Giant's XTC has entered the mountain bike gram war.
This new 29er cross-country racing hardtail has been significantly re-engineered and is now the lightest mountain bike frame that Giant have ever produced.
Rolling 29er wheels and featuring 100mm of front fork travel, the XTC is a dedicated off-road race bike where weight counts for more than anything else.
Giant’s engineers were desperate to produce a frame which is below the 1kg barrier and with the Advanced SL and Advanced grade XTCs, they have accomplished that.
The XTC Advanced SL frame weighs only 920g and the Advanced version, 995g. Not the lightest frames available, but they do position Giant in a niche of brands which now offer a sub-1kg mountain bike frame.
In terms of appearance the new frame features completely redesigned seat stays, which now meet the seat tube at a much lower point. Giant says that these new stays have the benefit of allowing greater tyre clearance (up to 2.8-inch wide 29er rubber) and improved rear triangle stiffness, which should yield superior power transfer.
Another engineering change is the XTC’s seatpost diameter, with Giant choosing to enlarge it from 27.2mm to 30.9mm. This adaptation is to allow riders who are committed technical course XCO racers, the ability to run a broad spectrum of dropper seatpost options.
Geometry upgrades are very slight, with half a degree shaved off the head angle and 8 per cent more reach added to each frame size.
With a range spanning five derivatives the 2020 XTC offers a specification grade for every budget and rider. The entry-level Giant XTC Advanced+ rolls wide 2.8-inch tyres and is fitted with a factory dropper seatpost.
Those seeking the ultra-lightweight Advanced SL XTC will require a budget of £7999. For that price you get a SRAM Eagle XX1 AXS drivetrain, RockShox SID Ultimate DebonAir fork and Giant’s own XCR-0 29 carbon wheels.