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Old 08-09-12, 11:41 PM   #1
kaliayev
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Vintage Giant

Vintage Giant bikes. Question came to mind as to why you never see this? I did quick search and saw that the company started in 1972. I'd have figured that they would have built a nice steel lugged bike at some point, but this appears to not be the case. Anyone with some insight?
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Old 08-10-12, 02:44 AM   #2
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Vintage Giant bikes. Question came to mind as to why you never see this? I did quick search and saw that the company started in 1972. I'd have figured that they would have built a nice steel lugged bike at some point, but this appears to not be the case. Anyone with some insight?
Not sure, I have several from the 1989-1990 period. They were building a lot of bikes for Schwinn, so they may be out there, just not under their name.

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Old 08-10-12, 03:37 AM   #3
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My 1988 Australian Repco Superlight lugged road bike was made by Giant. Im sure Giant became the huge company it is now by building bikes for other brands.
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Old 08-10-12, 04:23 AM   #4
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First Giants I recall seeing under their own name were mountain bikes in the mid-80s . Previous to that , some Schwinns were made in Taiwan with G in the start of the serial number . They may have made domestic products before that .
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Old 08-10-12, 06:00 AM   #5
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I read something in a management book... a case study of sorts into the dangers of outsourcing too much. Giant made Schwinn bikes for long enough that not only was the labor outsourced but eventually so was the knowledge of how to make bikes. Then Giant broke away and became the brand it is today.

Sum and substance that's how it goes. I don't remember the book or the story word for word, but you get the picture.
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Old 08-10-12, 06:24 AM   #6
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I recall the articles from the time around when I bought my 86 Sierra that it was one of the first Giant made bikes for Schwinn. A couple years later, Giant started selling bikes under their own name.
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Old 08-10-12, 06:36 AM   #7
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Pretty sure that the lower-tier Ross Signatures were sourced from Giant. The Schwinn Traveler in the barn shares a lot of similarities with my 290s. If nothing else, the lugs came from the same factory.

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Old 08-10-12, 06:43 AM   #8
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I have a "Giant" branded bike in my garage with a cottered crank. I would put it akin to a varisty or continental, very heavy. I will try to get some pictures when I get home, but you're not missing much.
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Old 08-10-12, 06:45 AM   #9
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First Giants I recall seeing under their own name were mountain bikes in the mid-80s
They are not that uncommon in the NY/NJ area. I bought this one in '89 or '90 and if I remember the LBS had a full range of Giant MTBs from junk on up.

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Old 08-10-12, 07:23 AM   #10
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May as well stick a pic up.
Made by Giant 1988 Repco Superlight with a 1991 Superlight Exage300 groupset.
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Old 08-10-12, 12:17 PM   #11
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I have a few steel lugged Giants. A Peloton, a Peloton Lite and this one, the prettiest and oldest:



The bike is in storage, I can't get a better pic right now. It says "Quality touched by Koga" on the downtube. IIRC Koga, of Koga Miyata fame, was the first to import them to Europe.
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Old 08-11-12, 06:21 AM   #12
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I have a few steel lugged Giants. A Peloton, a Peloton Lite and this one, the prettiest and oldest:



The bike is in storage, I can't get a better pic right now. It says "Quality touched by Koga" on the downtube. IIRC Koga, of Koga Miyata fame, was the first to import them to Europe.
I've owned a few bikes
that needed a quality touch .
They sure didn't come with any .
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Old 08-11-12, 06:48 AM   #13
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Mine are all TIG welded frames and the quality was top notch for the money spent. By 1988 or so Giant was usually the best value for the dollar in the mid price range bikes.

I have a couple of Giant Excursions (trekking bikes) and a Giant Iguana rigid MTB. I also had a Scwhinn Collegiate pass through that was built by Giant.

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Old 08-11-12, 08:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by kaliayev View Post
Vintage Giant bikes. Question came to mind as to why you never see this? I did quick search and saw that the company started in 1972. I'd have figured that they would have built a nice steel lugged bike at some point, but this appears to not be the case. Anyone with some insight?
You won't find many pre-'85 Giant-branded bikes because they were primarily building as a subcontractor for longer-established companies. They weren't established as a brand, and couldn't have exported much Giant-branded product. Schwinn started subcontracting with Giant in the late '70s, which would have been lower-end lugged road bikes, kids' bikes and cruisers. As Schwinn's US production costs increased and the market moved to lighter tig-welded ATB frames, Giant was building a large percentage of Schwinn's total production. Schwinn taught Giant how to spec and build competetive bikes for the US market, and by the late-'80s, when the US market was increasingly dominated by ATBs, Giant began competing directly with Schwinn and everybody else they built for. They quickly became a big player. As an OE subcontractor Giant built for brands worldwide, so I'd guess similar things happened in Europe...

I've seen a few Giant-branded lugged road frames pop up on ebay/CL, but most of what you'll find are '85+ tigged ATBs.
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Old 08-11-12, 11:11 AM   #15
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As well as Schwinn and others, Giant made many Nishiki bikes when the company (West Coast Cycle) shifted production to Taiwan.

These also included a 'G' at the beginning of the serial number, IIRC.

Recall seeing some interesting mid-80s Nishiki road bikes with t-bone seatstays that I believe were manufactured by Giant.

I certainly haven't seen anything under their own name older than the mid-80s 'Giant'-branded MTBs mentioned above.

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Old 08-11-12, 11:56 AM   #16
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Here is a nice lugged Giant Peloton Lite:

http://www.klassiekeracefiets.info/2011/04/14/giant/
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Old 08-11-12, 12:38 PM   #17
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I know that Univegas moved production from Japan to Taiwan in the late 80s. Does anyone know if they were connected to Giant at that time? Were there other big bike manufacturers in Taiwan in the late 80s / early 90s?
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Old 08-11-12, 01:32 PM   #18
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I read something in a management book... a case study of sorts into the dangers of outsourcing too much...
That book was "No Hands", which has an entire chapter on Giant and its relationship with Schwinn. You can see an example of the first Giant made Schwinn here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post14593449
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Old 08-11-12, 03:07 PM   #19
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I know that Univegas moved production from Japan to Taiwan in the late 80s. Does anyone know if they were connected to Giant at that time? Were there other big bike manufacturers in Taiwan in the late 80s / early 90s?
OE bicycle production followed currency fluctuations and lower production costs. Japan had the bulk of the OE business in the '70s, Taiwan started becoming a factor in the late '70s, most everyone fled Japan for Taiwan after the high-yen valuation "endaka" shock in '85, then Taiwanese companies rushed to start joint ventures and build factories in mainland China in the early '90s.

By the late '80s Giant was firmly established as the biggest mfr in Taiwan. Merida was #2. Hodaka built a lot of higher-end bikes, Bianchi used them, maybe Univega? Fritz-jou made some US brands. My memory is kinda fuzzy on this stuff now. I don't think Ideal was doing much until later in the '90s.

Search for "who made my bicycle kerry roberts" and you'll find a neat article detailing who was making what as of 2008. Outside of our timeline here, but many of the Taiwanese players were the same.
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Old 08-13-12, 06:29 AM   #20
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That book was "No Hands", which has an entire chapter on Giant and its relationship with Schwinn. You can see an example of the first Giant made Schwinn here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post14593449
That book looks like an interesting read... I'll add it to my shortlist! It was, however, not the book I was talking about. It was only a few pages (at most) in a much larger management text. I have always sold my books when I was done with them so I can't even go back and check.
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Old 08-15-12, 07:15 PM   #21
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I have two. A Yukon frameset, from the late 80s/early 90s, and a '93 Prodigy, that I've ridden many thousands of miles on. I'm a fan. I also enjoy my Giant-built Schwinn.
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Old 08-15-12, 07:49 PM   #22
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I know that Univegas moved production from Japan to Taiwan in the late 80s. Does anyone know if they were connected to Giant at that time? Were there other big bike manufacturers in Taiwan in the late 80s / early 90s?
I've got a 1988 Univega Alpina Pro, made in Taiwan. I always assumed it was made by KHS, but maybe it was a Giant.



I converted it to drop bars, but most of the parts, other than the brake levers, drops and barcons, are original. Note the Ubrake on the chain stays, smoked chrome finish.

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Old 08-15-12, 11:25 PM   #23
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I've got a 1988 Univega Alpina Pro, made in Taiwan. I always assumed it was made by KHS, but maybe it was a Giant...Note the Ubrake on the chain stays, smoked chrome finish.
Univega had a bunch of builders, not sure what was built where, but it looks like they used Merida, Dodsun, Ideal and Anlen in '88-'89. Lawee was trying to launch a second line, Sterling, which might also account for the multiple sourcing. No Giant or KHS in the lineup at that time...
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Old 09-28-12, 07:53 AM   #24
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I've got a 1988 Univega Alpina Pro, made in Taiwan. I always assumed it was made by KHS, but maybe it was a Giant.



I converted it to drop bars, but most of the parts, other than the brake levers, drops and barcons, are original. Note the Ubrake on the chain stays, smoked chrome finish.

I think that's an 87 based on the graphics of this 88 http://store.bicycleczar.com/Product...tCode=07120050
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Old 09-28-12, 08:06 AM   #25
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I rebuilt an old Giant Optima (hybrid I guess) for my wife, it is....Solidly Built. Heavy TIG frame, says Cro-Mo seat tube...guess the rest is cast IRON! Mostly decent parts, and well built, but did I mention....HEAVY? ;-) For $35, what do you want! (paid more for a new saddle for her, the one that came on it had staples sticking up through what was left of the padding)
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