trek Allant, the Giant Suede, and the TransEnd, which she found to be "super comfortable."  Unfortunately, her local bike shop currently does not have her size.  She says she's open to recommendations.

Thank you, Clare, for contacting Bikes For The Rest Of Us.  Let's see if we and our readers can help.  First, and this is mandatory here at BFROU, let's take a look at the specifications for the women's TransEnd:

Frame: Sizes XS:14, S:16, M:18

Colors: Light Blue

Frame: ALUXX FluidFormed™ alloy, comfort 700c

Fork: Alloy ahead straight blade

Handlebar: Alloy low riser 610mm x 30mm rise

Stem: Alloy 25 degree

Seatpost: Alloy 27.2 micro-adjust

Saddle: Giant comfort w/gel women’s specific

Pedals: Flat Comfort

Shifters: Shimano Altus 24 sp. EZ FIRE+

Front Derailleur: Shimano M191 31.8

Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus 8 sp.

Brakes: Alloy V-brakes

Brake Levers: Shimano V-brake

Cassette: Shimano HG30 8 sp. 11-34T

Chain: KMC 8 sp.

Crankset: Shimano M131 28x38x48T

Bottom: Bracket VP semi cartridge

Rims: Alloy double wall 700c x 32H w/reflective decal

Hubs: Fr: Alloy QR

Rr: Shimano RM30 8sp cassette

Spokes: 14G stainless steel

Tires Kenda 700 x 35c Reflective sidewalls

Extras: F+r Fenders, rear carrier/rack, Reflective decals

Here are some things I like about this bike: fenders, rear rack, and wide 35mm tires.  I find that V-brakes have powerful stopping capability, so I will count that as a plus as well.  I'm less excited by the flat bars and straight fork.

For Clare, I think this just might work.  She found it to be super comfortable, and it will allow her to ride in an upright position. It's important that she finds a bike that does not aggravate her neck/back injury, and maybe this is the one. I would recommend different handlebars (maybe north roads or albatross bars?) that work better in an upright posture and allow more than one hand position.  Tom did a post on riding upright that you can find here.

OK, readers.  What do you think?  Share with Clare in the comments.

Update: In the comments, Evan mentioned that this model looks similar to Giant's Escape City. He's right - they are very similar. You can find our post on the Escape City here. For a quick comparison, here is what the men's and women's 2012 Escape City models look like:


Clare said...

Thanks so much for this! I really look forward to others thoughts & comments, and will definitely take the suggestion of different handlebars into account :)

Anonymous said...

My wife and I bought Giant Transends in 2009, the last year they were offered in the US. They have been perfect bikes for us, comfortable with a good gear range and smart choices for commuter style components. I changed a few parts on mine to better fit my body, but my wifes is completely stock. She's not hunched over at all, but if Clare would be a pair of riser bars with more sweep could easily address that. The women's model bike is just beautiful to look at, too. My wife gets all sorts of complements on the bike when she rides it. I hope that helps.

Evan said...

It looks a bit similar to their current Escape City models.



Anonymous said...

Totally agree with your recommendation of handle bar for Clare as my mom has benefitted from the same.

Kent Peterson said...

It looks like a nice bike. My wife and I really like our Trek Allants. We've written a lot about them at:

The Allants have bars that wrap back a bit more (kind of like a North Road bar) and very comfy ergonomic hand grips. Like the Giant, the Allants have straight bladed forks but we haven't found those to have any negative effects on the bike comfort.

Good luck on the bike quest.