GIANT Bicycles is the world's largest bike manufacturer. Roadies and dirt enthusiasts alike choose GIANT, in part because their products have some of the best engineering behind them. When a company sells that many bikes, they have the ability to put a lot of effort into R&D, and this is evident in the continuous innovation of their mountain and road bikes. Within one model, such as the Trance, they have several models and price points. |
Their product push this year extends beyond the innovation for their well known models, and includes women's road rides with the Liv, and youth bikes. GIANT will also provide you a cruiser to affix your flowers for your basket resulting in an enhanced ride to the local market. So it makes sense then that GIANT bring it's full line to six (and counting) concept stores across Canada where you can find any type of bike for any purpose in a well designed retail space that will show you what GIANT is all about.
GIANT calls them flagship stores, but I call it a concept store. Not unlike the way Apple has it's own brand stores, GIANT has gone big with large footprint retail stores that bring a huge selection in the GIANT bike lines. These are bike stores in the full sense. You can find accessories if that's what you are looking for, and, of course you can get your bike serviced there too. But what you really get is a deep expertise in GIANT bikes to help you pick the bike with the features and components that you want. If you are after GIANT, this is where you want to go. When the bike you want to try out is not stocked at the neighbourhood bike shop, it can be disappointing -- and I'd say that's a key issue solved by GIANT. It's just a great experience being in the store. It's different. I might draw a comparison to being in a MEC. If you are into the outdoors, you feel at home. If you are into cycling, you feel at home in a GIANT flagship store.
I was in to check out the Trance, a well-known and well-loved cross-country all mountain bike, and, wanted to see the 2015 models. The Trance is famous for it's full-suspension Maestro ride that allows a rider to climb exceptionally well. Allen, in the Ottawa store, showed me a few models to consider. I looked at their aluminium "Alum 1" vs. a composite version at a similar price point. I'm switching out of a 26" wheel base, but, I didn't want to go to full 29'er. The new Trance has a 27.5" wheel base that drew me in. I was also tempted by the composite (carbon) Trance Advanced frame, and, while the frame would be somewhat lighter and the bike actually less expensive, I chose the Trance Alum 1 for its front RockShox Revelation suspension, and component set. The ALUXX SL-grade aluminum is a very light frame, so after some mind-crushing "what am I going to ride" debate, I went with the Alum 1 over the Trance Advanced 27.5 2. The Giant Contact SL Switch-R dropper seatpost—a $280 upgrade if purchased separately -- is a feature I can't wait to try on the local trails.
GIANT has 7 variations of the Trance bike to choose from, including another tempting option, the Trance SX which is a racer version of the all-mountain Trance. I just wouldn't have had my questions answered, or see the various GIANT options if it weren't for the GIANT concept store. You can find 6 flagship stores across Canada, three of which are in Quebec. The other stores are in Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa. Here are a few quotes from the page on their Canadian flagship stores.
"Located in Vancouver's trendy Kitsalano area, Giant Vancouver strives to provide the best product to a diverse range of cyclists. From the North Shore ripper to the Sea Wall cruiser, Giant Vancouver has all the Giant gear you need."
"The idea behind Giant Toronto’s retail model is to accommodate cyclists of all abilities and show them who Giant really is. We have had an unbelievable response from the Queen Street community since we pulled back the window coverings for opening. Both men and women (and youth) have all expressed very positive feelings towards this store and how incredibly welcoming the design is. Not only are we displaying world class bikes and gear but also the Giant experience which spans over 40 years." says Mike Millar, GIANT Canada.
"The sixth Giant Store in the Canadian family, Giant Ottawa continues the tradition of excellence. With a full range of Giant Bikes the Ottawa location will get you riding in no time Lino will be a familiar face to those from the Orleans area, and now he is bringing his years of cycling experience to downtown Ottawa. Joined by Allen, a long time "bike guy", the team at Giant Ottawa is ready to offer you the best bikes and the best service around.
Allen in the Ottawa store helped a great deal in figuring out my new ride, and, whether you are a roadie, a DH rider checking out the Reign, looking for a sleek enduro ride in the Anthem, or just a beach cruiser -- yeah -- you'll want to go see what GIANT Canada is up to! If you love bikes, then this is a great addition to your cycling community. Ok Calgary, when are you getting yours?!