Lively and capable trail bike - but ditch the triple!
The Good: A total blast to ride on tight, technical descents or fast, swooping singletrack. Pedals efficiently through rough or smooth trails. Reasonable weight for the price. Durable, solid parts kits. Inspires confidence on gnarly sections.
The Bad: Triple crankset is unnecessary - swap to a double or single for lower weight and better chain retention. Stock tires are thin - I pinch flatted on my first ride. Stock brakes aren't great.
Every time I ride this bike I enjoy it more. It pedals well enough to get you to the top of the hill without unnecessary gasping, although big standing efforts definitely work better with the ProPedal switch engaged. The Maestro suspension works well to keep the rear wheel tracking on technical climbs, making rooty or rocky sections easier.
The fun really starts at the top of the hill - this bike comes alive on any descent. It accelerates quickly, and once you have the suspension dialed in, it floats through rock gardens with composure. It sucks up rocks and drops easily. I will say that the suspension can be a bit noisy, but I hardly notice it once I get going. The head angle looks steep on paper compared to some other trail bikes, but I've found that it gives the bike a nimble feel more than a nervous feel. The bike rails through corners better than any I've ridden.
It's not perfect. The triple crankset is overkill for most trail riding. I switched to a single 32T ring with an e.13 guide. On that note, this bike does not have ISCG mounts, and it has a press-fit BB, so the only chain guides that will fit are the top-guide only options from e.13, MRP, and some other companies. If you need a full guide with a lower roller, this is probably not the bike for you. The stock tires are thin, easy to pinch flat, and wear quickly on rocky trails. The Avid Elixir 5 brakes are noisy on long descents. Some riders may find the stock stem too long or the stock bar too narrow, but that's a matter of personal preference.
The rest of the stock parts are reliable performers. The Shimano drivetrain is bombproof, and the Giant brand wheels are a respectable offering. The Fox suspension is top-notch as always.
On the whole, I'm stoked on this bike. I'd like to add a dropper post to increase its versatility, but even in mostly-stock form it's a ripper of a ride.