We purchased these Giant 'Expedition' tourers back in 2000 just before our trip to Poland. We needed something that was going to be reliable after all the hassle's we had with the Claud Butlers in Denmark.
They have certainly have been very reliable, they have now done over 10,000 miles over some tough terrain in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland and they have been excellent. The only slight problems we have had were initially with the 'Magura' hydraulic brakes (leaking master cylinder, but that was soon fixed) and broken front carriers, the Giant alloy ones weren't really up to it.
We have found the Aluxx 6061 frame to be strong and with it's frame geometry, gives us a very good ride.
The bikes came fitted with Vredestein Spider tyres. The 'Butterfly' style multi positional handle bars have been excellent, giving us several hand positions and an upright but very comfortable riding position over extended periods. These are much more comfortable than the flat bars and bar ends that we had on the Claud Butlers. Most people seem to swear by drops, however, every time I see tourers with them, they are always seem to be riding with their hands on the tops! - need I say more? Yes, I know that drops give you more of an aerodynamic shape, but come on, when you are loaded up with front and rear panniers you have the aerodynamics of a Sherman tank!
We have made some slight modifications from the the original specs.
- We have added 'Brooks Champion Flyer' leather saddles.
- Added 'Post Moderne' suspension seat posts - very useful on East Germany's cobbled roads!
- Replaced the 'Rat trap' toe clip pedals with Shimano SPD combination cage pedals (PD-M324)
- Replaced the stands with a stronger Esge Pletscher rear bike stand Multi Zoom.
- Fitted 2 'Topeak' bottle cages and stainless steel drink bottles.
- Fitted 'Bike buddy' fuel bottle brackets to the down tubes.
- We have replaced the front racks with Tubus Nova stainless steel lowrider racks as the previous ones broke in Iceland.
- After 10 good years of use we replaced the excellent Alesa X-plorer alloy rims with Mavic A719 rims. The front hubs were replaced by Schmidt SON 28 Dynohubs and the rear hubs with Shimano Deore XTR's. The Front chainsets where replaced with the Shimano Deore LX HollowTech ll crank and BB combination.
Our rigs on tour in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland 2011 with e-werks, new Mavic rims, Schmidt SON 28 Dynohubs and Shimano Deore LX HollowTech ll front chainsets.
The rigs on our tour in Iceland in 2008.
The rigs on the Lofoten isles Norway with new front Ortlieb panniers, Brookes saddles, Bike buddy fuel bottle carriers and Frank's anatomical bars!
The 'loaded rigs' on our North Sea cycle route tour complete with new Ortlieb rear panniers and racpacs.
The 'loaded rigs' on our tour in Poland complete with suspension seat posts and new bottles.
You may be wondering what the red bag is under the cross bar? - it contains a small delta wing kite, great for a bit of fun in the evenings, on the campsite or the beach or park en-route.