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(Last updated on February 7th, 2023)
On the hunt for a new mountain bike or looking to upgrade your current setup? The world’s largest bike manufacturer, Giant Bicycles, has a wide range of options available at different price points. With so many models to choose from, I’ve selected the best Giant mountain bikes for sale in 2023 to help narrow your search. This comprehensive guide details the specs of each MTB and includes tips on finding your perfect trail machine.
How I Selected the Best Models
Giant stands out from the pack as the largest brand in the industry and consistently makes some of the highest-quality bikes for pros and recreational riders alike. The brand’s huge scale and in-house production of parts help Giant offer many of its models at competitive prices appropriate for even the tightest of budgets. To aid your browsing, I’ve picked out 7 Giant mountain bikes with exceptional value for the money.
I finalized my selection and gave ratings to each model according to the following criteria:
Performance: The best MTBs have name-brand suspension systems, 1x drivetrains, hydraulic brakes, and aggressive geometry to increase speed and control out on the trails.
Durability: High-quality frames and components have to stand up to the bumps and bruises that are all-so-common in mountain biking.
Price: There are great bikes available for every budget, it’s only a question of which package has the most bang for the buck.
Compare the Best Giant Mountain Bikes at a Glance
Check out this cool footage of the Trance 29 in action!
Enjoy this bike check on the Anthem Advanced mountain bike!
Giant is the high-volume bike manufacturer in the world so it makes sense that there’s an extensive range of mountain bikes to choose from. Unlike smaller, high-end brands like Santa Cruz or Kona, Giant typically offers a couple of models per category with different specs or price points. This variety is great for the consumer but can make the search feel overwhelming.
This Giant mountain bike buyers’ guide shares tips for narrowing down the selection of bikes that are perfect for you. Keep reading to find out how to choose the right bike, frame size, and components to send your ride into the stratosphere.
Mountain bikes are classified according to the discipline they are best suited for. The most popular categories include cross-country (XC), trail, enduro, and downhill. Depending on where you ride the most frequently, you can browse bikes that match your riding style. This automatically limits your search to models that have appropriate specs for your preferred terrain, albeit there are many other factors to consider.
Now it’s time to settle that age-old debate that’s been around as long as… well, full-suspension bikes: hardtail vs. full-suspension. Hardtail mountain bikes have a rigid rear end and are more efficient on climbs and over light terrain. They come equipped with front suspension forks that typically offer around 100-130mm of travel to soak up the bumps and bruises you’ll find on the trail. If you ride fast XC circuits or alternate between lighter conditions such as dirt, singletrack, and gravel, a hardtail is for you.
Full-suspension bikes can handle hard-hitter terrain thanks to their rear shock. Rear shocks vary in travel length from a minuscule 60mm for cross-country racers up to 200mm+ on downhill machines. Trail, enduro, and downhill bikes come equipped with both a front suspension fork and rear shock— either an air spring or coil. If you want to be able to ride the entire mountain and smash steep descents, a full-suspension setup is the right choice.
While it’s old news for most, some veteran riders getting back into mountain biking may be surprised at the extensive wheel options available on modern MTBs. Long gone are 26” wheels on adult models— the most popular wheel sizes are 27.5” and 29”.
27.5” wheels offer more nimble steering and maneuverability in technical spots, resulting in a playful ride experience. The smaller diameter than 29” means the rear wheel can whip around a bit easier and take tighter corners. More capable than 26” rims and snappier than 29” hoops, many trail riders consider 27.5” wheels to be the all-rounder option.
A large 29” wheel diameter has a shallower angle of attack which means they can roll over obstacles better. 29” wheels are popular choices in XC racing where speed is key as well as enduro and downhill disciplines. If you seek out the steepest and chunkiest zones of your local trails, 29” rims provide unparalleled stability and pace.
Carbon vs. Alloy
Many Giant mountain frames are available in both carbon fiber and alloy versions. It seems as if every year the cycling industry swings its vote on which material is the best value. However, if one thing is true, it’s that modern manufacturing has made high-quality frames more accessible than ever, regardless of the material.
The heir to heavier steel tubing, aluminum alloy frames are durable and a great value for the money. They can be repaired in the case of a deep scratch or dent and are increasingly lightweight. Alloy frames outfit tons of Giant bikes from budget models all the way up to upper-mid-range MTBs. For riders wanting the most bang for their buck, alloy frames never disappoint.
Carbon fiber technology continues to reach new heights and achieve shocking levels of low weight, compliance, and stiffness. All this tech, however, comes at a premium and carbon frames will cost significantly more than their aluminum counterparts. That said, there are some moderately priced models available. If you are a dedicated racer or gram-saving cyclist, carbon fiber is a no-brainer if you can spare the cash.
Each of the models selected for this roundup has a 1x drivetrain and I highly recommend going front-derailleur-free on your next mountain bike. Drivetrain quality is reflected in the overall price of the bike, so if you want to squeeze in 11 or 12 gears on your rear cassette, expect to pay a bit more. That said, this modern tech is for everyone— even the affordable Giant Talon 1 comes with an excellent 1×10-speed drivetrain.
The highest-end mountain bikes arrive with electronic shifting, meaning there are no mechanical cables connecting the handlebar shifter and rear derailleur. The drivetrain is controlled by a Bluetooth controller and delivers precise shifting each and every time. While not a mountain bike, I recently tested the Canyon Grail with SRAM Rival eTap electronic shifting. Needless to say, I was blown away and it was hard to return to mechanical shifting on my road bike.
Accessories: Add-Ons or Dealbreakers?
When it comes down to the final decision, you may be swayed by certain accessories included on some models that aren’t installed on other MTBs. Keep in mind some accessories look amazing but won’t affect your ride so much. I’ll eat my own words, though— things like dropper posts, adjustable geometry and suspension, or tire clearance can make a huge difference to riders who will take advantage of them.
Reflect on the riding you already do and the type of riding you’d like to do more of in the future to see if the smaller details are worth it. Remember you can always purchase upgrades and additional accessories later— the most important is selecting a bike that you love the feel of and one that’s capable of matching your abilities and beyond!
Pick the Right Size for You
Riding the correct mountain bike frame size is key to getting the most out of your chosen bike and your own abilities. Frames that are too small can feel inefficient and twitchy whereas bikes that are too large can stretch the rider in an uncomfortable position. Everyone has different bodies and preferences, so it’s a great idea to hop on a few bikes and test them out.
I’ve included a mountain bike size chart so you can get a good idea of where to start. The chart below is specially designed for Giant mountain bikes and their own sizing system. For an even more accurate suggestion for a bike you are interested in, you can view Giant’s model-specific size charts on their website.