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When multiple 24-Hour champion, Jess Douglas, opted for the alloy Lust for the World Endurance Mountain Bike Organisation 24 Hour World Champs, we were a little surprised. The carbon frame didn’t arrive in time to build the bike up and bed everything in, so Jess went with the alloy frame instead.
Jess was so much more confident and comfortable on this new model compared to her previous, blinged out Giant 29ers, that she chose this one for her biggest race of the year.
Keeping an element of novelty in 24-hour racing is important too, and the new frame, built around a 650B wheel size, saw Jess outride her competition once again. We’ve been itching to test the Lust ever since. It obviously meets the desired mix of comfort and efficiency for a full weekend in the saddle, but how versatile is it for other types of riders, with different riding aims?
The Lust 27.5 2 is uses the same alloy frame as the 24-hour Douglas-mobile, but specced with parts that meet its $2500 price point. With 100mm front and rear travel, and a tweaked frame geometry, it’s a women’s version of the popular 650B Giant Anthem.
Spec-wise, a nice collection of tried and tested componentry and design ideas, trickled down from lighter and more expensive innovations, adorn our test model Lust: a Shimano Deore clutch rear derailleur (this keeps the chain quiet), a 2×10 drive train (the gears you need without the ones you don’t), the Maestro suspension system (you’ll see this on all Giant duallies), Fox suspension, Shimano hydraulic brakes. It’s a tidy package that enables capable, confident and enjoyable riding.
We’ve had the chance to hit the trails a couple of times on the Lust already. We’ve been riding a lot of 29ers lately, so it was nice to experience the agile ride feel of this small sized frame built around 650B wheels.
The standout difference was the ride experience that comes from being able to move our bodies around the bike more easily due to its smaller overall size. Confidence comes from agility with this design, compared to the confidence that comes from getting away with being more of a passenger on a 29er.
There are a few basic set up things that we want to play with over the test period as we find out more about the Lust’s strengths, capabilities and the experiences it offers.
With a lot of spacers to play with under the stem, and a wide set of riser bars, the front end feels high. This is good for confidence building for riders new to the sport, but we found we’re not putting enough weight through the front wheel to stop it wandering on flats and climbs.
We tubelessed the wheels immediately, too. We were pleased to see that the Schwalbe Racing Ralph Performance tyres and non-tubeless specific Giant branded rims were easily converted with some tape, valves and sealant – light and cheap.
Despite the mouthful of name, the Lust 27.5 2 is a no nonsense offering from Giant equipping an entry- to mid-level women’s market with a versatile and robust bike.
Keeping this market in mind the obvious questions to explore over the review period are: how does it compare to 29” competitors, and what does it offer in comparison to a similarly specced hardtail. We have no intention of riding it for 24 hours in one go, but we’re looking forward to lots of shorter, more playful, and far less painful rides instead.