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Giant's partnership with Starkenn in India has made sure that almost the full range of Giant 2016 bicycles are available in India. Giant is known to have a wide variety of bicycles for all purposes. The Giant Roam 3 2016 is a hybrid bicycle which specializes at touring/cross-country needs. We got the opportunity to review this bicycle and this is what we thought.
The Roam 3 is built using the Giant in house ALUXX technology. Aluminium frames are stiffer, making them better at maintaining steering characteristics when loaded with luggage, as well as being that bit lighter too. Immediately noticeable is the massive, triangulated downtube, which helps tracking under heavy load. Further marking it out for touring, its longer chainstays add both pannier clearance and stability, with one mounting point for a bottles rack. Although the overall proportions are definitely set up for touring, the aluminium frame is also a touch longer and a touch shorter on the headtube, giving a slightly more sporty position, as well as trimming back some overall weight.
The SR Suntour NEX front suspension fork isn't the best in it's class mainly due to its minimal 63mm travel. But that shouldn't be considered a functional low point mainly because the terrain this bicycle is meant to be ridden requires nothing more than this 63mm suspension fork.
The Giant Roam 3 comes in 2 colour variants. The one we test rode came in an Aqua Celurian Blue with little shades of white and forest green. The top tube is a combination of cylindrical and a flat shape which makes sure the material used is evenly distributed which also reduced the over-all weight. The gloss paint job is top quality and is the best you could see among premium bicycles. It is shiny and will definitely stand out during your group rides.
Giant have opted for Shimano Acera/Altus combo with EF51 shifters, offering solid, but a little clunky shifting. This gearing is mated to a wide 11-34t cassette for tackling steep terrain. The Giant GX02 hub is well established in touring bicycles as a supremely effective system, encasing evenly spaced gears in a protective hub that's safe from dust and grime, limiting external damage. The range is similar to a MTB derailleur setup, with no dropped chains or slipping gears to worry about. Gears one to seven feel slightly less efficient than the larger ones, but this is easy to forgive since the hub can tackle wet conditions, thick mud and layers of dust without skipping a beat. The shifters are placed in perfect hand position and even though they were plastic, it felt stronger and has a good spring action which keeps it from slipping.
The MTB alloy-V brakes reacted well during the city ride. It is named MTB because the component's pulling power is the same as found on mountain bicycles. During the test ride, the V-brakes needed more of an on-off action to slow down the bicycle safely whilst going at high speeds. Jamming of the brakes did cause some screeching at the back. The Shimano EF-51 brake levers were longer and almost to the length of the handlebar grip. They felt comfortable holding on to and did not require too much effort to reach or pull them.
The Giant riser handlebar was lengthier and that made sure the rider's chest is opened up for a more comfortable riding position and easy breathing. The grips were broader and has a cushioned palm rest to absorb the sweat and decrease soreness.
The Giant S-RX4-X 700C X 40C Road Tires on the Roam 3 are designed the same way as seen on road bicycles. But the Giant GX02 Rims have been made stronger to handle the extra width in these tires. This extended width and the neatly placed treads make sure these tires can roll over rougher roads with ease. The Giant Connect saddle had an ergonomical design with smooth edges which gradually go down. During the test ride, this made sure that I never slipped away from the saddle whenever I moved to the edge while pedaling aggressively. The over-all ride quality was smooth on city roads but a bit slower.
There are different kinds of riding which can be associated with this bicycle. Starting from your basic commute to touring to taking it on rougher roads, this bicycle can do it all. Even though the bicycle feels a bit heavy, the advantage is the strength and durability it brings to the frame. If you are someone looking for a hybrid bicycle which can be taken on occasional tours then the Giant Roam 3 2016 priced at Rs.37,000 is a suitable bicycle for you.