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Giant Squadron

Old 04-06-19, 08:03 PM
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casanewt
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Giant Squadron

In today's episode of Classic Bargain Bin Bicycle, we run across a bike I had a hard time getting any real information on. It appears to be a 1997 Giant Squadron. A powerful name for an interesting bike. I decided to place this post in C&V since this bike is over 20 years old. It is hard to believe brifters have been around that long, but this was right when they started to appear.

This bike caught my eye initially on OfferUp simply because it was a brifter bike at a LOW price. Then I noticed the LONG wheelbase, cantilever brakes, and full rack mounts including lowrider fork mounts. This guy screams bargain full tourer/gravel bike. Cromoly 4130 double butted frame. RSX brifters, crank, & front derailleur, STX rear derailleur. STX Parallax hubs. Zoom adjustable stem. I'm not sure if this bike was actually sold in the US. All the info I have found is European. One of the Parallex hubs has a small UK sticker on it. Anyways, very cool for what it is. It's on the heavy side, but I think in line with most tourers of that era. My guess is 27-28 lbs. in this 58CM size. I cleaned and lubed it up and took it for a 15 mile jaunt today. Nice ride. I need to adjust the rear shifting a bit and WD-40 the brifters to get them working consistently on downshifts.

So, does anyone know more about this interesting fellow?
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Old 04-06-19, 08:36 PM
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I dunno, but why does every Cincinnati craigslist bike have a ripped saddle? I swear I have to put a thrift store saddle on every dang bike I flip around here! Sweet ride. I love 90's Giants. Usually a lot of bang for your buck.
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Old 04-07-19, 06:52 AM
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RSX would place it 1995-1999 and make it a budget touring model. The serial number should provide the frame manufacturing date. Squadron is a strange model name for a grand touring bicycle.
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Old 04-07-19, 07:45 AM
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I have that exact frame and fork but it's called a Giant Innova. Early 90's mine was all original with a flat bar marketed as a hybrid.
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Old 04-07-19, 07:46 AM
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Skip the WD-40 treatment and put a nice thin lube spray to it. Great looking bike! Those era brifters are great easy to work on and rebuild if you have to.

Nice catch! Not sure about the stem though.
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Old 04-07-19, 07:55 AM
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I've had it stripped for years but back in the day use to ride it everywhere and really enjoyed it. Once in awhile I think of building it up as a gravel CX bike
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Old 04-07-19, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jbchybridrider View Post
I have that exact frame and fork but it's called a Giant Innova. Early 90's mine was all original with a flat bar marketed as a hybrid.
Bingo! Thanks mate.This is why I love Bike Forums. This must be a UK version of the Innova. Here in the US we got the Innova as a hybrid as well, with flat bars and a bit lower spec components. This Squadron is definitely the same frame, but spec'd out as more of a tourer. Somehow this bike made it across the pond to the States. This is my best guess as to what this bike is.
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Old 04-07-19, 09:29 AM
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Out of curiosity, what are the seat tube and top tube lengths?

If the frameset did double-duty as a tourer and hybrid, there may have been some compromise on the top vs seat tube length (shorter for tourer vs longer for hybrid).
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Old 04-07-19, 10:05 AM
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While it may be based on a similar frame design, I wouldn't call this a UK version of the Innova. Hybrid bicycles like the Innova typically used flat or low rise bars that employed down tube cable housing stops, as opposed to down tube shift lever bosses. This was because the Rapidfire and Rapidfire Plus brifters and thumb shifters used on the hybrid and ATB groups had cable tension adjusters built into them, allowing manufacturers to use simpler and cheaper cable stops on the down tube. However, road group brifters, such as RSX did not have these adjusters and employed adjusters that mounted to down tube lever bosses. Given that the OP"s bicycle has down tube shift lever bosses, it was designed specifically as a road frame for drop bars. Taking that into account, along with the cantilever bosses, the OP's frame was specifically designed for a grand touring bicycle and not a hybrid.
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Old 04-07-19, 10:50 AM
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Definitely an interesting find. So what about the geometry between these two frames? My wife picked up a step-through version of the Innova last year, and even though she's not into step-throughs generally, she's really enamored of this bike. Says it feels like a hybrid road bike. In fact she just stepped in and inquired about swapping the stem for one with less rise.
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Old 04-07-19, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by CO_Hoya View Post
Out of curiosity, what are the seat tube and top tube lengths?

If the frameset did double-duty as a tourer and hybrid, there may have been some compromise on the top vs seat tube length (shorter for tourer vs longer for hybrid).
Good question. Here's the answer: Seat tube center to top is 24 inches, top tube center to center is 22.5 inches. Wheelbase axle to axle is 42.5 inches. Longest wheelbase of any bike I have. For reference, the top tube & seat tube measurements match my 61CM Fuji Club.

Last edited by casanewt; 04-24-19 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 04-07-19, 11:47 AM
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This frame has some crazy tire clearance available. It currently has 700x23s on it. One odd thing I forgot about. The frame has a US flag decal with "Designed in USA" on it. I'm sure it is a Taiwan frame, but it seems odd for it to be on there if the only info I see on this model is coming out of Europe or Canada. The serial number begins with GN7xxxxx, which reinforces the 1997 build date based on the components. This is the stock configuration of components based on the limited search results of images on the internet.



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Old 04-07-19, 01:16 PM
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My wife's Innova is labeled Designed in USA, Made in Taiwan. So no surprise they would share the USA frame design designation, even if the one made for drops was only sold in Europe.

I believe her canti brakes are the same as yours. No idea why, but it has Suntour XCE brake levers. Looks like they spec'ed a higher-end crankset on the Squadron.

You mentioned weight - you could shave a few hundred grams off with a non-adjustable stem. An old '80s vintage SR road stem from the bike kitchen would do nicely, I reckon.
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Old 04-07-19, 01:56 PM
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The serial number indicates the frame was manufactured during weeks 25-26 of 1997. That is in the grey are where it could be a late 1997 or early 1998 model. Regardless, this model is not included in my 1997 Canadian specs.
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Old 04-27-19, 05:18 PM
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Circled back to the Squadron today and mounted some 700x38c Crossroads. A gravel ride is in the future.


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Old 04-28-19, 12:34 PM
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Rack mounted, pedals and seat changed, brifters lubed and functioning correctly. It desperately needs a set of Kool Stop brake pads, which I need to order.


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Old 04-28-19, 12:53 PM
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Any plan to swap stems? That's probably your biggest weight anchor at this point.
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Old 04-28-19, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Any plan to swap stems? That's probably your biggest weight anchor at this point.
Definitely down the road. This will be a heavy bike regardless though.
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