Giant Suede Commuter Bike

Suede

  • 7-speed drivetrain for shifting simplicity
  • Adjustable stem for perfect positioning
  • Front suspension for smooth tracking over all terrain

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
Sally   [Aug 01, 2014]
Strength:

Comfortable , we'll made bike. I bought it about five years ago, and have had it tuned up once. I love this bike!

Weakness:

None really. ( maybe the fact that my model did not come with a chain guard)

Great bike

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
PMS   [May 09, 2013]
Strength:

Price (bought at closeout: $350)
Limited speeds: all I need.
Comfort
Mildly surprised at how good I feel after rather lengthy rides.

Weakness:

Only a week old, and none so far.

Great bike for commutung, or just cruising bike paths.
Will have to get rid of tractor seat, which I should have done at time of purchase.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Phil in Florida   [Nov 03, 2012]
Strength:

Reliable, fun to ride, gear range perfect for my area

Weakness:

Can't think of any

I bought my bike in the Spring of 2009 and just passed 3,000 miles today. I have had it tuned up twice (routine) and it has been 100% reliable. Where I live it is flat and this is a perfect bike for me and my area.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Andrew   [Oct 02, 2012]
Strength:

The strengths are the frame. My son can not bike leaning over. And it is easy for him to wait at a stop light because he only need to put his foot down, flat footed.
Gear range for the seven gear version good for climbing most hilles except the steepest.

Weakness:

My son bikes 20 miles a day. After one month these items were placed.
A, Cheap plastic pedals were ruined very quickly. Replaced.
B. Seat was wore quickly. Replaced with same type of seat different manufacturer.
C. Seat post replaced twice because angle steps broke. Cheap aluminum. Better would be steel.
D. Both wheel rims replaced because weak and cheap single walls not a box style.. Spokes broke and wheel become out of round. Replaced gear set with a cartridge type set. Because wheel rimes are not very strong.

I love this bike because this is the only bike my son can ride and he rides about 20 miles a day. He is handicapped and can not ride any bike where he has leans over like a typical racing or road bike. He is unable to bend his head up, so he must sit straight up. For years he said he hated biking. He never went more than a mile and complained the whole way. This bike has really changed his life.

The bad about this bike is many components failed the first month my son drove the bike. The pedals are super cheap plastic and were the first to go. Then the seat post broke meaning the little adjustment steps which change the angle of the seat sheared off. This happened twice. The next time this happens I will replace it with a steel post and steel adjustment not aluminum. The next item that broke was a single spoke. I took it back to the shop and they replaced it for free, but they did not true the wheel, bad mistake. A week later 11 spokes where broken. I told the shop my son can not handle anything that breaks. We replaced both wheels with heavy duty rims, At the same time the rear wheel needed a cartridge gearing, I bought a new cartridge gears, same ratio as the original.
The original bike cost $400. plus tax. After making all changes this bike cost close to $900.00. However it was worth it to me since my son can now get around.

Another reason this bike may have failed so many components is it might be designed for 150 pound person. My son is about 250 pounds. Another thought could be road conditions, however my son rides only smooth roads no trails. His disability does not allow jerky conditions.

If I could do it again I would order just the frame, and put on robust components.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Waipouri   Commuter [Sep 09, 2012]
Strength:

Upright riding position - avoids strain on my back problems - great not to get a sore back.
Good exercise - my doctor has just told me to cycle more to help my knees as I've been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis.

Weakness:

Front wheel tends to lift on hills
Lack of castor?
Saddle not as comfortable as I might expect on a hybrid.
Would like a wider gear range at the top end - find I am in top gear on the flat - so lack a gear to pedal downhill.
Gear indicators are hard to read in poor light conditions or with vibration on a chip-seal road.

Bought the Giant Suede about 18 months ago. The NZ version may be slightly differently spec'd than in other countries.
Generally I am very pleased with it.

The low gears are great - no problem getting up most hills. However the top end lacks the high ratios that make my road bike and my tandem great on a downhill. Not a major problem - I shouldn't be pushing to hard at my age.

Because the seat position is fairly well back on the frame, if I'm not careful the front wheel tends to lift sometimes on a steep hill.

The sometimes leads to a touch of the wobbles - particularly at low speeds up hill. Not sure if this is because of the wider handle bars, the lack of weight on the front wheel or the fork geometry. It's the only serious problem with the bike. I haven't yet tried shifting the saddle forward on the rails.

Overall it's pretty comfortable. I might look out a more forgiving saddle - it's fine if one is sitting well back but a bit hard on the sit bones sitting forward.

When delivered it was a bit hard to move into the middle sprocket - particularly changing down from 3rd to 2nd. The mechanic adjusted it and it's a lot better. But I have to over-shift and then shift back up slightly. The bikeshop I bought it from closed down so I never went back for my free adjustment. The mechanic took about 10 minutes to get it right when I bought it. I figure I haven't got the skills to do it myself.

And a suggestion for Shimano on making gear levers for us oldies or people with bad eyesight - in heavy traffic it's not always easy to check what gear I'm in. It would be really handy if the gear position displays were more legible. Maybe with an easily readable colour coding so one can tell at a glance which gear one's in.

Overall though, it's great to have a bike that isn't harsh on my back.

My road bike is a reasonably light 531 db frame - stiff and light. The Giant is quite a bit heavier - but the price made up for the loss of a light feel. It's not a bike I would like to carry any distance.

Bought a town model with mudguards and a panier rack. All good - although the bungees supplied for the rack are only good for light loads.

Similar Products Used: Test road a Merida before I bought the Giant. But in the end, my wife chose the Suede so I figured it was better to start riding than spend ages test riding.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
LeeAnn Huber   Recreational Rider [Aug 28, 2011]
Strength:

Reasonable Price ($370 with 40$ rack in 2007)Gear arrangement makes it a little easier to get up hills. I can sit up straight so my back doesn't hurt.

Weakness:

Weight, Weight, Weight

I have the 2007 women’s and am only now getting a tune up since I’ve barely ridden it in the 4 years I’ve had it. My biggest and perhaps only complaint is the weight. With a rear bike rack, a kick stand, and light weight plastic fenders, it’s about 40 lbs. When I bought it I didn’t live in a condo with 2 ½ flights of narrow stairs and I wasn’t hanging it on a bike hook to try to keep it out of the way in a small living space. After struggling to get it up the stairs, I can barely get the bike on the bike hook because it’s so heavy. I picked the bike because I don’t have to lean over and put any weight on my arms which makes my left shoulder/back scream from an old injury that apparently will never heal completely. I suppose if I was able to pay a lot more money I could find a comparable comfort bike that was lighter, but for now I think I have to live with the unwieldiness. I also picked it because it did seem easier to get up hills with. Now I’m hoping to put it to use more.

Similar Products Used: I have a Sun recumbent that is hard to get up hills and won't fit on a bus bike rack. I leave it at my brother's cabin because it is even more unwieldy than the Scede DX
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Maq   Recreational Rider [Mar 29, 2011]
Strength:

Price over other similar models
Seat Comfort
Upright Position
Gearing like mountain bike (42/32/22)
Nice Stable Shifting
Kick Stand
Color: Blue / Silver
Great Breaks
Can get Fenders,Chain Guard,Rear luggage Rack

Weakness:

Brake Cables not as Clean
I'm told more difficult to transfer in
bike rack

My wife bought a Trek Pure and wanted me to buy something to ride with her. I rode her bike and I thought it was great, but, I'm a shopper so I had to look at all the Crank Forwards and determine which I thought suited me best. They are all great, for all those like me, who are riding much more for pleasure and fitness, than for any other purpose. Yet, I did not want a bike that I couold not take up hills like some cruisers or commute to somewhere in reasonable time.
So, after much research and riding all I could find including the Trek Sport 21, Electra Townie 21, the REI Novara21 and the Schwinn Sierra 21, I chose the Giant Suede Dx 21 speed. The shifting is very smoothe, the seat very comfortable, and the handle height extends enough for my longer arms. This bike comes in a reg 17.5 frame and a lg 21" frame. Where the other forward cranks come in 2 sizes Mens 16 and womens 14. I'm 6 ft tall with long legs and felt that the 21 in large worked for me. Don't get me wrong though, the other medium sizes fit fine with the seats extended. The gearing for the townie, rei bike and trek are all 48/38/28..for the 21's and 38 for the 7's. The gearing for the schwinn is 44,34,24.. but the gearing for the Giant is 42,32,22.. more like a mountaing bike. I live in a realatively hilly neighborhood, have two bad knees and chose the bike with slightly easier pedaling for those difficult climbs.
I think the quality of workmanship on all are very good. The schwinn was very nice and if the crank had been forward I may have picked it instead of the Giant DX 21. I really liked it's sleak design. The position is actually very nice and quite upright. Plus, the price is almost 100 cheaper then the crank forwards 21 speeds. Someone also told me the Schwinn is shorter and easier to travel with. We'll see I guess on that regard.
There is a lot to assimilate in a short amount of time when you are picking out a Bike, making a sizable investment and haven't ridden that much in quite a few years. I'm not always comfortable just letting the salesman tell me what to buy. I find that frequently they find the "exact best bike for" me in what they have in stock! Can't blame them.
I have had a mountaing bike for years and rode it very little .. It was extrememly uncomfortable. I don't understand why the seat and position have to be so uncomfortable? Someone told me "wind resistance".. Well that doesn't do you any good if you are never on the bike... I'll take a little wind resistance, probably help me, like walking with weights. I'm positive that a little wind is just fine for my cardiovascular and leg workout. I wish I could ride that way, but it is just too uncomfortable. Hurts my back, my neck and definitely my butt.
So far, I am extremely pleased with my purchase. I can highly recommend without reservation the Giant Suede, DX, and GX. Ride Safe and Have Fun.. get on something you enjoy!

Similar Products Used: Trek Sport
Electra Townie
Schwinn Sierra
REI : Novara
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tim holton   Recreational Rider [Jun 22, 2010]
Strength:

COMFORT!!!! (Upright sitting position.)

Weakness:

It wasn't free.

Bought this bike for exercise. I was going to commute with it before my "position was eliminated"....oh, well. No fenders, no rack; bought and added those. The bike is comfortable to ride and the seven gears are more than adequate for my asphalt, concrete, and gravel roads of varying rise. I live on a hill and look forward to cranking up at the end of my rides. Last bikes were an old Legnano 10-speed road bike and a GT RTS-1 mountain bike. The forward placement of the crank axle on the Suede, the comfortable seat, and the pullback handlebars have been a blessing for my ancient spine. The staff at Builer's was wonderfully helpful with adjustments prior, and subsequent, to the purchase. This type of bike is ideal for older riders who need to keep their arteries clear and leg muscles in shape without irritating the old hip bursitis. Thanks for a great design. I'll let you know next year how the bike is holding up.

Similar Products Used: I tested some other bikes, a Raleigh, which was nice, but had a forward offset which put my toes against the front wheel in a turn, and another bike, which had a BACK REST(!!!!), but which was more than twice as expensive.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Clara   Recreational Rider [May 23, 2010]

Test rode a bunch of much more expensive bikes at a variety of shops and settled on the store's discounted demo Suede GX and I'm thrilled. Great bike. Easy shifting. Comfortable, upright alignment.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Karen   Recreational Rider [Oct 10, 2008]
Strength:

Looks like a beach cruiser but has seven speeds to help you up those hills.
The seat is super comfortable.

Weakness:

Haven't found any yet - other than narrow color selection.

I LOVE this bike!! I'd read another review in which a woman said she'd never ride another bike again. I feel the same way.
I accidentally came across an Electra Townie first - but had read a few horror stories about poor quality. Then I found some reviews for the Giant Suede and decided to give it a test ride.
This bike is fabulous. Smooth easy ride, and a super comfortable seat. The riding position is upright and is great for your back. You can put your feet flat on the ground.
After a few rides I took out my Specialized HardRock sport for a spin. Within a mile my back and butt hurt. I felt every bump and the ride was very stiff. That really drove home how much I like the Suede. No more mountain bikes for me.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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