Giant XTC Composite 29'er. Meet Gina

09 February 2012

Wow...I just took Gina my new 29"er Giant XTC composite out for a ride....

 The bike is near original right this moment, just XTR'ed it up.

New bits are coming soon.

I walk out the door and put a leg over the bike, instantly she sits tall and I feel a little "circus like", but I persevere.

So I decide to ride my normal warm up track to see how it handles and first thing I notice is that it just RAILS corners like a dream & the moment she points down even slightly the speed increase is instant. Especially on some fresh loose gravel that has been laid recently.

Up we go the No.2 trail and I am glad for 170mm cranks on the Gina. I felt at ease on the climb, non technical gravel walking track that climbs for about 4.5km. Heart rate was lower too than what I would normally be riding up at that pace.

So now I get to the top, time to do Red Carpet. First run is to see how she handles into corners, when do I brake, do I need brakes? Wow, all the tight corners are even better than on the 26" bike, seriously! The wide corners need NO brakes, just rail time. The only thing I found a bit different was my little log launch required a bit more concentration because it all happened a lot quicker!

Yep I got to the bottom and thought, "next run I am going to ride this with purpose and see how she handles with a bit more agression now!"

One more up and then I gave it some. Not smashing myself to smitherines, but having a go so to speak.

Strava segment download shows that I did the same section in December last year with Norm barking orders and a HR 3 beats higher average and 3 seconds slower on my 26".

Today, Feb 9th I did it by myself, riding honest with some anger with no Normie 3 seconds quicker, and HR average 3 beats lower. 

  1. Thursday February 9th 2012, Ave speed: 18.8kmph. Ave HR: 145 time: 12:04

  2. Tuesday December 20th 2011, Ave Speed: 18.7kmph. Ave HR: 148 Time: 12:07

Whilst this data is not conclusive, whats 3 seconds? Whats 3 beats per minute? Maybe I am fitter, maybe I am faster...

One things for certain I had a lot of fun, I really really enjoyed my new XTC 29'er.

Some points to note:

  • Whilst the 29'er is a hardtail and the ride is responsive and stiff, the rock armouring on Red Carpet was smooth and chatter free. The bike glided over the rocks like I was on a 5" travel Trance.

  • Corners, tight or wide, I was gobsmacked by the ease of handling. Confidence boost big time. Little or no braking and smooth. Once again, no chattering experienced on the back end like a typical hardtail.

  • Drops and small launches off roots, logs etc...felt like I was on a 4 or 5" travel duallie, once again confidence inspiring.

  • I love the handlbars too, wide grip allowing amazing control at 690 mm. Maybe when I get my carbon ones, I may cut a bit off...

  • The front end, 29'er Fox forks with through axle certainly were stiff and 100% responsive, on my 2nd run I gave some corners a go to see how far I could push it and never felt like I was out of control!

So I take back all my words and will go and eat them for lunch.

Thank you Giant, Shimano, Fox & Schwalbe for one awesome machine.

Gina, the niner, she's my new best friend.

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