This Fathom is fun! That’s what first comes to mind when checking out Giant’s Fathom 2. The paint job is smooth high-quality gloss with green and blue detail, giving the Fathom a notably high-end feel. The ALUXX alloy frame with internal cable routing is distinctly relaxed up front, with 780mm bars – and a Giant Contact dropper post.
Yep, a dropper post on a bike under R15k! Not to mention the Contact has a reputation for being more than a little robust. The set-up and frame geometry are more than capable of taking on more technically challenging trails – particularly when tackling obstacles on steeper gradients.
Tyre clearance is generous enough for mud, or to size up to a 2.3- or 2.35-inch tyre width for a bit more cushioning. But the stock 2.2 tubeless-ready Maxxis Ikons are more than capable, and feature EXO protection.
The Shimano M315 brakes, with 160mm rear and 180mm front rotor, offer braking performance beyond their price, on par with many premium level brands. A mix of Shimano’s Deore Shadow derailleur and Alivio shifters keeps things honest with a 2×9 set-up, while the FSA Comet crankset is a nice touch. And the Suntour Raidon shock is very consistent under most conditions.
Spec highlights: Suntour Raidon air fork, Giant Contact dropper post, 780mm bars, thru-axle on front fork, FSA Comet crankset.
Bottom line: The Fathom is clearly a cross-country flavored machine aimed at fun trail riding, but it’s capable of handling some tenacious hard charging when required. Slam the bar/stem set-up to your fit, and you have a stable bike that will rock normal cross-country missions with confidence; while the dropper is a keeper for all-round riding.