Have you seen this?? Giant Tran Sport
I ran across this the other day while drooling over new bikes. I thought I would mention it here because there is always someone talking about MTB conversions, and always someone looking for an affordable tourer, be it a road style or expedition style bike. This bike doesn't look half bad as a commuter or tourer and I haven't heard it mentioned in the touring forums before.
Meet the Giant Tran Sport...
This is an interesting bike. 17" stays, rigid fork, built to haul loads, and a reasonably long wheelbase. In some ways not ideal, but certainly not a bad candidate for an expedition style tourer. They are priced between $600-$750 so they aren't a bank breaker.
Expedition touring bike lovers (like me!) may have a new candidate for a touring bike.
The Safari & 26" Thorns now have a li'l sister!!
Has anyone ridden one of these yet??
Nice to see a real touring bike properly kitted out, and the price is good. But what's the running gear exactly? Also, is "racks that expand along with your cargo." just marketing speak, or does it mean something?
Rack that expands: the one I saw at my LBS had racks with hinged 'wings' that extend the top platform or lie flat against the (vertical) supports.
Running gear? you mean what level gearing is it sporting?
Alivio in the rear, Shimano C102 in front. Not the greatest....
Yes the racks actually have wings to fold out and become very wide so you could carry say something the size of a suitcase lying flat. or a keg of beer.....hmmmm...now If I put my tent, and the pretzels on the front rack and ran a tube from the keg in the rear....
I think the idea of this design was to make it a cargo hauler of sorts. kind of a work bike design.
That rear rack is centered way ahead of rear axle - about 6cm (compare to 8cm radius of brake disc). Combine with 43cm chainstays (only 0.5-1cm longer than std mtb chainstay) and you can expect heel strike if you have anything but tiny feet and/or average size pannier.
Clearly bike was designed by someone who's never rigged/used a tourer. The rear rack placement is just plain bad - you'd have to trash it and buy a conventional rack, then utilize the rear dropout eyelet (see pic) to mount it. Don't know why Giant doesn't see this design flaw.
Last edited by seeker333; 04-17-08 at 02:49 PM.
Its not a design flaw on a cargo bike which I think is the intended purpose of this bike...
I concur that it's more "cargo" than "touring." I don't see much room for fenders, rear rack is too far forward. Disc brakes, not optimal imo. Kind of a shame, a few tweaks and it could do both very well.
I remember reading a few months ago how these sort of über "utility bikes" are the Latest Thing....
If this is a "cargo bike", the cargo is going to be limited to items that can also be carried in a small backpack.
Those racks are screwy. The sides hinge up to increase platform size. Evidently the designer thinks this is how bike racks are used.
The top rails, with integral hinge construction, appear to be too large in diameter to mount panniers with std 8 or 10mm hooks. It looks like the mid rail may accept panniers. If this is the case, then the rear is a little too low (derailer interference) and the front is too high (high center of gravity). And both would be swinging around turns on those hinged rails, since there's no lower rack provision for anchoring the panniers. You'd have to tie them down with string I reckon. And as mentioned earlier, you're still gonna have heel strike.
The average "touring bike" shopper would be better served buying an old steel mtb with dropout eyelet and a conventional set of racks. Probably even save enough money to pay for the panniers.
Either of these "metro" models would work better for touring, if Giant is your preferred brand.
OK, you hate it.....I get it....goodness.
Originally Posted by seeker333
I think you are looking at this as a touring bike rather than the cargo bike that it is. I am only saying it has some potential as a tourer.
If you saw this bike up close, you'd see that it is more than adequate to carry large packages. My guess is that it was originally designed as a delivery bike for the Asian market, as I have seen many like it while in both China and Japan, large wide racks to carry boxes and the like. Some vendors carry small stoves and cook right off the bike. Others carry tools and set up bike repair shops by the side of the road. Most frequently though, I have seen these bikes hauling large tanks of some sort (propane I would guess).
Racks like this aren't touring racks but after seeing them used, they work just fine for the intended purposes. I doubt they were ever intended to accommodate panniers. My guess is that the forward position of the rack is intentional.
As for the heel strike issues, you may have a point, and one that I overlooked. I have panniers with cutouts that could easily work. However, I never carry a lot of gear & pack light so what isn't an issue for me might be for someone else.
I do like Giants BTW and have two mid 90's Iguanas tricked out to my liking...they kick ass - both on road and off.
I have this bike on my short list. I am going to my Giant dealer weekend to see if they have one.however I am looking for a 'faster' bike doing LOTS of fast 4 to 8 miles ( one way) and the occasional long distance ride >= 25 miles and touring. I let you know after i see it.