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Giant Defy Advanced 1 2023

9
£3,199.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Excellent do-almost-everything endurance bike; practically the type specimen for the genre
Perfect handling for all-day riding
Versatile; unfazed by dirt roads and easier trails
12-speed Shimano 105 Di2 is excellent and massively tunable
Set up for tubeless, just add sealant
Heavy wheels
Even wider gear range would be nice
Weight: 
9,030g

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Look up 'modern endurance bike' in the Big 21st Century Bicycle Encyclopedia and you'd likely find a picture of a Giant Defy Advanced 1. It's a steady, ride-all-day bike with dependable handling, perfect for long days out and versatile enough to tackle easier dirt roads and trails.

> Buy now: Giant Defy Advanced 1 for £2,599 from Dever Cycles 

Our best endurance road bikes buyer's guide and best road bikes buyer's guide cover our top tarmac-friendly bike choices.

The 2024 version of the Defy has actually just launched – which you can read about here – so that means there are some good discounts on this one, if you aren’t fussy about having the latest model. As we discovered, it’s still an excellent bike.

Ride & handling

If you're looking for a bike that can tackle just about anything British roads will throw at you, the Giant Defy Advanced 1 perfectly fits the bill, with steady handling at all speeds, wide gear range, excellent brakes, and the precision and tunability of the latest-generation Shimano Di2 electronic shifting.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - UCI sticker.jpg

It's the definitive modern sportive and endurance bike.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1.jpg

What makes the Defy Advanced 1 so good is its carefully balanced handling. It's composed and friendly whether you're tapping out a rhythm uphill at $SmallNumber miles per hour, or hooning down in a deep tuck with one eye on the road and the other on your speedo.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - seat tube junction.jpg

Its reassuring ride feel just encourages that kind of silly behaviour.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - riding 4.jpg

It's unflappable on bad roads thanks in part to its Giant Gavia Fondo 1 Tubeless tyres – nominally 32mm wide, they're actually 34mm so there's plenty of rubber on the road.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - riding 2.jpg

It handles dirt roads with aplomb, as you'd expect from those fat tyres, a size you only found on gravel bikes not very long ago.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - riding 3.jpg

Also keeping things steady is the combination of a 72.5° head angle and 50mm fork offset that yields 58mm of trail.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - fork.jpg

That's not so high it makes the handling too stable though. The Defy doesn't dive into corners like a crit bike, but still turns willingly and holds a line through a turn without fuss.

Frame

At the Defy Advanced 1's heart is a frame moulded from Giant's own High Performance Grade carbon fibre (top-end Giant frames, designated SL, use what Giant calls Professional Grade carbon).

Notable features include internal routing for the brake hoses and the wired portion of the Di2 system; a press-fit bottom bracket; mudguard mounts (with a dinky bolt-on seatstay bridge supplied); and clearance for a claimed maximum tyre width of 35mm.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - cable routing.jpg
2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - bottom bracket.jpg

You might squeeze in tyres a little bigger than that but I found that a 40mm tyre rubs the fork crown.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - fork clearance.jpg

Our size ML test bike has a reach of 381mm and stack of 586mm. That's 12mm shorter and 24mm taller than Giant's TCR race bikes, which yields a more upright, cruisy riding position out of the box. Since I like a stretched position, I swapped out the stock 100mm stem for a 120mm.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - stem.jpg

Components

The new 105 Di2 shifting works flawlessly with very fast, clinically efficient shifts up and down the gears. Stu covered it in detail when it was launched so for all the details, go read that article.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - front mech.jpg

I disagree with Stu on a couple of minor points. I don't see a pressing need for closer-ratio cassettes than the 11-34 and 11-36 on offer. You can always fit an Ultegra 11-30 if large sprockets really upset you, and I frequently found myself double-shifting when I was in the middle sprockets to get a sufficiently higher or lower gear. The world just doesn't very often present changes in gradient that let you shift smoothly one sprocket at a time.

Giant has fitted the 11-34 cassette but will use 11-36 next year to reduce the low gear a touch. Shimano listed the 11-36 option when 105 Di2 was launched but it wasn't actually available in time for the Defy to use it.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - lever.jpg

For a low-gear fan (or unfit fat git if you like) the 11-36 option is good to see. I'd really like Shimano to offer a 46/30 chainset at 105 level as well. I've been riding 46/30 with a 12-34 11-speed cassette and that gives a range that suits me perfectly. (The 12-34 is a regular 11-34 11-speed with a 12-tooth top sprocket instead of the 11 so you don't get a huge jump between the top two gears.)

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - drivetrain.jpg

The 12-speed 11-34 would duplicate that set-up but with an extra top gear for downhill zoomies, while the 11-36 provides a useful slightly lower bottom gear.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - rear drop out.jpg

A criticism we've long levelled at Di2 is that it's hard to tell the buttons apart when you're wearing winter gloves. I found that was still a slight problem, along with retraining my reflexes to hit the right buttons.

Shimano's hydraulic disc brakes are universally well-regarded. Add me to the fan club. They're precise, easily modulated and have gobs of stopping power. Just don't get too enthusiastic and put yourself over the handlebar.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - front disc brake.jpg

Like other Defy, Contend and Revolt models, the Defy Advanced 1 has Giant's D-Fuse seatpost with a D-shaped composite shaft that's supposed to provide a bit of comfort-enhancing flex. However, it seems to work better the more seatpost you have showing, and at my saddle height it just doesn't feel like it's moving much at all. (On paper I should ride a size M Defy, but it would then be on the short side and require a silly handlebar stem to get my right position.)

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - seat post bolt.jpg

Giant offers several models of D-Fuse post, but there isn't the range of options you'd have if this was just a regular 27.2mm round post. Since Canyon has demonstrated that you can make a round flexible post, Giant's D-shape could be seen as unnecessary standards-dodging.

The Giant Approach saddle is firm and flat with a pressure-relieving cutaway to cosset your perineum.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - saddle.jpg

I prefer saddles with more of a dip; the Approach was okay, but I'd fit something that better fit my bum.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - saddle 2.jpg

Some Giant bikes use a steerer that's 1 1/4in diameter at the top. The Defy's is the far more common 1 1/8in so you can fit an easy-to-find stem if you need to adjust the position to suit you. The Defy almost fits me off-the-peg, except for the 100mm stem; I swapped in a 120mm.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - head tube badge.jpg

I didn't get on with the own-brand handlebar Giant has fitted here. I wanted a little more drop – and anyone with bigger hands than mine will probably find the hooks really cramped – and the flattened top section just ends up narrow and awkward.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - drop bar.jpg

For comparison Decathlon's Triban RC 520 also uses a bar with a flattened top section, but that bar has a much fatter cross-section (it looks like it's 31.8mm before shaping; Giant's is 23.8mm) so you end up with a broad, comfortable, fist-filler of a top section.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - bars 3.jpg

Slightly disappointing to see that Giant has used the non-series FC-RS520 chainset instead of the 105 unit. The 105 chainset is lighter, by dint of being hollow, and in my opinion better looking, while the FC-RS520 appears to be a Tiagra chainset tweaked to work with 12-speed chainrings.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - crank.jpg

Too Tyred

In the 40 years I've been riding bikes I've watched road bike tyre sizes shrink and then swell. Back in the 1980s it was all touring bikes and 1 1/4in (32mm) or even 1 3/8in (35mm) tyres – the latter great for 'comfy commuting' as a riding buddy of mine put it. Then tyres got skinny, and measured in millimetres. They also got physically thinner than the markings on the sidewalls claimed as tyre makers vied to make the lightest 25mm and 23mm rubber; the easiest way to do that was to make them 24mm, 22mm and even smaller.

Eventually sanity prevailed and accurate markings returned to tyres. Then a bunch of factors came together to make tyres fatter: disc brakes freed bike designers from the constraints of wrapping a brake round the tyre; the development of gravel bikes made fat tyres on road bikes trendy; riders began to look for less-trafficked roads, which often meant very minor rural byways with trashed surfaces; and 'Actually it's a bit more complicated than that' replaced the previous orthodoxy that skinny tyres were faster.

Ten years ago nobody would have put 32mm tyres on even an endurance road bike like the Defy Advanced 1 and they would definitely not have gone for rubber like these Giant Gavia Fondo 1 Tubeless tyres that are actually 34mm across according to my trusty vernier callipers. It took me a while to get the tyres dialled in. I eventually ended up with 50-60psi in them for road riding, making them floaty, grippy and comfortable.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - tyre.jpg

Props to Giant for setting the tyres up tubeless out of the box too. Most manufacturers slap in tubes even if they've supplied tubeless-compatible tyres and wheels, but Giant says it has sufficient confidence in the tolerances of their tyres and rims that it can ship bikes with the tyres installed ready for the dealer to put in sealant.

Giant UK's Dave Ward told me in an email: 'It's all about tolerances. We make all of our own rims and Maxxis makes all of our own-brand tubeless tyres and they were the only company that could guarantee the tolerances needed to go all-in tubeless to the level that we have.

'We fit the tubeless rim tape, valve and the tyre at the factory then the dealer just adds the sealant. The tyres are easy to fit by hand and 99 times out of a hundred can be fitted with a track pump.

'We don't put the sealant in the tyres in the factory due to its shelf life when it's in the tyre. We supply 2x60ml bottles of sealant with the bikes and the sealant we use is Stan's in a Giant bottle.'

Going Fully Synchro

One of your options in setting up the Shimano 105 Di2 gearing is to have it shift chainrings for you, when you reach a certain point on the sprockets. I've been intrigued by this idea, dubbed Synchronized Shift, ever since Shimano first introduced it on the XTR mountain bike groupset in 2014, but aside from passing mentions, no other road.cc reviewer seems to have looked at it in depth.

With Synchro Shift you can set up the shifting so that you only have to select a lower or a higher gear. Using Shimano's E-Tube Project app you choose the point at which the system shifts chainrings and you configure any of the buttons on the levers to do whatever you want.

Out of the box, the buttons on the right shifter move the rear derailleur. The front button moves to larger sprockets and the rear to smaller ones.

If you switch to Synchro Shift without changing anything else, that still happens but at a certain point the system does a double shift, changing both front and rear derailleurs to take you to the next gear.

Say you start in the big ring and smallest sprocket and repeatedly press the front button to shift to bigger sprockets. When the derailleur reaches, say, the 24-tooth sprocket, the next shift changes the chainring from 50 to 34 and the sprocket to the 19-toother.

2023 Giant Defy Advanced 1 - rear mech.jpg

If you've connected a Garmin device to your Di2 gears you get a warning when you reach 50/24 that the next shift will involve the chainrings. You need that warning, because the combination of a chainring shift and a two-sprocket shift at the back takes about a second during which you have to back off pedalling effort a little.

You probably wouldn't want to set Di2 up like this if you were racing; that shift might be a bit startling in the heat of battle. But for cruisy riding, it's great because you simply don't have to think about gears, you just press a button for easier gears and another for harder gears. I'm a big fan of anything that reduces my need to think while riding bike so I can just get on with enjoying the ride!

Since the buttons on your left lever now have nothing to do, you can program them to change screens on your Garmin, for example.

Or you can make the interface even more radical. I set up both right-hand buttons to shift to larger sprockets and both left-hand to change to smaller. That almost replicates the way my first-generation SRAM Red eTap system works, but with a twist – it's the opposite way round from Red eTap. I've never quite got my head around the way that pushing a v1.0 eTap right hand switch moves the derailleur from right to left; it feels to me like it should be the other way and if I could afford current eTap that's how I'd set it up.

The Missing Manual

The Di2 shifting system desperately needs a single, unified user manual covering installation, set-up and all aspects of use. At the moment this information is scattered among several Shimano documents online, and partly but not completely covered in the built-in documentation for the E-Tube app.

One piece of information I really struggled to find in official sources was how to change shifting modes between Manual, fully Synchronized and Semi-Synchronized. Props to Terry at BetterShifting for his 12-Speed Di2 New User Guide, which explains that you need to double-press the function button on the rear derailleur to cycle between modes.

The situation's not helped by the E-Tube app being full of references to capabilities that 12-speed road Di2 simply doesn't have. Fully automatic shifting? No, 105 Di2 can't do that. You probably wouldn't want it to, but it's distracting to keep finding it when you're looking for something else, and since the app knows exactly which components you have, it'd be trivial to restrict it to only covering the available functions.

Oh, and by the way, the charging cable for Di2 costs £45, so you'll want to put it somewhere safe. Or attach an Apple AirTag to it. Or both.

I do think it's a pity that Shimano didn't manage to make 105 Di2 cheaper. £3,000-ish bikes came with Ultegra Di2 not very long ago. Yes, the world's gone insane and everything has rocketed in price in recent years, but hitting the same price as SRAM Rival would have been quite a statement and made the (hopefully temporary) lack of mechanical 12-speed 105 easier to take.

Rivals

Despite my carping about the cost of 105 Di2, above, the Defy Advanced 1 turns out to be one of the cheaper endurance bikes you can buy with electronic shifting.

Stu Tested the Boardman SLR 9.6 Disc, which does get you Shimano Ultegra, but it's £3,950.

For the same price as the Giant, the 2024 Orro Gold STC 105 Di2 looks like an excellent update of a bike we've always liked.

If you want something a bit more slanted to off-road fun, you can currently grab Orro's Terra C 105 Di2 for just £2,399 or you could stay Tarmac-bound with the Merida Scultura Endurance 6000 at £3,300 – Stu liked an earlier version. At £3,499 Scott's Addict 10 is also worth a look as Stu found when he rode it.

It seems fair to look at 'all-road' bikes as Defy rivals too, given the Defy's ability to take tyres 35mm wide and a shade fatter. For £3,500, the Vitus Venon EVO-GR Rival AXS is a racy graveller that really impressed us.

Conclusions

The quintessential modern endurance bike, the Giant Defy Advanced 1 does everything you could reasonably expect from a three-grand bike and does it all very, very well.

Who should buy the Giant Defy Advanced 1?

If you love long days on the bike and especially if you're not averse to a bit of dirt road shenanigans, the Defy Advanced 1 could well be your perfect bike (assuming it fits you, of course).

Verdict

Excellent do-almost-everything endurance bike; practically the type specimen for the genre

road.cc test report

Make and model: Giant Defy Advanced 1

Size tested: M/L, 56cm

About the bike

List the components used to build up the bike.

Frame: Advanced-Grade Composite, 12x142mm thru-axle

Fork: Advanced-Grade Composite, Full-Composite OverDrive Steerer, 12x100mm thru-axle

Sizes: S, M, M/L, L, XL

Colours: Orion Nebula

Handlebar: Giant Contact SL D-Fuse S:40cm, M:42cm, M/L:42cm, L:44cm, XL:44cm

Grips: Stratus Lite 3.0

Stem: Giant Contact S:90mm, M:100mm, M/L:100mm, L:110mm, XL:110mm

Seatpost: Giant D-Fuse, composite, 14mm offset

Saddle: Giant Approach

Pedals: Not supplied

Shifters: Shimano 105 Di2 2x12

Front Derailleur: Shimano 105 Di2

Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105 Di2

Brakes: Shimano 105 Di2 hydraulic disc brakes, Tektro 160 [F]/140 [R] rotors

Brake Levers: Shimano 105

Cassette: Shimano 105, 12-speed, 11x34

Chain: KMC X12

Crankset: Shimano FC-RS520, 34/50 S:170mm, M:172.5mm, M/L:172.5mm, L:175mm, XL:175mm

Bottom Bracket: Shimano, press fit

Rims: Giant P-R2 Disc Wheelset (22mm inner rim width)

Hubs: Giant alloy, 12mm thru-axle

Spokes: Sapim

Tyres: Giant Gavia Fondo 1 Tubeless, 700x32c, (effective width 33.5mm) 60 tpi, Folding

Extras: Factory tubeless set up including sealant, 35mm max tyre size

Fender/Chainguard: Compatible with RGX 38 fender (sold separately)

Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

It's an endurance bike, aimed at long days out and geared for hills.

Giant says: "Choose the longer route. Climb higher mountains. This smooth-riding endurance road bike is made for long-distance rides on all types of roads."

Can't argue with any of that.

Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options

Most of the 2022 Defy Advanced and Advanced Pro range carried over into 2023; this was the only new model.

Above the Defy Advanced 1 you find five Pro models with carbon fibre wheels, from the Defy Advanced Pro 3 at £3,399 (currently on offer for £2,699) to the Defy Advanced Pro 0 for £8,499 (currently £6,799)

There are also four non-Pro bikes, from the Tiagra-equipped Defy Advanced 3 at £2,349 (on offer for £1,749) to the Defy Advanced 0 with SRAM Rival AXS for £3,399 but on offer at £2,549 and apparently selling fast as a result.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

As ever from Giant, it's all very tidy.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Giant's Advanced-Grade composite Just Works™. Nuff said.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

Very straightforward endurance bike layout that yields a versatile riding position and easy-going, friendly handling.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

As you'd expect it's taller and shorter than a race bike. You'll need a longer stem to replicate a racy position, or you could just sit up and enjoy the view.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Thanks to the 34mm tyres and a composite lay-up that seems to slightly dampen pothole edges rather than transmit them, this is very much a comfortable place to spend a long summer's day.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Yep, no complaints or problems.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Yep. It's not race-bike razor-sharp, but it's not bum-bangingly race-bike stiff either.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?

No

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Neutral

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

It does a really wide range of things well. Fast descents, steady climbs, dirt roads are all tackled with aplomb.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

I'd swap the handlebar for a different shape (wider, slightly deeper, fatter on top) and the saddle for one that fits my bum better, but these are personal preferences.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10

It's not race-bike snappy but if you want that from a Giant you buy a TCR.

Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

A steady climber rather than an eager mountain goat, but still gets the job done.

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

Shimano's least expensive electronic system works brilliantly and is sensibly priced, if not the bargain we'd all hoped for.

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

I had great fun messing about with the Di2 set-up, which really is very, very clever.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for value:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for performance:
 
8/10

Good all-rounders

Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
9/10

Actual 34mm width and tubeless out-of-the-box means you can mess with the pressures to get a magic carpet ride.

Rate the tyres for value:
 
7/10

You can pick these tyres up for £34 each, though they're supposed to be £45. That RRP seems a bit pricey, but they're a good deal at discount.

Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?

I'm a big fan of the sheer versatility of these tyres. They'll tackle dirt roads an easy trails with aplomb.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders? Only major criticism is that the bar could do with a fatter top section and a slightly roomier drop.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes, very much.

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes.

How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The Defy Advanced 1 turns out to be one of the cheaper endurance bikes you can buy with electronic shifting. Boardman's SLR 9.6 Disc does get you Shimano Ultegra, but it's £3,950. For the same price as the Giant, the 2024 Orro Gold STC 105 Di2 looks like an excellent update of a bike we've always rated. If you want something a bit more slanted to off-road fun, you can currently grab Orro's Terra C 105 Di2 for just £2,399 or you could stay Tarmac-bound with the Merida Scultura Endurance 6000 at £3,300 – we liked an earlier version. At £3,499 Scott's Addict 10 is also worth a look as Stu found when he rode it.

It seems fair to look at 'all-road' bikes as Defy rivals too, given the Defy's ability to take tyres 35mm wide and a shade fatter. For £3,500, the Vitus Venon EVO-GR Rival AXS is a racy graveller that really impressed us.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
7/10

Use this box to explain your overall score

The quintessential modern endurance bike, the Giant Defy Advanced 1 does everything you could reasonably expect from a three-grand bike and does it all very, very well.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 56  Height: 5ft 11in  Weight: 100kg

I usually ride: Scapin Style  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb,

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

Add new comment

6 comments

Avatar
terry@bettershi... | 8 months ago
0 likes

Hah, thanks for the shout out!  1

Avatar
Surreyrider | 10 months ago
1 like

Err, what's the point of reviewing the outgoing model that has been around several years when the new model has just been launched with  a number of upgrades (including the 105 Di2 model)?

Avatar
Jack Sexty replied to Surreyrider | 10 months ago
2 likes

We've mentioned that there's a new 2024 Defy in there (review of that coming soon). For a number of reasons there was a delay in the publishing of this review, and as the bike is still available to buy with good discounts in various places we decided it was still worth doing. 

Avatar
Surreyrider replied to Jack Sexty | 10 months ago
1 like

A delay in publishing? This model (albeit the 105 Di2 is new) has been around for years. 

It's vert much being phased out - the Giant website shows that.

So I think my point stands. Too late.

Avatar
Simon E replied to Surreyrider | 10 months ago
2 likes
Surreyrider wrote:

A delay in publishing? This model (albeit the 105 Di2 is new) has been around for years. 

It's vert much being phased out - the Giant website shows that.

So I think my point stands. Too late.

I don't know how much you paid to read this review but in the circumstances I think you're entitled to ask for your money back.

Or better still, get out of bed tomorrow on the opposite side to the one you used today. It will hopefully work out better than today seems to have done.

Avatar
Cugel | 10 months ago
1 like

That's a good first review of what looks like a true all-roads bike, given that it takes mudguards and widish tyres. The compromise between tarmac-road and gravel-dirt road looks optimum.

These remarks attracted my eye:

"For a low-gear fan (or unfit fat git if you like) the 11-36 option is good to see. I'd really like Shimano to offer a 46/30 chainset at 105 level as well. I've been riding 46/30 with a 12-34 11-speed cassette and that gives a range that suits me perfectly. (The 12-34 is a regular 11-34 11-speed with a 12-tooth top sprocket instead of the 11 so you don't get a huge jump between the top two gears.)"

It's very disappointing that Shimano (and others, perhaps) fail to offer gear permutations suitable for 95% of road bike riders - cassettes that omit the ridiculous 11 or even 12 tooth sprockets in favour of more useful sprockets of more toofs in a cassette.

Personally I now make a Franken-cassette from an 11-34 with the 11/13/15 sprockets replaced with 14/15/16 sprockets, to give closer ratios at the top end as well as a highest gear (50 or 52 X14) that I might ocassionally use (at 30mph)*. This costs £30 to buy the 14/15/16 sprockets from SJS, the only place in Blighty I can find selling them.

An alternative is to use an 11-32 cassette that at least has smaller jumps from 11-up (11/12/13/14) with a 46/34 or 46/30 chainset, as mentioned in the review. The problem then is that most road frame braze-on mounts don't allow the lowering of the front mech enough to get the cage-to-big ring gap close enough, so you risk dropping the chain on the outside of the chainset in some rear sprocket selections when changing into the big ring.

Does the Giant frameset allow the front mech to drop low enough to give a 1-2mm gap between the cage and the big ring?

*********

The other negative, as mentioned in the review, is the D-shaped seatpost. There are a lot of very good "suspension" stems about these days which make a big difference to comfort, especially on rough roads or rocky tracks - but they tend to require a 27.2mm seat post hole. That one proprietary feature would be enough to put me off buying any Giant.

* It would be good if RoadCC could do an experiment comparing pedalling down hill to aero-tucking downhill at speeds above 30mph. My own experience is that the knees-inside-the-frame tuck will go faster every time; and leave you with some oomph to get up the next hill.

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