Blast Through the Remaining Snow and Upcoming Summer on Giant's Fat Tire Yukon Bikes

Yukon 1 9 photos
Photo: Giant Bicycles
Yukon 2Yukon 1Yukon 1YukonYukon 2Yukon 2Yukon 1Yukon 1
The winter months force bike riders to stay indoors, often propped up on a stationary machine, which isn't my kind of thing. Well, in the spirit of kicking those feet even with ice and snow all around, I've decided to bring Giant's Yukon lineup to light, a pair of fat tire MTBs infused with this team's cycling know-how.
Ladies and gents and lovers of the outdoors, before us stand two fine examples of humanity pushing the limits set by the natural world. Ok, so that was a rather poetic way to say that the Yukon lineup from Giant is designed to bring a tad of freedom into the bicycle rider's life, letting us ride well through winter, but you get the idea. Let's dive in, shall we? Just be sure to dress properly.

Now, Giant Bicycles is one of those crews that don't really need much of an introduction. After all, they entered the cycling industry around the same time as other goliaths, the likes of Trek and Cannondale, and since the first days, they could be seen riding alongside those crews, a testament to their abilities.

As mentioned, the Yukon lineup is all about giving us the possibility of riding through snowy wonderlands, and all that starts off with nothing more than this lineup's backbone or the frame. For this component, Giant has chosen to use good old aluminum. It's one way they're able to sell us one of these machines for as little as $1,700. That's the price for the Yukon 2, while the 1 is going for $2,150.

Photo: Giant Bicycles
The price difference, on the other hand, has to do with nothing more than the components thrown onto that frame, and since this is a fat tire bike family, let's start with the benefits of those hunks of rubber called tires, which also affect the frame's construction.

Overall, the Maxxis Colossus tires are rocking a cross-section of 4.5 inches, so there's plenty of contact patch to work with while riding around through snow or sand and knob to dig in and make sure you're not fish-tailing uncontrollably.

Since these balloons are sure to be bouncy enough and capable of reducing vibrations and shock, Giant eliminates any sort of suspension from the frame and fork. This allows us to direct all our power into the crank and drivetrain, thus the wheel.

One very important aspect of the frame's design I would like to point out is the inclusion of several cargo mounts all over it and the fork, too. For example, the composite fork includes mounts; you just have to zoom in on the images to see them. The top tube has mounts, the seat tube, and the down tube, too, and the rear triangle looks like it can handle fenders, so why not add a cargo rack and transform this winter-ready machine into a cargo workhorse? Internal cable routing is part of the magic as well.

Yukon 2
Photo: Giant Bicycles
Regarding the drivetrain, this is where we start to see the differences between models. For example, the Yukon 2 is decked out with a Shimano Deore, with a 1x12 gear setup, and rocking a 10-51T cassette. A 28T ProWheel crankset should do just fine.

But, if you choose to drop the extra few hundred bucks for the upgraded Yukon 1, Shimano is replaced by SRAM, supplying this version with a complete NX Eagle layout with 11-50T. Brakes on both versions are handled by SRAM.

One other very important difference between the two versions is found while we look at the seat post. As standard, the Yukon 1 includes a dropper post, and frankly, some of the extra cash we pay on this version goes to this component. The rest is clearly all about the SRAM upgrade, and personally, the 1 is the version I'd go for. The remainder of the bikes are decked out with mostly proprietary components.

Yukon 1
Photo: Giant Bicycles
With a rather decent idea of what we're up against here, let's place ourselves in the center of the action and see what our lives may be like with a Yukon. Well, some parts of the world are still covered in snow, meaning you can head down to a local dealership and see what the fuss is all about.

As for the rest of us, you'd be purchasing a bicycle that isn't just meant to be ridden through snow and sloshy streets but one that can also carry your groceries, possibly even your younglings, assuming you've added the extra gear to do so.

But what are we to do once summer rolls around? Do we need to ditch the Yukon and go for something a bit slimmer? Technically, that's precisely what you should do, but it looks like Giant knows we don't all have the deepest pockets for countless bicycles, and the lack of suspension on the frame is one way you can still take full advantage of a Yukon year-round. Maybe grab some tires with a tread track designed for city streets. Ride safe out there, and always wear a helmet.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Editor's note: Images in the gallery showcase both Yukon bikes.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories