Do not get me wrong- I am not a fanatic about Giant Bikes. I have one and I am very happy about it but I will not preach to you and say that this is the best bike around.There are probably better ones around, but all brands have their followers. I have a friend That is looking for a bike and My particular bike is an SCR3.0. This is not available in the US so a link to it is below.
Now my friend is looking for a Hybrid so I suggested he look at the FCR range. In the UK this is the SCR with straight bars instead of drops. Exactly the same frame and compoments but with straight bars. The retail of the SCR is £450- and the FCR with only the bar change is £350. Double the figures to convert sterling to $us and the SCR is $900 and the FCR is $700. What a difference for such a Minor change.
I know we are expensive over here- a lot more expensive- So I looked on the US Giant site. That same model FCR is only $480 in the US. OR is it. -Check the spec between The two Countries bikes and you have a downgraded bike compared to the UK model. Links to the two catalogues are below for the "Same" model.
I know that Americans are tight with their money but it is a long time since a saw an Altus rear mech on a bike other than in the very basic range. I suppose if they are trying to come down to a Price- then this is what Giant have to do, but I learnt many moons ago that there is a quality level that you do not go below to outfit a bike to a good standard.
So it would appear thatIf you want a good price- you buy in America- but if you are looking for quality- Pay more and come to Europe.