GIANT bikes?!

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i´m currently in costa rica on a farm in the country side and i´m planning to buy a mountain bike both to get around the area and (at some point in the future)for long-range cycling.
the only local brand i´m familiar with is giant(=rest is cheap no-names).... i used a giant CRX 2007/2008 in NZ and it worked well, but mine was made in taiwan---while the one i see here are made in china, so i´m concerned about the quality.... (the one i have an eye on is a 10-speed bike without rear pannier or mudguards (which i would have to get extra!) for 220.000Colones (=ca. 440 US$) but i´m not sure how good it is...)

anyone experience with this brand?!

i apologize ahead that a reply will take several weeks but internet is a rare luxury for me at the moment.....
 

scarfell

Forager
Oct 4, 2016
224
1
south east
Lots of stuff is made in china these days, what is important is that quality control and design are done by a reputable company from a country with high standards; for eg buying uk designed and QC'd, but chinese made, can be far higher quality than chinese designed and made

No clue what good auz/nz brands are tho

In UK for eg we have the CE sign as a mark of UK quality/saftey etc
 

mrcharly

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 25, 2011
3,246
33
North Yorkshire, UK
When you say '10-speed' do you mean it has 10 cogs at the rear? Or 5 at the rear and 2 at the front?

What matters quite a lot is availability of parts locally. No point buying latest tech if you can't replace a chain or a tyre.

Taiwan is the Republic of China, so the bike you are looking at may be made in Taiwan. 'China' is the 'People's Republic of China'.
 

Big G

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 3, 2015
3,144
0
Cleveland UK
Giant bikes are made in Taiwan.

I own a top spec Giant Talon 0 hardtail, i can defiantly recommend them!
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,465
2,210
McBride, BC
Have you reason to reject Fat Bikes? Several here, not fast but they will not pound your crotch to a pulp.
Couple of Fat Bike electrics, too,
 

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
585
UK
According to W!kipedia (so it may or may not be true!),

"Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Chinese: 巨大機械工業股份有限公司, commonly known as 捷安特) is a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer that is recognized as the world's largest bicycle manufacturer.[2] Giant has manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, the Netherlands, and China."

If so, it is reasonable to assume that the China (PRC) bikes will be cheaper but hopefully still subject to decent QC.

It sounds obvious but bikes are just a frame with components bolted onto them many of which (depending on how hard you use the bike), are effectively consumables which you can replace and/or upgrade as an when the need arises - assuming that you can get the parts. I'm not up to speed with the latest stuff but (assuming the bike you are looking at is using Shimano components,) the grading of components goes from (low) Deore, Deore SLX, XT, XTR (high), at the price point you are looking at, Shimano Deore is the most likely and perfectly adequate. Anything else then G00gle is you friend.

If all the locals ride basic unsprung steel framed bikes with basic gears and cable rim brakes, then a new bike with hydraulic disc brakes, fancy suspension systems, gears etc. may be a PITA to get spares for away from the bigger towns and could leave you immobilised. A broken steel frame can be welded or brazed in just about every village but fixing aluminium or carbon fibre is not so easy.

Having spent several years exploring some of the remoter corners of the globe in an old Land Rover, IMHO when going off piste, transport that is lower tech, (and may need regular attention but is easily fixable with available tools/parts) is infinitely preferable to superficially more reliable tech which relies on "zero maintenance", "sealed for life" components which when they fail, replacements are only available from a main dealer or another country or needs a modern workshop with computer diagnostics to fix it.

At least with a bike if it all goes wrong you can chuck it on the top of a bus or truck to get where you are going.

Safe travels. :)
 

Quixoticgeek

Full Member
Aug 4, 2013
2,483
14
Europe
Giant are fine quality wise, tho obviously the more you pay the better you get.

What I would however ask is do you need a mountain bike? Are you going to be off roading on rough terrain? If not you may be better off with a hybrid (like a mountain bike but with more road suitable tyres, still works in some off road), or a touring bike. You may also find the new "gravel bikes" relevant(road like bike but with clearance for wider tyres more suitable to off roading on gravel roads).

By and large unless you are doing serious off roading on mountains/hills a mountain bike is the least suitable bike for any given situation.

But beyond that, Giant as a brand are fine. I've got a Giant Escape M2 in my stable. It's sold as a hybrid. It's got Schwalbe Marathon tyres, and is great for road, bridleway and limited off roading (not great in deep mud or sand). I just wish it fitted me better...

J
 

rancid badger

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I've just bought a Giant Escape from Giant Newcastle (which is in fact about 10 miles west of Newcastle at Prudhoe but hey ho!) its a hybrid bike, very light (to me anyway) very easy to pedal fast, flys along,alloy frame and steel forks, seems to be excellent quality and with full guards, bottle cage and bottle, pump, spare tube and levers all in cost me £420.

I bought it for cardiac re-hab and I'm slowly getting there (only allowed to cycle very gently for 20-30 minutes once a week just at the moment) but ultimately, I'll be looking to do some reasonable mileage and I'm fairly confident its good for it.

I wouldn't worry quality wise, just check the fixtures and fittings are genuine and properly set up before parting with your money.
 

Big G

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 3, 2015
3,144
0
Cleveland UK
I'm just on changing a few bits on mine, mainly for comfort wise on long journeys.

Changed the standard off road tyres for schwalbe marathon plus, puncture resistant tyre's, the standard seat for a Selle Italia max flite gel flow team edition saddle, wider and comfier :) and the standard grips for a pair of Ergon GP1 handlebar grips, due to surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, it affects the way i can grip things for long periods.

As i'm planning on using it for wild camping trips, i'll probably end up buying a couple of the bike packing bags, for longer weekend trips away.
 

woodstock

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 7, 2007
3,568
65
65
off grid somewhere else
I have owned a couple of Giants both Boulders really good bikes also have a hand built Dawes which the Giants don't come close to in riding and handling but still excellent bikes for the money.
 

Snufkin

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Oct 13, 2004
2,091
122
51
Norfolk
Giant is a Taiwanese company. Their high end bikes are made in Taiwan and the Netherlands but they have, I think, five factories in China. Their QC is as good as most in the industry but you get what you pay for. They make a lot of bikes for other companies too, like Trek for instance.
 
thanks for the replies--the internet here is as slow as a backwards-walking sloth (=which makes any form of research rather tricky- hence my question....)
the bike has 2cogs at the front and 5 at the back and is (i´m sure) made in the P.R.C. . reason i would prefer a mountain bike is the fact that most local roads are rough gravel and landslides and wash-outs after tropical rain not uncommon

happy yuletide everyone!
 

mrcharly

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 25, 2011
3,246
33
North Yorkshire, UK
5 at the back is very old type, - that is certainly a freewheel - is this a new bike or 2nd hand? Check that chains are available for it locally (might be the case).
 

Quixoticgeek

Full Member
Aug 4, 2013
2,483
14
Europe
no, it was a new bike-- and it is no longer available...
all the other bikes available here have eurostar printed on them-- which makes me VERY hesistant as i dont trust anything with EURO in it's name (i believe you folks in the UK recently did the same....)

Some in the UK. By no means all (26.1% infact).

Personally given the choice I'd opt for the Euro version of something, as it's probably built to EU safety standards giving some assurance of safety and quality.

Since June I've left the UK for mainland Europe to get away from the anti EU sentiment.

J
 

rancid badger

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I've just bought a Giant Escape from Giant Newcastle (which is in fact about 10 miles west of Newcastle at Prudhoe but hey ho!) its a hybrid bike, very light (to me anyway) very easy to pedal fast, flys along,alloy frame and steel forks, seems to be excellent quality and with full guards, bottle cage and bottle, pump, spare tube and levers all in cost me £420.

I bought it for cardiac re-hab and I'm slowly getting there (only allowed to cycle very gently for 20-30 minutes once a week just at the moment) but ultimately, I'll be looking to do some reasonable mileage and I'm fairly confident its good for it.

I wouldn't worry quality wise, just check the fixtures and fittings are genuine and properly set up before parting with your money.

Just thought I'd post an update on my experience with the Giant Escape.

I've now covered apx 1200 miles with nothing but a few small adjustments to front and rear mechs and brakes required in that time. I have of course had to top up air in tyres but otherwise, nothing really to report. It's still very fast, very smooth and touch wood- very reliable.

I don't do huge mileage on the thing by some folks standards but regularly do a 24 mile round trip to newcastle and back and frequently put in a 6-8 mile "workout" (apx 4-5 times a week with the longer trips every 8- 10 days)

This will sound pretty lame to some of the "cyclists" out there but it was almost 30 years since I'd last ridden a bike more than a couple of miles, when I bought this bike last December.

Just coming up 12 months since a major heart attack and I feel fitter and healthier than I have done for more than 15 years;)

Cheers

Steve
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,465
2,210
McBride, BC
The fact that you can ride a bike again isn't a lame claim at all, after what you've been through.
No matter how small your audience is, keep up the good work.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,235
1,005
Lancashire
A five cog cassette at the rear is serious old tech. I have a 7 speed cassette at the rear and it's probably 26 years old. A 5 speed is what 80s? In the UK you can get them but specialist retailers only. Where the op is I have no idea what the situation is.

Giant is the biggest manufacturer of bikes and is a Taiwanese company. They make for quite possibly every major player in the bike world. I've read of cycling journos seeing specialized, trek and even fancy Italian brands being made there (IIRC a pinarello frame is made by them). Merida is a similarly huge bike manufacturer too. They made their name anonymously by making for known brands until they decided to sell their own bikes in the UK and elsewhere.

Giant is a good manufacturer and design decent enough bikes, not the most interesting IIRC. They also own factories making accessories too. That's just like trek owning Bontrager accessories.

Personally I'd not get any bike with a 5 speed cassette at the rear. Bike type is important as is buying for fit, use, etc. If roads are reasonable I'd prefer a road type of bike but a tourer because they're very versatile. Drop bars are my preference because of choice of hand positions. I have given my hands, wrists and elbows over the years so for me flat bar hybrids and mountain bikes are not suitable. Even with big bar ends I'd get aching wrists and elbows after an hour or even less.

You can get different handlebars suitable for hybrid or mountain bikes. Jones bars are flat bars which have different bars to it that allow for many hand positions. Alpkit in the UK sell similar. Trekking bars or butterfly bars are like extended bar ends or loops for bars. You can turn them to different angles to suit your position. I mention this because the op mentions carpal issues. Comfort on the bars is very important I reckon. Fit will also be important. Wrong fit and you'll put too much weight on your hand grip.

Due to the location of the op I suspect that not many options will be available. If that giant is the only brand bike available then beggars can't be choosers. I know someone who cycled through remote parts of China on a cheap local brand mtb. You can get by with pretty much anything if you have to. The locals certainly do that. Just enjoy your cycling with whatever you choose
 

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