12 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT GIANT MODEL YEAR 2019
1/ Power to the People.
Giant led the trend in using power meters on their 2 top-tier road bikes. For 2019, Giant has gone one step further; they’ve introduced a power meter for little or no extra cost.
Take the 2018 Giant TCR Advanced SL 1 and the new 2019 TCR Advanced SL 1 Disc (by the way, the Rainbow Black colour makes the bike look boss). Both retail at $6,999.00 - but the black beast this year comes with a power meter.
No Power Meter. RRP $6,999.
New Giant Power Meter (see cranks). RRP also $6,999. New, 42mm deep rims are more aero, wider and stiffer.
Power Meter treatment gets trickled down to the popular TCR Advanced Pro range too, and gets bolted to the range topping TCR Advanced Pro 0. Compared to 2018 model year, the RRP on this has gone up by $300, to $6,299.
Giant Power Meter gets trickled down to Advanced Pro level TCR (see cranks). RRP $6,299. And gets aero wheels too.
What’s the catch? Well, it has +/-2% accuracy, slightly less accurate than the +/-1.5% you get on Giant’s $10,000+ road bikes. Will you notice this? Only if you’re using a different power meter on another bike - race bike? - but if this is your sole training and racing bike, then the answer is no.
The unit’s been thoroughly tested for waterproofness. No, Giant hasn’t splashed it with water from a spray bottle from Bunnings. They’ve submerged it in a metre of water and ran the unit for thousands of hours - without fail.
It’s not an off-the-shelf or cheap copied version of another brand’s either. The algorithm has been specifically designed for Giant. It’s both Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible. There’s also a neat app that lets you see Power Balance, Force Vectors, as well as more basic data such as speed, cadence (no magnet required), distance and more.
2/ Giant Trance and Reign, and Liv Hail get DVO Suspension.
We’ve seen Giant use Rock Shox and Fox - but never DVO. The brand has always been ‘Halo’ level stuff; expensive and out of reach. Designed for the true racer or serious, serious mountain biker, it’s not your average suspension system.
The collaboration between Giant and DVO started over a year ago. Why? To make Giant’s Halo-level Advanced 0 bikes more better-er (that is, Smoother + Faster = Better).
DVO have achieved this by spending time with Giant’s fastest riders - the Factory Team - as well as the average Joe (Giant’s employees from around the world). So, a lot of testing has gone into ensuring that DVO is the perfect fit for Giant riders.
In fact, Giant reckon it’s the most perfectly balanced suspension tune they’ve tested on their bikes - ever. High praise indeed.
This means nothing DVO is quite off the shelf. For example, the Topaz 2 rear shock on the Trance Advanced and Reign Advanced 1 cannot be bought after market. This shock is made specifically to work with Giant’s Maestro suspension platform. Servicing and spares? No stress. The experts at NS Dynamics have you covered, having distributed and raced DVO for a number of years.
Moreover, every shock is tuned for size. This means a medium frame gets a different tune to a small one. And DVO have the gone to extra effort to ensure female riders get better suspension tunes as well (such as on the Liv Hail Advanced 1).
Giant DVO equipped bikes:
2019 Giant Reign Advanced 0 $8,999 (27.5, 170mm/160mm)
2019 Giant Reign Advanced 1 $5,999 (27.5, 170mm/160mm)
2019 Giant Reign SX 1 $4,499 (27.5, 180mm/160mm)
2019 Liv Hail Advanced 1 $5,799 (27.5, 170mm/160mm)
2019 Giant Trance Advanced 0 $8,699 (27.5, 150mm/140mm)
3/ Brand New 2019 Trance E+ Pro Range.
This has us genuinely excited. Replacing the Giant Full E+ from model year 2018, Giant has taken a thorough redevelopment approach with the Trance E+ bikes.
What’s different? Better handling, more travel and more capable. And a couple of other things.
The design philosophy behind the Trance E+ Pro was to deliver a bike that handled almost exactly like the non-electric Giant Trance. So that riders felt like they’re riding a normal bike, with normal bike handling. All good brands are going to this effort, one such is the new Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay.
Why base the design off the Trance? Because with a motor, it is the most versatile (and capable) e-MTB a consumer can buy. It will place you in comfortable (and efficient) climbing position. When it comes time to shred the descent, inexperienced riders will not be thrown off; the Trance E+ is super stable on technical trails.
So, the range.
2019 Giant Trance E+ 0 Pro $8,999
2019 Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro $6,999
2019 Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro $5,999
4/ New Carbon Mountain Bike Rims.
I’d never ride carbon rims on a mountain bike. But the new carbon TRX and XCR rims may convert me. They are about 500% better than previous generation wheels. Don’t quote me on that number though...
What’s different? Everything. And aren’t carbon wheels the same anyways? Errr, no.
Every Giant carbon mountain bike rim is now hookless. Giant has eliminated the ‘hook’ that we’re all used to seeing on rims.
Because it’s a weak point. The carbon-fibres cannot ‘flow’ when the rim has a hook, getting cut off prematurely and causing a stress point. Hookless rims allows the fibres to flow naturally, strengthening this area of the rim. So the next time you’re wheel makes contact with a sharp rock, the rim is less likely to sustain damage.
Giant has also strengthened every spoke hole by adding 3mm of material to this area.
Lastly, TRX (Trail/All Mountain) and XCR (Race/Cross Country) level rims are wider. Much wider! A good thing by the way.
TRX carbon rims are 30mm wide inside, and 37mm wide outside. Compared to 27mm wide internally on previous gen rims.
XCR carbon rims are 25mm wide inside, and 31mm wide outside. Previous gen rims were 21mm wide internally.
Giant wheels come with a 2 year warranty. All wheels now have subtle graphics. Nothing loud and boisterous. Just pure stealth.
5/ Down Tube Battery Wizardry.
All ‘Pro’ E-Bikes will get the new fance integrate downtube battery.
This new battery is much more integrated and seamlessly connects to the downtube of your E-bike. It also equipped with ingenious cells that charge faster - 60% charge in 90 minutes.
Better heat management also makes the new Downtube EnergyPak safer. More air between the battery’s cells and better temperature control ensure this is the case.
6/ Smart Charger for E-Bikes.
Lithium-Ion batteries on E-bikes should never be stored long term at full charge. Or no charge. The ideal charge should be 60% when stored. And this is one of the purposes of the Smart Charger.
It also does other trick stuff like when the battery is charged 500+ times, the Giant Smart Charger reduces voltage so that the battery’s life is extended.
Another thing is it manages heat better than other charger. When the cells in the Giant DownTube battery (or EnergyPak) get too hot, the Smart Charger moves to different cells. Cool eh?
7/ Ride Control One.
It’s a compact control centre that shows and controls Assist Level and Range via LED lights - on all performance E-MTBs only. Gone is the massive Ride Control EVO screen. This allows riders to focus on the trail and obstacles; not be distracted by digits on a massive screen.
Giant's new Ride Control
8/ E-Bike Expansion Across All Riding Styles.
Wow, E-Bikes of all sorts were taking over the show this week. It was great to see such an extensive range from Giant and also to see riders who would never ride a bike jump on an e-bike. A lot of work has gone into every single one and we’ll have them in store soon.
By the way, the + means that the bike has Plus-size tyres (approx 2.6-inch wide). More grip, traction, smoother and better control are the benefits.
So here’s a quick run down on ‘em.
2019 Giant LaFree E
The entry point into Giant’s E-Bike range. It uses the new Sync Life Yamaha motor. It’s been designed for urban commutes and shorter riders, and has a distinct focus on comfort and economy. The Giant LaFree will automatically adjust for different gradient levels; the steeper it gets, the more power gets delivered. It’s got a very upright, relaxed seating position and with wide, smooth tyres will have a comfy ride too. The LaFree is perfect for riders who like to take in the scenery.
2019 Explore E
Urban jungle, rail trails or country roads is what the Explore E does best. It’s the most versatile performer in the range. Integrate lights, powerful motor, high-mileage 500Wh battery are just some of the benefits. Check this one out in store soon.
2019 Fathom E+ 3
Giant’s popular Fathom mountain bike range gets E-Bike treatment. The Fathom E+ 3 is the cheaper of the two options ($3,299), yet still manages to deliver extremely great value.
2019 Fathom E+ 2 Pro $4,799
This very stealth machine gets a few (well, a lot actually) upgrades over it’s cheaper sibling. Bigger battery (500Wh), better battery (Down Tube EnergyPak), more powerful motor (SynDrive Pro), better suspension, brakes, wheels and drivetrain components.
Liv’s female equivalent of the Fathom E+ 2 Pro is the Vall E+ 1 Pro.
2019 Giant Fastroad E+ 2 $3,699
Fastroads were so popular for the last 2 seasons. The new Fastroad E+ is a natural evolution of the platform. This is a killer bike for those who want to literally zip around suburbia and CBD bike paths.
9/ No Giant Anthem 27.5 Range.
Yeah, it was a shock considering it was one of our most popular bikes - ever.
If you’re looking for an alternative then we’d recommend the new 2019 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Alloy 10 and Thunderbolt Alloy 30 models, due in Australia soon. These will be worthy contenders! Reviews and full detials coming soon.
10/ Brand New Trance SX E+ Big Mountain E-Bike.
This thing is truly amazing. Everyone at the Show had to touch it, sit on it and generally drool over it.
What makes it so cool is it’s out of the ordinary for Giant. They’ve always been conservative, so for them to bring out a proper big mountain/enduro E-MTB is surprising.
The Trance SX E+ uses the top-of-the-range Yamaha SyncDrive Pro motor, Fox Factory suspension (also the best) with 160mm of front travel and 140mm of rear wheel travel. It’s designed to climb mountains fast and really shred on the way down. So if your looking for an E-MTB designed for bike parks such as Maydena or Blue Derby in Tassie, Mount Buller, Thredbo or Falls Creek - this is perfect. With very little compromise.
11/ New Liv Intrigue E+ E-Mountain Bike.
More E-bike. Liv has created a women's specific trail-focussed mountain bike. When I say women’s specific, I don’t mean slapping a motor on a downsized men's bike with feminine graphics.
Every detail has been stressed - by women only. Suspension tune, frame dimensions, ergonomics...everything. 150mm travel fork is paired to 140mm of rear wheel travel - perfectly balanced for any amateur and intermediate mountain bike trail.
Liv Intrigue E+ womens e-bike
Equipped with a Yamaha SyncDrive Pro motor, the Intrigue E+ will take you up the most challenging ascents. The bike also uses the new Ride Control One to adjust for different Assist Levels and shows range too.
12/ Fox Live Valve Debuts.
Live Valve is the most sought after tech in mountain bikes since electronic gears. It was always going to the natural progression and Fox delivered.
Live Valve’s purpose is to control and adapt the bike’s suspension to the terrain that you’re riding on via electronic impulses. Sensors at the rear wheel and fork send messages to the central control unit and to deliver the perfect damping characteristics.
Fox Live delivers better bottom-out support, mid travel support and small bump compliance. Essentially it’s going to control the suspension hundreds of times a second to give riders the best trail performance - ever.