Giant's oddly strong 27.5 marketing in 2014 & other observations...
About Giant's push of 27.5 bikes and what they said at the press release demo's about reducing and practically eliminating 26'er bikes from their performance/racing bikes, and reducing, and depending on the market response, minimizing, or possibly eliminating 29'ers.
#1) Not a real strong offering in XC Full Suspension. If Giant feels 27.5 is the future, it's kinda hard to see them converting many 29'er xc riders with a "3" model. The only 27.5 Anthem X Giant is offering is a "3". Ok, the specs aren't "too" bad, with the brakes and gears etc shimano deore, but it's not an exciting offering compared to a 1 or 2...the wheels are the lower models too. If Giant is so into 27.5...wouldn't they want to have at least offered a 1 or 2 model in 2014? You have to pay a lot for the 27.5 Anthem X 3 vs the older 29 Anthem X 3. Perhaps some will buy just the frame for their builds? Maybe their weak offering in an Anthem X shows how they really feel and think? Perhaps they are un-sure about 27.5 vs 29'er in the XC FS market. They offer a "2" in the XTC 27.5 hardtail. Also, there is no aluminum 29'er XTC. Read what they say about each bike. The 29'er SL Carbon is going to put you on the easy rolling fast track. The 27.5 is ultra efficient, ultra light and used by the pro's on fast courses. Bottom line, I think I'm as confused about their USA offerings as Giant is about what they want, and/or hope to end up offering in 2015.
#2) Taking a Leading role in chosing mtb wheel sizes in too drastic press communication and marketing direction. Being a huge bike company, it's disappointing that they suggest a direction of more 27.5 and minimizing 26" mtb bikes and reducing 29'ers. They have the power to influence and the market could move this way even though it's not ideal for many people. I for one prefer having a 29'er mostly due to it's smoother rolling. Also, 29'er rigid and/or hardtails are fine. Why shrink the wheels 2 inches? Most people haven't tried 650B bikes yet, so why announce such a strong commitment to not only offer their 27.5 bikes, but say they are planning for them to be the only option. If they are waiting for market response, it's risky because of course sales will shift to the 27.5 because people will be curious, or distracted by the shining latest "new" thing.
#3) If Giant says 27.5 bikes will be faster, I wonder how much back to back testing they really did on a variety of trails and what they actually found. It's going to be interesting to see more and more 27.5 racing against 29'ers and 26'ers. I for one will be watcing to see how they do overall. Of course it won't be scientific in that so many other variables will interfere, if the best or better riders chose a certain wheel size, their ability will be more determinant of their placing. Still, it will be interesting to watch just the same.
BTW.... We should really start calling 26'ers 26.5... which makes 27.5 bikes more visible for what they are. Only 1 inch taller diameter.
I am more than willing to demo a 650B or 27.5 bike. I am open to the wheel size being an excellent option, even possibly better than one or two of the already established wheels sizes for some, or many circumstances, but...I for one feel it's too early for a manufacturer to say 27.5 is the future for 99.9% of performance mtb's, be they xc, trail, am, freeride and downhill. 29'er will always offer an advantage in providing smoother rollover, and that alone is a huge benefit for hardtails, rigid bikes, and people who like the smoothest option.
2010 Glory custom FR
1. Look outside US market. There are 3-5 models in each series. Seems Giant US hasn't chosen all of them. Other Giants distributors might did that.
2. It's proves your point. They says 27,5" is better than 26", they push it and expect else to follow.
3. You can't check whether 27,5" is the best in real life, I am afraid, coz you will never have 2 identical runs. You can measure advantages and disadvantages in the lab and announce the results, but it will not be cycling.
its all very confused and way too early. Especially considering just last year they released the trance 29 with this nice bit of marketing where adam craig says 75% of the mountain biking population will be riding 29ers in the future
Originally Posted by morkys
Developing the Ultimate Trail Bike - YouTube
now its new marketing with some over-hyped wild claims about what 27.5 can actually do (roll over & contact patch etc etc) and talk of eliminating 29.
Giant Launches World's Most Extensive 27.5 Off-Road Line! - News | Giant Bicycles | Australia
personally i would never buy a 650b hardtail or short travel bike. Its ok for the pro's who can have multiple bikes (there are advantages to smaller wheels). But for a one or two bike person like me a 29er hardtail is a great option in terms of versatility. Its still super sharp in the tight stuff and has the added ability (despite what giant marketing says) of rolling over the rough stuff much better than a smaller wheel, be it 26 or 650b/27.5 (which is only marginally bigger than 26).
29'er will always offer an advantage in providing smoother rollover, and that alone is a huge benefit for hardtails, rigid bikes, and people who like the smoothest option.
My personal opinion on the issue is that everyone is jumping on 650b bandwagon and Giant have decided they dont want to miss it. This is leading to a lot of overhyped nonsense : talk of eliminating 29ers etc as the market takes off. They are just pumping the hell out of it. 26ers will go. Everyone on a 26 will find themselves on the b size because there is actually only a minor difference between the 2 (giant marketing aside). And because of this minor size difference its also very easy for bike manufacturers like giant to redesign their 26 bikes to fit the b size, another reason why they have quickly jumped on it. The dust will settle. And Giant can then get about redesigning their anthem 29 with shorter stays...and release a carbon trance 29 at the very least. 29er geometry takes a little bit more sorting and there are also a few things in afoot in the 29er market like 150mm travel enduros and taco blades etc. Giant is just sitting back and seeing what happens so they can make their move and copy everyone else regarding 29ers (they have never been huge on R&D). Otherwise, i will be buying another brand i guess. just my opinion. i could be wrong of course but doubt extremely that 29ers are going anywhere, especially in the short travel arena.
1 interesting observation. I wasn't aware the local country "distributor" has control over the model availability in their country. Giant is mostly self sold from what I know.
2 They are also hinting 27.5 is better than 29 "the acceleration is back and it's fun again" and the talk of not what wheel rolls fastest, but what bike is faster because of overall handling and wheel characteristics.
3 What is the best? The fastest? I am pretty sure you could prove which wheel is the fastest if you really wanted to. Anyhow, what is their reason for pushing 27.5 so hard now? Do they want to simplify to save money?
911holy$ thanks for the link. That is pretty much what I'm talking about. I feel a bit like I'm being fleeced. Previously 29'er was the future and today, 27.5 is the future. Ok, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt because they do say they will wait and see what the market does before deciding whether they further change their 29'er fleet. I hope 29'er FS XC and Trail/AM bikes are tried and compared to the 27.5 bikes enough that people can decide for themselves. Maybe I'll try a 29'er Trance and/or an even longer travel 26.5, 27.5 or 29'er bike too if I get the chance.
I think not offering certain models in the USA is retardedededed... especially if they really want the whole 27.5 thing to take off and assimilate the other wheel sizes.
Honestly I just want to be able to pick a frame color/design and have a choice of 3-4 build kits like just about everybody else does. What's so hard about that?
They offer certain models in one country and other models in other countries. i dont think any country gets all models. There are models released in the U.S that wont appear here. Id be more concerned/annoyed about U.S. pricing on some models vs say australian pricing, which can be much cheaper.
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