Giant Boulder SE Review
A good entry level bike suitable for beginners to mountain biking, or for usage as an everyday mountain bike that can be used offroad but is probably more suited to casual riding on normal roads.
If you are looking for a great entry level bike, then the Giant Boulder SE from Giant Bicycles could really be a strong contender for this price point. Various year model ranges used differing frame construction materials, but you should really be looking for the Giant Boulder SE with the aluminum ALUXX frame (the 2010 Giant Boulder SE model definitely had this type of frame construction – and potentially other year models as well). From a design appeal point of view, the Giant Boulder SE mountain bike was provided in a striking red or black finish.
Giant Boulder SE Review – Pros
The Giant Boulder SE has an SR XCM suspension fork with 100mm travel and is appropriately specced for its price. Probably considered an entry level to mid-level mountain bike, the Giant Boulder SE comes with 7 speeds and a Shimano Acera derailleur. The aluminum ALUXX frame is lightweight enough for climbing as well as taking the mountain bike onto rougher terrain. The marketing suggests that the bike is equally at home on the singletracks as it is on the road, and it clearly fits into that market segment that is looking for a bike that can be used for everyday use as well as taking it offroad once in a while.
The Giant XC double-wall rims are sturdy enough for most trails, whilst the 26” model comes with 26in x 2.1in MTB trail tires. Gear shifting is provided by Shimano trigger shifters coupled with a Shimano Acera rear derailleur. The brakes on the bike are direct-pull alloy brakes and provided sufficient stopping power even on steep descents. We felt confident of the bike’s ability on the singletrack and had no qualms taking it down some really steep ravines where the brakes held up fairly well.
Giant Boulder SE Review – Cons
As an entry level bike you shouldn’t really be expecting top-of-the-line mountain bike components, but after a few years of use you may want to upgrade this bike. There are not that many cons for this mountain bike, and as an everyday bike it certainly holds up well as a fun to ride mountain bike. If you can get your hands on one of the newer Giant Boulder SE mountain bikes (the 2010 Giant Boulder SE was the last year of manufacture for the Boulder SE range), then it’s definitely recommended for adults as well as teens that are looking to get into the sport or those who just want that small upgrade from a Walmart type bike. And speaking of your big-box retailers, the Giant Boulder SE is certainly a step up from your usual Walmart mountain bike range – so if you can still find a retailer that’s got the Giant Boulder SE for sale at a good price, then we strongly suggest you grab it.
If you’re looking for an alternative mountain bike contender at a similar price point – we strongly suggest the Diamondback Response XE
Giant Boulder SE Review – Overall Verdict
The Giant Boulder SE is a good entry level bike for beginners to mountain biking and for those users that may want an every day use type bike that can be used offroad as well as getting around on normal roads. At this price point, it is good value for those parents that do not want to spend an arm and a leg on potentially their kids first mountain bike, but saying that, it is also exceptional value for adults as well. The bike can handle beginner, intermediate and advanced trails and is really an all-round mountain bike that can handle most things that you throw at it.
Definitely well worth the price if you can find it at retailers.