GIANT UNVEILS THEIR ALL-NEW DH SLED

After some time, the Glory gets an all-carbon facelift and lots of adjustments

The fifth generation of the Glory Advanced features a new Maestro rear suspension setup and multiple flip chips to dial in geometry, rear wheel size, fit, and positioning

GIANT UNVEILS THEIR ALL-NEW DH SLED

Giant has introduced the Glory Advanced, the latest version of its professional downhill race bike. This fifth-generation model has undergone a complete overhaul, aiming to provide downhill racers with a competitive advantage. The bike features a full-composite frameset that offers various adjustment options for frame geometry, handling, and rear wheel size. With its comprehensive redesign, the Glory Advanced caters to the needs of DH racers seeking improved performance on the track.

Luke Meier-Smith putting the new Glory through its paces at the 2023 Australian DH National race, taking the Elite title

The development of the new Glory bike by Giant involved extensive collaboration between engineers, product developers, and the Giant Factory Off-Road Team. This process took several years and included multiple iterations of the bike, which were rigorously tested on demanding racetracks worldwide. Notably, French rider Rémi Thirion achieved several top-10 World Cup finishes while riding prototype frames over the past two seasons. Additionally, Luke Meier-Smith emerged as the winner of the 2023 Australian elite men’s national DH title using a pre-production model of the Glory bike. These achievements highlight the performance and competitiveness of the bike in professional racing and high-stress scenarios.

The flip chip located on the upper rocker arm of the Maestro suspension system has three positions to dial in the handling.

The core of the newly unveiled Glory Advanced is its meticulously crafted, lightweight chassis made from Advanced-grade composite. This marks the first time consumers have access to a full-composite Glory bike. With a weight of just 3200g (size S/M frameset), it surpasses previous generations in terms of being lighter, stiffer, and more agile. The updated frame showcases a revamped Maestro rear suspension system, along with three flip chips that allow for personalized adjustments in terms of geometry, rear wheel size, fit, and positioning. The default configuration comprises a mixed-wheel setup, featuring a 29-inch front wheel and a 27.5-inch rear wheel. This combination strikes a balance between speed when rolling over obstacles and maneuverability. Moreover, riders have the flexibility to switch to a 29-inch rear wheel by utilizing a straightforward two-position adjustment located on the rear dropout.

A trunnion mount shock in combination with a 75mm stroke makes the rear suspension feel smoother and more active

The new Glory Advanced features a state-of-the-art Maestro rear suspension system, providing riders with 200mm of smooth and active travel. This system incorporates four strategically positioned pivot points and two linkages, working harmoniously to establish a single floating pivot point. Notably, the rear suspension includes an upgraded upper rocker arm constructed with Advanced Forged Composite material, enhancing both strength and stiffness while simultaneously reducing the overall weight of the frame. As a result, riders experience improved handling when traversing rough and technical trails, navigating corners at high speeds, and accelerating out of turns. To further enhance the rear suspension performance, a trunnion mount shock is employed, resulting in a longer stroke that contributes to a smoother and more dynamic rear suspension feel. Additionally, the leverage ratio has been fine-tuned to deliver a smoother end stroke, minimizing the occurrence of bottom-outs. Complementing the rear suspension is a 203mm travel fork, designed to effectively absorb trail impacts across a wide range of scenarios, including high-speed braking bumps, significant drops, heavy impacts, and challenging landings on the most demanding downhill tracks and trails.

A modular three-position flip chip at the headset area lets riders adjust the reach in 5mm increments

The new Glory model stands out with its remarkable adjustability, allowing for modifications in angles, dimensions, and wheel size options. This flexibility is achieved through the utilization of three flip chips. The first flip chip is situated on the upper rocker arm of the Maestro suspension system, offering three positions (High, Medium, and Low) to fine-tune the bike’s handling characteristics. These settings bring about changes in the bottom bracket drop in 5mm increments (13mm, 8mm, or 3mm), as well as adjustments to the head tube angle (61.6 degrees, 62 degrees, or 62.3 degrees) and seat tube angle (78.4 degrees, 78.8 degrees, or 79.1 degrees). The High position, raising ground clearance, and steepening the head tube and seat tube angles, provides a responsive and agile handling experience. It is particularly suitable for riding smoother and faster singletrack when utilizing the mixed wheel “mullet” setup. The Mid position, often favored by the Giant Factory Off-Road Team DH riders, offers versatility and serves as a well-rounded choice. Lastly, the Low position is recommended for tackling the steepest and most technically demanding descents, ensuring stable handling when utilizing 29-inch wheels both in the front and rear.

The two-position flip chip on the rear dropout changes the wheelbase and rear-center measurements

Another notable feature of the new Glory model is its two-position flip chip located on the rear dropout, which enables adjustments to the wheelbase and rear-center measurement. The Short position offers a nimble and agile riding experience, making it an excellent choice for navigating tight and twisty terrain. With a tighter wheelbase and rear center, this configuration enhances steering responsiveness and maneuverability. On the other hand, the Long position extends the wheelbase and rear center, providing enhanced control when riding at high speeds. This setting ensures improved chassis stability on more open and fast downhill tracks, featuring longer straightaways and high-speed cornering. Additionally, the bike incorporates a new modular three-position flip chip at the headset area, allowing riders to adjust the reach in 5mm increments. The Short position brings the headset closer to the rider, promoting a more upright position that proves advantageous when tackling tight and technical downhill terrain. The Mid position offers a neutral reach, delivering well-balanced handling characteristics for varying terrains. Finally, the Long position creates a more stretched-out rider position, providing a planted feel and enhanced stability.

Giant Factory Off-Road Team pros played a key role in developing the new Glory platform. Their team bikes are spec’d with parts from team partners including Fox, Shimano, and Maxxis

The Glory Advanced offers riders the flexibility to select either a 29-inch or 27.5-inch rear wheel. As standard, all models are equipped with a mixed wheel “mullet” setup, which is a popular choice among racers, including the professionals from the Giant Factory Off-Road Team. This setup involves using a smaller diameter rear wheel, resulting in a snappy and agile feel while also providing increased clearance between the saddle and the rear tire. For those who prefer the benefits of rollover speed and stability that come with having 29-inch wheels both in the front and rear, a simple swap can be made by purchasing and installing a larger-diameter rear wheel along with a rear tire.

During the bike’s development process, Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Rémi Thirion piloted various prototype models of the new Glory Advanced to multiple top-10 World Cup finishes

The Glory Advanced is available in a single complete build, priced at $8,000, as well as a Legends Edition frameset with Fox shock and fork that is priced at $6,200.

All details can be found on Giant’s website. 

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