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2008 Giant XTC 2 – Owner Review

2008 Giant XTC 2 - Julia

My maintenance log for the Giant XTC 2 can be found by clicking here

They have arrived! Today I got to pick up Julia, my brand spanking new 2008 Giant XTC 2 and Bob, my 2008 BOB Ibex Plus trailer. I brought them from Kalamunda Cycles and my thanks to Jo and Tim Bennett for their service. Julia’s photo album can be found by clicking here to be taken to the gallery.

Julia’s role will primarily be for bikepacking (off-road touring) with a tour of the Munda Biddi (Mundaring to Collie) and the Kep Track being the first two trips undertaken. Julia will also be used for good old mountain biking fun.

 

Description and Ride Impressions | Modifications | Specifications |

Description and Ride Impressions

July 13, 2008 – 460 km – At the time of writing this brief note on the bike, I have ridden 460 km on her. The majority of that riding has been a week long ride of the Munda Biddi Trail (April 2008) towing a BOB Ibex trailer. The other rides have been a morning of riding single track and a few short road commutes when my other bikes have been unavailable or I needed to have the XTC 2 elsewhere. So far I am very happy with the purchase given my intended use of her, that is a mountain bike tourer. She handled well with the trailer on and is in my view a good set-up. My only change to still happen is to swap out the saddle for a Brooks B17. I know not a mountain biking saddle but a good one for touring.

Modifications

November 16. 2013 – Tyres Change: The bike came from the LBS with Kenda Blue Groove Stick-E 26 2.10 on the front and Kenda Nevegal Stick-E 26 2.10 on the rear.  These tyres have now done 1,814 kilometres and the rear is worn out and the front is not looking the best as well.  Following a bit of research it seems a popular choice for the pea-gravel riding conditions quite common here in the Perth hills and along the Munda Biddi Track are Maxxis Ignitor on the front and a Maxxis CrossMark on the rear so I have decided to give them a shot with a Maxxis Ignitor 26 2.35 LUST 120 TPI on the front and a Maxxis CrossMark 26 2.10 LUST 120 TPI on the rear.  I went with a 2.10 on the rear as I believe that this pretty close to the maximum tyre width this frame will take.

I find the Kenda tyres where okay for my riding, not fantastic but and I never felt really confident with them.  I am hoping the Maxxis will perform better.  Both of the Maxxis tyres, the Ignitor and the CrossMark are specified for “loose over hard” riding conditions, i.e., pea gravel.  My only concern is that they are designed for cross country racing so may not be as durable as I would like for touring purposes. I guess I will find out!

I am also running the tyres with tubes even though they are tubeless tyres.

September, 2013 – 1,813 km – Brakes Update I have never been very happy with the Shimano M485 hydraulic disc brakes fitted as standard to the bike. They have squealed from day one and there is a know issue (US recall) with the seals leaking. Having completed a ride of the Munda Biddi Trail in July 2013 with the brakes loosing fluid and generally giving me a headache I have decided to “upgrade” to Avid BB7 mechanical disk brakes as my primary use of the bike is off-road touring and keeping the on the road maintenance simple is my preferred option.  This video illustrates how easy it is to adjust the Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes, something I can do on the trail if I need to.  Whilst the cost of changing over is not the best as say compared to a new half-decent hydraulic setup such as Shimano M785 hydraulic discs (cost of $309.00 ex Wiggle) the on the trail easy of maintenance really swings it for me.

The cost of conversion for me is as follows (all parts purchased from Wiggle expect for the adapters).

Item Cost
Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc Brake – 160 mm for the rear $80.45
Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc Brake – 203 mm for the front 127.63
Avid Speed Dial FR-7 Levers (Set) $25.56
Jagwire Mountain Pro Brake Cable Set $31.20
Park Tool T25 P-Handled Torx Wrench for adjusting purposes $10.24
Origin8 Centrelock Adapters x 2 (converts to six-bolt) – Ex JensonUSA $38.66
Total Cost of Conversion $313.83

October, 2012 – 993 km – Fitted a dynamo front wheel setup that was built for me by Starbike.com in Germany.  The new front wheel configuration consists of:

  • Mavic XM 719 Disc 36H rim in black – $50.40
  • Shimano Deore XT DH-T785 dynamo hub Centerlock black 36H – $82.00
  • DT Swiss Competition BLACK 2.0/1.8/2.0 mm incl. silver brass nipple 252 mm – $0.78 each
Starbike.com built the wheel for me for a cost of $26.00 and delivery to Australia was $31.00.  The total cost of the wheel was $217.00.  My idea is to use the dynamo to power my Garmin Edge 800 and other electronics via my PedalPower+ Super-i-Cable on bikepacking trips. I haven’t yet fitted dynamo powered lights and probably will not do so.

June 24, 2011 – 674 km – Fitted a Brooks Englands B17 Saddle.

June 30, 2008 – 450 km – Installed a Blackburn Mountain Air pump which was purchased from Chain Reaction Cycles for $15.55 landed.

February 2008 – The significant modification is the tyres. Given WA conditions (pea gravel) I have gone with Kenda Blue Groove Stick-E 26 x 2.10 on the front and Kenda Nevegal Stick-E 26 x 2.10 on the rear.

Specifications

Frame ALUXX SL alloy: double/triple butted, integrated gusset
fork Rockshox Recon Race Solo Air w/Motion Control & PopLoc, 100mm/4″
rear derailleur Shimano Deore XT Shadow high normal 9 speed
front derailleur Shimano Deore
shifters Shimano Deore LX rapid fire 27 speed
crankset Shimano Deore class M542 22x32x44
bottom bracket Shimano Deore Class M542 integrated, outboard
chain Shimano HG73 9 speed
cassette Shimano HG50 9 speed 11-34T
brakes Shimano M485 hydraulic w/6″ centre-lock rotors Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes 180 mm (front) & 160 mm (rear)
brake levers Shimano M485 hydraulic
hubs Shimano Deore XT DH-T785 dynamo hub Centerlock black 36H (front)Shimano Deore disc 32h (rear)
rims Mavic XM 719 Disc 36H rim in black (Rear) Mavic XM117 disc 26″ x 32H (Front)
Tyre – Front Maxxis Ignitor LUST 26 x 2.35 120 TPI
Tyre – Rear
Maxxis CrossMark 26 x 2.10 120 TPI
spokes DT Swiss Competition BLACK 2.0/1.8/2.0 mm incl. silver brass nipple 252 mm (front)DT Swiss 14g Champion stainless (Rear)
pedals Shimano M520 SPD clipless
h.bar/stem Raceface Ride XC low rise/Raceface Ride XC
seat post Raceface Ride XC
saddle Fi’zi:k Nisene Sport w/magnesium railBrooks Englands B17
grips Giant lock-on


2 Responses to 2008 Giant XTC 2 – Owner Review

  1. Lee November 20, 2013 at 3:31 PM #

    very informative read with regard to set up for Mundi Biddi – how are the tyres going on the pea gravel?

    • Andrew Priest November 20, 2013 at 3:45 PM #

      I have had a chance to put the Maxxis tyres to the test yet having only fitted them last weekend. I will be playing down in the Collie region in December so now doubt will get some idea. The Kenda tyres where okay in the pea gravel – still had to walk some hills but 🙂

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