Giant is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, bike manufacturer in the world. It already produces its own mountain bike framesets, wheels and components, and now it is moving into the sphere of suspension with its new Crest 34 fork.
The Crest 34 mountain bike fork is aimed primarily at trail and cross-country riders and, for the time being, it would seem the brand is only looking to spec it on complete bikes (not as an after-market product).
That’s not to say Giant hasn’t taken the Crest’s development seriously, the company says it has used feedback from its engineers, professional athletes and from everyday riders to create a “high-tolerance item that is really applicable for a wide variety of off-road uses”.
Giant says the Crest 34 is “the next step in Giant’s mission to deliver premium cycling performance to more riders”, which could be read as the brand looking to save costs from buying-in the products of specialist manufacturers and producing an even broader range of parts in-house.
The fork chassis is made completely within Giant’s plant in Taiwan using temperature-controlled casting, which Giant says allows it to build strong products that are “more lightweight than similar products made by traditional casting”.
But that’s not to say this is a second-rate fork. Giant doesn’t tend to work on a whim and it appears to have done its homework on the Crest.
From the top down, the fork seems very promising, and Giant claims that the fork was designed with the aim of bettering its competition in terms of smoothness, robustness and sensitivity.
The Crest 34 comes in several guises, with 120mm- and 100mm-travel options and 27.5in or 29in wheel choices. Low-speed compression and rebound are adjustable externally, with room for up to four volume spacers within the 120mm-travel fork and five in the 100mm version.
Tyres of up to 2.6 inches wide can be fitted to the 27.5in wheel fork, with 2.4 inches the maximum width for 29ers.
Inside the Crest there is an air spring and self-equalising negative air spring in the left leg as well as a “Giant Tuning Damper” in the right leg.
Giant says this damper is widely adjustable, with a range of 24 clicks of externally-adjusted rebound damping, and has been “tuned with input from our experienced suspension testers… to allow a wide range of riders to easily match their suspension with the terrain and their riding style”.
Of course, Giant isn’t the first bike brand to have a go at making its own suspension fork.
Cannondale’s Lefty has been a mainstay of that brand’s product range for aeons, but other companies’ attempts have made less of an impact or have been complete failures.
However, judging by what looks like a serious commitment to its manufacture, it is likely we’ll be seeing the Crest 34 – and surely an expanded range, if we were to speculate – on plenty of the brand’s bikes in the coming years, but at time of writing, the Crest 34 doesn’t appear to be specced on any of the brand’s 2020 model year bikes.
New 2020 Giant Crest 34 mountain bike suspension fork specs
- 34mm stanchions
- Magnesium thixo-moulded lowers, aluminium crowns, stanchions and steerer
- 100mm and 120mm travel models
- 27.5in and 29in models
- Remote lock-out option
- Adding volume spacers tailors feel
- Low-speed compression / rebound adjustments
- Open / Trail / Lock-out
- 2.6-inch wide (27.5-inch models) / 2.4-inch wide (29-inch models)
- Availability TBA