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Video Just In: Giant Defy Advanced 3, carbon-framed disc-equipped endurance bikes

Giant's £1,549 Tiagra-equipped endurance bike looks good on paper

Comfort, it’s one of the biggest criteria pushing the development of modern road bikes, at least when we talk about sportive and endurance road bikes. Bikes like this Giant Defy Advanced 3 are designed to provide a comfortable riding position and cushion you from the roughest roads you might care to cycle along. 

For £1,549 this particular Defy, freshly unboxed in the office, provides a full carbon fibre frame and fork with disc brakes and 12mm thru-axles at both ends, and a Shimano Tiagra groupset with proper Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. On paper it’s a good package for the money and we’ll look to find out how it performs once we get it out of the office and onto the open road.

Giant Defy Advanced.jpg

Giant has given the Defy a shorter reach and higher stack to provide a more upright riding position than its TCR or Propel race bike. That’s a good thing, less strain on your back you see. While some manufacturers invest in fancy gimmicks to add features that can absorb vibrations from rough roads, Giant has worked with the layup of the carbon fibre and the shape of every tube to ensure a compliant ride. The most obvious outcome are the seatstays, they are seriously skinny, plus the D-shaped seatpost, which together are able to provide a bit of impact absorbing deflection. 

Giant Defy Advanced - seat tube junction.jpg

A mostly Giant branded list of equipment includes the 25mm tyres on aluminium clincher wheels, and nicely shaped handlebars and a comfortable looking saddle. We’ve never had any issues with Giant brand components on other Giant bikes we’ve tested, it’s all solid and dependable kit. 

Giant Defy Advanced - drivetrain.jpg

The groupset comprises a Shimano Tiagra groupset, and while it’s 10-speed and not 11-speed like 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace, the shifting quality is as good as the expensive groupsets with the same excellent ergonomics.  Shimano’s most affordable hydraulic disc brakes, RS405, are combined with 160mm disc rotors.  On the scales it comes in at 9.5kg (20.94lb). 

Giant Defy Advanced - front disc brake.jpg

The Defy faces some stiff competition but it’s well prepared with a smartly designed frame and good specification and price, and proven ride performance. It’ll need to fend off the likes of the Trek Domane, Specialized Roubaix, Merida Ride, Cannondale Synapse, BMC GranFondo and Canyon Endurace to name a few key rivals.

You can see some more contenders in this competitive category in this buyers guide 

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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rjfrussell | 7 years ago


StraelGuy | 7 years ago
1 like

I have a 2015 Defy and the fact that the seatpost is made of carbon makes it very flexy. The fact that it's D-shaped means you don't have to worry about getting your seat straight but I doubt has anything to do with flexiness.

rjfrussell | 7 years ago
1 like

I'm afraid this is another article which reads like a puff piece and/or a recitation of the press release, and undermines the site as a whole, from time to time.


"Gimmick:  something that is not serious or of realvalue that is used to attract people'sattention or interest temporarily,especially to make them buy something."


Presumably, the reference (in a press release, or did the author come up with it himself?) is to, inter alia, Trek isospeed decouplers, and the Roubaix's front suspension (and Countervail- though that sounds much like "lay-up" to me).  I am yet to see any review of Trek, Spez or Bianchi that considers any of these to be gimmicks.  On the contrary, they seem to be winnign bike-of-the-year comps accross the board.


Whereas-  a "D-shaped seatpost"?  I can't see that that can make the bike any more compliant.  And as this is a "just in" article, presumaby the bike has not been written, or at least properly tested.   A "D-shaped seatpost" sounds to me, like, well, a gimmick, and if Road CC asserts that it  is  "able to provide a bit of impact absorbing deflection"- on what basis is that assertion being made?


"Giant has worked with the layup of the carbon fibre and the shape of every tube to ensure a compliant ride"- and, having just got it out of the box, what are we basing this assertion on?  Is it what the press release says, I wonder?  Just looking at it, how to the head tube and down tube, say, help ensure a compliant ride?

Tiagra shifts as well as Dura Ace?  Really?

The saddle "looks comfortable"??  When in so many of the reviews top end saddles are swapped out pronto for the reviewer's personal favourite.  This one looks different does it?


Rider X | 7 years ago

Its just more market speak, like a "stiff yet compliant ride."  The bike industry likes to have its cake and eat it too.

steady lad | 7 years ago

"Fancy gimmicks" suggests that you don't rate what other manufacturers are doing but the reviews of Trek Domane and Specialized Roubaix suggest otherwise? Confusing.

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