After admitting that "sales of the 29er have really taken us by surprise", Giant have revealed they will finally debut a high-end big wheeler at next month's Sea Otter Classic to complement their current entry-level and mid-range 29in aluminium hardtails.
Global product marketing manager Andrew Juskaitis wouldn't say much on the record prior to the bike's official launch but he did suggest that the intended riders would be the "performance trail market" and all-mountain, ride-all-day types.
As such, the most likely possibilities are aluminium 29in-wheeled versions of the company's highly versatile Anthem X or Trance X full-suspension bikes.
Juskaitis also hinted that the new frame would be available with several different specs to suit a variety of applications. Expected features include a tapered OverDrive front end, Giant's well-proven Maestro linkage system and Fox Racing Shox suspension components, perhaps a press-fit bottom bracket, and other recent corporate design elements such as the rectangular MegaDrive oversized down tube.
29ers are mountain bikes that use 700c rims (the same size as most road bikes) to achieve a wheel size of around 29in, instead of the standard 26in. Advantages include the fact that bigger wheels are faster rolling and give better traction; the payoff is that they are heavier and slower to accelerate.