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2010 Glory build, w/pics...

Natedog

Monkey
Nov 8, 2003
210
0
Ventura, Ca
Here is a very brief first ride review of the glory. I apologize if it's not magazine quality but I haven't had much time on it, or much time to type out this review. I will do a more thorough review in the coming weeks after I have some more riding on it, and on more varied terrain. But here is the start of it:



Okay, so I figured it’s time for the review, and post of the 2010 Glory after having some ride time on it. So I can actually vouch for the bike, it’s numbers and actually have some meaningful insight on how it rides. Not a second hand story from a racer how it rides, and using it as my own. So first things first. The new frame…

The new Frame is a lot lighter than the previous generation (The result is a unbelievable 1.5kg (3.3lb, or 26.8 percent) weight loss). So that being said the results are very noticeable, first visually. Gone is the pierced downtube, square tubing and overbuilt front end. Some of the features that carried over are the tapered headtube (first in a production bike, make note) ISCG ’03 tabs, and of course the Maestro suspension design. The rear end of the bike has been reworked a bit and also went on the weight loss program, but didn’t lose any stiffness. The dropouts and axle have been lightened and optomized for weight savings. This bike will not have the dropout options of the previous model (standard, Saint, and Maxle) it only utilizes a 12mm thru-axle. The front end features some of Giant’s new hydro forming abilities and that is how most of the weight savings occurred. It allowed us to no longer have to use the big, overbuilt tubes to make the bike be stiff and strong. The new frame also uses a “co-pivot” design with the Maestro links, having the lower eyelet of the shock function as the pivot point as well, nothing new to the industry, but new to this bike. The frame is light! As I posted before my Frame ( a production Med Frame (w/axle, seat collar, headset cups (no bearings), and DHX RC4 w/ steel spring) - 9.125lbs or 4139 grams.

And the numbers for my bike are as follows:
Ha - 64.5/65 (with my fork set at 8.3” from lip seal to the bottom of the crown)
BB – 14.1”
WB – 45.6”
HT – 4.5”
Bar Height – 42” (with Sunline Direct mount stem, 19mm rise bars, and 25mm of spacers under the crown)

Here is the parts spec

’10 Fox 40 Fit RC2
’10 Fox DHX RC4
Sunline Direct mount stem
Sunline VS One 19mm rise bar
Avid Elixir CR Brakes
Sram X0 Shifter (modified thumb lever)
Giant proto grips
Giant Connect SL seatpost
Fizik Tundra Saddle (mag rails)
Shimao Saint Cranks
EThirteen Guide ring – 36T
EThirteen SRS + Guide
Sram X9 Shortcage der.
Sram PG-950 Cassette (12-26)
Shimano Saint Hubs on Mavic 721 Rims
Brand S tires – 2.5 Front and Rear








That being said it’s time for a little review. So I was panic building this bike to get it together for the race at Mammoth Mountain this past weekend. So the idea of testing it a little and trying to get settings dialed before the race flew out the window. I used my base settings on my old fork to carryover onto this new Fit cartridge fork, and took some base tuning numbers from Jared’s bike on the rear shock. SO it would have to work to get me going for the beginning of the week anyway. So off we went.

Fork – I don’t know if any of you guys have ridden this new fork, but it is damn good. I have ridden Fox forks on my DH bikes for the past 2 seasons and I have been pretty satisfied with them. As you all already know they are incredibly stiff, and handle everything quite well. My only gripe with my old fork (MY’08) was that the compression circuits weren’t isolated enough. They have seemed to have fix that, and now the circuits seem to run fully independent of each other. The low speed compression adjustments seem to have a bit more range than before and hold the fork up in it’s travel a lot better than the previous models I’ve ridden without totally sacrificing small bump compliance (like the older fork I have). Needless to say it worked well. Mammoth didn’t have a whole lot of steep terrain to try it out on, but it worked wonders coming into chopped out, braking bump filled corners without diving through its travel.

Frame/Shock – So this new bikes doesn’t ride much like the old bike….at all. But not in a bad way. The boys here did an amazing job tweaking this bike to make it a true race machine (aside from the obvious head angle banter that will shortly ensue). The frame also has a slightly roomier cockpit than the previous mediums, and that was a welcome addition for me. I was always caught in between sizes (I’m 5’10” ish) and now I feel like a medium really is the right size for me. The bike is very stable at speed, despite the “steep” head angle, it never feels skitter, twitchy or unsettled. Italso feels so light and nimble compared to the Glory of old. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with its weight loss, I have a similarly spec’d older glory that weighs in at 42 (w/a ti spring) and this new bike is a whole 4 pounds lighter! The bike pedals better than ever, is super snappy out of corners (compare to a Sunday with a well tuned shock) and still seems to never be short on travel (even though it has .8” less travel than the previous bike). I definitely tried out the suspension on a few trails coming into things blind and not finding the smoothest of lines, it sucks everything up and seems to accelerate through long rough sections (mid sized hits). It could partly be helped out by the new shock. The RC4 is the best shock I’ve ridden yet (no paid, or free parts here to say that!! I promise). It is really amazing. The damping circuit is much like the fork. It has a large range of adjustment, and you can really feel them work as you tune them to the track that you are on. Some of the previous rear shocks have fallen a little bit short on the working adjustment department, and this does not fit into that category at all. There is absolutely no fade with this bad boy either, the increased oil volume shows, with consistent damping down long rough trails (10mins).

Many of the other parts have already been reviewed on here before, so I don’t feel the need to go into any depth with that. But I will say everything worked amazingly! The brakes are as strong as I think I’d ever need, and they modulate really well.

Thanks to the guys at Giant for getting me on the bike for Mammoth, Jon C. over at Sram, Fitzy at Fox, Jonas at Ethirteen and J at Sunline for getting the parts here in time for me to get some ride time on it. I know I was a pain in the ass..

More thorough review coming soon.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,988
542
Warsaw :/
Nice review and nice build/bike. I don't know if it's the photos but contrary to what you say the bike seems really cramped/stumpy (looks like the picture was narrowed though I know it wasn't). Still congrats on the ride. Sick bike for sure.
 

RMboy

Monkey
Dec 1, 2006
879
0
England the Great...
Cheers for the review bud

Nice to see some one telling how it is after they have actually ridden it.! not after there friends friends grandma rode it..:-)

Im very tempted with one. Saw it at eurobike and it all seemed to look great and well thought out. Cable routing cold be better but still good.
 

Banshee Rider

Turbo Monkey
Jul 31, 2003
1,456
10
I'm super excited to get mine! The site is still saying you can run the sram maxle though? Is that a misprint, or are you possibly just mistaken that it wont work?

EXTRAS: Seat collar, shock pump, replaceable 12mm dropouts (includes standard, Shimano Saint, SRAM Maxle)
 

dagmz6s

Monkey
Jan 12, 2008
200
0
Merion, PA
I am definitely down to 2 bikes for 2010, this and the TR450. Thanks for the review.

do you have any time on a 2010 Boxxer Team and if so how would you compare the new 2010 40 to it?
 

AEvans

Chimp
May 22, 2009
23
0
I asked these questions before but was overlooked.

Can you run the shock with the piggy back at the 'bottom' (closer to bb) to minimise unsprung mass? Or is there not enough room?

What would the bike be like with a shorter (5mm?) shock?

thanks.
 

Natedog

Monkey
Nov 8, 2003
210
0
Ventura, Ca
I asked these questions before but was overlooked.

Can you run the shock with the piggy back at the 'bottom' (closer to bb) to minimise unsprung mass? Or is there not enough room?

What would the bike be like with a shorter (5mm?) shock?

thanks.
With the RC4 you cannot run it "upside-down" for less unsprung weight, the shock hits the downtube. I was told that the difference in unsprung mass on the old DHX was only 25 grams. How much truth that has I'm not too sure, but that is some hear-say

As far as running wiht a 5mm shorter shock, your guess is as good as mine. I don't have the tools necessary or the steady hands to pull of a procedure like that. I'm sure there is some formula you can use to give you the projected geaometry for a shock with that setup.
 

frango

Turbo Monkey
Jun 13, 2007
1,456
5
Good review, Nate!
I have been trying hard to get Manitou Evolver ISX-6 Insintric as a second shock for the new Glory... but it seems it doesn't make sense :D
I will try to get some light Ti spring, instead :)
My frame should arrive at the beggining of October.
I already have got:
fork,
1,5-1,125" headset,
wheels,
crank arms,
chainring,
chain,
pedals,
h-bar,
grips,
chain device.

Waiting for:
rear der,
shifter,
seat post and stem,
brakes,
saddle
and tires :)
I should be able to build it in the first half of October :)
I count on warm and dry autumn ;)

BTW, Nate, what was the weight of your complete bike?
 
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Natedog

Monkey
Nov 8, 2003
210
0
Ventura, Ca
are you saying that even you think it's a bit steep for your riding style?
It doesn't feel too steep to me, but with everyone thinking that because Sam, Rennie, Barel and a few others run 63 degreee headangles that it should be the norm. When in reality only 5-10% of the people who think that those angles are amazing can really ride to the level where those geometries are advantageous.
 

Kanye West

220# bag of hacktastic
Aug 31, 2006
3,489
224
It has to do more with the terrain you ride than anything else. Steep trails almost require slack head angles no matter what the skill level.
 

Natedog

Monkey
Nov 8, 2003
210
0
Ventura, Ca
It has to do more with the terrain you ride than anything else. Steep trails almost require slack head angles no matter what the skill level.
True to some extent...It makes riding extremely steep stuff easier, I do agree. But not all tracks, in fact most tracks here in the states are not ultra steep. This HA works really really well for most of the riding spots across the country (I know someone and their buddies ride trails that are as steep as Champery, and anything steeper than 64 is unnacceptable). I'm no pro, but this bike felt stable on everything I rode at Mammoth, super fast, steep, technical, rough, smooth etc... never once felt twitchy, unstable or sketchy. This is no smoke blowing act. I have ridden alot of bikes, and this bike actually performs.
 

gemini2k

Turbo Monkey
Jul 31, 2005
3,531
116
San Francisco
True to some extent...It makes riding extremely steep stuff easier, I do agree. But not all tracks, in fact most tracks here in the states are not ultra steep. This HA works really really well for most of the riding spots across the country (I know someone and their buddies ride trails that are as steep as Champery, and anything steeper than 64 is unnacceptable). I'm no pro, but this bike felt stable on everything I rode at Mammoth, super fast, steep, technical, rough, smooth etc... never once felt twitchy, unstable or sketchy. This is no smoke blowing act. I have ridden alot of bikes, and this bike actually performs.
It's not really about feeling "stable", but MORE stable. The slacker the bike is, (ceterus peribus) the more stable it will feel at speed and on steeps. But like everything else, its a tradeoff. It's just that the "equilibrium" in current DH bike design seems to be too far to the steep side because it feels better in parking lot tests and to beginners a slack bike just feels sluggish and difficult to maneuver.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,988
542
Warsaw :/
It's not really about feeling "stable", but MORE stable. The slacker the bike is, (ceterus peribus) the more stable it will feel at speed and on steeps. But like everything else, its a tradeoff. It's just that the "equilibrium" in current DH bike design seems to be too far to the steep side because it feels better in parking lot tests and to beginners a slack bike just feels sluggish and difficult to maneuver.
Word.
 

A.P

Monkey
Nov 21, 2005
423
0
boston
The whole slack head-angle thing is just like when wider handlebars and custom extensions started popping up...at first the skeptics were convinced that wider handlebars were only for the fastest of worldcup racers or huge dudes like rennie or peat.

Turns out wider bars are simply a better bio-mechanical interface for modern dh bikes for people of nearly every ability...not just for 6'4'' worldcup racers.

Im not saying that your average grom/beginner/girl should go out and buy a 62deg. HA race bike (or even close), but if you are familiar with downhill bikes, ride at even a moderate speed with some form of aggressiveness then there are advantages to a slacker bike.

Yes, a very slack bike will feel awful in the parking lot, and on really flat, slow trails...just like how wider bars can feel cumbersome. Last I checked I didn't buy a downhill race bike for either of these scenarios.

Sure, I could ride a 66deg. HA dh bike with 28'' bars in some manner, but it would feel like a trail bike after a season on my 62deg. orange 224 with 31'' bars. My point is that you can ride anything, but certain setups are far more conducive to riding fast.

I don't even blame Giant for releasing a bike with those numbers. Its a far more sensible approach to many of the people who are going to buy it. Additionally, it makes sense to have a flagship model (that will be in bike shops around the world) which will feel reasonable when your average mountain bike action reader bounces it on the carpeted bike shop floor.
 

Metal Dude

Turbo Monkey
Apr 7, 2006
1,140
0
Smackdonough, GA
Good God it ends up being like a 64-65 degree HA which is what most bikes are now besides a couple and everyone acts like the bike is crap because it's not 63 degrees. It's not like it's 67 degrees like bikes a few years back! Just something for the haters who don't have a bike this cool to dismiss it over.
Funny thing is you have to remember most of the neigh sayers on the things are just b!tches anyway. Serious riders are riding instead of trying to dis on something so minor. I will be getting one soon hopefully and i will still smoke
most of you whiners any day regardless of what you're riding!
I ride an 09 Glory now with similar geom. and the HA is 64.5 with my setup and it feels great!
Don't let these da's opinion stop you from getting the best valued, lightest bike of the upcoming year.
 

JCL

Monkey
Aug 31, 2008
696
0
The whole slack head-angle thing is just like when wider handlebars and custom extensions started popping up...at first the skeptics were convinced that wider handlebars were only for the fastest of worldcup racers or huge dudes like rennie or peat.

Turns out wider bars are simply a better bio-mechanical interface for modern dh bikes for people of nearly every ability...not just for 6'4'' worldcup racers.

Im not saying that your average grom/beginner/girl should go out and buy a 62deg. HA race bike (or even close), but if you are familiar with downhill bikes, ride at even a moderate speed with some form of aggressiveness then there are advantages to a slacker bike.

Yes, a very slack bike will feel awful in the parking lot, and on really flat, slow trails...just like how wider bars can feel cumbersome. Last I checked I didn't buy a downhill race bike for either of these scenarios.

Sure, I could ride a 66deg. HA dh bike with 28'' bars in some manner, but it would feel like a trail bike after a season on my 62deg. orange 224 with 31'' bars. My point is that you can ride anything, but certain setups are far more conducive to riding fast.

I don't even blame Giant for releasing a bike with those numbers. Its a far more sensible approach to many of the people who are going to buy it. Additionally, it makes sense to have a flagship model (that will be in bike shops around the world) which will feel reasonable when your average mountain bike action reader bounces it on the carpeted bike shop floor.
Great post and totally agree. Once you've ridden slack you'll never go back.

The Giant is well made and I'm sure the suspension works well but the geo is compromised and if you've ridden long enough you'll know geo is pretty much everything.
 

JCL

Monkey
Aug 31, 2008
696
0
FFS it has nothing to do with 'need'. If you're riding shuttles or lift access DH it's highly likely that proper DH geometry will allow you to ride faster with more confidence. Saying you don't 'need' correct geometry is like saying you don't need 8" travel, 2.5" tires, 200mm rotors, 30" bars, coil shocks etc.

Geometry is the biggest limiting factor of any bike. An 8" bike with AM geometry is pointless. You may aswell buy a lighter air shocked bike like an Orange Alpine 160 which the same head angle and a 13.7".
 

Natedog

Monkey
Nov 8, 2003
210
0
Ventura, Ca
The whole slack head-angle thing is just like when wider handlebars and custom extensions started popping up...at first the skeptics were convinced that wider handlebars were only for the fastest of worldcup racers or huge dudes like rennie or peat.

Turns out wider bars are simply a better bio-mechanical interface for modern dh bikes for people of nearly every ability...not just for 6'4'' worldcup racers.

Im not saying that your average grom/beginner/girl should go out and buy a 62deg. HA race bike (or even close), but if you are familiar with downhill bikes, ride at even a moderate speed with some form of aggressiveness then there are advantages to a slacker bike.

Yes, a very slack bike will feel awful in the parking lot, and on really flat, slow trails...just like how wider bars can feel cumbersome. Last I checked I didn't buy a downhill race bike for either of these scenarios.

Sure, I could ride a 66deg. HA dh bike with 28'' bars in some manner, but it would feel like a trail bike after a season on my 62deg. orange 224 with 31'' bars. My point is that you can ride anything, but certain setups are far more conducive to riding fast.

I don't even blame Giant for releasing a bike with those numbers. Its a far more sensible approach to many of the people who are going to buy it. Additionally, it makes sense to have a flagship model (that will be in bike shops around the world) which will feel reasonable when your average mountain bike action reader bounces it on the carpeted bike shop floor.
I agree with this on some points. True wide bars are more comfortable, more stable, and confidence inspiring. But it is a fad that is abused by alot of people on the hill. Most people who are riding 30" + bars shouldnt be riding them, not because they aren't worthy on the ability front but simply because they are too wide for most peoples body types. There are so many groms (and adults alike) who want the widest bars they can find because some the WC guys ride wide bars (Fabien, Rennie, Minnaar). The fact of the matter is, those guys are smart enough to ride bars that fit there body type so it does not impede their riding performance. Bars that are too wide don't allow you to pull up or maneuver the bike as well as a narrower bar (not a 710 necessarilly) would. A perfect example of this can be done at home if you want to swear up and down that what I said is wrong and everyone should be on 31" bars... Pick up a broomstick and hold it out in front of you, mark it however you'd like widthwise (28-29-30-31 etc) and watch as the arng of motion you have decreases exponentially as you widen your grip. I bet only 10% of the riding population should be on a 30+" bar and have the full performance benfits that go along with it. Sam doesn't even ride a full 29" wide bar...why? Because it doesn't fit his body type, the same can be said for the likes of Brendan, Rando, Blenkinsop, Amiel (when he was still raacing), Strait, and the list goes on....

I think this also translates over to the headangle portion of bikes. But those people who buy "race" bikes are not always the fastest of riders or racers. I'm not saying that I am some pro pinner who knows all. But observing most racers at a race venue on any given weekend most of the people that ride, who are "core" racers and have race bikes are not capable to ride the bikes the way they say they can, or the way the bikes are designed to perform opitimally. How is a sport rider who struggles to get through flat tech sections, or some speedy singletrack portions of a race track going to benefit from a 63 degree headangle, 13.5" bb and 31" bars?...I'll answer for you, they aren't. Most of us on this board let our egos get in the way and get defensive about true riding abilities, trends, and become blind to what would really be the best set up for them, but ride what they ride so they can say they are on top of whats going on right now and look like a racer.

Point being that fads that are beneficial are twisted up by people who think they are a WC racer, or pro racer for that matter. I am not disagreeing with the points you have made. I just think that there is some more consideration that needs to be put into the products that are being ridden by people right now, instead of turning a blind eye to what is best for each person and riding what the pros ride.

I am not going to sell any more bikes with this, and don't want to totally de-rail this thread. Nor do I want to pick any arguements, or E-fights. I just think that this bike shouldn't be written off because of a HA number on paper. Open your mind to things that are "different", give it a try, I'm sure you'll be pleasantly suprised...maybe try riding 30" bars as well and see how that works out? Or maybe 29" bars even....thats what Sam runs, so it's gotta be fast. ;-)
 
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Fonzie18

Turbo Monkey
My bad, how about this: "99% of people on this forum will not ride at a level that will require a slacker head angle." It's all in your head silly, especially when the bike has not been released or ridden/seen by anyone here (except natedawg, well, and myselfperhaps a few others).

True, headtube angle is important, but only as important as the rest of the bike's angles. Which would you prefer: a bike with a 64* headtube, 15" bottombracket and 18" chainstays OR a bike that has a 65* headangle, 14.5" bb and say 17.5/.25 stays...

So the Intense M6 is too steep @ 64.5 (A bike that is considered WC only style geometry)? That .5 of a degree can be lost or made up with tire size! Surely with adjusting the fork height or even switching to a different fork? how about changing the headset? Heck, the Intense M3 had a 66.5* headangle and it was good for all the world cup courses I raced and not a bit sketchy @ Vermont.

Here are a couple moar HT comparisons cuz its the only numba that matters!:

GOAT Sunday! 65*
M6: 64.5*
M3 (a total turd because :rolleyes: ):66.5*
951: 64*/65*
Turner DHR (newest gen) 65*
Gnarly Foes 2:1: 64.5*-66.5*
Kona HUCK stab: 64*/65*

BTW, anyone notice the MSRP on the frame and bike? Giant is making a top notch bike accessible to many people, a good thing in a world of frame only MSRP of nearly 3k (some even 4K!)

I'm bored at work, carry on...
 
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Foxbat

Chimp
Aug 14, 2008
71
0
Portland OR
I don't see any resolution to this argument other than more people like Natedog getting time on the slopes and reporting their impressions. It would be great to sit down with the Glory engineers and get their logic on the geometry but I doubt that will happen. Given that only a couple of people have examples of these bikes, more time is needed before it can be praised or written off.
 

Fonzie18

Turbo Monkey
I don't see any resolution to this argument other than more people like Natedog getting time on the slopes and reporting their impressions. It would be great to sit down with the Glory engineers and get their logic on the geometry but I doubt that will happen. Given that only a couple of people have examples of these bikes, more time is needed before it can be praised or written off.
Yep...