Giant have today officially announced the release of the bike we already knew was coming: the XtC Composite 29er hardtail. What's surprising, though, is that this 2012 model is shipping to US dealers right now, with other markets to follow.
Most of the technical details we revealed in our "Sneak Peek" article back in February have been confirmed by Giant, namely the asymmetrical MegaDrive down tube with its enormous rectangular profile, the extra-wide PowerCore bottom bracket with press-fit cups, the asymmetrical oversized chainstays, the OverDrive tapered 1-1/8 to 1-1/2in head tube, post mount rear brake tabs and alloy rear dropouts.
Cables are routed beneath the top tube and the front derailleur will use a conventional high-mount clamp. According to Giant, the new frame will be "light and stiff enough to race but with improved vertical compliance and handling characteristics that make it ideal for technical cross-country trails and marathon distances".
Giant will offer their new XtC Composite 29er as a frame only for $1,550
The frame will be offered with two build kits, each available in four frame sizes – small, medium, large and extra-large – with effective top tubes ranging from 574-635mm (22.6-25in). Head tube lengths will range from 104-119mm (4.1-4.7in) so even shorter riders should be able to get a reasonable bar height.
The top-end XtC Composite 29er 0 will retail for US$3,675 and will come with a tapered 100mm-travel Fox F29 FIT RLC with 15mm through-axle dropouts for greater steering precision. The spec sheet is filled out with a mix of SRAM X0 and X9 bits plus Avid Elixir R brakes, while Giant's house brand will supply the flat bar, stem, seatpost, and even the rims and hubs. Schwalbe will provide tires while Fi'zi:k will supply their popular Tundra 2 K:ium saddle.
Giant's new top-end 29er hardtail flagship will be the XtC Composite 29er 0
The XtC Composite 29er 1 steps down to a Fox F29 RL (but still with the tapered steerer and through-axle dropouts), mostly SRAM X7 bits with Avid Elixir 1 brakes, a Giant house-brand saddle and wheels. Retail price on the XtC Composite 29er 1 is $2,500.
Giant will also offer the XtC Composite 29er as a frame only for $1,550.
Frame weights were unavailable at the time of publication but Giant global product marketing manager Andrew Juskaitis says a large, complete XtC Composite 29er 0 weighs 10.8kg (23.8lb) without pedals.
"Please keep in mind this bike is not meant to go toe-to-toe with hyper-light ‘S-Works’ level composite framesets," he says. "Ours was designed to offer forgiving ride performance and great weight savings—all while keeping price in check."
The second-tier Giant XtC Composite 29er 1 will use the same frame as the 0 but a lesser parts spec