Built for the professional messenger, the Bowery is Giant's ultra-refined, single speed city bike. The Bowery comes stock with hand brakes and a freewheel or can be set up as a fixed hub (sprocket included)
Weaknesses: mismatched brakes (but who needs them), heavy fork and extremely heavy saddle.
Picked up a Bowery from LBS last week. It is a 2009 model. Found the frame to be stiff and compliant. Handles like my TCR Advanced since the compact geometry is similar. Components are ok. Wheelset is basic Alex. Changed out the handlebars for bullhorns. The "brooks" clone saddle was the heaviest 500+g, changed it out for a Richey Streem V2.
Strengths: Good geometry, light as hell, strong, ok rims not the best but theyll do, everything is sealed, aluminum never gets rusty or corode, pretty comfy thats why i bought it too.
Weaknesses: Ok first start from the front end, front wheel is a good beginner wheel but i dont think itll last with my weight, i like that its sealed and double walled and has nuts instead of quick release (good for the city). Forks, really tough and light but too stiff. Headset, internal not to great for city riding but for racing its ok (the bearings are too skinny and weak). Stem, too long had to change it. Bars, there alright. Brakes, the goofiest thing i have seen on flat bars there good for bullhorns, but ya i threw them away. Ok back end, back wheel is like the front kinda sucky. Freewheel (screw fixies), not the greatest gearing but good for hills, its kind of unresponsive sometimes like when im mobbing it takes 1/4 crank turn to engage. Cranks, there not shabby, BB, sucks makes a clicking noise all day even tho is sealed its weird. Clips and pedals, Clips haves screws and bolts loose and gone all day, pedals needs better ones, Seat makes a sound likes it cracking everytime i sit on it or move in a weird spot. Seatpost it has a shim in the seatpost tube why couldnt they make it so it will fit with out one (its kinda a fix it and and hope it works solution).
Its acuatly 2009 model. But ya this bike gets me around and does it fast and effeciently. I would say the frame is stiff my dad hoped on it the other day and said he has never been on a bike so stiff, it might be my 160psi back tire tho. But what can you expect from aluminum its the strongest and lightest metal that you can get out of a bike. I wouldnt suggest buying this bike tho it has a pretty good frame geometry, light and strong but its all the components that make it not the greatest. Im thinkin about getting another frame and building up a better bike that has top end stuff and is cooler than this. I bought this on a whim cuase i needed a bike and didnt want to wait any longer but now i know. But over all it gets me from place a to place b
Similar Products Used: Havent used anything like it, but i heard the specialized langster is like it but its probably better cuz specialized are my homies and make sick bikes
Bike Setup: New bars Fly risers, New stem 55mm primo casket, New brakes (tektro), Red cables (animal), New grips (Oury), There is alot i would like to do just i would like to keep the frame and build up a bike with a different frame and different parts but make this bike into something else, Probably paint it get new forks bottom bracket and wheels and cranks and freewheel and chain.
Date Reviewed: February 15, 2009
Strengths: solid commuter and once you get it going, it does go!!! this bike has made me a fixed gear guy. I own three other bikes, and this is my fav, though it is the least expensive one.
Weaknesses: heavy, and some of the components are the reason it is.
I wanted a fixie and this just happened! overall it's a good ride except it weighs a bit much. the handlebars are heavy, causes the front wheel to turn by itself. also the crank does look cheap and the wheels are heavy. but it doesn't mean i don't enjoy this bike, I do!!!
Strengths: > Really nice ride (smooth, quiet, rolls well)
> Wheels bearings run really smoothly
> Under stated styling
> Excellent value for money
Weaknesses: Technically the bike isn't gonna win any awards in the workshop, and GIANT could easily make some small improvements to the Bowery to make it something really special. Issues I have with it include
1)The cranks are pretty cheap, drilled at 165mm from centre, but cranks arms are quite a bit longer, suggest cost cutting. Plus chainring appears very cheap.
2) 3/32 not 1/8 pitch (although probably easier/cheaper to change ratio as chainring is 130 PCD (Shimano) and 3/32 rings are cheaper than 1/8)
3) The chain doesn't appear to be a proper single speed chain, but just a length of 8/9 speed chain - how long it will last on a fixie I will find out.
4) Fixed/fixed NOT fixed/free hub (not too clever for using the freewheel)
5) The use of the 26mm tyres means very difficult to fit mudguards, I've changed to 23mm tyres so I can fit guards.
6) No mudguard or rack mounts on the rear of the frame, although mudguard bosses on front forks (go figure??).
7) I'm not relishing fixing a rear wheel puncture on the road, with all those adjusters and nuts. I've fitted kevlar belted tyre and slime tubes.
8) The stearing is a slow, but as stated it aint no track bike
Having ridden fixies on and off for about 20 years, I do really like this bike. GIANT have done an excellent job with this machine. Being a single speed means its essence is in its simplicity, this is complimented well with its under-stated styling that GIANT have bestowed upon it. The ride is very smooth and quiet, with the forks and tyres (although budget items) complimenting the focus of the machine as a robust no frills about town bike / winter trainer. This is most definetely NOT a track bike and rides very differently from my GIANT Omnium. It is a great road fixie for the price.
I've rated the bike as a 4 as I think there is room for improvement, although the Bowery is greater than the sum of its parts.
Strengths: Great, solid FG, feels durable, exactly what you need for winter training. Road angles for road training, 2-3 hrs on a FG with track angles is not comfortable.
Weaknesses: The only thing that I could think of is maybe the cranks, functional but ugly.
Bought to replace a converted road bike FG. It was between a new frame with old components or this. I've ridden 20 hrs on it already and it's a solid choice- I was able to dial in my setup and it's comfortable and stiff. My longest ride has been 2.5 hrs on it and no roblems. My only changes to it were my saddle and pedals.