Is Giant making its own suspension?

Bicycle manufacturer extends its reach with new Crest fork

October 19th, 2019 by | Posted in MTB | Tags: ,

Giant Bicycles is an expansive company, making everything from mountain bikes to road bikes and commuters. It also makes many of its own components, including carbon fibre wheels, as well as clothing, shoes and accessories.

Now, it looks like Giant is dipping its toes in the waters of bicycle suspension. The industry colossus announced the Crest 34 suspension fork this week. Giant’s first suspension fork targets the trail and xc categories. It will come with 100 mm or 120 mm travel options, for 27.5″ and 29″ wheel sizes.

Giant Crest 34
Giant Crest 34. Photo: Giant

Giant Crest 34 – Details

Details about the fork are scarce, other than a launch video and the Crest 34 fork’s launch page. It will have 34 mm stanchions, a three position low-speed compression adjustment (Open, Trail, Lock-Out), and rebound adjustment. There will also be an option for a 2-position, bar-mounted lock out lever (Open or Locked). Additional air spring tuning can be achieved using tokens inserted in the fork, as is common with several other fork manufacturers.

Giant Crest 34
Photo: Giant

The rest of the forks spec’s are in keeping with its XC and Trail intended use. It will work with disc rotors from 160 up to 180 mm in diameter. Max tire clearance is 27.5 x 2.6″ standard tire for the Crest 24 27.5, and 29 x 2.4″ for its wagon wheel sibling.

The Crest 34 is not approved for e-bike use.

Giant Crest 34
Giant Crest 34

Why is Giant getting into suspension?

While Giant has extensive experience with manufacturing carbon fibre frames and parts, suspension is a whole different beast. The industry is dominated by RockShox and Fox, with a host of other brands already offering high end, or budget options. There’s not much room in the market.

Being one of the largest bicycle manufacturers in the world, though, Giant steps into the game with a big advantage. Just using the fork on its own frames could be a large enough market to make the project viable. It also reduces Giant’s reliance on Fox, RockShox and SR Suntour, who currently supply the brands suspension fork.

Right now, the project is limited to just the Crest 34 fork. If it works, though, it’s likely Giant will continue to expand into suspension, as well as a larger range of forks.

In the past, Giant’s worked with the major suspension brands. It also developed a relationship with boutique suspension brand DVO in an attempt to better control its suspension design, which ended after just one year.

It wouldn’t be the only company to successfully jump from frames into suspension. Cannondale went its own way with the Lefty fork, which is still on its XC models.

Giant Crest 34 launch video: