Giant's OverDrive 2 Steerer tube sizing - Is It The Future?

Jul 25, 2011 at 15:10
by Mike Levy  
  What is OverDrive 2 all about?

It all comes down to a .125" increase in the upper section of the tapered steerer tube, taking it from the current 1 1/8th standard to an outer diameter of 1 1/4 inches. The lower section of the steerer tube, where the steerer and crown meet, remains the same. The goal is improved stiffness at the handlebar, especially given the rise of wider handlebars on trail and all-mountain bikes. Giant is claiming a massive 30% increase in stiffness at the end of the handlebar with OverDrive 2. Here are the facts:

• The fork's steerer tapers from 1 1/2" at the bottom to 1 1/4" at the top where the stem clamps. This means that it does require a new stem, upper headset assembly and headset spacers.

• The bike's head tube inner diameter actually remains the same, at least on Giant's bikes. This means that not only can all of Giant's bikes that come equipped with the OverDrive 2 system be easily converted to fit a standard tapered fork and stem, but older models from previous years can also be converted to accept a new OverDrive 2 steerer equipped fork.

• Other companies are free to use 1 1/2" - 1 1/4" tapered forks as well. Giant is not patenting OverDrive 2, so expect it to pop up elsewhere as well. It will be a while before we can truly call it a standard, at least two to three years, but with Giant behind it it's not likely to disappear.



n a
There was confusion and resistance when tapered steerers first made their appearance, despite the fact that they are stiffer than a standard straight steerer tube and have a very minimal weight penalty. Will the OverDrive 2 steerer (right) face the same?


  Is 1 1/4" steerer tube sizing new to the bike world?

Certainly not, and Giant isn't claiming to be inventing anything with OverDrive 2. In fact, 1 1/4" first made its appearance in the 90's on Gary Fisher bikes, although it was in the form of a straight, non-tapered steerer tube. It was dubbed "Evolution" and it didn't gain any traction, disappearing from the scene rather quickly. If you go back far enough you'll discover that there have been about ten different head tube sizes throughout the years (I'm sure that I'm forgetting about some) that, whether they were called for or not, were at one point thought of as the standard. Most are not widely used anymore, but you may be surprised what an old, obsolete sized stem will fetch on eBay if you happen to find a desperate buyer. It's worth noting that steerer tube sizing has generally enlarged as bicycles have evolved, until weight began to play a more important role in design, which is when tapered designs began to show up.

  30% is a big difference, but where and how is it measured?

The figure is measured by placing a 200lb weight at the end of a nearly-flex-free solid steel handlebar and measuring the amount of flex at its end. While exact numbers in millimeters were not handy at the time of writing this, Giant says that they have found a whopping 30% increase in stiffness at the end of the bar when comparing the new 1 1/4" steerer to the current standard. While it may certainly feel as if your bar and stem are flex free, that is actually far from the truth. Do this simple test: have a friend put your front wheel between their knees while you stand over the bike and try to pull one end of the bar up while pushing down on the other - you may be surprised to see just how much give it has. It was claimed (although I haven't verified it) that it isn't uncommon to find up to 20mm of movement at the end of the bar, even with the present day 31.8mm bar clamp diameter. That means that Giant's OverDrive 2 setup should flex about 6mm less, assuming that the assertion of a 30% increase in stiffness is true. How does that 6mm translate to the real world, where bikes are equipped with high volume tires, 6 inches of suspension travel and plenty of other places for flex to make itself known? We'll have to get on a bike that uses the new OverDrive 2 setup and get back to you...

  Which fork manufacturers have put their weight behind it?

The big three - RockShox, Fox and Marzocchi - all have fork models that will come as standard equipment on select Giant models. There is no doubt that Giant's size and buying power (they are one of the worlds largest bike manufacturers) played a role in those three companies adding the new sizing to their lineup, but I'd like to believe that they would have investigated the merits of the new sizing and made an informed decision on their own. Those who have warranty and aftermarket concerns should be happy to hear that RockShox will be supporting the new size fully, and we assume that both Fox and Marzocchi will be doing the same.


  What does this mean for riders who currently use standard or tapered forks?

Right now, not much. Don't expect to wake up one morning and find it impossible to track down a standard 1 1/8th stem or headset parts. There are simply too many bikes out there right now, as well as many more to be manufactured and sold, to have the current straight and tapered steering sizing disappear. Also, because Giant is actually using the very same head tubes on their OverDrive 2 equipped bikes on previous years, those with standard tapered steerer tubes can easily bump up to the new, larger size without having to purchase a new frame (although the upgrade does require at least a new crown/steerer unit, stem and upper headset assembly)

  Is there anything different about the frame?

Surprisingly, absolutely nothing. The head tube's inner diameter remains the same, only the upper cup and top headset bearing are different from Giant's current setup. This means that current non-OverDrive 2 frames and the new models will both be forward and reverse compatible.


n a
OverDrive 2 equipped bikes will actually use the same head tubes as previously employed, it is only the upper headset assembly, stem and spacers that need to be changed.


  So, why not just go to a full 1-1/2" head tube?

The answer is weight. Even if you personally don't mind the extra grams that would be added by a full-length 1 1/2" steerer, along with a larger and heavier upper headset assembly, bearing and stem, the goal of designers and engineers is to always build stronger, stiffer and more efficient bikes without adding weight. Would a full length 1 1/2" steerer system be stiffer? The answer is surely yes. Is OverDrive 2 stiffer than the current tapered standard? Again, the answer, according to Giant, is yes. Taking into consideration the total package - steerer, headset assembly, stem and spacers - which of the two is lighter, while still offering more stiffness than a full length 1 1/8" steerer or standard tapered setup? We'd have to wager that the nod goes to OverDrive 2.

  Where does OverDrive 2 not make sense?

With only a few exceptions, OverDrive 2 will only be employed across the range of Giant's performance oriented grail and all-mountain bikes. You won't find it used on their top-tier cross-country races bikes yet, but Giant says that you'll see it there in the near future. Where you won't likely ever spot it is on the front of their downhill bikes or any model that uses a dual-crown fork, simply because the stiffness provided by the extra crowns would make the OverDrive 2 steerer redundant.

  Is there a weight penalty for the larger diameter steerer, headset parts and stem with a larger bore?

Giant is claiming that it's a wash, that the system weighs the same overall as an equivalent tapered setup. Do we believe them? It is likely to be very close in weight, although we wouldn't be surprised to find that OverDrive 2 does add a small amount of weight. Also, the materials and manufacturing processes of the Overdrive system must be optimized to deliver lower weight and more rigidity in a larger diameter steerer, so is is safe to say, that lower-priced models that employ Overdrive will weigh more than one with a standard tapered head tube (this, we have witnessed with the 1.5 standard). We'll have to compare the two side by side before we can say for sure.


  Will OverDrive 2 add to the price of the bike?

Nope, Giant claims that OverDrive 2 will not add additional costs. We believe them on this one, simply due to the fact that new tooling isn't needed because they are using the same head tubes as in previous years. Yes, there will be brand new headset and stems, not to mention fork crown and steerer units, but Giant's massive manufacturing numbers and buying power should negate these costs.

n a
The top of a standard tapered steerer on the left next to an OverDrive 2 steerer on the right.


  What happens when you need a new or different stem or headset?

As of right now only FSA is manufacturing headset parts for OverDrive 2, but both Giant and FSA are distributed widely enough that we don't expect tacking down parts to be an issue, especially further down the road when the new size becomes more common. You can assume that it also won't take long for other headset makers to tool up production as well.

When it comes to stems, Giant is so confident that OverDrive 2 is here to stay that all of their mountain stems will be made to the new size (they'll include a shim to downsize them to fit smaller steerers as well ). Pro and Ritchey are also said to adding OverDrive 2 sized stems to their lineup, but given Giant's size you can expect many more to join the club.


  Why should we give this new sizing a chance?

There will no doubt be a knee jerk reaction from a lot of riders about yet another new "standard" that is being forced down their throats, and most of the coverage of OverDrive 2 isn't exactly doing a great job of educating anyone on the matter. There are two simple questions that need to be asked: 1. Is there a performance advantage that can be gained from going to a 1 1/4" - 1 1/2" steerer tube, and 2. Is the advantage large enough to warrant making the switch, which would include not only a new fork, but also an upper headset assembly, headset spacers and a stem.

You'd be kidding yourself if you think that outright performance isn't what has made your own bike what it is. Even if your current ride is a decade or more old, the technology and standards used on it were likely developed on the previous year's race bikes by professional riders. The goal is almost always to be faster (even if that isn't your personal goal), and the ingredients are stiffness, low weight and more efficiency. Is this the case with OverDrive 2?


Is the current and most popular steerer tube sizing ideal for a mountain bike with a single crown fork? If a stiffer system can be employed, one that doesn't add any weight, as Giant claims, does it not make sense? Lets hear what you think of OverDrive 2 - put those thoughts down below!


330 Comments

  • + 231
 Aarrrggggghhhhhh. I'm sorry Mike - don't mean to be bitchy but I have to admit to feeling an immature need to kick someone from Giant Engineering hard in the balls despite what you write and I quote "There will no doubt be a knee jerk reaction from a lot of riders about yet another new "standard" that is being forced down their throats, and most of the coverage of OverDrive 2 isn't exactly doing a great job of educating anyone on the matter. " because of THIS


"This means that it does require a new stem, upper headset assembly and headset spacers.". MORE SKUS? For gods sakes ...... arrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh

Excuse me while I continue to mull why the bike industry is such a joke in terms of its utter complete inability to figure out substance vs form. I'll leave with some good ranting from Joe Graney of Santa Cruz who expresses his frustration in a much more mature and non-violent manner - its a worthwhile read www.santacruzbicycles.com/company/index.php?joe=1#joe0609.php
  • + 22
 Spot on!!!! read the l;ink. its so true. when you work on bikes everydat you see what works and what does'nt, it all sounds great when you rewad ther latest hype from whatever company but when you try to find spares and or fity thtme you soon see a whole new set of problems and mostly none of it is actually better than what we already have. Euro BB's are so sorted and easy to fit and remeove. press fit is just lazy and a pain. you then need more tools, if someone make them?? and before you know it its all obsolete as anothet new standard has appeared.i blame the bike firms, just for once can they agree what a standard means and stick to it. we aqll like new ideas but not when they mean everything changes every 3 weeks. a bike should last for more than a year, they cost enough and we should'nt have to throw them away as its out of date and nothing fits anymore. enough now read Joes article in the link above. sorry bit of a messy rant!!
  • + 17
 I can't find anything morally or physically wrong about the Overdrive concept and it requires no special frame standard, so I'll take a wait-and see approach. A hell of a lot has changed on the basic mountain bike since I started making them in the 80's.... like everything... so I've had to gulp down a lot of "new standards." So far, so good.

Overdrive doesn't make an obvious change to the profile of the bike like the 1.5 standard and tapered head tubes did. The unspoken question about the Overdrive concept is:If nobody can see the oversize steerer tube or upper headset race, then what benefit could Giant hope to gain from implementing the concept EXCEPT a little more rigidity in the front end? I am curious to see if Overdrive is door or a destination.

BTW, Graney is one of my heroes..
  • + 6
 Thank you for the link. Interesting read.
  • + 33
 My knee jerk reaction is to for my knee to jerk into a Giant engineer's giant balls.

Not only do I want to knee Giant in the balls, but Marzocchi, FSA, Fox and Rockshock for agreeing to this instead of saying "A new standard? Are you out of your m****rf***ing mind! Someone knee this dick in the balls and then throw him out of here!"

I like buying bikes off-the-rack, but there are three things that I will change every time because they are usually wrong for any half-decent rider and they must be perfect: tires, bars, and STEM!!!!

Skatejunkie and Auxx have awesome points below IMO.
  • + 19
 Stupid, unnecessary standard that is only going to achieve on thing: making it harder to find a fram/fork/headset that will actually work with your other components. If everyone was this bloody worried about ultimate stiffness, they would be much better off investing in making a lighter straight 1.5 inch steerer system, rather than attempting to feed the public this overhyped bullshit. Whoever was responsible for this at Giant needs to have their hands removed.
  • - 12
flag pperini (Jul 26, 2011 at 5:14) (Below Threshold)
 the market only goes for this kind of absurd, because of all these weight weenies out there...if nobody was complaining that theyr enduro weight wayyyy too much (12kg/28lbs) there would be no absurd like this on the market..people always ned prop me when i post "another carbon sh*t" on the "carbon dh bikes" news..but thats exactly why i hate them..carbon Demos and Sessions are just like this new overdrive2...u people are all hypocrite..u all complain that there will be new forks with new steer tube and stem and headsets..and most of u (if had the money) would buy a new carbon Demo frame for 6000dollars....?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!...its simple...JUST DONT BUY IT! AND IT WILL DIE!!! if we dont need it, it WILL die!!! the problem is that it will never die because of all these people that spend 600dollars on "carbon chainguide" to spare 2 gramms...stop beeing so obtuse for new ideas, and also stop beeing stupid to give so much money away for unecessary thing...and u wanna know what?? i acctualy support this new steer tube..because THEY KNOW people wont be going out there buying new forks/stem/headset just because they are new, so what do they do? just buy the old standards..simple..so how do u get ahold of this new steer? well, by buying complete bikes that come from factory like that..and if u buy a complete bike that has that, then the bike also hast the overdrive2 fork/stem/headset...then what r u guys complaining about?????...what i DONT SUPPORT are these people that buy and brand that make these useless things like carbon bars for 1000dollars..carbon this carbon that that costs ur life.......lets make this simple..when tapered steer tube come into our lifes, did that REALLY bothered ur marketing and shopping?? it didnt to me, i dont see why it would do to anyone....people, stop beeing so hypocrite...just my 2 cents.....
  • + 65
 Well, if adding 0.125" to the steerer tube increases stiffness by 30%, then my 1.5 steerer is already 60% stiffer than this new system.
  • - 18
flag pperini (Jul 26, 2011 at 5:25) (Below Threshold)
 u didnt get the point did u..
  • + 16
 nah pperini I disagree.
carbon downhill frames:NEW technology that is considerably better than existing designs.
1.25 headtube diameter: Pointless standard that sits in between two existing standards.

I also disagree with you saying that we have a choice to ignore these new standards. If big companies take them up and stop producing older standards then we lose that choice. Also, if I found a good deal on one of these new giants as a complete bike, I would buy it regardless of the headtube size, but that isn't to say that I'd be happy with it having 1.25 diameter headtube.
  • - 22
flag pperini (Jul 26, 2011 at 5:49) (Below Threshold)
 if u only undestood a lil bit of business and marketing, u would know that they can never stop with the old standards, and even if they do it, trust me, it will take decades..so, yes, if u want to ignore it, u can...

and dont say that carbon is a "new" tecnology because it simply isnt! and also isnt better! its just lighter thats all! me, as an engineer, know that very well...carbon dh frames are only beeing made for this new "light weight" generation, no other reason AT ALL! it isnt better then alu or steel in ANY other way! just the weight!
  • + 22
 I think you're the one not getting the main point, you're bashing carbon fiber however the material used in the product has nothing to do with this, you can have a 1.5 or a 1 1/8 headtube on a carbon frame. The problem is like Joe Graney from SantaCruz says, when a brand has nothing new to offer, they "attach" a new technology to their product so it looks like a new product. This has nothing to do with lowering weight or increasing strenght or stifness but a form of marketing.
Carbon is to aluminium what aluminium was to steel.

Your comment doens't make any sense, first you bash new products and spending $ for products the buyer doens't need and then you say you support this new technology?
This tecnhology is useless and only creates incompatibilities which make prices higher because the less 1.5 or 1 1/8 headbutes are being used the higher the price of their headsets because something that isn't standard is always more expesive.

Carbon fiber is 3 to 4 times more expensive than aluminium however you're not paying 5000 USD nor 7500 USD or 10000 USD for a carbon frame, its just a little more than an aluminium one. You can bet that a brand has a higher profit margin on aluminium frames than on the carbon ones.

So you bash carbon fiber that creates no incompatibilities and you support this and other types of headtubes that creates incompabilities.
This is plain stupidity, no offence.
  • + 1
 ^^^^radarr - my thoughts EXACTLY! its going to come full circle back to 1.5" non- tapered
  • + 2
 so what's wrong with trying something new? making advances towards a better performing part on a bicycle isn't a bad thing AT ALL.
  • + 5
 Way to go Giant! Now please explain the actual trade-offs for us. If it's a bigger steerer tube in the same size head tube, there has to be a trade-off somewhere. So headset bearings will be smaller, or stack height is taller?
  • + 9
 I'm done biking if this becomes another standard. go away Giant
  • + 8
 ^^ me too. f***ing marketing joke, im happy with my straight 1.1/8th
  • + 1
 buying a Carbon frame doesn't mean you need new sized parts, that's the difference...
  • - 3
 non of u acctualy understood my point..maybe i expressed myself wrongly..anyways...forget it..
  • - 11
flag talderson (Jul 26, 2011 at 12:09) (Below Threshold)
 Please learn to spell if you want your arguments to be taken seriously. There is a spell check function for a reason, use it.
  • + 49
 What I want to know, who the f*ck was out riding for/with giant with a standard 1 1/8th steertube or the standard tapered one and said, hmmm, My bars are flexing too much, let's add .125 to the steer tube and see if that fixes it...OR, here's a great f*cking idea, let's go USE WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE.

You want stiffer? Use a 1.5 set up. You want lighter, stop pretending like 30% increase in stiffness makes any kind of noticeable difference to anything but a machine, and use the normal tapered or 1 1/8th set up. In all the time I've spent reading forums, talking to riders and racers, NEVER have I heard anyone say, I bet a bigger steertube would make me faster.

NO, BAD GIANT. Sit in the corner. You may come out when we say so.

That being said, perhaps if they devise another test that states it has a 400% increase in stiffness and will take 5 seconds of your race run, then maybe, just maybe, I'll be less hesitant to embrace blatant marketing scams. Er, I mean, technological advancements.
  • + 14
 Hey talderson, maybe he's just not as good as you or I with English because he's from Germany. Either way, no need to be a douche about it.
  • + 6
 its funny because if i were to get this for free, i would still have to spend money to use it -.-
  • + 0
 Will you big dummy the never said it would shave off time. Its just increasing durability on standard parts, would you have been this pissed if they did this five years ago? You probably wouldn't have noticed because it would be on most of our bikes and so common. People who complain about improvements to the biking industry are like diehard nascar fans bragging that nascar is the most technically advanced motorsport.
  • + 3
 well straight 1.5" sure lasted a long time.... we need no more standards
  • + 1
 @grandmastere, good point, good thinking, but it is lost on Giant. They use semi-integrated headsets so the top of their their headtubes are already fatter than normal. This means the ball size of the bearing should be the same when they go to a non-integrated headset (i.e. bearings sit outside the headtube). That's what I imagine - haven't seen the hardware yet.
  • + 1
 its this bullshit that is making me leer away from the biking industry, creating new standards all the time and increasing prices constantly. sometimes we have to look at bikes and ask ourselves how will this upgrade justify its cost. and will the difference make such a noticeable difference. im still running a 2005 deore and i have a 2011 fox in front, because some things are just not that important or noticeable to change the world for.

this invention reminds me of specialized 's old slogan "innovate or die" , companies cant leave bikes the way they are, or they would loose the effect better, but these minor improvements seem a little desperate. bikes arent made too last anymore.

i really enjoyed the article shared by leelau
  • + 2
 Just another person, who doesn't like this new standard. I think there are enough good arguments being forwarded, above, as to why Giant's decision is bothersome.

For me, as I was reading this article, I immediately thought: the clincher is that Giant is stating the increased weight is "a wash." In my opinion, the problem with the 1.5 standard was that it was squarely aimed at the freeriding market: 1.5 came about so that people, who were using dual-crowns, could now use a single-crown without the steering limitations of a dual-crown, and possibly there was some weight loss compared to using a dual-crown setup. What this means is that the 1.5 standard was always going to be beefy in execution. 1.5 headsets and stems are boat-anchors. 1.5 forks are monsters.

If Giant really wanted to do us all a favor, they would have done better by reviving the 1.5 standard for the all-mountain category, with weight-appropriate headsets and stems that aren't such boat-anchors. Then we would have seen tangible results in stiffness with a slight weight gain. After using a 20mm front axle, I'll never go back to a 9mm qr. After using 31.8mm handlebars and stem, I'll never go back to 25.4mm. Do the bigger axle and handlebar and stem weigh more? Certainly, and I can also tangibly feel the benefit. This new 1.25 from Giant? Something tells me that they don't want to release the actual measurements, because if they did that 30% might actually end up being less than the hypothetical 6mm....

Is it tangible? Is it real-world?
  • - 2
 Okay if its sooo good Giant, then why haven't guys like Specialized and Trek jumped on it first. Im pretty sure that when Trek developed their E2 over the period of how ever many years that that they spent make it that 1.1/4 came across their minds, Yet they ignored it. Yet they are the largest single bike company that is pushing the sport in ways that Giant cannot hope to match. Specialized as well when they started with their tapered Headtubes, why didn't they, a near Billion dollar company that breaks more frames in strength testing then norco makes all year for production, look at this as a plausible concept? Its almost like Giant went into their garbage bin and said, "HEY THIS IS A GREAT IDEA"

Sorry it will not catch.. I'd almost laugh if the other 2 bigger boys go to the fork companies and "say what the hell.. cut it out"
  • + 1
 I don't see why don't just try keeping the current standards and internally ovalizing them like thompson seatposts. Why couldn't that work? I don't mind a new standard being brought in because I don't have to buy it and where's the harm in trying aye?

Why does nobodygive anything a chance on here? I mean yeah it's annoying at the thought of it but it could be a great idea in the long run.

The one thing I find stupid is headsets. That's just getting out of hand aswell as rear wheel sizes.
  • + 4
 Oh Atrak, stop being such a brand whore c*nt. Who cares what Trek or specialized did first? I'm pretty sure the glory was one of the first dh bikes with a tapered headtube which is why people had trouble finding headsets, didn't decide to bring that up did you?
All 3 are big companies, just because giant isn't as much as a hyped up brand doesn't mean it's any better or worse on the whole.

I bet when Trek was devoloping their E2 head tube they were thinking of how they could make the best tapered headtube, who are you to tell everyone they ignored the idea? Who's to say they even considered the idea what so ever?
  • + 2
 Hi guys, S Y N T A C E is another manufacturer that makes aftermarket headstems in 1 1/4 and get sold with a shim for 1 1/8th steerers.

In terms of evolution, if the stiffness is increases as Giant says, without (!) weight penalty, then it totally makes sense. If the real reason is that the manufacturing cost for OverDrive2 steerers is less (has anyone noticed that tapered steerer forks cost substantially more?!) hence the forks are cheaper then there is a hidden truth ;-). A tapered steerer is deffinately more expensive from a manufacturing point of view...
  • + 2
 So stiffen the steer by .125 and shrink the axel by 5mm.
  • + 61
 So, marketing is cool, but let's look from riders point of view.

You want to save some weight - you go 1" 1/8 way. Pretty simple, yeah?

On the other hand you might want to improve stiffness, so you go 1.5" way. Still pretty simple.

Not decided yet? Well, then you go tapered 1.5" to 1" 1/8 way, you get some stiffness over 1" 1/8, yet save some weight from 1.5". Well, it works for some people. Fine!

What we got now? With 1.5" to 1.25" taper we get some additional 30% of stiffness. Cool! At the cost of just a slight weight penalty. So slight and tiny that it is probably is 30%. But hey, you have your old-skool tapered fork. Good news - it will fit. Just add some adapter! And now you have the weight of 1.5" system, steerer stiffness of old-skool taper + 30% and stiffness of fork (which is just by miracle also important, but no one cares of) of old-skool taper.

Conclusion? Well, now you have a setup with cons of 1.5", cons of old taper, some wasted money and no pros at all. Beautiful!
  • + 11
 ^I really hope the giant engineers read this, and throw all plans, parts, and designs of the 1.25 out the window.
  • + 7
 Bingo.
  • + 35
 Does anyone really have any complaints about the current standards? Is it really necessary?
"If it aint' broke, don't fix it" comes to mind....
  • + 31
 so they found a 30% increase in stiffness....using a solid, non flexing handlebar.

Unless the public is going to also adopt this solid, non flexing and likely 5lb handlebar, they will never feel this 30% increase in stiffness because the average handlebar will flex way before the steerer flex ever becomes noticeable.

Is this what Giant's engineers have been working on for the past couple of years instead of getting the Glory's head angle right?
  • + 5
 This is such a good reply. Thanks Dave :-)
  • + 5
 Bravo, you're the first to make this point, and it is a crucial one, in my opinion. Bravo!
  • + 1
 Pretty certain that the engineers at Giant would have used the solid non-flexing handlebar on the 1-1/8th setup, then on the 1-1/4 setup to make the 30% stiffness claim.
  • + 3
 They are saying it stiffens the vertical axis correct? Why even bother as your tire and fork are compressing 4-8" already, there is no way in hell you are going to notice mm of flex. If you want a stiffer handlebar, then buy a f*cking stiffer handlebar, the steerer tube has little to do with it.
  • + 7
 Seriously, the heck with the 30% number - give us the actual delta in deflection. Going from 1mm to 0.7mm deflection really doesn't mean anything while riding a bike with 160mm of travel and 2.5" tires at 22 pSI.
  • + 6
 There are these things attached to our torso called "arms", and halfway down our "arms" are these things called "elbows". Elbows bend and straighten which allow us to control the amount of flex. For those of us who know how to use "arms" and "elbows", I really wonder if we need a standard to compensate for bar deflection. I agree with Rucker61.
  • + 3
 This was my thought exactly when reading the article. Glad to see someone else was on the same page as me. There's about a million other points I could make too but I doubt the Giant engineers are listening so I wont bother.
  • + 1
 And anyway, it's arguable that some flex is good - many people think Boxxers (35mm legs) track better than 40's (40mm legs) due to the increased flex.

My friend Phil has just bought a Reign 3 and has to look for someone to buy his forks and stem (he is upgrading) and find a new upper headset. Great lol.
  • + 1
 Precisely. When companies report achievements in percentages, without giving more detailed data, I'm always going to be suspicious. They should've released a FS 29er, if they really wanted to shock us with some news.
  • + 35
 not more, please
  • + 28
 Frankly, it's another annoying standard that gets in the way of me buying a 2012 giant because I can't use my trusty hope headset or thomson stem. They're just hyping it up to make it sound like every other steerer tube is a flexy ass piece of shit and this will change everything....
  • + 4
 Yep , can't say I have noticed my head tube flexing around at all , mainly because handle bars are way more flexy then the HT of a frame , surely you will now notice your bars flapping about more with this standard if it is 30 percent stiffer/stronger?
  • + 19
 I really don't give a shit what size my steerer is, as long as my forks stay on and I don't need to spend loads on new parts.
  • + 1
 Amen ... '
  • + 16
 So correct me if I'm wrong, but if the actual head tube of the bike stays identical as the article says, the 30% increase in rigidity must come from the slightly larger stem right? because there should be the same amount of torque applied to the head tube in the test they described if the steer tubes are the same length. and assuming giant kept everything else the same, the only variables are the steer tube diameter and the stem, meaning it is impossible to separate the two variables. So then its possible that you could achieve the same effect of this new head tube with a stiffer stem instead right? Maybe i'm missing something, but all this says to me is that once again Giant has nothing actually good and new to offer so they try to pass this crap off to increase sales.
  • + 2
 What good is a stiffer stem if you don't have a larger diameter/stiffer steerer tube to transfer the torque?
  • + 3
 Skatejunkie almost nailed the big design question:

The addition of a stiffer steerer tube cannot deliver more torsional rigidity unless every other component between the steerer tube and the ground is made equally rigid to counter the torque.
  • + 1
 I agree with that statement but I'm sure an R&D department like Giant's is targeting the area where the most amount of torque is lost and with today's wheel and fork designs (fox 36's, 20mm thru axles, I9 mavic dt swiss...all stiff as hell!) the torque will most likely not be lost there. I doubt Giant would bother with eliminating flex in an area so critical as a steerer tube if they were worried that it would be immediately lost to flex in the fork/wheel. Torque from the bar/stem/steerer tube area is distributed to other areas in the frame/bike as well, not just at the front wheel and fork.

Bottom line, there will be an increase in overall rigidity, which is a benefit for anyone. If you are looking to buy a frame/fork setup like this I doubt you are mounting up a flimsy front wheel.
  • - 1
 ^^^ RichardC, everything you said is wrong. Not that I'm sold on the necessity of this change, but taking your statement one step further, nothing should need to be stiffer than the rubber used in your tires.
  • + 3
 There is an overall loss of stiffness in the system from the tyres to the grips of your handlebars. If you make an increase in stiffness anywhere in the system, you increase the overall stiffness. The big question is where to increase stiffness? Most likely its wherever gets the largest ammount of tourque exerted over it. The fork is quite long and as such has a huge (relative) moment of torque acting on the bottom of the head tube. The handle bars are also quite lengthy and have a large moment of tourque acting at the top of the head tube. From a bike manufacturers point of view, if you want a stiffer front end, it makes sense to me that you would increase the stiffness of the steerer tube.

If this overdrive 2 actually translates to a noticable performance gain on the trail is not something any of us can say from our desk chairs, but I would love to ride two bikes with identical setup, with the 2 different headtubes, one after the other and see if the hype measures up.
  • + 15
 Well I'm going to play devil's advocate (and no doubt get neg propped by a million) but I think people are forgetting how compatible bikes really are across model years and brands. If you buy a moto or a car you can't go out and buy some other brand's one size fits all component and bolt it on no worries, everything is way too specific. I guess Giant are just trying to improve the mountain bike as a whole, not just the frame. If they achieve a better complete package then what is attainable from buying a frame and adding after market parts then I suppose we'll have to start buying complete bikes again.

PS the neg prop button is the red down arrow to the right of this comment :-P
  • + 11
 Except that the automotive industry is large enough to ensure longer term support for old models than cycling, and even changes the models 5-10 times less frequently than the cycling industry. For example-I bet you can find wheel bearings for a 1992 subaru impreza, but try to find a set of bearings for my 1999 AC Cooler hub. And a freewheel mechanism while you're at it.
  • + 2
 Mastere has that right. Automotive is sooo much bigger than we are. They can support year model changes, and even still they rarely completely change a part. Re-tooling an entire automotive factory cost so much, they often just reuse as many parts as they can from the old model.

There needs to be some standards, bike shops can't be expected to stock 51 different styles of headsets.

Look what we have now 1 1/8" Non integrated, semi integrated, fully integrated 1.5 Non integrated, semi, and fully, 1.5-1 1/8" non, semi, full. Plus all the different ID's of the different head tubes.

On top the millions of other standards.
  • + 15
 Another standard...




WHY?!
  • + 6
 ..........cause we gotta have standards
  • + 18
 There's no such thing as 'standard' anymore.
  • + 2
 Why ?

Because some people buy that shit, if it wouldn't sell that much, they wouldn't invent dozens of new standards every year...
  • + 3
 And because Giant have no other new technology to release so are changing other's tech to compensate. Have you ever seen so much media/press releases about something so small?
  • + 7
 xkcd.com/927

This comic says everything I want to say. Thanks again Russell
  • + 1
 Wouldn't it be great if, say SRAM stepped forward and agreed to keep the 1.125 alive to serve those of us not wanting to change over and waste the perfectly good frames and components we already have? With my riding style, I really don't need stiffer components or frames and I don't have money to keep up with the industry's incremental changes and planned obsolescences. If I knew that I could buy 1.125 in the future, I'd keep buying it. That's what I want.

It sounds like there are a lot of us out there and a smart fork company might recognize that there is a niche market worth serving. All they need to do is declare themselves as invested and I'll go ahead and order that 1.125 frame and will switch my stuff over. Then I'll buy a nice 1.125 AM fork. Rockshox Fox, Marzocchi, Manitou, etc, are you listening?
  • + 11
 OK my last comment reading "no" was deleted. To keep the mods happy, I shall elaborate...

This is the most pointless waste of space I've ever seen. Giant obviously have shares in some stem and headset manufacturers.

The amount of increased stiffness is gonna be minute compared to the hassle of buying a new front end.

You know whats lighter? A standard 1 1/8 to 1.5 inch tapered steerer.

You know whats stiffer? A standard 1.5 inch steerer.

You know what makes giant more money? Overdrive 2.

Epic. Fail.
  • + 6
 Totally agreed.
  • + 3
 I wish there was a: no., comment. I would've + propped the hell outta that. Recon it would've broken a 1,000 props haha
  • + 0
 @willsoffe Giant manufactures their own stems now. Been in a bike shop in the past 3 years? 30%.....minute......really? Who said you had to buy it? Isn't it cross compatible with every other front end with the exception of a 1.5? What is the idea of a business?

Just throwing that out there to allow you to think.
  • + 1
 Whoops, I've obviously pissed off someone who a) works for Giant, b) owns a Giant or c) has recieved lots of negative props today and is angry and upset :-(

@nicket8t; I do work in a bike shop yes. But I was under the impression that Giant stems are mainly OEM (not usually on sale separately). This means that Giant will make the same amount of money by supplying 1 1/4" own brand stems on their bikes as they would if they were 1 1/8" or 1.5"

30% is minute because other parts flex too and a 30% stiffness increase in something as stiff as a steerer is unlikely to make much difference. If steerer stiffness is so important, why dont Giant use 1.5"?

No one said I had to buy it. However, if I want a 2012 Giant, I do have to buy/use/sell the ridiculous "Overdrive 2" parts.

Cross compatible? Yes, if you buy things you don't need.

The idea of a business? Well if you think it is to force people buying your products to buy other things, then yes, it's good business. If you think that good business is to make customers happy by giving them choice, and supplying them with products that can be replaced quickly and cheaply, at many places across the globe, then no, it's not good business.
  • + 10
 Just because something works great doesn't mean something new is a piece of shit.

On that santa cruz comment yeah, lots of not so standard standards..but how does this affect in any way your frame design if every bits about this steerer setup fits previous frames. Nada much ?

No one's gonna run off to buy new stems' and headsets and forks, those components are mainly made so you guys can replace those who break (or pimp up) on you're new Giant, soon to be Trek, Specialized, Cannondale and so on...

This is getting out of control for no reason.

It won't cost more on new bikes, and you don't need to buy anything on your actual rig...w*f's the matter ?

Never heard someone said they're they felt they're Giant was overpriced.

On a larger scale

80's "dah we don't need front suspensions"
85's "we don't need need clipless pedals"
90's "meh we don't need full suspensions"
95's "we don't need w*f else"
00's "argh we don't need hydro brakes"
05's "yierk we don't need carbon frames"
10's "we don't need 10 speed, as no1 needed 9 nor 8"

29ers any1 ?

Just because you don't like the idea or can't justify the purpose at the moment doesn't mean it's all BS.

"we don,t need this"

YOU NEED OXYGEN,WATER,BREAD AND A SHELTER, that's what you need. Enough already, you don't need half's in your car nor your actual bicycle that doesn't mean you can't benefit from it.

Giant's gonna sell a s*it load of bikes next year anyway and there'll be a need for those components next year, that's it.


You go on and ride that fully rigid steel single speed frame with a coaster brake and brooks saddle all you want, you have the right to.

Just make sure you get out of the way when I blast past you on the trails with my OVERDRIVE 2 equipped bike. ahahah, yeah kidding.
  • + 4
 The only problem with such attitude related to Giant invention is that they did not add front suspension to rigid bike. They only added a new stencil and a bunch of stickers to it. That's the problem.
  • + 14
 1 1/8" FOR LIFE!
  • + 9
 I was feeling the same as everyone else until I got to this part...

" Where you won't likely ever spot it is on the front of their downhill bikes or any model that uses a dual-crown fork, simply because the stiffness provided by the extra crowns would make the OverDrive 2 steerer redundant."

Thankfully all of us using dual crown forks are safe...for now!
  • + 14
 How convenient....
  • + 7
 sorta dont want to buy a new stem please, just spent around 150 for mine thank you Smile
  • + 8
 Pointless. 1 1/8" or 1 1/2" should be all there is and nothing in between. The weight difference between 1 1/4" upper headset assembly, spacers and stem to 1 1/2" counterparts is going to be negligible, to say the least. Bleh!
  • + 8
 Oh for fuck's sake. Am I the only one getting tired of these pointless goddamn 'standards'. All they do is make parts more difficult to find, more expensive and just add to all the confusion.
  • + 7
 good article in dirth this month about the joke of multiple industry 'standards' what bugs me just as much is why measurements switch between imperial units and metric, ffs this isnt the 18th century just give me everything in metric thanks you can keep your inches, pounds, bushels, cubits and shekels
  • + 4
 I agree. Metric covers everything way easier, divisible by 10 or 100. f*ck the imperial units. It's annoying when I gotta order bike parts. I want a 2.5 inch tire, 83mm BB, 1/ 1/8th steer tube, 27.2 MM seat tube....Grrr.
  • + 0
 I agree and disagree with this statement

Things of precision work better in Metric. 27.2 31.8 67/72/83mm. But I don't want to say a 50mm tire or a
  • + 1
 Yeah, saying the tire size like that would sound weird, but car/motorcycle tires are that way...well actually, in the US anyways, they're both. 17 inch diameter by 275mm wide for a car...Pretty stupid, but the bike industry would do the same I recon. 26 inch by 65mm or something.
  • + 9
 Q: Giant's OverDrive 2 Steerer tube sizing - Is It The Future?

A: No.

There, that was easy.
  • + 6
 Bike industry marketing makes me want to vomit 12x142, 12x157, bb30 bb31.8484 and this stupid shit, regular tapered was annoying but could be reasonably justified. this is just blatant planned obsolescence just to bleed the consumer. stop wasting human and material resources solving problems that don't exist, Makes communism sound much better as these slimey marketing engineer conmen would have all been shot in the head and dumped in an unmarked open grave, imo so should the consumer that welcomes this bull shit.........

I think we need 39.9676965'' diameter bars! its 84.7659759%stiffer and only weighs 74% more.....its better so you should throw away your old stuff -its no good anymore, buy theses stems we dont make your old bar anymore!
Marketing Industry =f*ck you consumer!
  • + 1
 Hilarious....
  • + 5
 I don't like it, and for explanation, I point to a recent XKCD:
xkcd.com/927
Unfortunately, when someone comes up with a new standard it rarely takes over, and more often just gets added to the already massive collection of parts already available and widely used. Big ups to Giant for trying to improve our riding experiences, but I'll wait for at least 3 or 4 years before I believe it can truly work.
  • + 1
 I loved that one! So true, and I deal with it on a daily basis.
  • + 1
 oops, irotenberg beat me to the xkcd post. sorry for the repost!
  • + 5
 Dear weight weenies. Please take a poop before you go biking and save yourself a few pounds instead of whining about a few grams here or there on parts we dont need. Sincerely, The guy who doesn't care about weight.
  • + 1
 amen
  • + 4
 Another new standard. Doesn't that mean that there is no standard at all? Ha! This sort of (I'm gesturing air-quotes) innovation is funny to me. Engineering comedy. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that, after the industry has exhausted head-tube (I'm gesturing air-quotes again) innovation, the next thing will be tapered bottom-brackets. "Bearing load on the drive-side is bla this and bla that because of..." etc., etc, ad nauseum.

Putting cynicism -- and knee-jerk reaction -- aside, I suppose there is no harm in what Giant is doing. At least they're not killing puppies.

2010 Driver-8 with a beer-can head-tube. It works just fine.
  • + 6
 i think giant need's to get it into there heads that it takes a heck of a lot longer than releasing it and saying it's a new 'standard' for it to actually BECOME a standard.
  • + 7
 Change with stuff like this sucks but if it will better bikes then I am totally for it.
  • - 13
flag 2big4u (Jul 26, 2011 at 0:38) (Below Threshold)
 Agreed. Good for Giant. Thanks for bringing more innovation to the sport we all enjoy!
  • + 10
 I think it'll be one of those things like 10speed gearing or dropper seatposts - everyone gets worked up at first (because we don't like change), then it starts to become more and more common until it's the norm. In a few years we'll all be going "remember 1 1/8" steerer tubes? What were we thinking?" or it'll just go away and we'll say "remember that Overdrive system? That was dumb". I'm not going to change my bike anytime (and i've only just bought new forks) soon so let's just wait and see...
  • + 2
 I'm right there with you @Steezy...
We think it's insane (just like I do right now), but you have a MAJOR player like Giant behind it, so it WILL go somewhere, I guarantee it...
So maybe we should just wait and see?
Annoying, I know...
  • + 9
 I'm gonna save my money until someone comes out with 1 1/6 steerer tubes. Now that's an innovation I could be into Rolleyes
  • + 1
 good point there @Steezy!
  • + 1
 10 speed gears and dropper posts are different, because they offer more. 1 1/4 -1 1/2 offers something in between. The extra chainring of your 10 speed could give you the easy gear you need to make it up that really steep climb, and dropper seat posts allow you to keep riding over any kind of terrain. All Overdrive 2 does is move towards the higher end of the spectrum in terms of weight and stiffness, its not going to radically change anything and its a lot of hassle to update components to be honest
  • + 4
 Obviously just some more industry 'planned obsolescence' by one of the big three, backed up by component manufacturers who jump when told to jump. Vote with your wallets people.
  • + 3
 "The figure is measured by placing a 200lb weight at the end of a nearly-flex-free solid steel handlebar and measuring the amount of flex at its end."

So, if you used a normal handlebar in this test, you'd see that nearly all of the deflection occurs within the handlebar and stem. Therefore, in the overvall scheme of things a change in steerer stiffness makes negligible difference.

There's an expression that we use in the engineering world, "Two tenths of f**k all". That's the amount of differnece this will make in the real world.

We're not stupid Mr Giant!

Tapered head tubes look better, I'm happy to agree with that. Why don't they just be honest and sell it to us on that basis!
  • + 1
 Preach on brother! Salute
  • + 3
 I think the tappered steerers, the old 1.5s and the 1 1/8s are enough for everybody. The mountainbikers dont need this sh*t. Please don't talk to much about the trail/all mountain bikes. They are strong enough for that style of riding.
  • + 3
 As a bike mechanic I'm always a bit skeptical when new "standards" are introduced and the article by the Santa Cruz engineer nailed it right on the head by relating the kinds of concerns and frustrations associated with the introduction of new component designs or "standards". I'm all for innovation and improvement in the bike industry but I would be foolish to say that all of the changes made from year to year are for the good of the customer. I would also be foolish to say that all changes in the bike industry are useless marketing schemes.

One thing we can't forget is that when it comes down to it the bike industry is a business. If these companies don't make money they can't continue to make bikes so naturally there is going to be a mixture of truly innovative designs and not so innovative designs intended to sell next year's models. I hate having to fight the parts compatibility/availability war on a daily basis but overall I am more than pleased with the bikes that are now available to us and I'm sure that high performance bikes will only continue to get better. As with most things, time will prove the true value of any new invention.
  • + 3
 I don't believe the weight argument. Just because something is wider doesn't mean it has to be heavier. Cannandale has been using straight 1.5 head tubes on xc frames well before they became standard on long travel frames. I think this is marketing .THere's no reason straight 1.5 can't be made as light as tapered. Having two tapered sizes is just silly, if there is that much benefit is increasing the top diameter, go straight 1.5 with different thicknesses for different applications. The way I see it, this is like 15mm front axles. We already know 20mm can be just as light, so what's the point? This isn't a "standard," this is moving away from standards.
  • + 3
 haha you people say "standard" like some government agency is gona make you chop your head tube off your shitty what ever kind of bike and make you weld a 2" piece of scrap steel on it. then charge you for new parts. giants r&d is a little more than a bunch of dudes sitting at there computers like us. so if ya want to progress keep trying new things or stay on your mid 90S jobby but be careful with those v brakes the first parts a little steep!
  • + 3
 oh yea i do ride GIANT!
  • + 1
 giant power hi 5
  • + 3
 I hope every company immediately adds it so I can get the top knotch 1 1/8th tapered forks for cheaper. Big Grin
Honestly it does make some sense to improve the design over time, and if they have to do it they are doing it the right way. No patent or price increase. I know my hub and rim probably flex more than my stem, but they should make it as stiff as they can for the money and weight.
  • + 1
 "I hope every company immediately adds it so I can get the top knotch 1 1/8th tapered forks for cheaper." hahhaa damn right ! or regular 1 1/8th Razz
  • + 1
 Yeah. The price on those dropped plenty with the tapered top tubes.
  • + 3
 Hey guys. Andrew here from Giant.

Figured I'd drop in and offer a bit of rationale for our decision to move to introduce OverDrive 2 into our 2012 product line.

Our logic is as follows:

1. Handlebar widths continue to grow in width (commonly 700mm+)

2. Handlebar diameters are almost universally 31.8mm (1 1/4")

3. Stem diameters/stiffness have improved in the past five years

4. Stanchion diameters continue to grow/increase in stiffness

5. The introduction (and popularization) of the QR15 standard

So, with all these improvements in front-end (steering) stiffness, we felt it important to tackle the weakest link in the 'chain,' the 1 1/8" steerer tube/stem interface. By growing it to 1 1/4" we were able to significantly improve steering stiffness without adding weight—a win-win situation or the rider buying one of our 2012 mountain (and most of our road line as well).

• Yes, it will be a headache for shops who need to fit customers with new stems (although Giant, Shimano PRO, Ritchey, TruVativ and more will all have XC, trail and all mountain 1 1/4" options ready for 2012)

• Yes, it will be a pain-in-the-butt for home mechanics who are constantly swapping-out parts


• Moving to the 1.5” standard would improve steering stiffness, but would also mean a complete redesign of every headtube in our line and could potentially add upwards of 80 grams over our OverDrive 2 solution

• Riders with 'older' 1 1/8"-1 1/5" forks can upgrade to OverDrive 2 (new fork, new upper bearing, spacers and stem)

• Riders who are opposed to riding OverDrive 2 can 'downgrade' to the older standard (again, through swapping out the fork, upper bearing, spacers and stem)

Bottom line is Giant was able to notably improve steering stiffness without adding cost or weight.

We confidentially believe in this new direction, but only time will tell if we’re right…
  • + 3
 I weigh in at 200lbs and ride very hard.
for the last 10 years I have never had an issue with the standard 1 1/8.

This is just jargon and means consumers and companies have to dish more for nothing with very little benefit.
30% increase in stiffness compared to what?

Im still on a 1 1/8 on both of my currents bikes and have no to change.
simple practical ideas are awesome.

RideOn!
  • + 2
 this is crap. they dont need to change stuff all the time just to squeeze more money out of customers with unneccesary sizing changes. bikes have been working with 1 1/8 steerers for how many years? completely pointless. just gunna need a whole new range of stems and headsets to match with it. bullshit.
  • + 0
 Yeah, and bikes worked for how many numbers of years with a single gear, or friction shifters, or rim brakes! I don't know if you were around when disc brakes first came on the scene but you cannot imagine how many people were up in arms about switching over, now you couldn't pay somebody to ride a set of v brakes. This sport needs all the progression it can handle. You do not want this industry to become stagnant with no new innovations or major changes to keep pushing the envelope of what can be accomplished on a bicycle.
  • + 5
 redundant sizing of parts helps no one but company shareholder's. shake your head!
  • + 2
 Comparing the introduction of discbrakes over V-brakes is completely different than this.
  • + 1
 nicket8t thats true i wasnt around, and thats true about the disc brake, but that in comparison is fairly different, as it was relevant. can you imagine trying to get a bike down a world cup downhill track at the speeds people do with a set of v brakes. but then the difference is we can and have been for a long time going down the same tracks at the same speeds with a 1 1/8 head tube. even frames like the demo 8 etc. have 1.5 headtubes, that have reducer cups in, so they have the option to race with 1.5 and yet the 1 1/8 is sufficient. are there any dual crown forks that have 1.5 steerers? and in my time of biking i must say i have never ever heard anyone mention flex in their head tube or steerer? if they want stiffer steerer then add the material on the inside so it is a thicker metal, or would that add a whole few grams :O
  • + 2
 Why did it take this long for a company to come out with a 1 1/4"? You would think this would have been introduced before a 1 1/2.....And as far as stifness goes unless your nose casing a jump I dont think it'll make to much of a difference. If someones worried about stiffness just ride a tapered of full 1 1/2" headset you probably wont notice/mind the extra grams.
  • + 2
 Instead of merely vary the diameter of the fork/frame tubes, why don't the big gamers focus on creating a better steerer/stem interface? I'm tired of struggling to align the damn stem to the front wheel. A polygon-shaped steerer wouldn't add much weight, and certainly would help those of us with short stems...

I brought this same point up to discussion in the Ridemonkey thread devoted to this new "standard", and got a reply stating the stem should rotate in a crash in order to avoid damage to the handlebar, etc. However, direct mount stems in triple crown forks were created to improve the stiffness in that area and facilitate the stem/fork alignment.

Like I said before, stop varying the diameters and lengths. I think a splined or polygon-shaped steerer is the next step.
  • + 1
 a shaped steerer tube would actualy be a good idea im sure Razz but you couldnt have a shaped head tube which would be the problem lol
  • + 1
 Hey, a shaped head tube would teach a lot of people of accurately position their body in order to corner properly Wink !!!
  • + 1
 i just thought anyway if you had a shaped steerer and headtube it wouldnt turn haha :S
  • + 2
 this is what you all said about q/r 15 when that came about, "it'll never catch on" or "its just another marketing scam". but its brilliant, stiffer than qr and lighter than 20mm and now its industry standard. its a brilliant idea, cross compatible, lighter than 1.5 stiffer than 1 1/8 and costs no more. stop being scared of change.
  • + 4
 Disagree.
Weight difference is in the realm of 15 grams - and is effectively non-rotating due to its position relative to the axle.
It is a Fox marketing scam because they did not want to accept a RockShox standard even if it was an "open" standard.
"15mm is a solution to a problem that did not exist" as a wiser man than me once said.

michael
  • + 1
 what do you mean they didn't want to accept it? they already made a qr and a 20mm bolt through fork, they just bridged the gap. qr forks are too flexy and 20mm bolt through forks are too heavy (even if it is only 15g, the type of fork you would want a 20mm bolt through is heavier due to its purpose). i think that's what giant are doing now. as it says in the article, "You won't find it used on their top-tier cross-country races bikes yet" because (like bolt though) it is heavier. and "you won't likely ever spot it is on the front of their downhill bikes or any model that uses a dual-crown fork, simply because the stiffness provided by the extra crowns would make the OverDrive 2 steerer redundant." like 20mm bolt though if weight isn't as important as stiffness then it wont be of advantage. My point is that it bridges a gap.
  • + 1
 "lighter than 1.5 stiffer than 1 1/8"

There is a 1 1/8 to 1.5 taper which already addresses this issue. I can't see why we need another.
  • + 2
 EVERYONE is bitching about this, which is dumb because you dont have to run it. THE HEADTUBES ARE STILL THE SAME SIZE FFS you can still run a 1 1/8 fork in the.... please stop bitching, it's old. whenever a "new" standard comes out everyone flips a bitch. chill the f*ck out, or arent you capable of keeping track of 3 sizes instead of 2?
  • + 1
 Upper portion of the headtube is larger hence the new standard Razz
  • + 2
 "The bike's head tube inner diameter actually remains the same, at least on Giant's bikes. "


third paragraph....
  • + 1
 Must be typo on pb behalf.
  • + 1
 it says it multiple times....

"The head tube's inner diameter remains the same, only the upper cup and top headset bearing are different from Giant's current setup. This means that current non-OverDrive 2 frames and the new models will both be forward and reverse compatible. "
  • + 1
 Oh i see so it's just the headset that changes.
  • + 1
 yep, actually rather clever IMO I suspect it means headsets will wear faster though
  • + 1
 "arent you capable of keeping track of 3 sizes instead of 2?"

Acctually, this would make 4. Fingers crossed someone will come up with a new on next year too so we have even more to choose from...
  • + 1
 5 if you include the old inch.Salute
  • + 1
 Ah the old threaded headset. I'm betting that a manufacturer is currently working on a 1.5" one to take us back to the glory days of locknuts and quill stems.
  • + 2
 imo 1 1/8', tapered and 1.5' make three good standerds. this new one is just kinda sitting there, not being cool at all...like 1.5 is stiffer anyway so why not use that? im runnning a 1.5 single crown on my hard tail and i love it...
  • + 2
 Wait isn't a standard something everybody uses? No flippin' way Giant this will die in an instant and btw isn't a 1,5" the stiffest you can get? I'am pretty sure it could be the lightest as well if you put some effort in it and reduce material where ever possible.

"The figure is measured by placing a 200lb weight at the end of a nearly-flex-free solid steel handlebar and measuring the amount of flex at its end."

To try something in a lab means nothing, the whole system fork, wheels, tires is flexing in all directions i can't believe to increase the diameter by a tiny little bit makes a difference at all. Anyone for a blind test ? Wink
  • + 1
 i actualy think that the other parts like: susp. forks, stem, handlebars n that cant keep up anymore with the possible stiffness of tapered and 1.5, could be wrong tho...

P.S.: its about time the damn bike industry gets their butts up and set a real "standard". how hard can it be to make the stiffest and lightest headtube design possible atm?
  • + 2
 As an engineer I find this standard make sense if all the positive facts are true. If somebody don't want to spend a lot money for it so take an old 1 1/4" headset upperpart and a blue elox. Ringlé stem from an old YETI Wink !
  • + 2
 yeah, but that'$ what your manager$ tell you to $ay.
  • + 2
 www.santacruzbicycles.com/company/index.php?joe=1#joe0609.php

+1000000000000000000 !!!

i was working on my budget project yesterday (yet again! i think i have got something for shitty bikes :3) and even it needed quite standard parts i still had to convert rear hub from QR10 to a bolt axle, because there was no spares to be found (bearings, seals etc.) and headset from cartridge to open bearing... if the frame i found would use one of those genius innovations of today's biking industry i would be simply going nowhere.

why instead of developing new headtube standard won't they just give all those money that went into developing process itself to fork manufacturers and make them to titanium headtubes. that would do the thing won't it? same size, much stronger.

stupid people... :[
  • + 1
 Here is the good point:

"Let's face it, we've all been burned before with glittering promises of radness, stiffness, and the newest bestest thing ever. But when you open the box, does it really deliver as advertised? When do we wake up and not believe the same old song and dance? Show me something that lasts ten years and I'll change to it tomorrow. Boring, huh? I just want my bike to work well and last a long time without spending more money on it. "
  • + 2
 Here's my issue.. We have Trek Giant and Specialized... the big 3 all three have done this with something at some point in their existence (oh we aren't patenting it so its open for everyone) but the fact is that Trek and Specialized will want absolutely nothing to do with something that when you google it comes up it Giant as a popular result. Someone who is in a bike shop looking at a Trek and the sales person says "oh its an overdrive 2 steerer tube" and that person goes home researches it finds out GIANT came up with it, DING DING DING Giants are better than Treks why are you looking at a Trek.

It would be really nice to see this adopted but first lets sort out all the GOD DAMN HUBS AND BOTTOM BRACKETS YOU DIPWODS.
  • + 2
 Guys,

An initial review of our 2012 Trance X1 (with OverDrive 2).

I realize this isn't going to sway any of the die-hard haters, but this the type of feedback we expect to see from reputable editors who have a chance to ride 2011/2012 (OverDrive vs. OverDrive 2) product back-to-back.

www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/bikes/mountain/product/review-giant-trance-x1-12-45427

Thanks,
Andrew--
  • + 1
 Andrew,

Where do I begin?

A few months ago I bought my eighth Giant (I've owned a CFM3, an ATX 980, an STP, 2 Reigns and 3 Trances). It is a 2012 Trance X Advanced 1. The first ride on my new bike and I wanted to throw it away because the bars were way too narrow and the stem was way too long and it felt terrible and there was NOTHING I could do about it because I could not change the stem - none were available (putting wide bars on a long stem would make things worse, not better). Luckily I hadn't sold my 2011 Trance X1 so the new bike sat in the garage for a month until I got a shorter stem (firstly by shimming a 1.5" 55mm stem and finally with a 70mm Giant Contact stem which I traded with a Pinkbiker in the USA who had a friend who was a Giant distributor). I wasn't happy, as you can expect. I may sound upset, but lucky you didn't post a few months ago.

As you note three posts above, things have changed, but Giant hasn't changed their specs with the times and you still insist on putting a 100mm stem on a trail bike - should be 60-80mm. And it comes with an XC-width bar (I changed it to a Giant Contact DH bar cut to 720mm). The Reign has an 80mm stem, which is too long for the type of riding it is designed for - it should be 50-70mm.

I don't care whether the 1.25" steerer is stiffer or lighter, what I do care about is walking out of a shop with a new bike and being able to have fun on it that day: Giant should not have brought out a new spec without the full range of after-market stems being available on the data of purchase - my LBS copped heaps of flack from roadies who could not change the stem length of their new bikes.

I don't hate the standard, I hate the fact my new bike sat in the shed for a month. And it cost me hundreds of dollars to make it the way I like it, instead of $50 for a new stem the day I bought it.
  • + 2
 Lol, this is just just a lot of too much engineering going on. Its all theoretically correct, in that they get a 30% increase in stiffness with a diamter increase from 1.125 to 1.25. Awesome! (for those that want to know, going from 1.125 to 1.5 has a theoretical 257% increase in stiffness with the same wall thickness.)
But what do we get? A complex shaped steerer tube that requires new set of headsets and stems that are gonna require additional R&D by manufactorers, additional production lines etc etc that will only result in higher per unit costs.

I'm all for development and innovation, but make it something that actually has a real benefit to a rider, nit just a marginal, theoretical, advantage.
No thanx Giant, I guess I will stay with my non propriotory, backwards compatibly equiped bike.
  • + 2
 30% stiffer? Complete bullshit. Do they take us for idiots?

Seriously. It's like they think we can't see the diameter of handlebars in comparison. Suuuure, those don't flex at all. Why don't they just say it is 150% stiffer? Might as well make up an even bigger number while they're busy making up numbers.
  • + 1
 Actually, 30% is quite correct. (theoretically its actually around 40%, but theirs tests show apparently 30%). But see my other post above yours as well.
However the question is rather if that marginal increase will tranlate into anything a regular biker will benefit from compared to the cost of being limited to a new set of dimensions. I dont think that will benefit much.
I dont feel that my 1.125 steerertube is lacking any stiffness that I otherwise need to do some proper biking. Getting stiffer handlebars or a stiffer stem wil do more towards that than a new propriotory steerer tube.
  • + 2
 not into it but I will remain making our aluminum frames with a straight up, 1.5 standard head tube and those who buy my frames can just choose what they want on the front as far as a fork. I still think he 1.5 head tube is the most adaptable and creates the strongest joint for the frame.
  • + 2
 yet anothet money spinner, we have 1.5 now!!! We have 1.5 x 1 1/8th tapered, we have 1 1/8th, whats the difference. we cover it all. can't believe component companies have gone along with this with it. Crazy
Same for BB's the best is euro, just leave it all alone
  • + 1
 Hey guys. Andrew here from Giant.

Figured I'd drop in and offer a bit of rationale for our decision to move to introduce OverDrive 2 into our 2012 product line.

Our logic is as follows:

1. Handlebar widths continue to grow in width (commonly 700mm+)

2. Handlebar diameters are almost universally 31.8mm (1 1/4")

3. Stem diameters/stiffness have improved in the past five years

4. Stanchion diameters continue to grow/increase in stiffness

5. The introduction (and popularization) of the QR15 standard

So, with all these improvements in front-end (steering) stiffness, we felt it important to tackle the weakest link in the 'chain,' the 1 1/8" steerer tube/stem interface. By growing it to 1 1/4" we were able to significantly improve steering stiffness without adding weight—a win-win situation or the rider buying one of our 2012 mountain (and most of our road line as well).

• Yes, it will be a headache for shops who need to fit customers with new stems (although Giant, Shimano PRO, Ritchey, TruVativ and more will all have XC, trail and all mountain 1 1/4" options ready for 2012)

• Yes, it will be a pain-in-the-butt for home mechanics who are constantly swapping-out parts


• Moving to the 1.5” standard would improve steering stiffness, but would also mean a complete redesign of every headtube in our line and could potentially add upwards of 80 grams over our OverDrive 2 solution

• Riders with 'older' 1 1/8"-1 1/5" forks can upgrade to OverDrive 2 (new fork, new upper bearing, spacers and stem)

• Riders who are opposed to riding OverDrive 2 can 'downgrade' to the older standard (again, through swapping out the fork, upper bearing, spacers and stem)

Bottom line is Giant was able to notably improve steering stiffness without adding cost or weight.

We confidentially believe in this new direction, but only time will tell if we’re right…
  • + 1
 I can relate to anyone who disapproves of new standards, because they make swapping parts between bikes more difficult and what not. But as more specific bike categories are evolving there will consequently also be more specific parts, that will help increase performance. We've seen just that with front and rear axles.
This standard will require only a change of stem and headset if you're upgrading your fork; so it's a rather mild new standard, which could remain rather cheap thanks to Giant not claiming rights. This and the fact that all three major Suspension companies are in for it, makes the 30% increase in stiffness less likely to be just another marketing gag and thus 1.25 a sensible development.
Considering the size of the companies backing the new size it's likely to make the cut and become an industry standard.
We'll probably come to like it.
  • + 1
 "This means that current non-OverDrive 2 frames and the new models will both be forward and reverse compatible."

This is the only part of the article that I cared about... Thank you giant for not Fvcking up like all the other standard's imposed before and allowing people to still be able to make choices. This shows you properly engineered something that offeres something better, while still allowing previous generation equipement to be used.

Will I use it? Probably not, what's wrong with 1.125 stuff we use now except for a few grams of savings?
  • + 1
 f#@k u got to hate all these f@#kin companies that try to make their products so exclusive but fails by making the market for bike even more difficult when it comes to buying and converting bikes.GIANT THIS F$%KIN STINKS!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 No, it will not be a new standard in 2-3 years, just like tapered headtubes are not a standard now. Give it up. There is nothing wrong with 1 1/8 for xc/am and 1.5 for DH, stop trying to reinvent the wheel, you knob jockies. (Edit), missed the part about never on a DH bike, but then why do they do a tapered headtube on their dh bikes at all, if the extra crown gives it the extra strength? That to me says pure BS, to make people buy new crap, when they buy a new frame.
  • + 4
 Invest in some decent tubeless tire setups and gearbox designs. That's the future.
  • + 1
 Guys. I own the 2012 Anthem X 29er and it is an incredible ride. The best XC 29er ride out there, IMHO. I am not an engineer, and I'm not a machine, so I cannot fully appreciate the engineering behind the OD2 system (remember, it's part of a system, not just a 30% stiffer tube), nor can I likely feel a significant difference. However, at the end of the day I can test rides a dozen bikes and find the one I like best. I did this, and they were all LOVED XC bikes by big and small manufacturers. In the end, the Anthem BLEW these other bikes out of the water. That's not just my opinion, it's the decided opinion of several of my friends who love Santa Cruz and Moots and Niner and all those "small" companies.

Giant's overall design (Maestro, OD2, etc.) KILLS the competition. Yes, you would notice the difference if you test rode one on a trail. Is the OD2? That's part of what makes the ride great, yes. But more than that it's how it all works together.

Of course Giant has to innovate to market to sell bikes. Okay. Fine. Everyone/Company does that. Name one that doesn't... (DRCV....Brain...anyone? Big Grin .)

I can't comment on how well this engineering works on other bikes, but I will say we have to look at the bike as a SYSTEM, not just a collection of parts. In this case, the Anthem SYSTEM with OD2 rocks!

If you think Giant didn't think there would be blow-back on this, you're wrong. They knew this was a risk to introduce a new technology, and that some would hate. But in the end, time and riding will tell how well this system works.

Keep the Neo-Luddite ethic out of it, Keep an Open Mind, RIDE ONE, and then let's talk!
  • + 1
 Too bad biking wasn't like skateboarding, I realize there not the same! BUT....all standard sizes for everything and never changing.

There is no standards or common sizes between types of bikes or companies(xc, dj, dh). If there were common sizes (hubs, bottom brackets, seattubes, head tubes) All companies would benifit. Bike manufactures are just looking for the profit( gimic). You wonder how skate comanies own islands off Hawaii? Maybe its because biking is still in it's infantry stages?
  • + 1
 "30% is a big difference, but where and how is it measured?
The figure is measured by placing a 200lb weight at the end of a nearly-flex-free solid steel handlebar and measuring the amount of flex at its end. "

HAHAHAHAHA ! OK, this is the wrong way to do it, first to be able to measure this you need a flex free, not a "nearly flex free", handlebar. Now, do that with a 690mm wide lightweight handlebar just to see. The handlebar is gonna be flexing, NOT the ffriggin rest of the assembly, come on, this argument doesn't work at all. 1.5" all the way, been saying it for 7 years now...
  • + 1
 I don't care about standards I care about price. I probably won't notice whatever improvement these guys are claiming it has because I don't care about that. When I buy a bike one of my major concerns is will it be cheap to upgrade and will it be easy to sell my old parts?

If I buy one of these Giant bikes with this new standard will it be easy to sell my old fork and will it be as cheap to buy the upgrade?

The answers to both these questions is no.
  • + 1
 I still can't figure out how to buy a new headset with all the crap that's out there now. 1 1/8", 1 1/2" integrated, semi-integrated, standard! I think it's goona be great, provided none of my customers EVER need a new headset. I miss the days of 1" threaded or 1" non-threaded, things were so simple for a little while there. Except in bottom brackets, wait, BB's are still a mess!
  • + 1
 I will invent the Overdrive 3. LOL Lots of the riders could ride dirt and slopestyle with 1 1/8 steerers for long time . And now these AM riders need stiffer steerers than the most of dirtjumpers and slopestyle riders. This doesn't makes any sense. It's all about the marketing.
  • + 1
 Bahaha, looking at all the negativity in previous posts the MTB world is pretty unhappy about it.

I can see what Giant is doing, but honestly the only time you really notice steer tube flex is on a carbon steer tube with a long stem on it, and wide bars.......which means the entire system has a TON of flex in it.

To be honest, I have noticed that I can move the ends of my handlebar quite a bit when torquing on it in the parking lot, but really, when riding, I NEVER have noticed it, and I ride a 100mm Thomson stem with a 27`enve bar on a single speed trail bike.

Now, Im pretty sure if I am twisting my bars in a clockwise motion that I will notice flex (whether or not my steer tube is 30% or 100% stiffer), but last time I checked, I ride my bike with both hands pushing in generally the same direction.......down........which means that MOST of the flex I feel come from the handlebar. Im sure some flex comes from the stem and some comes from the steer tube, but mostly the handlebar.

Why dont they make Overdrive 40......and make a 40mm handlebar clamp for MAXIMUM stiffness.....I bet you would notice that a lot more than the steer tube. They even say in the article that you probably wont see it on DH bikes, because they have dual crowns and therefore no extra stiffness is needed from the steer tube......and DH bikes have the widest bars anyways, so they definitely need the stiffest bars, for maximum control.

Hey....maybe I should go hit up the marketing department at Race Face and see if they will take me up on this new cockpit idea, I bet it takes off in 3-4 years....
  • + 1
 actually, road bikes already have a new 35mm handlebar size: wait long enough and you will probably see that on mtbs, just as road bikes got to see 31.8.
  • + 1
 So, Giant has worked with some headset manufacturer to make an upper headset bearing with smaller diameter balls inside to accomidate a larger steerer in the same size hole. Then they collaborated with the big fork manufacturers to make a 1.25 - 1.5 tapered steerer. The real innovation here is the implication of 1.125 - 1.25 tapered steerers inside standard headtubes designed for 1.125 straight steerers. or 1.25 straight steerers inside standard 1.125 headtubes. Now maybe we'll have the real opportunity for adjustable headset angles via offset bearings for straight 1.125 steerer forks. Genius?!?!?! (for headset manufacturers)
  • + 1
 Hmm, an overwhelming negative response from your target audience? I wonder if they should rethink this? Or just can it? I'm also sick of all these standards that are for no real use. I recently sold a 2010 fox fork with a 15mm axle and tapered steerer. I got next to nothing on the used market due to it's specificity. If it was an 1-1/8 or 1.5 and 20mm I probably could have gotten twice that amount. It's rediculous. Get a clue Giant.
  • + 1
 Oh for jeebus' sake...... Can we just keep ONE standard for something? Its not enough that we have various BB and spindle sizes, 1 1/8" tubes, 1 1/2", taper tubes, yada yada... NO MORE! At least for a while! Please!

...Maybe they're afraid of too many used bikes being sold. Quick change the standard so new frames and parts have to be bought! lol
  • + 1
 This is f*cking STUPID. It's forced obsolescence. We need to DROP tapered steer tubes altogether stick to 1.125" and 1.5" steerers.

I'm pretty sure they could build LIGHT and STIFF steerers if they just used internally butted tubes.

INTERNAL BUTTED tubes > tapered in my opinion. Steerers should be thickwalled at the bottom, thinwalled in the middle, and thickwalled at the top to allow people to tighten the hell out of their stems.
  • + 1
 I currently own a Giant Reign (2010), it is my 3rd Reign, have also owned 2 Trances and a few other Giant frames. In a little under a year, I will be out shopping for another bike. I can tell you it won't be a Giant.

Don't like the changes made in 2011 to the press bb, for 2012 the new head tube "standard" is a total deal breaker. Will be voicing my displeasure at Giant by perhaps buying a SC, perhaps it will be the Banshee. My almost bought a Spitfire as my last bike, but ended up going back to Giant due to past Giant bikes I owned. Not likely to head that route next time. Whether I buy another Giant bike is not likely going to concern Giant, however if hundreds of current Giant owners, don't buy Giant as their next bike, it might pressure Giant to stop making changes for the sake of changes and kick their Marketing fools out the door.

PS: Nice article in LeeLau's link as well as many others on SC site. So refreshing to have a mftr call BS on the industry as well as some if its' past claims. (Here is the link for those too lazy to page up to the first post: www.santacruzbicycles.com/company/index.php?joe=1)
  • + 1
 when the integrated headset came the manufacturers said that it's lighter than the old-school. but then riders said they loose the weight-save with the wider headtubes. time changes, it's now a real standard for everyone.
when the 1,5 standard came the manufacturers said it's stiffer. but then riders said that it's too heavy. now it's sorta standard for downhillers.
for now all mountain and trail riders found the tapered headtube in the middle which fits perfectly.
Giant says we need to have more stiffness and spend more money on lighter and stiffer parts.
everything has a kickback but I can see no advantages this time. well, on first place I loose the saved weight on the stem (and obviously a lot of money because they ain't sellin' the new stuff for free). in my opinion it's stiff as the less stiffer part up front. if someone can ride along the RedBull Rampagne with full 1 1,8 I don't think that any of the mountain bikers from trail to enduro would ever need more stiffness then the tapered has.
  • + 1
 They are running out of ideas in the bike world so here is something to keep you spending your money =] by the way specialized are pretty much only doing 29ers next year!
Like FullBug said they are trying to force it down you.
  • + 1
 Really not liking where this is going, I grant them that I dont go anywhere near as big as the current pros who are running this system and I probably never will so therefore I feel that a 1 1/8 steerer tube and stem should always be the main size for the ordinary consumer I consider myself to be a half decent rider and improving and I have never had a problem with the standard size so why not keep the crazy sized strong things for the pros?
  • + 1
 Which pros are those? Apparently it isn't for XC race bikes or DH bikes - think it's safe to assume it won't be seen near road bikes.

Looks like it's for joe public wannabes...
  • + 1
 Good luck trying to sell your fork from one of these bikes. And if you try to upgrade, guaranteed, no one will stock these sizes. Bike shops are already having issues on selling standard taper forks, which are pretty well out there. Imagine trying to sell a new fork that only works for giants.
  • + 1
 If they wanna make it stiffer, Why not take the 1-1/8 or the tapered 1-1/8 to 1.5 and increase the inner diameter of the steer tube? Pointless new standard, its just another flashy ad to make giant look better. Someone at Giant needs to be fired.
  • + 1
 I just hope every single bike gear company with some self esteem ignores this latest Giants piece of SHIT Giant just plain and simple SUX on so many levels i cant even begin to describe. And so does every other firm for who they manufacture frames.
  • + 1
 Another tech/design break-thru in MTB industries but my question is "Are the riders getting heavier than before so the bike frame needs to be more sturdy?" or "Are the riders more daring to do a more than 200 feet drop so the frame needs to be stronger?" IMHO, good skills combined with solid and good craftmanship to the frames aqre good enough! But then again, I agree that technologies in every industry shouldn't be standing still in a same spot too long.
  • + 1
 People stopped using full 1.5 as you had to buy a new stem/headset and the like so tapered was standardized and has all but killed of 1.5 upper and lowers,do giant honestly believe they are important enough to force change again ? if so just give me 1.5 back.
  • + 1
 ok all the people saying why are they making another new standerd. the problem isnt that its new. its that its called a standerd that confuses things. its another option of steerer tube size just like 9,10,12,14,15, 20 and 30mm axle sizes. when you think about it a 1.25 steerer would make way more sense than a 1.125 one its stiffer lighter and fits in current head tubes just fine. the weight saving in 1.125 steerers over tapered and 1.5 steerers is entirely in the stem and headset. the forks themselves are actually lighter as the tube can be alot thinner walled than a 1.125 steerer so a 1.5-1.25 steerer would be able to be as light as most normal tapered steerers just by using a lighter stem. if you managed to make a light enough stem and say used a bushing in the top of the headset instead of the bearing then 1.5 steerers are the way to go.
  • + 1
 Have you guys that are bashing innovation ever had any other hobbies such as Sport Bikes or Sking or anything of that nature. Look at the top of the line products in almost any hobby/sport. Things are constant evovling. And to state Carbon Fiber is not better is just ignorant. Yes Carbon has been around for decades. The issue with Carbon is ease of manufactoring.
  • + 1
 ya cause moto x changes all the time right? read my post, this is not innovation and it will not make it a top of the line product. i'm not bashing or being rude to you or anyone else, just sayin.
  • + 1
 I have not seen anyone break their 1 1/8 steer tube yet......... And if your worried about saving a gram of weight compared to the 1.5 then a simpler solution would be to eat one less bite of cereal in the morning on race day!!!!!!
  • + 6
 april fools!
  • + 3
 I wish!
  • + 1
 I can't think how many of these 'innovations' have come and gone over the years and have had no effect on my riding.... just my wallet! Liked the skateboard comment above, simplicity is the key. This sport plays too much to nerdy inventions that seem to be about locking us in rather than listening to us riders - make our lives easier and our bikes more affordable rather than making me feel like I need an engineering degree to buy a new fork.
  • + 1
 I've recently had riders in looking for replacement stems for these bikes. Not so easy and they were not very impressed this went nowhere fast. No surprise though since this size went to zero quickly the first time around that it did the this time too. As it says in the article it looks good on paper, sounds good in a sales pitch but means nothing in the real world when there are so many other sources of more flex when riding. All of those easier to flex sources would have to max out before this became a factor. I'm writing this 5 years later as a reminder not to get swept up in whatever the 2017 marketing machine hammers us with... and they do hammer you into thinking whatever you have is obsolete so you feel like you need the latest trends to enjoy your ride. If you really want to improve your ride take a riding clinic on a specific skill you want to improve or a series from a reputable and experienced mountain bike school with PMBI certified instructors... because its you not the bike that makes the difference when your bike is the correct size, appropriate type and in properly maintained good working order.
  • + 2
 WHHHHHHHYYYYYYY? im all in favor of betting bikes, but this aint bettering shit.


FFS, take this and the new 143 or whatever rear axle, put it in SHIMANO's factory, and blow the whole lot sky high HAHAHAHAHA!
  • + 1
 whats wrong with shimano?
  • + 1
 ^ man's a genius
  • + 1
 "Is the current and most popular steerer tube sizing ideal for a mountain bike with a single crown fork? If a stiffer system can be employed, one that doesn't add any weight, as Giant claims, does it not make sense? Lets hear what you think of OverDrive 2 - put those thoughts down below! "

But need more stiffness?

Come on bicycles, not motorcycles.
  • + 1
 Pinkbike: "I have no use for it so no one in their right mind could possibly have a use for it!!!" There, I just summed up a huge collection of the userbase on this website.

I personally keep an open mind when it comes to stuff like this, but I know my opinion will be the "evil" of two options. It could be good and certainly has the potential, but we'll see.
  • + 1
 I think is what they did, was either mis-spec a bunch of frames with the wrong size HT when they were building these bikes, then decided to bandaid it with this, or they wanted to design their frames in such a way that needed a bigger HT on top, but didn't want to go to 1.5". This is just their way of hyping some sort of design or manufacturing issue that they did to either save $$$ or make some other function easier. Really there is no point to this. I seriously question their lab tests and science behind this. I am betting the that "old" standards flexed an amount that would be imperceivable amount and this new garbage giant is spouting on about is slightly less. My guess is that we are talking like the old standard gave 0.0040" of flex/deflection and their new standard was .0028". And there you find your 30% or so. Its all hype that they are counting on people to believe what they say regardless. This kind of crap is rampant in the bike industry. Throw some fact like things out there about rigidity, mix in some engineering buzz words, add a little spin and people just eat it up. Its sad really.
  • + 2
 whats the point in this? surely if you wanted a stronger steerer, companies should look into thickening the steerer internally, rather than making it wider ... therefore being able to keep the same stem headset ....
  • + 1
 less strenght to wieght ratio that way
hence oversize tubing
some bmx steerer tubes in the early 90's had 1inch steerer tubes that were almost solid (King bikes fork, Indy fork) apart from a hole small enough to get a brake cable down
then they went 1, 1/8th over size an were stronger an a HELL of a lot lighter
  • + 1
 This just feels too much like the old Shimano Biopace fiasco from the early 90s... just because something seems like a good idea on paper, dosen't always mean that it'll fly in the real world. I think that Giant requires more real-world R&D before they try to get the masses to swallow this new concept. Right now, this just seems too much like a big company trying to make a niche market for themselves... at our expense.

If you sit down and think about it, how many different small companys manufacture headsets, stems and spacers? If this "new standard" that Giant is trying to market becomes the norm, then all of those companies that manufacture headsets, stems and spacers will now have to re-tool to hold onto their share of the market. This makes it seem like Giant is vying to take over the bike industry throne... coups rarely end well for the general populace.
  • + 2
 haven't heard about bigger nonsense since 15mm QR and 10sp rear cassettes for mountain bikes - no one needs it, it's a rip off
  • + 1
 tbh im eyeing on a 10spd because when i go for a uphill i allways wish i had 1 lighter gear lol, i wouldnt curse all of the new things, but this headtube thing... i never ever in my life heard somebody complaining about headtube stiffness.
  • + 1
 10 speed means you can have an 11 36 cassette without huge jumps between gears. qr 15 bridges a gap for all mountain (qr isnt stiff enough 20mm is a bit heavy) that has proved very popular. as someone else said earlier, go take your rigid mountain bike with cantilevers down a downhill course and tell me that things haven't evolved. granted its not a huge leap in technology like disk brakes or suspension forks but every gram and % of stiffness is better. its a step in the right direction. faster lighter stiffer stronger.
  • + 1
 means i cannot have a faster/slower gear? =/
  • + 1
 Here we bloody go again,just when you think an Industry Standard has been recognised they go and move the goal posts YET AGAIN.I have lost track of the headset sizes i have used over the years...
  • + 4
 Our industry has changed "standards" a ton in the last decade. I mean really look at what we've come to because of "standards" brought to us by various companies. Is this new standard perfect? Hell if I know But I do know, thanks to articles like this, there are advantages. We've come a loooooooooooooong way from coaster brakes and rigid bikes. Will this revolutionize the sport? I doubt it. But without companies taking chances like this we would still be stuck in the stone ages of mountain biking. I welcome any change that will allow us all to plow down mountains better. I'm probably the minority here though.
  • + 1
 that is really really gay... WTF! seriously, what are they thinking? giants suck as it is, now you really wont want to buy one cause your gonna have to run their gay stems! and so much more! gay gay gay!!!
  • + 1
 gay gay gay and yet you found the need to write about it. LOL
  • + 3
 There is no doubt that Giant's size and buying power (they are one of the worlds largest bike manufacturers) lol pun GIANT
  • + 3
 How should I put it...? A 'GIANT' MISTAKE (or PissTake, depends how you look at it)
  • + 2
 I'm confused about what Giant actually did here. Since when do they make forks? Do they make headsets? What changes did they make?
  • + 2
 Lol this is stupid why take something that works well and make it slightly shitier? Stupid idea giant just like your suspension designs
  • + 1
 And this is why I'll never buy a Giant.. its a new standard and we'll give it a funny marketing name too.. absolute genius. How about you go down the marketing route of honest, no bullshit bikes!
  • + 1
 lol, you're missing out then...
  • + 1
 Missing out on what exactly?
  • + 1
 they make great bikes....
  • + 1
 LAME if your having stress issues in your steer tube just get a 1.5 and an angle set you can run annything if you get one of these lame taperd head tubes you will have to choose from just taperd forks..f*&k that
  • + 1
 kinda true, the angle set gave the 1.5 a big boost in my oppinion, its a very good combination
  • + 2
 Well someone else has probably mentioned this but..... This is fully backwards compatable so you can still run the other standards if you wish.
  • + 1
 This is nothing new. Klein used it back in the day, hell Kestrel still uses it on half their bikes. Pretty soon we'll be back to straight 1.5 being the best hahaha. so stupid...
  • + 2
 whoever designed it just wanted to get paid... w/e
but to be honest, i don't give a duck about 30% increased stiffness, my taper is just fine the way it is.
  • + 1
 Ah, marketing over engineering lands us with another new 'standard' It's a good thing that you can fit these to normal tapered and 44mm head tubes, there'll be some sick closeout deals on these in a couple of years...
  • + 1
 tell you what
lets all just buy a bike
go ride smash the sh*t out of it
throw it in the junk pile
then jus go buy another pile o cr*p that they sellin us as the new amazing piece of hype
  • + 2
 I had a 1.5 head tube on my last bike and now have a bike with a straight 1 1/8 head tube. Maybe it's just me but I could not tell a difference in stiffness between the two.
  • - 1
 Well im not a type who care about weight, i just simply don't mind it, i more like to build a heavier bike with longer useage, with much more reliability. i take care really well of the performance, becouse i believe the better performance will pay back for its bigger weight - for example Marzocchi Monster T forks, it is super heavy, but you can use it still nowadays without any huss, and the performance? It is soo plush if you think that it came out at 2002 or when. So i would more likely to see the smaller diameter motocross steerer tubes from cromoly that would be heavyer but it would be super stiff. Anyway to this new standard i would say, lets try it, we will see - it can be a good idea, but just becouse it has better performance. Nowadays we can produce almost the same weight from cromolly becouse we can use thinner walls to get near the same weight, with better stiffness.
  • + 1
 Why not add the extra material to the inside diameter of the steerer? More stiffness, the same weight penalty and no need to change the head set or stems.
  • + 2
 Finally I can buy a new fork for my old Klein next year! Thank you Giant! :0)
  • + 1
 My OSX's are plenty stiff enough already... as for it being a standard it's pretty egotistical of Giant's staff to be calling it a new standard this early on...
  • + 1
 Good grief! I really don't get it! Why continue to change the "standard"?
Have you experienced a rash of broken steer tubes in your product lines?
  • + 3
 I used to think Giant were a good brand before this bullshit.
  • + 2
 The only thing STANDARD in the mountain biking world is there is NO STANDARD
  • + 1
 These guys had no problem without this new standard > www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVWP6VaLtvw
Why waste metal and money...
  • + 1
 So if the head tube on the frame has stayed the same...and the steerer tube has gained 0.125"...I'm assuming we've now got reduced diameter bearings up top?
  • + 1
 I think that companies are running out of ideas to change the sport, now grasping at straws, it's all about the profit, how can we get more money.
  • + 0
 I was really hoping that the next steer tube standard would be based on metric measurements and get rid of the imperial units. Actually I was hoping that all of the "next" standards would be based on the metric system.
  • - 1
 hummis is bean poop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 hummus. just sayin'
  • + 1
 i dont care for a small amount of flex, what i care for is strength, is this standard any stronger than the normal 1,1/8th? has anybody had a 1,1/8 snap on them?
  • + 1
 Just so everyone knows I have a Reign with this shit and its near impossible to find a headset bearing that is 1 1/4"... Thanks Giant.
  • + 1
 Sheesh. If it ain't broke don't fix it! They are making steerer tubes like the MLA format; they just change it because they can. haha
  • + 3
 naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
  • + 2
 Fxxxxxxxck! I don't need new standard any more ! I just started to use taperd steer.
  • + 1
 Oh no the next standard.... isen´t it enough now? 1 1/8 is good and 1 1/2 was an innovation for big bikes but we do not need the 1 45/53 to 1 23/80 taperd I think!
  • + 1
 we all need to make money right? there will always be something new... we spend and spend, they make more and more... give and take brothers...
  • + 1
 Everyone complaining has it all wrong. This is a great excuse to tell the wife why I need a new bike :-)
  • + 2
 really... but really thought... seriously... why?
  • + 4
 Because our sport is ridiculously young. We haven't even come close to figuring out the good/bad of frame design. We have designs that work awesome, and they also have drawbacks. The only way to progress the technology we get in our bikes is through experimentation. We don't know how this will turn out, it could be a phenomenal new way forward for all we know, or it could be an absolute waste of time.

The point is, if we don't try to push the boundaries of the machines we ride, we will do nothing more than stagnate and die off. And personally don't want to see that happen to our sport.
  • + 3
 Changing the top bearing size 0.125 of an inch is hardy pushing the boundaries though.
  • + 1
 you'd prefer 2"?
  • + 3
 I'd rather they left steerer size alone and focused on something that we as riders will actually notice.
  • + 1
 I know. I was just joking about pushing boundaries. Doesn't seem like the worst thing in the world to me. I think personally it isn't any worse than 10 speed cassettes.
  • + 1
 You won't notice a stiffer bike tom? I would.
  • + 1
 cyrix, do you notice the flex from your stem/steerer? I think most of mine comes from hubs, bar length, and fork. There might be a little steerer flex, but I doubt much. If their math is true, that as much as thirty percent of flex or more can come from the steerer and they can reduce than it is awesome. I'm just not convinced yet.
  • + 1
 Stiffer bike? Yeah I'd notice a stiffer bike, but this isn't the bike, this is the steerer tube. If they put the effort from this into the Glory or Reign frames then It'd be worth the change, but this is ridiculous, anyone saying they notice and steerer flex has either...

A) Just bought a giant with the retarded steerer size
B) Works for Giant
C) All of the above.
  • - 1
 Why are you so upset about this? Seems a bit silly to me to get so angry and worked up over a silly thing like this. Maybe that's just me though...
  • + 1
 Upset? Angry? Worked up?

Hardly, just wondering why Giant puts all this attention and media on a tiny steerer tube size change. When there are way moer important things they could be doing.
  • + 1
 Clearly you are since you're vaguely attempting to insult me while assuming things about me when all I did was ask an innocent question. Calm down, or keep up the tirade. Whatever works.
  • + 0
 Lolwut? How am I 'vaguely insulting' you? I don't give a rats ass about you lol Only thing I'm criticizing here is Giant's new steerer.
  • + 1
 " anyone saying they notice and steerer flex has either...

A) Just bought a giant with the retarded steerer size
B) Works for Giant
C) All of the above."

But you go ahead and keep on being worked up over a steerer tube princess.
  • + 1
 If you get offended from that then I'm not the princess here lol

Harden up.
  • + 2
 Uh.....I didn't say I was offended. Where did I say that? If you're getting so worked up over a steerer tube perhaps you should heed your own advice and "harden up". Meh, I'm done with this discussion.
  • + 1
 It really is all about the ride. Bring it on. Enough of the pop can material already!
  • + 2
 Kleins used 1.5" to 1.25" tapered head tubes in the 90s!.. just sayin.
  • + 1
 true. been there already. besides shouldn't it be made out of carbon by now with an integrated stem with it? ...like mondraker just did? maybe i can start swapping fork parts with my CR soon! it's an engineering start to phase out 26s and force you on 29ers. it's true
  • + 1
 wait.. why?
  • + 1
 Man are all these comments really necessary. Just scrolling through them all is making my head hurt Frown
  • + 1
 Doesn't sound like a bad idea, but nothing special to write home about IMO.
  • + 9
 sillyness
  • + 2
 Pleeeeease just go back to the 1,5" steerer!
  • + 2
 I never new giant were making "grail" bikes in 2012
  • + 1
 its new
  • + 3
 This is Bulls**t !!!
  • + 1
 I will not be monetarily supporting this expensive and unnecessary venture in any way, shape, or form
  • + 1
 Yeah really why hey? Make us insecure with our current bike and therefore need to get a new one. Way to keep us consuming!
  • + 0
 many people are against this it seems but i remember this same reaction when fox introduced their 15mm thru axel fork and noone is complaining now
  • + 3
 Oh lots of people don't like the 15mm "standard" - don't kid yourself.
  • + 3
 JUST NO
  • + 3
 Do not want !
  • + 2
 another so called 'industry standard' to add to the growing list...
  • + 3
 Marketing ploy IMO
  • + 2
 Sh!ts getting out of hand!
  • + 1
 And suddenly my 1 1/4" evolution size threadless stems become IN DEMAND again.
  • + 2
 Resounding "meh" from this end...
  • + 1
 Seriously?! Honestly, I think Giant loves their Engineers too much to let them go.
  • + 1
 Giant IS the industry Smile

Whatever they do will be standard whether you like it or not
  • + 1
 Oh ok cool, so if I wish to work on my bike at home I'll have to buy another headset remover tube? Sweet.
  • + 2
 No the inner size of the tube remains the same. why would ya need a different removal tool.
  • + 1
 i dont know if ive ever seen so many comments on pb so fast. I guess people really care about this.
  • + 1
 hmph. This is all Giant's R&D could come up with?
  • + 1
 I wonder if Easton will produce a Havoc 35 for overdrive?
  • + 1
 I don't use "GIANT" standard .
  • + 0
 Imagine what Giant could have done with the money they wasted on the R&D and production for this.
  • + 1
 "Giant" headtubes from "Giant"...Surprised nobody came up with this... Smile
  • + 1
 Dude... Giant's got 24" seat tube hardtail bike... Smile
what do you expect from a Giant?
  • + 1
 A great innovation would be to define metric measurements for steerers....
  • + 1
 Ça ma l'aire super ce truc.
  • + 2
 LAME
  • + 1
 I am so stoked on this! More skews is awesome!
  • + 0
 shouldn't they get their geometry up to date before going into the future with headtubes?
  • + 3
 whats geometry got to do with this, giants geo is spot on. but of course you know more than the biggest bike manufacturer in the world
  • + 3
 The size of the company doesn't mean nothing. Do you think Ford could tell McLaren how to build an F1 car? Giant geometry is the most dated in the industry and that is because Giant R&D doesn't have a clue. Even the team riders run different geometry from stock.
  • + 1
 GIANT, Y U NO KEEP THE THE NORMAL TAPER!!!!
  • + 1
 can anyone else go way right on this page into the large gray space
  • + 1
 I can't even put my thoughts in words... This is FUBAR
  • + 1
 wtf?! ...do me a favour, do not re-innovate the bloody wheel !
  • + 1
 I'm getting fed up of these 'standards'.
  • + 1
 dislike thats all i have to say on the matter!
  • + 1
 another size standard? You can make 1 1/8" stiffer by making it thicker.
  • + 0
 yes, but that defeats the purpose of saving weight, stupid I know. The amount of weight saved, or stiffness increase is going to be minimal to say the least to the majority of riders. save that tech junk for the racers who are sponsored.
  • + 1
 i think this sums up the situation......
xkcd.com/927
  • + 1
 I'm gonna laugh sooooo hard if this becomes common....
  • + 1
 lol we cant think of any more good shit to design so we do this....
  • + 1
 this is gay
  • + 1
 I don't think it is? I'm pretty sure gay means a man loving another man, or a woman loving another woman.

Or perhaps you mean that Overdrive 2 systems are "happy". That would make more sense.
  • + 1
 this is a bomb
  • + 1
 i like my 1.5 Smile
  • - 2
 well, i never had problems with my 1 1/8" steerer from my FOX 40 ... so whats the "inovation" of this new type?
  • + 6
 dual crowns add more rigidity. It was mentioned in the article...
  • - 4
flag goxbigxorxgoxhome (Jul 26, 2011 at 0:49) (Below Threshold)
 yeah i noticed that, but are'nt dual crown forks rigid enough !? i never saw a bended steerer tube from a DC fork
  • + 5
 Dude, it is said in the article that there is no need for Overdrive2 on DC forks because it wouldn't make any difference.... read the whole article.
  • + 4
 Obviously dual crowns are different, however I don't have any problems with my 1 1/8th steerer on my single crown fork on my hardtail, and I try to ride it just as hard as my DH bike.
  • + 3
 I agree, I have ridden 5, 6, and even 7 inch bikes with 1-1/8 steerer tubes, and never had a real problem.
  • + 1
 I'm agreeing with no problem situation I have run, and still do, an 09 Rock Shox Totem ( bought in 2010(1 1/8")), and i must say i ride it pretty hard, and i haven't found any problems with the steerer.
  • - 3
 Cool!
  • + 2
 Actually 30% of patents aren't new. Thermal toast refreshing was patented in 2000. Of course we call it toast.
  • + 2
 ^^^Ha, taletotell, another NPR TAL listener. As an engineer, I loved that episode.

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