Here it is again... another Race Bike Focus and another peek into the race shed of a fellow XC speedster. This week we get to drool over and cast a loving eye on to the 2015 Giant XTC Advanced  29er (1) of World and European Tri-Cross rider David Bowkett.

[caption id="attachment_12081" align="aligncenter" width="450"]IMG_4369 David Bowkett's Giant XTC Advanced 29'r taking a little breather and admiring the amazing Welsh vista[/caption]

You don't need to me to sit here and tell you about Giants racing pedigree, with National and World Champions aboard Giant machinery across the breadth of the cycling world, it goes without saying that the design and technology behind the Giant XTC Advanced is very much race proven.

[caption id="attachment_12082" align="aligncenter" width="450"]IMG_4336 Check out that stance... It's like a wild animal about to pounce on its prey![/caption]

David rides the Small version with its 574 mm top tube and 724 mm stand over height. The 71.5° head angle keeps the Giant looking like it's in perpetual forward motion, and when combined with the short 439mm chainstays and 1062 mm wheelbase it gives the XTC Advanced a stout and punchy demeanor.

[caption id="attachment_12079" align="aligncenter" width="338"]IMG_4350 The MegaDrive toptube and downtube give a muscular rather than svelte look to this XC beast.[/caption]

The Giants Advance Grade-Composite frame features the Giant MegaDrive toptube and downtube which add's to overall chassis stiffness, this is also combined with the PowerCore BB to add even more stiffness where it counts, aiding torque transfer and improving pedal efficiency and acceleration.

[caption id="attachment_12085" align="aligncenter" width="450"]IMG_4345 Shimano XT cranks transfer power to the rear via an eliptical chainring[/caption]

David runs a single Elliptical chainring (Rotor 34T) on Shimano XT cranks with a ceramic BB. To aid comfort, David is experimenting with wider platform pedals, hence the Shimano M530's!

[caption id="attachment_12087" align="aligncenter" width="338"]IMG_4347 Turned up to 40 at the back![/caption]

To complete David's 1x10 setup, he has extended the rear cassette to include the One up components 40T expander cog. He did mention that a new and shiny Shimano XT 8000 setup would be replacing his 1x10 set up very soon, moving him from 1x10 to 1x11 and improving his options in the heat of battle.

[caption id="attachment_12086" align="aligncenter" width="338"]IMG_4346 On closer inspection... is that a??? yeah it is!!![/caption]

David blames his triathlon background for the rear mech modifications. The standard Shimano XT jockey wheels have been upgraded with a set of smooth as butter ceramic beauties. A few grams saved here and there can soon add up, and the ceramic jockey wheels also add the touch of bling to the Shimano XT workhorse.

[caption id="attachment_12088" align="aligncenter" width="450"]IMG_4349 The Fizik Ardea saddle, giving relief to Chameleons everywhere![/caption]

Sat on top of the stock Giant Connect Composite seatpost is the perch of choice, the Fizik Ardea Versus. Designed on a solid base with a 5mm deep central channel that extends across the entire length of the saddle, thus helping to ease any pressure on the precious soft bits.

[caption id="attachment_12084" align="aligncenter" width="338"]IMG_4344 Race King![/caption]

Continental Race Kings are setup (Tubeless... obviously) onto the stock Giant P-XC1 29 wheelset. DT Competition spokes and DT nipples are laced into a Giant hub (with DT internals). The 15mm Thru-Axle front and 135mm QR rear give David a lightweight and race ready 1750 gram wheelset straight from the box!!

[caption id="attachment_12080" align="aligncenter" width="338"]IMG_4343 Slammed and flat... check![/caption]

Up front it's the stock Giant Connect XC, Low Rise, 690mm bar. Davids prefered set up is with a 20mm saddle to bar drop, so the stock Giant +/- 8° stem has been replaced with the +/- 17° Easton EC90 70mm stem. The -17° drop gives David that lower position that can sometimes be a struggle to achieve within the 29'r geometry.

The upgraded Shimano XT brakes provide the proven reliability and stopping power, helping David to tame this powerful looking Giant XTC Advanced.


The Fox Evolution CTD fork has had its 100mm travel reduced to Davids prefered 80mm, again helping to keep that front end as low as possible.

So lets talk weight. A lot of riders like to keep the overall weight a mystery, so we have to put 2 and 2 together and wildly exaggerate it to 6. So it's a good job that Dave isn't one of those who plays their cards close to their chest, and I'm happy to unveil... drum roll please... David Bowkett's Giant XTC Advanced 1 tips the scales at... 9.8 KGs!


Based around the South Wales ares, will be supporting David through the 2015 as he takes on everything from World and European Cross Tri Champs to Duathlons and XC. Keep an eye out for him this year and give him a well deserved pat on the back for putting together such a quick looking rig!

Why not give Dave a follow on Twitter too - @Dave_Bowkett

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