For those who feel that bicycles have become overly complex and ridiculously expensive, Giant bicycles has unveiled a brand of simple, stylish, and inexpensive townie bicycles. Momentum launched this week with just three bicycles in the line, all of which sell for just $425.
The Street is an aluminum city bike built around 700c wheels. Its unique design employs a double top tube that wraps around both sides of the seat post and melds straight into the integrated, color-matched rack system. Complication is kept to a minimum, with rim brakes and a seven-speed Shimano drivetrain in the rear. Despite the low price, there are a surprising number of extras, including a cup holder built into the frame, full fenders, and storage for a U-lock in that double top-tube. The Street is available in three sizes and five colors, and it will come in both a straight top tube configuration as well as a lowered step-through design.
The Park is a more laidback, beach-cruiser style bike with 26-inch wheels and fatter, 1.9-inch tires. Like the Street, it has rim brakes and only seven speeds, though it forgoes the fenders and adds a full-length chain guard. It also has a built-in cup-holder. The Park comes in only four colors and two sizes.
Giant is not the first company to launch into the lifestyle market. Specialized tried a similar line of bikes, marketed under the name Globe, a couple of years ago, though the company has since discontinued the marque and brought their lifestyle brand back under the main umbrella. And last year, Trek bought Electra, and it also maintains its own line of city and utility bikes, which tend to be a bit more expensive.
"We realized that Globe was largely being sold on the strength of the Specialized brand," says Simon Dunne, marketing manager for Specialized. "So we decided to bring it under the Specialized name.”
As the biggest bike manufacturer in the world, Giant bikes have always been a great value, in part because of the company’s buying power. Momentum looks to follow suit as the bikes pack in a lot of features compared to similarly priced bikes from other brands. These new bikes aren’t fancy or high-tech, but they offer excellent value for riders who just need a bike for getting around.
Momentum bikes are shipping now and will be sold from select Giant dealers.