The Littlest Giant

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by Mark V on Dec 03, 2010 at 9:15 AM

XTC on Japanese shop webpage.png

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p>After my most recent trip to Taiwan (including a tour of the Giant Bicycles factory in Taichung county), I’ve been rather keen on Giant bikes. Having sold my old mtb over a year ago, I perused hardtails on Giant’s US webpage. I was a little disappointed to see that the carbon XTC SL frame in size small was a little too big for me.

Here at Bike Hugger, we try to keep it a secret, but the truth is that I stand just a bit shorter than the national average…if the nation is the Phillipines. For the US, I’m way shorter. But WTF? Giant is the archetypal Asian bike company. If German bike company Focus doesn’t make a frame my size, I could accept that, but I figure Giant should be on my side. More than that, they sell to the Asian markets; there’s gotta be a demand for shorty bikes.

So I did some digging online. I clicked back to Giant’s global page and then navigated to Giant Japan. The funny thing is that Giant in the states offers the XTC in S, M, and L, but in Japan they only offer XS, S, and M. And the XS size is exactly the geometry that I would want. I knew Japan was cooler than the US!

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p> [XTC from Giant Japan.png

Why didn’t I just check Giant’s Taiwan site? Because I can read more Japanese (really elementary stuff and bike-related terms) than Mandarin (ZERO). But I thought I may as well check Taiwan, since I’ve gone there more often than Japan the last few years. Head-snap what? Taiwan only lists a S and M. Well, that makes no sense to me.

Just to make sure, I checked Spain, and they get the XS-size all the way up to an XL. I’m not sure how I should interpret it all.

Bike Room Sin (Japanese retailer)

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p> Giant Japan’s XTC page

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Comments: 4

On that note, while we’re complaining about sizes, where on earth do you find decent kit?

For me, at 6’0 and just north of 160 pounds, I’m flapping in the breeze with size S “American/club” fit tops. Euro size M is better, but the fit is anything but PRO.

In a range defined by much smaller pure climbers and “big” riders like Boonen and Cancellara at 6’4,180ish, it’s just hard to imagine the Schlecks, marginally taller and lankier than I, sizing down to (X)S.

i’m a different kind of small.  5’3” and 135 lbs with most of the muscle in my thighs and butt. it is a big hassle to find any clothes that fit me, let alone cycling gear.  my favourite jerseys are xs Pearl Izumi, xs Garneau, and s LOOK.  favourite shorts are size 2 Assos, xs Garneau, older size s Castelli (newer stuff is cut bigger), and the best short of them all is size s LOOK. 

i wear Santini thermal knickers because tights are too long for me, except for some xs Garneau model no longer made.  i hate zippers at the bottom of tights cause they’ll bunch up at my ankle.

one of the biggest incentives for me to join a team is getting custom team kit, because that’s often the only way to get size xs.  and i’ll buy used team jerseys from women’s teams because women’s team usually buy unisex jerseys anyways.

+1 for custom clothing.  We do Hincapie on my team and race cut is the only way to go.  I’m 6’3” - 180 and I go with M jersey, L bibs. 

“Club” fit == “Beer Gut” fit.  Unless you’re dealing with a tire, skip the club fit.

Also depending on the cut, Club can equal man boobs too.

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