Demo - 2012 Giant XTC Composite 29er
Paul, our Giant rep, had the misfortune of breaking his collarbone while riding DH a couple weeks ago. He's been good enough to leave all of his bikes at the Farm for us to demo. I recently had a chance to get out on the new 2012 XTC Composite, a carbon 29er.
This build (SRAM X7 drivetrain, Giant wheels, Fox Float), while not light (26lbs), offers an inexpensive entry into the cabon game. We'll have them at the Farm in the next month or so, and I think they'll retail around $2500.
The first thing I noticed on the ride was the frame stiffness, due largely to the massive downtube and bottom bracket cluster. It's noticeably stiffer and smoother than the 2011 XTC 1 alloy frame.
The compact frame and low front end made for pretty good handling. Overall, I think it'll be a good XC bike, particularly if you're racing. A lighter set of wheels would really round out the package.