2020 giant crest 34 suspension fork
18 Oct 2019

In a surprise announcement, Giant Bicycles has just unveiled its brand new Crest 34 suspension fork. Is it a sign of things to come?

That’s right folks – the Crest is a brand new suspension fork that has just been launched by the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer. Nope, we can’t say we were expecting to see a suspension product from Giant either! But given the brand’s growing component catalogue, which includes complete wheels, dropper posts and carbon handlebars, perhaps it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to see forks joining that list too.

2020 giant crest 34 suspension fork
The Crest 34 is a brand new suspension fork designed and manufactured by Giant Bicycles.

So The Giant Crest 34 Fork – What’s The Dealio?

Designed as an entry-to-mid-level trail suspension fork (think Suntour rather than high-end Fox and RockShox), the Crest 34 has been developed, engineered and manufactured entirely in-house. And digging through the details, it’s apparent that this ain’t no budget el-cheapo fork with a Giant sticker slapped on. Far from it in fact.

Built with a robust-looking chassis with 34mm upper tubes, the Crest gets a Boost QR15 thru-axle and one-piece magnesium lowers. The lowers themselves are made using a process called ‘Thixmolding’, which Giant states is a “closely temperature-controlled casting process to produce components that are exceptionally strong, while remaining more lightweight than similar components made by traditional casting“. So there you go.

2020 giant crest 34 suspension fork
The Crest 34 uses 34mm upper tubes and is offered in both 27.5in and 29in sizes.
2020 giant crest 34 suspension fork
There’s a quick-release 15mm thru-axle for the Boost-only dropouts.

Oh, and the fork arch has a neat little hollow tube through it, and we really want to poke our fingers into it like a Chinese Finger Trap. Maybe this little tunnel could be useful for storing a tubeless tyre plug? Or maybe a wee trail-sausage for mid-ride snacks? Either way, it’s a neat way of differentiating Giant’s new fork from every other suspension fork on the market.

2020 giant crest 34 suspension fork
What things could we store inside that little tunnel?

It’s Got 100-120mm Of Travel & A Dual Air Spring

The Crest 34 will be made in both 27.5in and 29in sizes. Travel is fixed (i.e. non-adjustable), and is listed at 120mm for the 27.5in fork, and 100mm for the 29in fork. That means it’s really designed for hardtails and short-travel full suspension bikes. Well, unless Giant brings out longer travel versions in the future.

It’s air-sprung, and mirroring other modern suspension forks from Fox and RockShox, it uses a dual-air system with a positive and a self-equalising negative chamber. Air volume can also be adjusted with thread-in plastic tokens, allowing you to control how much ramp there is towards the end of the travel.

2020 giant crest 34 suspension fork
There’s an adjustable air-spring, and you can also adjust volume using plastic spacers.

What Adjustments You Got?

As well as being able to adjust air pressure and air volume, the Giant Crest features adjustable rebound damping down the bottom, and a crown-mounted compression adjuster up the top. The compression dial has five settings, ranging from fully open to a full lockout. Giant is also making a remote version that comes with a 2-position handlebar remote for locking and unlocking the fork.

Otherwise there isn’t a whole lot of information about the damper arrangement itself. All that’s listed in the specs is ‘Giant-exclusive tune’, so it isn’t entirely clear whether this is an open or closed damper system.

2020 giant crest 34 suspension fork
The shapely magnesium lowers feature a rebound adjuster at the base of the right-hand fork leg.
2020 giant crest 34 suspension fork
There’s a simple 5-position compression adjuster at the top of the fork too.

Can I Buy One?

Not on its own you can’t. For the time being, there are no plans to sell the Crest 34 fork aftermarket, since it’s destined for OEM spec on complete Giant mountain bikes. According to Giant Australia, we’ll first see the Crest 34 on the 2020 Giant Fathom 29 2. That bike currently specs a Suntour fork, but later in the year we’ll see that switch to the Crest 34.

2020 giant crest 34 suspension fork
Giant isn’t aiming for the high-end of the market. The Crest 34 is pitched at hardtails and full suspension bikes under the three grand mark.

2020 Giant Crest 34 Fork Specs

  • New OEM suspension fork
  • 27.5in & 29in wheelsize options
  • Travel: 120mm (27.5in), 100mm (29in)
  • Ramp-adjustable twin air spring system with volume spacers
  • Adjustable rebound and compression damping
  • Also available with a remote lockout
  • 34mm alloy stanchions
  • Thixmolded magnesium one-piece lowers
  • Tapered steerer tube
  • Offset: 44mm (27.5in), 51mm (29in)
  • Boost 110x15mm thru-axle dropouts
  • Max tyre clearance: 27.5×2.6in, 29×2.4in
  • Claimed weight: 1870g (27.5in), 1970g (29in)
2020 giant crest 34 suspension fork
There’s quite clearly a lot of R&D that has gone into producing this fork. We don’t think it’ll be Giant’s last one either.

What’s Next From Giant Then?

Firstly it’s worth having a watch of the launch video below, which Giant has put together for the new Crest 34 fork. We haven’t posted the video to show off the fork itself, but rather for you to get some insight into the manufacturing power that Giant has invested into with its new fork. Sure it’s a marketing video with plenty of smoke and mirrors, but you can still appreciate there’s been some heavy R&D going on for Giant to build its own suspension fork in-house.

Given just how much investment and manufacturing power Giant has poured into producing this new Crest fork, we’d hazard a guess that other suspension products are likely to follow. Maybe we’ll see longer travel versions? A Crest 36 perhaps? Or maybe Giant is working on a rear shock for its entry-level full suspension bikes?

All we can do is speculate for now, but it isn’t hard to see a future where the Taiwanese brand will manufacture the vast majority of components on its own bikes, rather than relying on other brands to supply them. Of course Giant’s US rivals, Cannondale, Specialized & Trek, have been pushing the design envelope with own unique suspension products and brand-exclusive relationships for many years now, so it would make sense to see Giant step up in that arena to create something unique.

Enough of our conjecture though, what do you folks think of this new suspension fork from Giant? Is it just another fork, or something more? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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