The Vital MTB website recently reviewed the new Glory Advanced 27.5 downhill bike, giving the bike 4 out of 5 stars in a rigorous review, which spanned a period of three months. The Glory features the same frameset raced by the World Cup downhill racers in the Giant Factory Off-Road Team and Vital MTB concluded:
�Overall, the Glory is a great option for those looking for a high-end race machine or simply a fun, fast, and quiet ride for the bike park ... an absolute joy to ride.�
For the full review, check out Vital MTB.
Evan Turpen, Vital MTB MagazineThe geometry and suspension feel is planted and confidence-inspiring with a firm and supportive fork, slack head angle, long reach and low bottom bracket height. The cornering is superb as well with the front to back balance making fast cornering a natural, almost effortless effort. You really feel 'in' the bike while riding.
Glory Advanced 27.5 0 Highlights
- 27.5-inch wheels
- 203mm (8.0-inches) of Maestro rear suspension
- Advanced-Grade Composite main frame with ALUXX SL aluminum rear end, aluminum links, and sealed cartridge bearing pivots
- RockShox Vivid R2C rear shock, 9.5x3.0-inches with 350-pound steel spring, medium rebound tune, and light compression tune
- RockShox Boxxer Team front fork, 200mm travel, Charger damper and Blue (firm) coil spring
- DT Swiss 240 hubs (150x12mm rear, 110x20mm front) 32-hole, laced to EX 471 rims with DT spokes
- 2.35-inch Schwalbe Magic Mary tires, DH casing, wire-bead, and VertStar compound
- SRAM XO1 DH Drivetrain
- MRP G3 Mini Carbon Chainguide with 34-tooth SRAM X-Sync Narrow/Wide Chainring
- SRAM Guide RSC Brakes with 200mm front rotor, 180mm rear rotor and organic pads
- Giant Overdrive Tapered Headset (made by FSA)
- Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
Vital MTB Review - Initial Impressions
Out of the box my first impression of the Glory is that it's a very solid bike. The carbon front triangle has great flowing lines from the oversized headtube all the way to the bottom bracket with plenty of reinforcements in high stress areas. It is clean looking, VERY color matched and at around 36-pounds the bike is in the competitive weight range for a World Cup race bike.
On The Trail
Once on the trail and pointed downhill, three things became immediately apparent. Silence, confidence, and cornering. The bike is darn near dead silent without any modifications. A combination of the XO1 DH drivetrain, aluminum back end that has plenty of room for the chain to slap around, and a well thought out integrated chainstay protector. This makes riding an absolute joy with the lack of noise.
The geometry and suspension feel is planted and confidence inspiring with a firm and supportive fork, slack head-angle, long reach, and low bottom bracket height. The cornering is superb as well with the front to back balance making fast cornering a natural, almost effortless effort. You really feel �in� the bike while riding.
Suspension performance was very good on small to medium sized bumps. The Maestro suspension combined with the Vivid R2C rear shock created a very supple feeling and carried speed well over trail chatter. When the bumps got real big and chunky it felt like the bike would tend to get a little hung up. It also felt as if there should have been a little more progression built into the suspension to slow things down as the bike reached full travel. Interestingly enough, once I swapped the rear spring to the firmer 400-pound spring this was much less noticeable (a sign that I may have been hitting the end of travel more often than I thought with the softer spring causing it to hang up). Braking didn't really seem to have any negative impact on the rear suspension since it didn't seem to either compress or extend it. And as for the stiffness of the frame, I never had any complaints about the bike being too stiff or too flexy in any area. The Boxxer Team front fork was a reliable performer, but never seemed to excel in the way I had hoped it would. I think that internal shim-stack tuning combined with fresh fluids and seals could have given it a better chance of impressing, but out of the box it was just okay.
Long Term Durability
Everything on the bike seems solid. The DT Swiss hubs are known long term performers and the EX 471 rims showed no signs of quitting their jobs any time soon. Rockshox suspension is plenty reliable although I did notice one of the Boxxer's dust wipers starting to weep oil towards the end of this review (a sign that service is most likely due). The carbon chainguide is questionable as to long-term durability due to typically reduced impact resistance, although it didn't break during this review. Overall the frame seems to be built more with long term durability in mind than ultra-lightweight. I can't foresee any drastic problems arising long term.
What's The Bottom Line?
The Giant Glory Advanced 27.5 0 is a high-end downhill race bike that is an absolute joy to ride. Very playful and balanced, yet stable and confidence inspiring. For $8,500 (£5,299) I still would have wished for a more dialed spec similar to Marcelo's personal race bike. With the addition of more powerful brakes, tubeless Super Gravity tires, a larger chainring, and some suspension fiddling, you could really unleash the Glory's true potential. The handling is superb and the geometry is spot-on. Most people will overlook the pedaling performance of a downhill bike anyway. Overall the Giant is a great option for those looking for a high-end race machine or simply a fun, fast, and quiet ride for the bike park.