Showing posts with label Giant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Giant. Show all posts

Monday, August 17, 2015

Momentum Bicycles (by Giant)

Giant's Momentum Street bikes: double-diamond model at top, mid-step at bottom. Photos courtesy

Momentum Street models are available in 5 colors, as a double-diamond or mid-step, and sell for just $425.

Giant, the world's largest bike manufacturer, is making low-cost bikes for the rest of us. They're 7-speed aluminum bikes that come standard with fenders, rear racks (with bag mounts), nominal chainguards, integrated cup holders, and even a frame-mounted u-lock carrier.  At $425, this is a highly utilitarian bike and a really good deal.

Outside Magazine has a positive review (as well as some discussion about Specialized's now-defunct Globe series).


SizesSmall, Regular, Large
Colors Double Diamond:
 Matte Green/Orange
 Red/Pearl White
FrameALUXX-grade aluminum with integrated rear carrier and cup holder, double diamond and mid-step options
ForkHigh Tensile Chromoly Steel
HandlebarAlloy, Mid rise
StemAlloy Quill
SeatpostAlloy, 30.9
SaddleRiveted Retro-Classic Comfort, coil spring
PedalsAlloy/Anti-Slip Platform
ShiftersShimano Revo, Twist
Front DerailleurN/A
Rear DerailleurShimano Tourney
BrakesAlloy, Direct Pull
Brake LeversAlloy Comfort
CassetteShimano TZ31 14x34, 7-speed
ChainZ51KMC Z51, Nickel Plated
CranksetAlloy, 42T
Bottom BracketSealed Cartridge
RimsGiant Alloy, Double wall
HubsAlloy, 32h
SpokesStainless Steel, 14g
TiresKenda Kwick Roller, puncture protection, 700x32
ExtrasChainguard, Kickstand, Bell, Integrated Rack with Straps and removable bag mounts, Integrated Cup Holder, Frame Mounted U-Lock Carrier

Monday, August 3, 2015

Giant Simple Three W

For 2016, a "lifestyle" cruiser from Giant. Courtesy:
Giant offers the Simple Three W, an aluminum 3-speed cruiser, for around $490.

Here's a large bicycling company, truly a giant in the industry, marketing to women. This is something we've seen again and again (for example, the Trek Cocoa ad campaign), because women are the bicycle industry's major untapped consumer market.  Some women-specific models have been successful, like Giant's Suede, others a bit ridiculous, like the Trek Lime (discussed here).

Giant's "Liv" campaign (on twitter it's @Livgiant) features images of competitive female athletes, as well as regular women riding "lifestyle" bikes like the Simple Three W.  The "W" is apparently there in case you had any doubt that the model was being marketed toward women.  By the way, if you'd like to read a fun rant about women-specific bikes, here's a good one by Amanda Batty.

Marketing is one thing; bicycle design is another.  As Velouria, the Lovely Bicycle blogger, put it: "We are women, we are wonderful, and we need bicycles designed for us." I think the industry needs more women designing bicycles.  Sure, there is Sky Yaeger (of Bianchi, Swobo, and Shinola fame), but "bike designer" remains a male-dominated profession. 

The Simple Three is inexpensive and basic.  In short, it's cheap transportation, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that!   Comes with chainguard, fenders, kickstand, and a front basket.  Here are the specs:


SIZES One Size Fits Most
COLORS White/Blue, Red/Purple
FRAME ALUXXgrade aluminum
FORK Chromoly


HANDLEBAR Women's Steel Cruiser
STEM Alloy quill
SEATPOST Alloy, 27.2mm
SADDLE Liv Comfort Cruiser, w/ SuperSoft foam
PEDALS Nylon, Antislip platform


SHIFTERS Shimano Revo, Twist
BRAKES Shimano, Coaster brake
CASSETTE Shimano 22T, 3speed internal
CHAIN KMC Z410, Rustproof
CRANKSET Giant alloy 3piece, 44T
BOTTOM BRACKET Threaded, Sealed


RIMS Giant Alloy
HUBS [F] Alloy, [R] Shimano Nexus, 3speed
internal, 36h
SPOKES Stainless steel, 14g
TIRES CST Cruiser, 26x2.125


EXTRAS Front Basket, Fenders, Kickstand

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Islabikes: Real Bikes for Kids

There's been a veritable revolution since this blog was started. It used to be difficult to find a good "bike for the rest of us," suitably designed and equipped for everyday riding by regular folks. Not so, 2013. Walk into any reasonable independent bicycle dealer and you likely to find a decent practical bike for your purposes, whatever they happen to be... unless you're a kid, or shopping for one.

There are good reasons why good kids bikes are hard to come by. A decent multi-speed bike, regardless of the size, is going to cost $300-$500, and not a lot of people are willing to spend this kind of bread on a kids bike. I suspect this is because kids (1) grow like weeds, (2) won't necessarily "click" with bicycling, and (3) don't always take great care of their possessions (not a judgement, just an observation).

There are some good kids bikes available and they are getting better, but the variety is lagging the adult market by at least ten or 15 year. What does that mean? Well, you can now find good road bikes for kids, traditional and "flat-bar" style, and there are "cruiser" style bikes and decent mountain bikes for kids, but not many that meet the criteria for a "Bike For The Rest Of Us."

For example, Fuji's Ace 24" and Absolute 24" and 20" are good for fun, fitness, or even youth competition.

But these are not great for practical transportation, or just kicking around town--there's no room for wider tires or fenders. Also the stand-over height is a bit tall, limiting the potential audience. Kids are top-heavy--their heads are bigger in proportion to their bodies than grown-ups--so a scaled down adult bike doesn't fit properly. This is a pretty huge point that gets overlooked sometimes.

Here are some options from widely available brands: Giant Revel Jr. 20" and Specialized Hotrock Street 24". Both come in "Boys" and "Girls" models, and in versions with 20" and 24" wheels. Lets see...  

Lower stand-over height? Yes, good job.
Wider tires? Yes. (But the Giant Revel Jr comes with heavy knobby tires--bad choice.)
Can you mount a rack on the back? Yes.
Fenders? Giant, no. Specialized, yes.
Good upgrade on Specialized Hotrock: stainless steel spokes and quality tires.

But wait: the water bottle mounts are awkward at best, or not available, and 21 gear combinations are unnecessary and overly complicated (most adults have trouble learning good shifting habits--starting with a single shift option--rear only--is a GOOD idea).

Next: Trek. Here are the FX 24" Boys and Girls models.

Good thinking, solving problems, and a nice explanatory website (Trek Kids Bikes). I particularly like the dual position crankset/pedals (though it might be a solution looking for a problem). But... the website doesn't list the parts specification, and the steel seatpost and handlebar and high-tensile (heavy and not good at absorbing vibration) fork suggest that other part selections may cut corners.

My final complaint: what's with the differentiation between girls and boys models? It is entirely unnecessary, stigmatizing, and just a bad idea. The girls models lose water bottle mounts, the boys models lose stand-over height, and there's WAY too much focus on color (my daughter was all about pink for a while, then all of a sudden it was no pink allowed, or purple, anywhere). Besides, these are kids bikes, they're going to be outgrown in a year or two, and passed down to a sibling or neighbor--why limit the audience? I guess it's like breakfast cereal: more models = more shelf-space, boxing out competition, and giving the illusion of choice.

Solution: ISLABIKES. Smart smart smart. I don't work for them, I gain nothing by this, and, disclaimer, I've never seen their bikes in person, but they've solved all the problems I see challenging kids bike design.
Isla Beinn 24" (

I'm too tired now to write down how they solve all the problems. Check out the website and read it for yourself. Maybe I'll finish this off later, but it's a nice day to go outside and ride a bike ;-)


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:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Giant Escape City

I saw one of these in my local bike shop last night, but only one. If you go to a bike shop in Canada you'll see rows of similar bikes for sale. Most of them have an aluminum frame, triple front chain rings, 700c city tires, fenders and racks. The geometry is more hybrid than city bike, but in the case of the Giant Escape City it's pretty well equipped and comes in 4 sizes (and a women-specific model as well). It even includes decent platform pedals and a bell --just don't expect to jam huge panniers on that rear rack.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Giant Via 1

By Joseph E

Giant Via 1 W (2011). Widely available, for about $550.

Giant has become, well, a giant among bike manufacturers. According to rumor, their Taiwanese factories also produce many frames and parts used by other brands. They got their start in the North American market making bikes on contract for Schwinn. Later, Giant decided to market it's own bikes, and has had a great deal of success in mountain, road and "hybrid" bikes.

In the last few years, Giant has also offered a few bikes more suitable for the rest of us, such as the Simple Seven and Seek 1 previously featured here. But until now Giant had not offered an upright ride with swept-back handlebars, internal hub gears, fenders and chainguard (all of which were standard on the old Schwinns, of course). Now comes the Via, which has all of these features, plus classic styling, with thin crome-moly steel tubing, curvy Mixte-style lateral stays (even on the "men's" diamond-frame model), and an elegant front basket or rear rack. 

Thanks to Taiwanese mass production, all this can be yours for under $550 with a Shimano Nexus 3-speed, or less than $500 with a SRAM derailler and 8 speed cassette. Giant has dealers in most cities, who can easily order these bikes (but good luck on finding one to test-ride).

It's a shame Giant does not offer a version of this bike with a 7-speed nexus hub, or a option to have both the front basket and rear rack installed. The chainguard may be too minimalist to fully protect your pants. But if an 8-speed derailleur or 3-speed hub, and retro steel Mixte styling are what your are looking for, this bike will be nearly as cheap as upgrading a vintage mixte, and much easier to order at your local bike shop.

Via 1 (Men's)



SizesMens: S(17), M(19), L(21), XL(23)  Womens: XS(14), S(16), M(18)
ColorMens: Steel Silver/Chrome;   Womens: White/Light Green
Frame4130 Butted CroMo Steel
Fork4130 Butted CroMo Steel


HandlebarAlloy, Mid Rise & Sweep, 25.4
StemAlloy, threadless
SeatpostAlloy, 27.2
SaddleHigh-Density Foam
PedalsAlloy/Kraton Comfort Platform (Men or Women's specific)


ShiftersShimano Revo, Twist
BrakesAlloy, Dual Pivot
Brake LeversAlloy, Full Finger
CassetteShimano 20T, 3-Speed Internal
ChainKMC Z410RB 1/2 x 1/8, Rustproof
CranksetAlloy 3-Piece, 44T
Bottom BracketSealed Cartridge


RimsAlloy, Double Wall
Hubs[F] Alloy, [R] Shimano Nexus 3-Speed Internal, 32h
SpokesStainless Steel
TiresKenda Kwest w/ K-Shield, 700x32 [With puncture protection]


"Extras" Custom Alloy Rear Rack (Men's) or Front Basket with flower stem holder (Women's), Frame Mounted U-Lock Carrier, Fenders, Chainguard, Kickstand



Via 1 W (women's step-thru)

This bike is just now available for sale, but if anyone owns one or has taken a test ride, please leave a comment.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Giant Bicycles' SEEK Series

Giant's tag line for this series of bikes is:

Seek is the city-savvy bike styled for go-getters, to match your life on the go.
Well alright, let go! There are three bikes in the series. All feature an aluminum frame and a rigid (that is, non-suspension) steel fork. The top tube slopes in a mountain-bikey fashion, and the flat-ish handlebar and stem will put most riders in an athletic riding position: back/spine at 45-60 degree angle, off the ground, and a modest reach to the bars.
  • Seek 3 is a 24-speed derailer bike with disc brakes front and rear, for about $600.

  • Seek 2 has a 27-speed SRAM drivetrain and Avid Juicy 3 Hydraulic disc brakes - it's about $700.

  • Seek 1 is the bee's knees: it's got the 8-speed Shimano Alfine internal drivetrain in addition to hydraulic disc brakes. You get what you pay for, usually, and you'll pay about $1025 for this bike.
All three bikes come with sensible platform pedals, and have mounts for front and rear racks and fenders. You'll have to work the accessories around the disc brakes - a minor hassle and an the only obvious problem with these bikes, on spec. The aesthetics are clean, colors muted. I was going say these are "Just the facts, Ma'am," bikes, but that sounds a little stodgy - these are "no non-sense" bikes. And each one comes with a bell.

Thanks to the Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop in Denver, CO, for bringing these bikes to my attention. They were clearly impressed, evidenced by their use of the Seek 1 in their rental fleet.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Giant Suede

Giant Suede. MSRP $800.

Bike Portland: Discussion of the Shimano coasting gruppo.

2008 Specs:

Frame: ALUXX Aluminum (sizes: regular, large for men; one size for women)
Brakes: Shimano coasting rear coaster brake
Cassette: Shimano 16T
Chain: Shimano coasting
Cranks: Shimano 33T
Rims: Alloy 20/28H
Tires: Multi-surface 26x1.95, w/ slime-filled innertubes
Handlebar: Steel 4" riser
Saddle: Unity Comfort Cruiser
Pedals: Resin/Kraton platform
Front bag
Rear Rack
Rear Panniers

If you have any feedback about Suede, please leave a comment.