Giant Bicycles

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Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
Type Public
Traded as TWSE: 9921
Industry Bicycle manufacturing
Founded Dajia, Taiwan 1972
Founder(s) King Liu 劉金標
Headquarters Dajia District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Products Bicycles
Revenue USD 1.8 billion (2012)[1]
Website www.giant-bicycles.com
A Giant head badge
A Giant TCX Cyclocross

Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Chinese: 巨大機械工業股份有限公司, commonly known as 捷安特) is a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer which is recognized as the world's largest bicycle manufacturer.[2] Giant has manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, Netherlands, and China.

History[edit]

Giant was established in 1972 in Dajia, Taichung County (now part of Taichung City), by King Liu and several friends. A major breakthrough came in 1977 when Giant’s chief executive, Tony Lo, negotiated a deal with Schwinn to begin manufacturing bikes as an OEM, manufacturing bicycles to be sold exclusively under other brand names, as a private label. As bike sales leapt in the US, and after workers at the Schwinn plant in Chicago went on strike in 1980, Giant became a key supplier, making more than two-thirds of Schwinn’s bikes by the mid-1980s, representing 75% of Giant’s sales. When Schwinn decided to find a new source, and in 1987 signed a contract with China Bicycle Company to make bikes in Shenzhen, Giant, under new president Bill Austin, established its own brand of bicycles to compete in the rapidly expanding $200-and-above price range. In 1986, Giant also set up a joint venture 'Giant Europe' with Dutch race cycle pioneer Koga-Miyata from Andries Gaastra.[3] In 1992 Giant became full shareholder of Giant Europe.

By 2014, Giant had sales in over 50 countries, in over 12,000 [4] retail stores. In 2007, its global sales surpassed 5 million bicycles and $820 million USD in global revenues, and by 2012 it had reached 6.3 million bicycles and revenues of $1.8 billion.[1]

Timeline[edit]

Models[edit]

Giant Halfway
The bike that Alexander Vinokourov used at the 2005 Tour de France

Giant currently categorises its bikes in seven groups:

  • Road - Training, advanced and professional road bikes are included in this group.
  • Mountain - Includes bikes for various riding styles. From casual single track to race specific downhill bikes.
  • Comfort - A range of casual city bikes.
  • Mode - Bikes designed for youth teens.
  • Indoor Cycling - Indoor fitness bikes.
  • Family Cycling - Bikes designed for children.
  • Speciality - HALFWAY and the CLIP are the only bikes in this folding bike group.

Sloping innovation[edit]

In 1995, Giant designed the first sloping bicycle featuring a smaller rear triangle and sloping top tube. The tighter chainstay/seatstay configuration is said to be inherently stiffer than a more conventional frame design, and because less material is used, the Compact Road design is also said to be lighter. Add to that more responsive cornering and improved acceleration, as well as improved aerodynamics, and the Giant design became much imitated.

By 1998, with Mike Burrows refined the design for racing by the professional ONCE team. This was only after initial resistance by the Union Cycliste Internationale and subsequent amendment to its regulations to allow for bicycles with a sloping top tube.

The Giant frames were originally made of 6061 (ALUXX) aluminium alloy and were also characterised by bladed forks and seat posts to reduce air resistance. Frames came in 3 sizes (Small, Medium and Large) with riders fitted through the use of stems and seatposts of different lengths. Another Mike Burrows innovation that featured on the original TCR bikes included a height adjustable stem, later removed from road racing bicycles due to flex under heavy load.

In 2003, the TCR frame was offered in carbon fibre construction and marketed as the TCR Composite range. In 2006, Giant added a higher-grade carbon fibre frame marketed as the TCR Advanced frame, which was characterised by an integrated seat post (ISP). These frames were most notably raced at the Tour de France as the pink and black chariots of the professional team, T-Mobile. Using this design the seatpost on a new frame must be cut precisely to fit the owner by a trained Giant dealer. In 2010, the TCR frames with ISP continue to be raced internationally, most notably by the Rabobank team.

In terms of other innovations, Giant also introduced its Maestro suspension in 2006. Maestro Suspension, according to Giant, is designed to deliver an efficient rear suspension power transfer. Maestro utilizes a set-up of four pivot points and two linkages to create a floating pivot point which is designed to reduce pedal bob and enables the rear wheel to travel vertically.

Bike Models[edit]

Road Bikes:

  • Propel Advanced (Aero Race series)
  • Propel Advanced
  • TCR Advanced SL (Race Series)
  • TCR Advanced
  • TCR Composite
  • TCR SLR
  • TCR
  • TCR 2R (1999 model)
  • Defy Advanced SL (Endurance series)
  • Defy Advanced
  • Defy Composite
  • Defy
  • Trinity Advanced SL (Time-trial/triathlon specific bikes)
  • Trinity Advanced
  • Omnium (Track bike)

Cyclocross:

  • TCX Advanced
  • TCX SLR
  • Revolt (Endurance)
  • Anyroad (Sport series)

Mountain Bikes:

  • Talon (Hardtail Cross Country)
  • Rincon
  • Revel
  • Yukon
  • Yukon FX
  • Brass
  • STP
  • XTC Advanced SL (Hardtail Cross Country Race)
  • XTC Advanced
  • XTC
  • Anthem Advanced (Full suspension bikes)
  • Anthem
  • Anthem X Advanced
  • Anthem X
  • Trance Advanced (Full suspension trail)
  • Trance
  • Trance X
  • Trance SX
  • Reign
  • Reign X
  • Stance (Full suspension trail)
  • Faith
  • Glory (Downhill)

Hybrid Bikes:

  • Tran Send
  • Rapid
  • Roam
  • ATX
  • ARX
  • Great Journey
  • Snap
  • Sedona
  • Anyroad

Comfort Bikes:

  • Escape
  • Via
  • Cypress
  • Suede
  • Rapid
  • Seek
  • Chiron

Cruiser Bikes:

  • Simple Single
  • Simple Seven

BMX Bikes:

  • GFR
  • Method

Kids Bikes:

  • Gloss
  • Bella
  • Moda
  • Animator
  • Pudd'n
  • jelapusy
  • munchkin
  • bumper
  • legityo
  • XTC jr

Competitions[edit]

Giant currently sponsors international cycling teams. The most famous are Giant-Shimano team and the Global Giant Mountain Bike Team, as well as many national teams.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]