Updated: 27th February 2017
The Giant ATX is a perfect entry into the world of mountain biking. It offers a comfortable riding position for long days in the saddle and components that will inspire confidence and help build your skillset. Both ATX models – ATX 1 and ATX 2 – feature 27.5” wheels for fast, yet agile handling and the same aluminium frame for long lasting performance. We will be looking at both the ATX 1 and ATX 2 in this review, to see what riding they are best suited to.
Aimed at riders looking to expand their riding, the Giant ATX range offers quality components that would often be found on higher-end models at a very competitive price point. Both bike come in under £400, making them ideal multi-purpose machines, for commuting and weekend excursions.
At the heart of the Giant ATX range is the lightweight ALUXX aluminium frame. Aluminium is great for making a strong frame, and keeps the weight low so that you can move and transport the bike with ease. The same robust frame is featured on both models. For convenience and versatility, the frame has mounts for both a rear rack and full mudguards giving you the opportunity to tune the bike to your needs. And for long days out, two water bottle mounts are available to keep you hydrated.
The geometry of the frame is aimed towards comfort for long days riding, with the upright position keeping you in a neutral location on the bike. It is a capable machine on light trails and forest roads, but with the ability to make road rides a cinch.
At the heart of the Giant ATX range is the lightweight ALUXX aluminium frame.
100mm of SR Suntour tailored suspension keeps the ride comfortable and softens the bumps.
The Giant ATX features SR Suntour forks on both models. 100mm of suspension travel helps keep the front wheel on the ground to maintain traction in rough conditions. This makes the Giant ATX more capable when the trail gets a bit rocky. It also gives you some leeway if you hit an unexpected pothole or rock, keeping you safer and helping you avoid unnecessary spills.
The ATX 2 gets the Suntour XCT fork with 100mm of travel. The ATX 1 gets the same Suntour XCT fork, but with the added bonus of a lockout which helps with climbing, especially when you are standing up on the pedals so you don’t waste energy pushing the suspension down.
Disc brakes offer consistent stopping power in all weather conditions.
Shimano takes care of all the gearing for the Giant ATX 1 and ATX 2. The wide spread of gears allows you to ride to the top of almost any hill with energy to spare. The ATX 2 gets a 3x7 speed drivetrain which is enough for most trails. The ATX 1 gets a 3x8 speed drivetrain which is a bit lighter and gives crisper shifting. It also gives more range as you have more high gears for heading downhill.
Both models have Tektro Mechanical disc brakes. They work with cables like normal rim brakes and offer all-weather braking power. Disc brakes are stronger than rim brakes and aren’t affected by wet weather, so offer consistent stopping in all weather conditions.
Giant decided to go with 27.5” wheels for both models of their ATX range. The mid-size wheels are a bit bigger than the previously traditional 26” wheels and smaller than the popular 29” wheels. They make a nice compromise between the two, offering quick rolling off the line and light handling like 26” wheels while also rolling over bigger obstacles more easily, like 29” wheels.
With Joytech Alloy hubs and Giant’s own GX28 rims, you get reliable performance. The 2.1” tyres keep the speed up, and the smaller treads make sure that rolling resistance is kept to a minimum, for faster riding on smooth surfaces.
Mid-range 27.5” wheels offer the nimble handling of 26” wheels and greater rollover ability of 29” wheels.
A lightweight aluminium frame, disc brakes and mid-sized wheels make the ATX a perfect entry level bike to get you into the world of mountain biking. The comfortable geometry sets you in an upright, yet controllable riding position so that you can ride a variety of terrain with confidence.
The disc brakes add confidence in wet weather and the 27.5” wheels make sure the bike never feels unwieldy so you can be comfortable learning new skills off-road. The ATX is not shy about riding on the road either, making for a great all-rounder for someone looking for that one bike to do it all.