GIANT GLORY 0
Weight: 36.4 pounds
By Ryan Palmer
Giant's flagship downhill machine, the Giant Glory 0, underwent major changes for 2013, with significant input from Giant Factory Off-Road Team riders Andrew Neethling and Danny Hart, the 2011 World Champion. Giant's goal was to create the fastest bike possible, and this is the very chassis that Hart raced to his World Championship title.
The new Giant Glory 0 is not the most playful bike of our bunch, but, like the Devinci Carbon Wilson we also reviewed in this issue, it's not trying to be. What this bike wants is victory or, rather, glory on the racecourse. Best suited for fast, steep, World Cup downhill courses, tweaks to the Glory 0 include relaxing the head angle to 63.5 degrees, lowering the bottom bracket and lengthening the front-center by 12 millimeters to help open up the cockpit.
The first thing we noticed about Giant Glory 0 was the weight. At 36.4 pounds for our size large, it was the second-lightest bike in the group of downhill bikes we tested. That lack of weight, combined with the pedaling efficiency of Giant's Maestro suspension platform, makes for a bike that feels flat-out fast. It's also stiff and balanced.
All of the testers agreed that the cockpit still felt a little short, but only the lankiest among us complained of actually feeling cramped. The Glory is a phenomenal bike with an
outstanding spec. The top-tier Giant Glory 0 spec is basically a replica of a Factory Team bike: SRAM X0 DH drivetrain components, RockShox Boxxer World Cup fork, RockShox Vivid R2C shock, DT 240 hubs laced to EX-500 rims rolling on Schwalbe Muddy Mary Evolution DH tires and X0 Trail brakes.
There is literally nothing we wanted to upgrade, apart from adding a wider set of bars, which is a minor tweak. The Giant Glory 0 is a no-nonsense shredder with greatly improved geometry, and even though none of our testers fell head-over-heels in love with the bike, each of us was given a glimpse of its World Cup-winning character.
If you pine for a world-class downhill racer, the Glory 0 is hard to beat. Can't stomach the price tag? Giant offers the budget-friendly Glory2 that sells for $3,200, yet packs an insane level of bang for the buck.
Want to know more about the Giant Glory 0? Go to www.giant-bicycles.com