As they often say, when it rains, it pours. Fortunately though, this has nothing to do with rain, and in fact rain usually puts a damper on mountain biking fun, so maybe that’s not the best expression for this instance. Whatever the case may be, Giant has another carbon 29’er hardtail to add to the barrage of new bikes from Santa Cruz and Kona that we have already covered this week.

The Giant XtC Carbon is of course the newest addition to Giant’s big wheel line up, and one that should have XC racers and aggressive riders excited with prospect of another light, stiff, fast 29’er to possibly throw a leg over. After Giant team riders like Carl Decker approached Giant looking for a light, fast 29’er that didn’t “suffer from some of the weaknesses people usually associate with 29’ers,” (their words, not mine) Giant set out to build what they thought would be the ultimate Carbon 29’er.

The result? The Giant XtC Carbon 29.

Roll past the break to see the 2 new models, and check out the full Press Release!

From Giant:

Following last year’s successful launch of the Anthem X 29er full-suspension XC bike, Giant is introducing an all-new 29er bike for competitive XC racing and riding: the XtC Composite 29er.

Developed with input from Giant Factory Team Off-Road Team rider Carl Decker, the XtC Composite 29er is a hardtail featuring a host of innovative technologies that sets it apart from the competition. One look at the radically engineered Composite frameset reveals some innovative new thinking in the quest to produce a lightweight, race-ready, 29-inch-wheel hardtail.

“Riders told us they wanted a lightweight 29er that addresses some of the weaknesses people usually associate with 29-inch-wheel bikes,” said Giant Global Off-Road Category Manager Kevin Dana. “With our experience and capabilities in composite engineering, Giant has been able to come up with some unique design solutions to best meet those demands.”

The massive MegaDrive downtube reveals one of the frame’s most distinctive features: asymmetrical design. The tube itself is offset to in order to maximize stiffness, especially in the bottom bracket area, which uses Giant’s PowerCore technology for maximum pedaling efficiency. Press-fit bottom bracket cups minimize weight, and extra-wide chainstays, which are also asymmetrically shaped, provide optimal power transfer and ample rear tire clearance.

The XtC Composite 29er frameset also incorporates Giant’s OverDrive tapered headtube (1 1/8-inch top, 1 ½-inch bottom) for front-end stiffness and sharp steering. Together, all of these features result in a frame that’s light and stiff enough to race but with improved vertical compliance and handling characteristics that make it ideal for technical XC trails and marathon distances.

“I went to Giant with some of the things I wanted improved that have historically been weaknesses of 29ers,” said Decker, who won the Downieville All- Mountain World Championship last year on Giant’s Anthem X 29er full- suspension bike. “I wanted precise steering. I wanted it to be stiff in the bottom bracket and to accelerate with tenacity. I asked for a better race bike, and Giant came through.”

Giant is releasing two models, the XtC Composite 29er 0 and the XtC Composite 29er 1, in the U.S. market first. Both are arriving at Giant
retailers now. For more information, visit your local Giant shop or go to

XtC Composite 0

Key Upgrades (Over xtc Composite 29 1):

• Fox F29 FIT RLC with QR15 through axle, tapered-steerer suspension fork
• SRAM X.9/X.0 components
• Giant Contact seatpost, stem and handlebar
• Giant P-XC29 2 rim/Giant Tracker (15mm) front hub/ Tracker rear hub, wheelset

XtC Composite 1


• Fox F29 RL with QR15 through-axle suspension fork
• SRAM X.7 components
• Giant Connect seatpost and stem
• Giant S-XC29 2 rim/Shimano and Giant Tracker (15mm) hubs, wheelset


  1. Wow. A carbon 29″ HT. Awesome. It is sort of black, has two big wheels, all the parts that other bikes have as well and whatnot. Who would have though. Amazing.

  2. well since “giant” opened the door on this one…….what are the weakness of a 29er?

    long chainstays, heavier wheels, slack headtube angle, higher gearing. did giant resolve any of these issues? NO.

    so what did they fix?

    sorry for being unsatisfied with new products that are many years behind the times and claiming to be more.

  3. I’ve had one of the pre-production models in my hands. INCREDIBLE frame! It has the most massive downtube and bottom bracket I’ve ever seen on any bike. Stomp on the pedals and it just wants to get up and go. The front end is stiff and responsive with the tapered fork and 15mm hub. 29er heaven.

  4. olicanracer,

    You should try a 29er, if you haven’t. It’s not going to replace your FS bike, but compared to a 26′ HT, no comparison; the 29er is much, much better.
    As for weight, I have my bike down to 19.7 lbs, and the wheelset (Stan’s crest) came at about 1400 g.

  5. I agree with oilcancer. You know what… maybe, just maybe…. if I get stronger, lighter I could ride better… maybe is not the bike….. oh! that crazy! new bike it is!!!!! =D

  6. Wow, very nice bike for an even nicer price..

    Don’t understand that people are so negative about these 29’ers, i’ve ridden the superfly elite last saturday and rode a full minute of my ps at a local 5km trail here. The bike wasn’t even completely adjusted for me, so i think they really are faster.

    This bike has some very nice new technologies, like the a-symmatric downtube. The only thing i have my doubts about is the steep headtube angle.. In theory this bike should be pretty nervous.

    Hope they will release this bike in Europe soon.

  7. This is my next bike. The XTC Composite 29er 1 is $2500 with X.7 and Elixir with a Fox front fork. That price is better than a lot of aluminum 29ers.

    And it doesn’t look last gen compared to some of the other 29ers this week. The asymmetrical downtube and stays, BB30, tapered head tube. What else is there?

  8. bluebellknoll,

    been racing 29ers for many many years now. see blog.

    22 lbs. jet9, 17 lbs. single speed…….both with edge wheelsets.

    its not a 29er/26″ issue. its manufactures making big claims in a market already saturated with the same product, many who are made in the same few factories.

  9. @Keunes
    the issue i have with the 29er market, not the 29 inch wheels them selves.
    Generally about every single 29er to come out this year claims its fast and climbs like you have angels wings.
    In some cases yes the 29er can be faster than a traditional 26 bike, but its harder to ride technical stuff and the HT ones like this don’t descend all that well.

    As a college racer something like a 26 Epic like I have is just smarter, it’s full suspension, reasonably light, stiffer, wheels/wheel parts are easy to get and cheep, everything is stronger, argessive enough to climb and descend, and lets face it a 26 can ride anything a 29er can and more. In my income bracket, of very very little money, if i can only have one god mtn bike its going to a full suspension 26, not a carbon HT 29er.

  10. @fleche

    It’s not completely true what you are telling here.. a fully 26er frame is in almost every case not stronger and certainly not lighter.. I haven’t seen a normal fully frame under 1400 grams.. About the money thing, a fully needs a lot more service and care. All of the bearings, rear sus, joints must be serviced and ive there are some major issues you need to have a big wallet..

    There are also several tests that conclude that bigger wheels are better for taking obstacles and so the comfort is also greater. The technology that goes into the rear triangle of the frame is with this 29er, and a lot of other brands too, the same as a 26er.. In cornering i think you’r right, but the steering is with these oversized parts so precise that i think there won’t be a lot of difference.. Especially ive you compare it with an old RS sid for example.. I think the trails that people are riding makes the decision what bike it’s gonne be.. i live in Holland and everything is pretty flat here, the choice is very simple for me..

    I think the composite 29er set up of giant has one of the best set ups for getting rid of some 29er problems that other big brands didn’t even take on..

  11. Quote “Following last year’s successful launch of the Anthem X 29er full-suspension XC bike”…. LOL !!! What are you smoking ??? Giant had ALL sorts of issues with the release of that bike !!! Before you spew Giant’s marketing crap actually talk to someone before you post this stuff !

  12. @SkyHawk Yes, I know they had recalls and issues with the Anthem X 29. However, that was part of Giant’s own press release (which I stated twice).

  13. @keunes

    “a fully 26er frame is in almost every case not stronger and certainly not lighter”
    than a hard tail? no its not at all, more road frame is stiff, but you can hardly tell about stiffness in bike with suspension and for that matter there is to much going on when riding trails to really know about how stiff a frame is, atleast on this website. The tires in most bikes now are run at low pressures, that wont provide a stiff feel even in that bike. I have never really had an issue rolling over any objects, maybe because i actually learned to handle a bike well.Weighing under 1400 grams in the frame is a small issue here can you really tell me that you personally on this lighter frame will have that much of an edge over another guy with HT 29 that is heavier? Most of the weight you feel when pushing the pedals is in the wheels and drive train not the frame, that’s why people talk about wheels that spin up slow as slowing the bike down. Besides, with the brain on my bike, my real travel gets locked out when I’m climbing up stuff, and the tech of a 29er frame may be the same, but things are longer thus every hit to that wheels provides that much more leverage against the frame than a 26 will.

  14. We saw an example of this bike in our shop a few weeks back. They certainly are thinking ouf of the box on this one. This is not just another cookie cutter carbon 29er. They are however missing the boat on the wheels since they are not tubeless.

What do you think?