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Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (commonly known as Giant) is a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer that is recognized as the world's largest bicycle manufacturer.[1] Giant has manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, the Netherlands, and China.

Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
Public
Traded as TWSE: 9921
Industry Bicycle manufacturing
Founded Dajia District, Taichung City, Taiwan, 1972
Founder King Liu
Headquarters Dajia District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Products Bicycles
Production output
6.6 million (2014)[1]
Revenue US$1.8 billion (2014)[1]
Website www.giant-bicycles.com
Giant Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Traditional Chinese 巨大機械工業股份有限公司
Simplified Chinese 巨大机械工业股份有限公司
Literal meaning Giant Industrial Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Giant
Chinese 捷安特
Literal meaning Giant (phonetic transcription)
A Giant head badge
Giant Cadex 980C first mass produced carbon fibre road bicycle
A Giant TCX Cyclocross

Contents

HistoryEdit

Giant was established in 1972 in Dajia, Taichung County (now part of Taichung City), by King Liu and several friends.[who?] A major breakthrough came in 1977 when Giant’s chief executive, Tony Lo, negotiated a deal with Schwinn to begin manufacturing bikes as an OEM, manufacturing bicycles to be sold exclusively under other brand names as a private label. As bike sales increased in the U.S., and after workers at the Schwinn plant in Chicago went on strike in 1980, Giant became a key supplier, making more than two-thirds of Schwinn bikes by the mid-1980s, representing 75% of Giant’s sales. When Schwinn decided to find a new source and in 1987 signed a contract with the China Bicycle Company to produce bikes in Shenzhen, Giant, under new president Bill Austin (formerly vice-president marketing at Schwinn), established its own brand of bicycles to compete in the rapidly expanding $200-and-above price range. In 1984, Giant also set up a joint venture, "Giant Europe," with Andries Gaastra of Dutch bicycle manufacturer Koga-Miyata.[2] In 1992, Gaastra sold his shares back, and Giant became a full shareholder of Giant Europe.

By 2014, Giant had sales in over 50 countries, in over 12,000[3] retail stores. In 2007, its global sales surpassed 5 million bicycles and US$820 million in global revenue, and by 2012 it had reached 6.3 million bicycles and revenue of US$1.8 billion.[4]

Sub-BrandsEdit

In 2008 Giant launched the Liv/Giant sub-brand with products focused exclusively on the female cycling market.[5] In 2014, the Liv/Giant sub-brand was re-branded to Liv. The re-branding was meant to further differentiate the Liv brand products with existing Giant product, communicating the concept of "designed by women for women". All Liv products are designed from the ground up including frame geometry, carbon layup and utilizes separate molds and designs that separate it from Giant branded products. As part of the rebranding, Giant plans to roll out dedicated Liv zones within most Giant retailers.[6]

ModelsEdit

 
Giant Halfway folding bicycle
 
The bike that Alexander Vinokourov used at the 2005 Tour de France

In 1995, Giant designed the first road bicycle with a sloping top tube featuring a smaller rear triangle. The tighter chainstay-seatstay configuration is said[by whom?] to be inherently stiffer than a more conventional frame design, and because less material is used, the Compact Road design is also said to be lighter. With more responsive cornering and improved acceleration, as well as improved aerodynamics, the Giant design became largely imitated.

By 1998, with Mike Burrows, Giant refined the design for racing by the professional ONCE team ONCE (cycling team). This was only after initial resistance by the Union Cycliste Internationale and subsequent amendment to its regulations to allow for bicycles with a sloping top tube.

Giant frames were originally made of 6061 (ALUXX) aluminium alloy and were also characterised by bladed forks and seatposts to reduce air resistance. Frames came in three sizes (small, medium, and large), with riders fitted through the use of stems and seatposts of different lengths. Another Mike Burrows innovation that was featured on the original TCR (Total Compact Road) bikes included a height-adjustable stem, later removed from road racing bicycles due to flex under heavy loads.

In 2003, the TCR frame was offered in carbon fibre construction and marketed as the TCR Composite range. In 2006, Giant added a higher-grade carbon fibre frame marketed as the TCR Advanced frame, which was characterised by an integrated seatpost (ISP). These frames were most notably raced at the Tour de France by T-Mobile's professional team. Using this design, the seatpost on the new frame must be cut precisely to fit the owner by a trained Giant dealer. In 2010, the TCR frames with ISP continued to be raced internationally, most notably by the Rabobank team.

In terms of other innovations, Giant also introduced its Maestro suspension in 2006. Maestro Suspension, according to Giant, is designed to deliver an efficient rear suspension power transfer. Maestro utilizes a setup of four pivot points and two linkages to create a floating pivot point that is designed to reduce pedal bob and enables the rear wheel to travel vertically.

Giant currently (2016) categorizes its bicycles first by user (Men, Women, Youth), and then by Level:

  • On-Road
  • X-Road (for Men and Women)
  • BMX (for Youth)
  • Off-Road

Within each Level are several Uses, such as Race, Endurance, City, Cruiser, etc.

In late 2016, Giant announced the Road-E+ e-Bike, which features:

  • HCT (Hybrid Cycling Technology) drive system
  • 500 watt 80Nm Yamaha mid drive motor
  • 400Wh or 500Wh EnergyPack integrated frame battery
  • PedalPlus 4-sensor technology, and
  • RideControl display & control pad with Bluetooth integration.[7]

Model List[8]Edit

Men On-Road Men X-Road Men Off-Road Women On-Road Women X-Road Women Off-Road Youth On-Road Youth BMX Youth Off-Road
Aero Race
  • Propel Advanced SL
  • Propel Advanced Pro
  • Propel Advanced

Race

  • TCR Advanced SL
  • TCR Advanced Pro
  • TCR Advanced

Triathlon / TT

  • Trinity Advanced Pro
  • Trinity Advanced Pro TT
  • Trinity Advanced

Endurance

  • Defy Advanced SL
  • Defy Advanced Pro
  • Defy Advanced
  • Defy Disc
  • Defy
  • Contend

City

  • FastRoad CoMax
  • FastRoad SLR
  • Rapid
  • Escape

Folding

  • Expressway

Comfort

  • Cypress

Cruiser

  • Simple
Cyclocross
  • TCX Advanced Pro
  • TCX SLR

Endurance

  • Revolt

Adventure

  • AnyRoad CoMax
  • AnyRoad
  • ToughRoad SLR
  • Roam

Comfort

  • Sedona
Race / XC
  • Anthem Advanced 27.5
  • Anthem Advanced SX 27.5
  • Anthem 27.5
  • Anthem SX 27.5
  • Anthem x Advanced 29er
  • Anthem x 29er
  • XTC Advanced SL 27.5
  • XTC Advanced 27.5
  • XTC Advanced 29er
  • Talon Series (1-4) 27.5"

Trail/Enduro

  • Trance Advanced 27.5
  • Trance 27.5
  • Trance SX 27.5
  • Reign Advanced 27.5
  • Reign 27.5
  • Stance 27.5

Gravity

  • Glory Advanced 27.5
  • Glory 27.5

XC

  • Talon 27.5
  • Talon 29er

Recreation

  • ATX 27.5
  • Revel
  • Revel 29er
Aero Race
  • Envie Advanced Pro
  • Envie Advanced
  • Envie Advanced Tri

Triathlon / TT

  • Avow Advanced

Endurance

  • Avail Advanced SL
  • Avail Advanced Pro
  • Avail Advanced
  • Avail Disc
  • Avail

City

  • Thrive CoMax
  • Thrive
  • Alight
  • Flourish

Cruiser

  • Suede
  • Simple W
Cyclocross
  • Brava SLR

Adventure

  • Invite CoMax
  • Invite
  • Rove
  • Rove Disc lite

Comfort

  • Sedona W
Race / XC
  • Obsess Advanced
  • Lust Advanced
  • Lust

Trail/Enduro

  • Intrigue
  • Intrigue SX

XC

  • Tempt

Recreation

  • Enchant
Race
  • TCR espoir 24

City

  • Escape Jr. 24

Youth Cruisers

  • Gloss
  • Bella
  • Motr 20
  • Blossom
  • Amplify

First Bike

  • Adore 12/16
  • Animator 12/16
  • Pre
  • Halfwheeler
  • l’il Giant Trike
Neighborhood
  • GFR
Trail
  • XTC SL Jr. 24
  • XTC Jr. Disc 24
  • XTC Jr. 20/24 lite

Recreation

  • Enchant 20/24
  • Enchant 20/24 lite

SponsorshipsEdit

 
Giant banners in Mashhad Samen Velodrome

Giant's first foray into professional road cycling was with now defunct Spanish Team ONCE[9][better source needed] directed by Manolo Sainz[10][better source needed] using Giant TCR frames in custom sizes for each individual rider, Laurent_Jalabert[11][better source needed] was one of the most notable cyclists in the ONCE Team[9][better source needed]

Giant currently sponsors a number of cycling teams as well as individual athletes. In road cycling, they sponsor the UCI WorldTeam Team Sunweb (both men and women), which competes in the highest level of road cycling. They are most noted for when both men and women teams won the Team Time Trial event at the 2017 UCI World Championships in Bergen, Norway. Notable riders include Tom Dumoulin, winner of the pink jersey in the 2017 Giro d'Italia; Warren Barguil, winner of the polka-dot jersey in the 2017 Tour de France, and Michael Mathews, winner of the green jersey in the 2017 Tour de France.

In off-road cycling, Giant sponsors the Giant Factory Off-Road Team. Cyclists include Marcelo Gutierrez, 5 time Colombian downhill national champion, and Jacob Dickson, 4 time Irish junior downhill champion.

Giant also sponsors individual athletes, including Tim van Berkel, Ben Dijkstra, and Matt Bottrill.[12]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Ratcliffe, Alison. "'Secret' Giant is world's biggest bicycle manufacturer and still growing". Supply Management. Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Interview with Andries Gaastra (Dutch)
  3. ^ http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/aboutgiant
  4. ^ "A Maker of Bikes Now Makes a Point of Riding Them". Retrieved 2014-01-02. 
  5. ^ "Rebrand brings breakthrough in female cycling market > Liv | DDG". www.ddg.com.tw (in Chinese). Retrieved 2018-02-01. 
  6. ^ "Giant relaunches Liv as stand-alone women's brand". Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Retrieved 2018-02-01. 
  7. ^ "Giant Road-E+ Review". EBR. Electric Bike Review. Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  8. ^ "Bike Index - Giant Bicycles | United States". www.giant-bicycles.com. Retrieved 2016-01-18. 
  9. ^ a b ONCE (cycling team)
  10. ^ Manolo Saiz
  11. ^ Laurent Jalabert
  12. ^ "Giant Bicycles teams - meet our sponsored riders, athletes & ambassadors - Giant Bicycles | United Kingdom". www.giant-bicycles.com. Retrieved 2017-09-28. 

External linksEdit