With a history rooted in quality and innovation since 1972, Giant attracted the attention of global bicycle brands to quickly become the biggest manufacturer in the world.
Its first breakthrough was becoming the key supplier for American brand Schwinn in 1977.
In 1986, the Taiwanese company started producing bicycles under its own brand for the European market. The following year it initiated exports to the United States.
Giant was the first to introduce lighter, stronger aluminium frames at a time when the industry standard was steel. The manufacturer also pioneered carbon-fibre bikes and made them available to the world.
In the mid-90’s, they redefined the look and feel of modern road racing bikes with the introduction of Total Compact Road (TCR) frames. Ridden by Laurent Jalabert’s ONCE team, the sloping top tube and compact frame initially seemed awkward, but the design’s credentials were beyond comparison and quickly became the blueprint globally.
More recently, the company’s designers and engineers masterminded Maestro suspension technology. Such innovations, as well as its tensio design language, represent dramatic advancements in the cycling industry.
Giant is also one of the world’s leading manufacturers of e-bikes and its Liv brand is one of the leading women-specific lines.
Total Compact Road (TCR)
In conjunction with British designer Mike Burrows, Giant revolutionised the bike manufacturing industry with its Total Compact Road (TCR) frames.
Road bikes traditionally had horizontal top tubes, which meant numerous sizes were needed to accommodate the various heights of riders. TCR frames, which sport a sloping top tube, greatly minimised this number.
The benefits of a compact frame – a concept which Burrows borrowed from mountain biking – were greater stiffness, improved comfort through a longer seat post and weight.
The early models were aluminium with the switch to carbon fibre coming in 2003. Testing has found Giant’s bikes to have the best stiffness to weight ratio of any road bike.
Giant revolutionised off-road performance bikes with its Maestro suspension. What makes it different is that it is fully active over every type of terrain with pedalling and braking not affecting the suspension in any way.
With the rider’s energy transferred to the rear wheel, this technology places the emphasis on efficiency while providing total braking independence, even under heavy forces.
This is due to its near-vertical rear wheel path, which stays in contact with the ground, and an efficient and independent suspension system.
Tensio design language
Inspired by cycling’s sense of freedom, Tensio is Giant’s language that encompasses flexibility of shapes and dynamic design.
It manifests itself in feature lines that are defined by the top and down tubes flowing in unison to the head tube to create a forward motion which is bold, aggressive and purposeful.
Aesthetics are an integral part, with form and striking visual combinations showcasing the technologies at play.
Giant is represented on the UCI WorldTour by Polish outfit CCC Team, which includes Olympic road race champion Greg van Avermaet.
On the women’s WorldTour, Giant’s Liv brand is ridden by the CCC-Liv team.
South African road and time-trial champion Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, who was ranked as high as third in the world in 2017, is one of their spearheads.
The TCR Advanced SL and SL Disc, which have the highest pedalling to stiffness weight ratio in their class, are Giant’s flagships on the road.
Integrated disc brakes provide smooth braking at any speed and an advanced seat design and tubeless tyre system make for a smooth ride and low rolling resistance.
On the mountain biking side, the Anthem Advanced Pro 0 is a lightweight carbon bike which offers precise handling on cross-country terrain thanks to its maestro suspension.
Combining this technology with an advanced forged composite rocker arm and trunnion-mount shock, it delivers a smooth performance on all types of terrain.
Giant is also a leading manufacturer of e-bikes and here the E+ Pro is the weapon of choice.
See full range
Explore the full range – inspired by a passion for cycling and a desire to create the best products and make them accessible to all riders – on the Giant website.
This article is published in partnership with Dragons Sports.