Correction! Eurobike 2011: Giant’s Overdrive 2 – headset ‘standard’

by Chipps 62

Correction: we’ve spoken to Giant and need to clarify that this isn’t actually a new ‘standard’. You’ll be able to use everything except a 1.5″ (or 1″…) steerer tube in the Overdrive 2 headtube. It’s also only going to be appearing on seven of Giant’s mountain bike models next year, not 57, as stated below, although that’s what Chipps was told originally.

 

OK, time to sit down and get the pen and paper out… Giant Bicycles has a new headset standard for you to get your head round.

 

This is the premise: OK, so with everyone getting wider and wider bars, there’s a lot more sideways force going through your stem and steerer – a 1 1/8th inch steerer that harks back to the days of quill stems. So what Giant proposes is that everyone adopts a new size for stems and steerers. They call it ‘Overdrive 2’

So, what’s Overdrive 2? Well, it uses a ‘normal’ tapered head tube (Giant has been doing tapered since about 2008) – but the fork steerer tapers from 1.5in at the bottom – which is the normal size for tapered steerers these days – to 1.25in at the top. Yes, that’s an inch and a ‘didn’t Gary Fisher do that size, ages ago’ quarter.

OK, we've seen the logo, but what does it mean?

Giant’s own testing reckons that it makes the steering stiffness 30% stiffer. Obviously you need a 1.25in stem, but these are already being made by Giant, Ritchey and Truvative.

Wait, that stem looks kind of chunky

And how does Giant squeezed that big steerer in? It has developed a new, skinny top bearing with FSA that, presumably is 0.0625in thinner (if our rusty fraction arithmetic is correct). Giant reckons that the new system weighs no more than the current tapered system (that we’ve had for only a couple of years.)

And it's not just for chunky bikes, there'll be road Overdrive2 bikes too

Giant is touting Overdrive 2 as an open standard and expects many other companies to hop aboard next year in having, we’ll call them ‘shallow taper’ (or chunky stemmed) front ends. To show its commitment, Giant will have 57 models next year with Overdrive 2.

As an aside, we love this minty Reign colour

So, to re-cap, that's 'normal' 1.5in at the bottom and new 1.25 on top, but in a 'normal' tapered head tube.

Comments by the Singletrackworld.com massive are, as always, welcome and expected…

 

 

Comments (62)

  1. another frigging standard, the marketing machine roles on

  2. Thats the nice thing about standards…there’s so many to choose from.

  3. maybe I could buy 2 of these, split them, sell the 1.5in pairing to some dude in a fullface and use the 2 1.25″ bits for my old cannondale BotE

    then again…..

  4. I’d like to have seen the presenter, and the listening journos, trying to keep straight faces as this was introduced.

  5. So now, I have to understand that there’s the integrated headset that seems to fit easily and work.

    Then semi-integrated. Which does something.

    And external which usually look ugly and are a PITA to fit.

    And now there’s this. Which looks like a tapered integrated, but it’s a slightly different size at the top. So you’ll buy the wrong headset. And spacers. And stem.

    *Sarcastic clap*

  6. Didn’t someone say something recently about the cost of tapered head-tubes being relativly horrific. Why not fit straight 1.5″ head-tubes and allow the consumer to choose what headset/steerer thet want to run?
    Small steerer=faster bearing wear and higher risk of bending it. The forces into the frame and effect on it will be the same.

  7. Oh. For. The. Love. Of. God. Why.

    :facepalm:

  8. Meanwhile, MX bikes still rely on 1″ steerer…

  9. Are the logged incidences of stem / steerer failure that significant that a new design was needed or, as I suspect, is it marketing creating a problem that never existed so they can solve it with something you can buy!

  10. *Slow claps*

    Brilliant, Giant…

    Here we go with yet another new standard which to all intents and purposes is completely unnecessary and is going to make upgrading even more problematic in future.

    Why not simply make all head tubes 1.5″ and let the consumer fit any fork they like, eh?

    I won’t be buying anything from Giant in the forseeable.

  11. Good work from Giant.

    What we really need now is a new front axle standard

  12. *votes for a new ISCG standard too*

  13. richmtb – haven’t you heard? Fox is coming out with a tapered axle…20mm to 15mm. The 20mm is on the rotor side, it’s to deal with braking forces apparently!

  14. Love giant bikes but this has made me hate them as a company……time for everyone to adopt the 1.5 standard, cannondale knew best all along!

    Marketing idiots…

    boycott, boycott, boycott! (fetch pitchforks and burning lanterns brethen and let’s hunt the Giant CEO…..mmmm he might be really big though)

  15. Are there more header standards than BB standards now? I’ve lost count…

  16. Obviously I meant ‘headset’… Bloody iPad.

  17. The original 1.5″ steerer was ahead of it’s time… Giant are getting close to catching up… give them another year or two of incremental gains… next year will 1.375″, and by 2015 we’ll all be up at 1.5″ again… would gain you another 30% in stiffness I’m sure !!!

  18. “Love giant bikes but this has made me hate them as a company”

    I agree. [Giant TranceX owner]

  19. God, what’s the point. As has been said above, let’s just stick to 1.5″ and be done with it, FFS.

    It’s funny coming from the BMX world where almost everything is standard and you can assemble the entire bike with an adjustable spanner, 5 and 6mm allen keys, and…er…that’s it. (Yes, yes, plus wheel building gear, but you get the idea.)

  20. +1 for grizzpup

    giant just vanished from my “interesting” list…

  21. they cant introduce 1.5″ straight through headsets now as thats already reserved for the 2015 model launch, come on people!

    if you really want to give yourself a facepalm, over in roadie world they are now going down sizes again for ‘reduced frontal area and aerodynamics’.

  22. A very good reason not to buy a Giant.
    I hope they come unstuck with this.

  23. I for one welcome our new headset overlords.

  24. got to sell the coolaid

  25. Hopefully will get ignored, like Deda’s 35 mm diameter bars.

  26. I won’t be buying one so I’m not that bothered. As others have said it’s a way to get money out of something that doesnt need to be changed, money for nothing. Save your £’s and purchase a frame from another manufacture that have kept things basic.

  27. 1.5″ is the way to go, then just buy whatever forks suit. Easy.
    This is another case of solving a problem that isn’t there.

  28. just f*** off.
    consumers, shop keepers and no bloody one needs yet another effin “standard”. Its not standard its a non-standard, and I shall mock and toss custard creams at anyone who comes in my shop with this nonsense.
    1 1/8″ or taper… done. That is enough.
    Plus it looks like someone fisted your headtube.

  29. quote ‘Plus it looks like someone fisted your headtube’
    Thanks for that brightened my day. Perhaps we could suggested giant use the slogan
    ‘Giants new ‘fisted’ headtube…’

  30. Anyone else like the colour of the Reign X in the pics?
    Methinks next years work bikes will be on our Kona account not Giant if they try to do this to the HT bikes we buy….

  31. So, if I read that right, its just a normal tapered headtube with a different sized headset then?

    So whats the big fuss about, if you don’t like it, you can just fit a standard tapered headset.

  32. “the current tapered system (that we’ve had for only a couple of years.)”
    Its been around for at least 4 years?
    (2008 Spesh Stunpjumper FSR S-works?)

    “As has been said above, let’s just stick to 1.5″ and be done with it, FFS”
    +1

    “if I read that right, its just a normal tapered headtube with a different sized headset then?”
    I don’t think so, hence the need for a 1.25″ (rather than 1.125″) stem?

  33. Whatever headset is plumbed into it… that Reign SX looks flippin’ ACE. Need to ride that one ASAP.

  34. Does this mean I’ll have to stop riding my 1997 Merlin? It only has a standard 11/8″ headset and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stand the social stigma of being 4 headset “standards” out of date. Oh the shame…

  35. I read this yesterday whilst, er, at work, so avoided any comments and was looking forward to seeing some responses. Excellent all you Interbob surfers, the wait was worth it 😉

  36. Hold up!

    Have i missed something? surely if you need a new stem, you must need a whole new steerer/crown assembly or fork?

    “As has been said above, let’s just stick to 1.5″ and be done with it, FFS”

    I personally hate the fat look of the 1.5″ head tubes 🙁 can we not stick with good old 1,1/8″?

  37. Giant have identified a major flaw in bike designs that warrant’s a new standard (about time, i’m sure the extra 0.005mm flex through my now out of date set up is ruining my rides)

    or the marketing department have come up with some exciting new research showing 78.7% of bikers are gullible twats and will buy into this sort of utter clap!

  38. Fixing a problem that just isn’t there is the path to product improvment, we are continually told but this one just takes the piss. There are so many other ways to stiffen your front end using existing umpteen ‘standards’.
    What a load of guff, hope it goes the way of silly handlebar diameters (scott pilot/tioga cube, anyone?)

  39. “I don’t think so, hence the need for a 1.25″ (rather than 1.125″) stem?”

    The fork steerer will be different, but the headtube of the bike looks and sounds like standard tapered, just with a smaller top bearing fitted.

  40. … and we all know what happens to smaller bearings. Isis BB bearing anyone?

  41. What a load of crap…
    I’ve got a ’94 Yeti Pro Fro sat in the garage with a 1 1/4″ headset. No, it’s not tapered, but who cares and really – who would notice any difference when riding?
    These companies are going round in circles trying sell us something ‘new’ every year!

  42. Giant have no idea what we want, do they?

    Don’t put countless thousands into the R&D of pointless ideas, save this money & offer us more affordable deals, hey presto, more customers…

  43. How much more expensive are forks going to have to be to recoup the additional tooling costs for a fourth new “standard”?

  44. “Whatever headset is plumbed into it… that Reign SX looks flippin’ ACE. Need to ride that one ASAP.”

    That one ^ ?? The one in the pictures above? The one with the sort of pale minty green and matt black paint job cleverly matched to the sky blue cables?

    If you say so…

  45. can manufacturers please drop the inches and go metric!

  46. Like my 21:9 Philips TV, it’s a great idea that works better in the real world, and only upsets people who bought 16:9 TVs. You upgraded too early!

  47. Nice backtrack Giant.

    No, I still won’t be buying any of your products anytime soon.

  48. shoot – best upgrade or I’ll be left behind.

  49. Ooops! I thought it would swear filter that, what I meant was **** right off!

  50. This is so wrong is so many levels. For starters, we need to make Metric Standards (steerers of 30mm, 40mm and now 32mm) to show those Imperial-System-using twats that this is the 21st-effin-century and we use a god-darned bar of iridium to measure distances as opposed to fractions of the foot of a king dead centuries ago.

  51. as rob warner did.. and danny hart does.. ride for Giant – I think they should be forgiven.

  52. that probably does not really help though

  53. “You’ll be able to use everything except a 1.5″ (or 1″…) steerer tube ”

    so just 1 1/8″ then?

  54. Although you may not like another “standard”, bikes have got better and better through new technologies and new “standards” – Just when you’re the inventor or creator of a new standard and there’s no one else doing it does sound a bit nonsensical – People have over the years poo-pooed suspension, V-Brakes, 9spd the list is endless, yet all in all they’ve made bikes better .

    The 30% stiffness thing may actually be quite noticeable
    now as bars have increased in length so much I imagine the leverage difference is quite pronounced on the steerer, on e thing that we agree on in the office is 1/8th forks feel noticeably more wobbly than tapered steerers.

    Specifically at Charlie the Bikemonger – and new standards… All of those 29er’s you flog were only available a few years ago -were ultra niche , there were hardly any tyres available for them, but were being touted as the future by some American mags…. Things with time and context look very different – The Giant Standard may fall by the way side – you may all have them on your bikes in a few years – who knows.

  55. I don’t understand ‘hatred’ against Giant for doing what Fox did with 15mm and many other comapnies have done before – introduce a standard that differentiates their product, while giant haven’t really stopped anyone using most other options. The 15mm axle was way more pointless.

    Personally I think the ideal headset is already here, it’s XX44. Why use anything else? But if a brand does and you don’t like it, vote with your wallet. Anymore than that is a bit of an extreme reaction…

  56. Giant are apparently in talks with a fork manufacturer to create a tapered bolt through axle. Recent studies have found that people like turning right and to combat the stresses that puts through the fork leg the RHS of the axle will be oversized. 😉

  57. Although you may not like another “standard”, bikes have got better and better through new technologies and new “standards” – Just when you’re the inventor or creator of a new standard and there’s no one else doing it does sound a bit nonsensical – People have over the years poo-pooed suspension, V-Brakes, 9spd the list is endless, yet all in all they’ve made bikes better

    We’re not talking about a new area of development, like suspension, disc brakes or materials technology, instead we’re looking at something which smacks of planned obsolescence and is only going to drive up the cost of forks just for the sake of an illusionary improvement.

    A frame’s stiffness isn’t dictated solely by the headtube junction, which is why I remain very skeptical about Giant’s claims when there’s already a 1.5″ headtube standard out there that would appear to fit the bill perfectly, the investment would be better spent elsewhere on the frame.

  58. You don’t have to buy new forks to buy that frame do you? It’s an option – if it had been worded differently and had said “Giant offer the chance for you to use three different types of forks in the same frame!” would you still be annoyed? 😉

    The press release also doesn’t claim to make the frame stiffer, but steering (and by that I assume flex through the fork steerer) stiffer- so Giant haven’t spent any money on the frame either have they? They’ve offered a choice which they think may improve the ride. A choice .

  59. That’s not how the original press release was worded. Moreover, the question about fork manufacturers having to tool up for another sized headtube inevitably means that there will be an addition cost which will be passed on.

    As I have already said, there are other areas of frame building technology which would enhance the ride over implementing a new standard.

  60. the world needs a new tyre valve standard instead.

Comments are closed.