Giant ladies Cypress: review

I have had this Giant bike for nearly 5 years. It is not the bike I would buy if I were buying now, although it is a very reliable and well performing bike. It is compact and very responsive: the gears change smoothly and the brakes work really well. I can stop on a dime, you could say. I got it because at that time I wanted a bike that was robust enough to travel around on the streets,  an all purpose bike that could go across park lawns and down gutters if needed and was better able to handle irregularities on the road surface. Prior to owning this bike I had a road racing bike which was fast and light, but I felt that for riding around the streets for transport I would like to have a bike that was more rugged and able to cope with a bit of off road riding if needs be. The Giant Cypress does all these things very well.

What it does not have are features I would like to have now that I have settled more into all purpose street riding. Such as lights and mudguards, a better rack/basket set up and a more upright seating position. The seating position of the Cypress is fairly upright and certainly does not require neck craning to look forward, but it is not as upright as I now prefer to be. I also find myself having to push myself back on the seat as I ride along, to feel comfortable, though this is not highly noticeable and could be merely a seat adjustment problem.

It also does not have mudguards and does not to my mind feel like a women’s bike. The top bar is not low enough to step through easily and several times I hit my foot stepping through it until I gave up trying to get on it that way. I tend to mount it by lifting my leg quite high to step through the frame and to my mind this almost defeats the purpose of a women’s frame and it is not very modest when wearing a skirt.

The Cypress has been very low maintenance which I like, as I am not a mechanic and do not like to have to be constantly making adjustments. The gears and front wheel have only needed adjusting twice, once after a minor fall, and I have had only one flat which was due to my pumping up the tyres and causing the valve to tear off the tube when I was trying to detach the pump. Apparently this is quite a common problem, and not necessarily with this type of bike. Usually the tyres do not require pumping up often, another plus for me.

The 21 gears are much more than I need as I rarely use the higher gears. To need them would require me to go much faster than I am comfortable with. I could manage perfectly well with only 10 gears and even that would probably be excessive.

The quick release on the front wheel has been handy on the few occasions when I have needed to take the bike in the back of my car and it is quite easy to refit the wheel and front brake.

The clamp holding the bell on the bike has broken and the bell was never that effective as it was hard to reach and to work, and though the bell is still there, it now hangs down under the handle bars. This is the only thing that has broken on the bike. I also find the cables at the front make it difficult to think of adding a basket. The rubber hand grips I like, they are comfortable and functional. The seat I have never had any problems or pain from, unlike my previous bike, though I have not done the longer rides I did on it. Even so, the Giant seat is far more comfortable. It has started to deteriorate in that the protective cover has started to wear off, but that in no way affects the comfort of the seat and is not visually highly noticeable.

The bike’s appearance is sporty, I like the silver colour and there is no rust after five years, though it has not had a hard life, it has been kept indoors all that time and I park it under cover whenever possible when I am out. My trips to the beach on it are not that frequent so it is not exposed to a lot of salt air. However, it has been through many puddles and rainy trips and I am ashamed to say I have never washed it, but it does not look at all dirty, which is a great plus and when mud and grease get on it, they are easily wiped off the highly shiny surface. The black chain protector is very effective and I have had no grease stains on my skin or clothes. On the odd occasion the chain has come off the front sprocket it has been easy to put back on again (and with minimal grease stains on my hands too). The front suspension gives a smooth ride, though I have not noticed the lack of this smoothness with the bike I currently ride often, my old Speedwell.

I am not sure of the exact weight of the bike but I have to say that when I need to lift it up stairs, it is quite cumbersome, I find my Speedwell easier to get up stairs, this is in part because of the longer wheel base of the Speedwell, making it posible for it to reach over a larger number of steps, and it could also be due to a weight difference. Nevertheless, it is quite possible to carry the Giant up stairs, indeed I have carried it up flights of 50 steps!

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3 Responses to Giant ladies Cypress: review

  1. Joe from Brampton says:

    Appreciate the review, was looking for first hand opinions on the bike for my wife.

    Cheers from Toronto!

  2. david says:

    My wife purchased the same about 6 years ago. She has short legs and finds the high step through design awkward. She has to take the rear basket off if she wants to swing her leg over which is easier but not ideal. Because she needs to have the seat low she finds the pedal position cramps her style and it has never been a very comfortable cruiser. I took the bike on a bush track and found the slow steering a pain on technical sections. In my opinion the frame design is too cramped given the larger diameter 700mm wheels and the head stem is too angled and too close to the seat. She is now looking at ladies retro cruiser styles such as the Electra Townie and Cell Syren for a more comfortable ride. Davo

    • Vicki says:

      I agree with you on the step through frame not working. I am quite tall and could never manage to get my food through it. I found that the speedwell I have written about on here is ideal for me in this respect and very comfortable so ultimately the Giant became redundant and I’ve now sold it. Having said that, it was a very sturdy and reliable bike when I used it

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