Having owned one for 3 years, I can truthfully say that this is alot of bike 4 the money. For a start there is the aluminium frame - no disc brake mount, but on a £280 bike, this frame is super light (4lbs ish)! The frame is exceptionally responsive, and is light enough to chuck about. The stiff rear end means that acceleration is extremely sharp! Ontop of this, the level of componentry my machine was specced with was great. 21 speed sti shifers allowed me to jump around the gears no problem! In another review of this bike, I've heard the reviewer complaining about rusty cables. I've had no such problem, as I regularily use a teflon based wax lubricant to shed water from my wires. My only gripe is with the forks. They are the major let down to this otherwise exceptional bike. If I were to buy this again, I would go for the fully rigid model. The forks specced on this machine are not up to all of the hype and press they receive. They are heavy, and have no rebound damping, which means pogo-stick action and no control. They also flex loads under weight which can be rather unnerving! My advice, buy the rigid machine and by some chocolate with your spare cash!
The GIANT "Boulder Shock" This is a 21 speed, aluminium framed bike with front suspension. I have owned the bike for approx 18 months & use it for several purposes, ie; home to work, 7 1/2 miles each way using tarmac roads and well surfaced cycle track. The Giant has also propelled me during a few low key cycle events ranging from 15 - 21 miles & last September, 2000 I returned to the North East after travelling from Edinburgh along the "Coast & Castles" route. In day to day use, this is a more than adequate machine with smooth gear changing & effective brakes. The suspension is useful but I am a little old fashioned & reckon the only time it was of use was negotiating the Keilder forest tracks on a hot day lest September; I still think suspension is largly a gimic but I"m not complaining. The only complaints so far are these; Exposed brake & gear cables, they corrode no matter what you lubricate them with or how often & so need changing every year, this is of course not restricted to Giant bikes. I found the seat uncomfortable & on attempting to remove it 3 months after purchase, it had well & truly seized!!!! I have made do to till now but I now face the decision, do I get my local bike shop to rempve it with some heat-seeking device? or use coca cola! However thats my problem, I have put lots of goodies on the bike including a rear rack & it copes well with whatever I ask of it. For the price, this seems like a good choice for workers on a budget like me but one piece of advice; before you sell your old machine for pennies, keep it & use it for winter & leave the Giant in hibernation. For the potential purchaser of this model, I would add a few facts which may be of benefit. Both front & rear wheels come with a quick release hub,& front & rear derailleur gears. RAPIDFIRE ST-MO60 Shift system. The novel
method of changing down 2 gears at a time due to the quick shift system adds a little extra smartie point & comes in really useful when your speeding merrily down a hill, turn a bend, & are suddenly faced with an incline right up front & the bikes in a high gear! The braking system consists of Shimano Cantilever front & back. As previously mentioned, the front forks have a suspension set which works more than adequately, to date I"ve had no problems(touch wood) The bike comes with its own service manual but Giant recommends some bits such as the gears are best adjusted by a Giant dealer(suits me fine?) The Giant frame comes with a 10 years warranty with the other bits a 1 year. ps; The Service book is also written in French,German,Italian & Dutch.