The 2020 Giant XtC Advanced SL is the lightest hardtail MTB Giant has ever made

New geometry and tweaks plus a claimed 920g frame

Giant XtC Advanced SL 2020

The new 2020 Giant XtC is a claimed sub-1,000g 29er cross-country bike that is said to be the lightest hardtail Giant has ever produced. 

Advertisement

Available in Advanced SL and Advanced levels, the frame weighs a claimed 920g and 995g respectively, in an unspecified size. 

2020 Giant XtC XC hardtail key specs

  • Advanced and Advanced SL-level bikes available
  • Updated geometry
  • New lighter weight layup
  • 1x specific
  • Increased tyre clearance
  • Updated internal cable routing
  • New seat clamp design

The new 2020 Giant XtC is best viewed as an update to the outgoing bike rather than a radically new platform — the overall look of the frame is similar to the outgoing model, with only a few subtle changes to differentiate between the two. 

Starting from the rear, the chainstays on the new bike are subtly dropped to increase tyre clearance and, according to Giant, to improve stiffness. 

XTC Advanced seatstays
The seatstays are dropped on the new frame.
Giant

The seatstays are slightly lower than the outgoing bike, which is said to improve comfort. The bike has also moved to a semi-integrated external seat clamp over the wedge-style arrangement on the old model. 

The internal cable routing on the bike has been updated, with a move towards larger ports that can accommodate several cables rather than multiple small ports. This means you’re unlikely to be left with unused blanked-out ports if, for example, you opt for a wireless groupset. The larger openings are also said to ease installation.

There’s no specific reference in the press release but, looking at the frame, it appears the new XtC has also moved to a 1x-specific layout — there is no longer a direct-mount derailleur mount on the seat tube and it would not be possible to mount a traditional clamp-on derailleur. 

Unlike a number of other recently launched XC hardtails — such as the Specialized Epic or the Santa Cruz Highball — Giant has stuck steadfastly with a press-fit BB92 bottom bracket shell for the new XtC. 

The main difference between the two versions of the XtC boils down to the layup — Giant’s Advanced SL layup uses “continuous fibre technology” to reduce weight and also features “carbon nanotube technology resin”, which is claimed to improve impact resistance. 

The regular Advanced layup is simpler, hence the moderate increase in weight.

The geometry of the bike has also been updated with the seat angle getting a degree steeper across all sizes and the head angle slackening out a half degree to 69.5 degrees in sizes small and medium. Sizes large and extra-large stick with a 70-degree head angle. 

Reach has increased considerably, with the greatest change seen on the largest sizes; the reach on an extra-large frame has grown from 440mm to 477mm, allowing riders to reduce stem length to improve handling. 

2020 Giant XtC XC hardtail range overview

The exact specs, finish and availability of each model in the 2020 Giant XtC lineup differs from market-to-market, but in the UK and Europe, the top-end SRAM Eagle AXS-equipped XtC Advanced SL 29 0 model comes in at a heady £7,999 / €9,199. 

The XtC Advanced 29 1, which is a more sensible, seriously-committed, privateer racer-friendly Shimano XT-equipped model costs £3,999 / €4,599.

Available exclusively in the US market are the XtC Advanced+, a rowdy 27.5+ version of the bike priced at $2,300, and the lower-priced ($2,500) SLX-equipped XtC Advanced 29 2.

2020 Giant XtC Advanced SL 29 0 

Giant XTC Advanced SL 29 0
The XTC Advanced SL 29 0 is the top-end bike for the UK and Europe.
Giant
  • Frame: Giant XtC Advanced SL frame 
  • Fork: RockShox SID Ultimate DebonAir
  • Wheels: Giant XCR-0 29 Composite WheelSystem
  • Groupset: SRAM Eagle XX1 AXS
  • Tyres: Maxxis Rekon Race 29×2.25 TLR EXO
  • Finishing kit: Giant Contact SLR
  • Price: £7,999 / €9,199 (not available in the US)

2020 Giant XtC Advanced SL 29 1

Giant XTC Adanced SL 29 1
The XTC Advanced SL 29 1 is the premium model for the US market.
Giant
  • Frame: Giant XtC Advanced SL frame 
  • Fork: RockShox SID Select+ DebonAir
  • Wheels: Giant XCR-1 29 WheelSystem
  • Groupset: Shimano Deore XT
  • Tyres: Maxxis Rekon Race 29 x 2.25 TLR EXO
  • Finishing kit: Giant Contact SL
  • Price: $5,000 (US only)

2020 Giant XtC Advanced 29 1

Giant XTC Advanced 29 1
The Giant XTC Advanced 29 1 is not available in the US.
Giant.
  • Frame: Giant XtC Advanced frame 
  • Fork: Fox 32 Float SC Performance 29
  • Wheels: Giant XCR-1 29 Composite WheelSystem
  • Groupset: Shimano Deore XT
  • Tyres: Maxxis Rekon Race 29×2.25 TLR EXO
  • Finishing kit: Giant Contact SL
  • Price: £3,999 / €4,599 (not available in the US)

2020 Giant XtC Advanced 29 2

Giant XTC Advanced 29 2
The XtC Advanced 29 2 is only available in the USA.
Giant
  • Frame: Giant XtC Advanced frame 
  • Fork: RockShox Rekon RL Solo Air
  • Wheels: Giant XCT 29 alloy on Shimano hubs
  • Groupset: Shimano SLX
  • Tyres: Maxxis Rekon Race 29 x 2.25 TLR EXO
  • Finishing kit: Giant Contact
  • Price: $2,500 (US only)

2020 Giant XtC Advanced+

Giant XTC Advanced +
The Advanced+ shows off the generous tyre clearance of the new frame.
Giant
Advertisement
  • Frame: Giant XtC Advanced frame 
  • Fork: RockShox Judy Silver TK
  • Wheels: Giant AM+
  • Groupset: SRAM SX Eagle
  • Tyres: Maxxis Rekon+ 29×2,8 TR EXO
  • Finishing kit: Giant Contact
  • Price: $2,300 (US only)