Giant Yukon FX

A decent budget full-sus

BikeRadar score3/5

We were genuinely surprised by the performance of the Yukon FX's simple single-pivot rear suspension design and generic air-sprung rear shock. Overall control is very good in most trail situations, the rear triangle is reasonably rigid, and even pedaling is very efficient, at least in the middle ring. Despite our initial concerns, the Yukon FX proved that even at this price point, rear suspension can be a real performance plus.

Adding that hardware does come at a price though, as the Yukon FX is one of only two bikes in this test to use an eight-speed rather than nine- or 10-speed cassette (the cluster of gear sprockets attached to the rear wheel), the suspension fork is wholly lacking in any sort of damping control, and the Giant is also the heaviest in this group. It uses the same Kenda Small Block 8 tyres as the Cannondale, which roll fast but lack grip.

  • Standout features: Capable rear suspension offers more grip and comfort than any hardtail — the Yukon pedals and absorbs bumps as well as bikes costing much more
  • Pros: Well thought out geometry and cockpit make for a bike that’s comfortable and fun to ride on the flats and downhills — caveat: see cons
  • Cons: Front fork is borderline dangerous with virtually zero rebound damping; 24 (3x8) gears instead of 27 or 30; cable actuated brakes (though they work well); heavy, sketchy tires for beginners
  • Weight: 15kg/33.09lb. Wheelset: 4.63kg/10.21lb
James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Age: 40
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 70kg / 154lb
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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