Giant were founded in 1972 with a mission to create better bikes and improve the cycling experience for every rider and, more than 40 years later, their 2018 range looks to continue that fine history of innovation and manufacturing expertise. Developed and tested by some of the top teams and athletes in pro racing, they continue to produce lighter, stronger and faster bikes, while their E-bikes are redefining what's possible or riders of all abilities. Here at Rutland Cycling we LOVE Giant bikes whether it be on the road, path or trail, and with bucket loads of tech and some ground-breaking new models, we've picked a few of our particular favourites from the new range.
Alongside Giant sits Liv, the female-focused branch of the Taiwanese bike behemoth. While many bike brands make only minor concessions to the specific needs of women cyclists, Liv is fully committed to the female cyclist and offers a comprehensive product collection designed specifically for them, including the all-new Langma. Liv had a clear goal in mind when they set about developing the Langma - design a bike for aggressive female riders that shines in mountain stages and dominates as an all-round performance race bike, without sacrificing aerodynamics, stiffness or weight. In development for over two years, the Langma focuses on climbing efficiency to help you 'fly to the summit' by combining Liv's highest grade composite material with a new narrow tube shaping, integrated seatpost and innovative construction techniques.
The range falls into Giant's usual Advanced SL, Advanced Pro, and Advanced brackets, with a hydraulic disc brake version of the Advanced Pro 1 also available. At the top of the range, the Advanced SL 0 is built from Advanced SL-Grade composite carbon fibre and specced with SRAM Red eTap and Giant's SLR-0 wheel system, while the Advanced SL 1 swaps the groupset for Shimano Ultegra Di2 and the wheels for Giant's SLR-1 set. For the Advanced Pro range, the frame and fork is downgraded to Advanced-Grade composite while the Advanced series swaps out a full composite fork for Liv's Hybrid OverDrive steerer.
Arguably the highest profile member of the 2018 Giant range is the brand new and redesigned Propel Disc (you can have a more in-depth read in our First Look article, here). Of course, the main talking point is the inclusion of disc brakes - designed from the ground up around the brakes, Giant found that with proper integration, a disc brake design can actually improve aerodynamic performance. Improved integration combined, an extra clean profile around the fork crown and an asymmetric fork design which helps push air around the front caliper has resulted in a front end that's performance outweighs any disc-related aero impediment. So extensive is the new design, that not a single tube shape is shared with the previous generation Propel.
The Propel Disc comprises of four models, with the top two models - the Advanced SL 0 Disc and Advanced SL 1 Disc - using Giant's Advanced SL grade carbon fibre and an integrated seatpost, along with a carbon version of the Contact SLR integrated stem and handlebar. The range is rounded out by the Advanced Pro which uses a lower spec carbon and moves to an adjustable aero seatpost in place of the integrated post, and Advanced model which switches to an alloy fork steerer. If you're not keen on disc brakes then fear not, Giant have added a number of rim brake models based around the previous generation frameset.
With plenty of improvements for 2018 the new Reign is Giant's most shreddable ever, delivering flat-out speed and control on raw, rowdy terrain. While the shape of the 2018 Reign is familiar, the key changes have come in the form of a revised geometry and a re-worked shock mount as a result of development with the Giant Factory Off-Road Team. Let's start with geometry - the new model gets an aggressive 65-degree headtube angle and 73-degree seat tube angle to boost overall control without sacrificing agility or climbing efficiency and, when combined with 27.5� wheels, strikes the perfect balance of lightweight agility, acceleration and control that's needed to tackle aggressive terrain.
The Reign also gets updated Maestro suspension techology with 160mm of smooth travel and a new trunnion mount which allows for a longer shock stroke and a lower leverage ratio which improves small-bump compliance and pedaling efficiency. This new mount also allows for more insertion depth for longer dropper posts, while a new Advanced Forged Composite upper rocker arm increases frame stiffness, adds strength and reduces overall weight. The 2018 Reign range is split into four models across two series, with the Advanced series built on an Advanced-grade composite mainframe with an ALUXX SL aluminum rear swingarm. The Reign series features a full ALUXX SL aluminum frame.
As riders look for more ways to explore their environment on two wheels, bikes geared towards adventure and gravel riding have steadily become more and more popular. And this is where the ToughRoad comes in - fast and smooth on rough, challenging roads, whether you're climbing mountains or descending on dirt, you can do it all on this agile machine. By effectively mating a superlight ALUXX frame with a more mountain bike style geometry to a carbon fork, and with fast-rolling 700c wheels and disc brakes, Giant have created an agile chassis bike that is excellent for off-road use but can also belt along the smooth stuff. A composite D-Fuse seatpost has also been added for some extra comfort and compliance when the going gets rough.
The big change of note for 2018 is the introduction of an all-new drop bar version called the GX which uses an entirely new frame design and geometry which is a little shorter and lower than the flat bar series. The new frame is still rack and mudguard compatible, and comes complete with either 38mm or 45mm tubeless tyres to accompany the SRAM 1x or Shimano transmissions, depending on your choice of model. The flat bar SLR 1 and SLR 2 get slightly chunkier 50mm rubber to partner the more off-road oriented geometry and a slightly lower gearing range.