This article is going to be about Giant and my history with the brand, and the Giant Coldrock from 1994 I restored. Although I have to admit it wasn’t that big a restoration, considering the fact the bike was in almost perfect condition.
Cannondale might have been the very first bicycle brand I wanted a bike from, but Giant was actually the first bike that came into the household I grew up in. And it wasn’t my bike, it was my brother who’d decided to buy a Giant X2000 from 1994.
I believe it retailed for 750 guilders, which is 340 euros, which would be about 660 USD today. So even with the rampant inflation that’s an ok price for a 3×7 speed bike.
It’s actually a hybrid bike running 700C tires not 26″ and they’re about as perfect as can be for a vintage gravel bike build.
The best color schemes in the industry
So it’s definitely part nostalgia that I like vintage Giant mountain bikes. The other reason is that especially early nineties Giant mountain bikes have some of the best color schemes you could ask for.
Normally I like a clean single color frame, but those 90s Giant frames with rigid forks epitomize what vintage color schemes are all about. And my personal favorite is the 1991 Giant Terrago. Absolutely stunning.
So it’s no wonder a lot of people turn to this brand to make great vintage builds.
Restoring the 1994 Giant Coldrock
The Giant Coldrock I restored was meant for my daughter, but unfortunately it turned out to be too big for her. And she didn’t really like the pink. But that’s ok, I guess I saved another bike, got a couple of videos out of it, and sold it off to somebody who was probably just looking for a cheap bike not a vintage mountain bike.
The bike itself was in near mint condition and cost next to nothing. I believe I paid 20 euros for it, because the seller had ruined the shifter trying to fix it.
It had a really nice Shimano 400LX Biopace crankset powering a 3×7 speed setup. The bike was dirty, but a good cleaning and frame polishing really brought it back to life.
Giant doesn’t have the vintage allure of let’s say a Cannondale, Specialized, GT, or even Trek, and have something of a low-quality, budget reputation. But their affordability has made many good examples available today for a fraction of the price it would cost you to pick many other bikes.
And not only their rigid steel and aluminum versions are a joy to behold. They’ve also made some extremely flashy carbon bikes. I guess all I’m saying is the next time you’re thinking about a bike restoration project, maybe this post will make you look up some of those great-looking bikes from the Taiwanese Giant, pun intended.
So I hoped you like the article, and let me know what your favorite brand for vintage mountain bike restorations is in the Facebook group.
Johan van Seijen
Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His passion for cycling in general, and restoring older bikes turned into a website to share his knowledge with a broader audience. Starting out on his father’s road bike and riding classics as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege he has shifted his attention to trail, XC, and gravel riding since. No matter how much he loves writing about everything related to cycling, nothing beats actually using his ever-expanding bicycle collection.
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