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The Rincon LTD from Giant looks simple and straightforward but it did get us on the back step on what surfaces to test it on. Does that mean the Rincon LTD has dual purposes or it isn't specifically made for one type of riding? Read on to know more about this budget bicycle from Giant in our extensive review.
Giant's experience in aluminium tube shaping technology is obvious in the ALUXX grade alloy frame in the Rincon LTD with flowing forms of both the top and down tubes, which provide a rigid backbone for the rest of the chassis. The detail is practical and well thought-out, from the ample mud clearance to the upright riding shape for the urban needs. Geometry-wise the Rincon LTD couldn't be more different, with a shorter top tube and slack angles emphasizing easygoing handling. The good news is that even though the frame cannot withstand hard and rough trails comfortably, it can compensate for a pretty comfortable city ride with the moderate travel of the front suspension fork.
The Giant Rincon LTD 2016 comes in a plain black primary colour with orange tints. The paint job is all glossy and is as simple as it can get. One thing which will catch your eyes instantly is how Giant's name is stuck all over the bicycle, a little too much than required and thus making it look like one of Giant's marketing banner. There is nothing head turning about the design or the colours, but if modest and less complication in looks is your thing then the Rincon's design might interest you.
The seven-speed Shimano Tourney gears are an obvious money-saving touch, and the Shimano TZ31 cassette is clunky compared to the higher-spec sprockets and derailleurs found on some of the competition. The Shimano EF51's thumb shifter did feel a bit more difficult to press through. They are the most basic shifters which usually accompany the budget range Tourney groupset. The ever existing price pressure have been restricting the lower-range MTB bicycles like the Rincon LTD. Giant is also a victim of this and they haven't managed to find anything better in the gearing department.
The Tektro 832 AL V-brakes on the Rincon LTD are a bit uncommunicative compared to the usual reception expected in basic MTB's. This is also one of the main reasons why we don't think this bicycle can handle anything more than flat effortless trails. The Alloy brake levers are long enough for quick reach without any discomfort to the rider. The riser handlebar is restrictively narrow and the stem awkwardly long too. The effect of the shorter dimensions is obvious straight away. On the plus side you can sneak between trees or down tight alleys without worrying about getting your handlebar getting wedged.
The Kenda branded K1104 26x1.95 tires are lower on grip and control than the reasonably knobbly tread would suggest. Although the wheel traction is enhanced by these same treads. While the Kenda tires on the Rincon LTD are definitely designed more for speed than grip, this bicycle felt impressive more on flat tracks than on bumpy trails. The compact ride position on this stiff bicycle does add up for a bumpy ride, but the own-branded Giant saddle does feel comfortable enough to keep you riding the Rincon LTD pain free.
Ultimately, gearing and braking compromises are pretty much unavoidable on mountain bicycles costing this little. While the ride on the Rincon LTD 2016 feels punishing on rough trails, Giant deserves credit for building a reasonably responsive and controlled bicycle that could be used on flat unchallenging trails and in full freedom on city roads as well. We would like to thank Just Buy Cycles, Chennai for providing us with this bicycle for the review.