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Giant launches “lighter, smoother and more efficient” Defy endurance road bike: first ride

Three-tier range features a geometry that’s less relaxed than previously and a top-level Defy Advanced SL with a 785g frame; check out our first ride impressions

Giant has introduced updated Defy endurance road bikes which, it claims, are “lighter, smoother, and more efficient” than ever before. The bikes come with a revised geometry and space to fit tyres up to a whopping (by road bike standards) 38mm wide, while the top-level Defy Advanced SL has a claimed frame weight of just 785g (size medium) – exceptionally light for an endurance bike. Check out all the news and then read our early impressions of the ride...

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0.jpg

“This fifth-generation Defy range takes everything riders love about it – namely its unbeatable blend of lightweight efficiency and smooth compliance – and levels up,” says Giant. “It’s now lighter, smoother and more efficient. It’s the perfect companion for an all-day sportive, an ambitious gran fondo, and epic solo days on challenging roads.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - UCI badge.jpg

“New features and technologies make this Defy feel both more responsive and more composed. It’s built on an all-new, totally re-engineered composite frameset that now comes in three choices: Defy Advanced SL, Defy Advanced Pro and Defy Advanced.

> Read our Giant Propel Advanced Pro 1 2023 review

“Each series is significantly lighter and more efficient than the previous generation. Each combines greater pedalling stiffness with an even smoother ride thanks to innovative engineering and integrated components.”

Keeping it simple

Unlike Specialized – with the Future Shock travel system on its Roubaix bikes – and Trek – with its IsoSpeed design intended to soak up bumps on its Domane – Giant has always kept the technology of its Defy range relatively straightforward, and that remains the case with this new incarnation.

“One of the hallmarks of Defy is a commitment to improving performance without overcomplicating the design,” says Giant. “Based on market feedback over the years – along with input received from top pros who have raced Defy bikes at events like Paris-Roubaix – the development team chose not to rely on shock absorbers, bushings or other add-ons that are used in many of today’s endurance road bikes.

“While those shock-absorbing technologies can sometimes achieve certain performance attributes, they compromise weight, durability and ease of maintenance –all factors that matter to real riders. For that reason, the new Defy builds on the innovations this bike has established and proven over the years.

“These include a new D-Fuse seatpost, which produces road-smoothing compliance without adding weight, and a new Contact SLR/SL D-Fuse handlebar that applies the same design principles and benefits to the front end of the bike.”

We’ll give you more details on both of those components in a sec.

> Best endurance road bikes 2023 — perfect for sportives, audax and mile-munching

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - stem.jpg

Beyond that, Giant says, the Defy owes its performance to factors like the raw carbon fibre sheet – produced in the company’s own factory – the layup, which uses up to 132 separate pieces of composite, and the individual components that it specs.

As mentioned, the new Defy comes in three different levels, the top-end Defy Advanced SL boasting a frame weight that’s a claimed 785g (medium, no hardware). That's very light for an endurance bike.

This is 195g (19.9%) less than the previous generation’s top-of-the-line Defy Advanced Pro frame, according to Giant’s figures. For those without a forensic knowledge of how Giant does things, the brand’s carbon road bike ranges are usually divided into Advanced SL (top), Advanced Pro (middle), and Advanced (bottom), although there was no fourth-generation Defy Advanced SL so we’re not really comparing like with like here.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - seat tube clearance.jpg

Giant claims that the new Defy Advanced SL has a stiffness-to-weight ratio that’s 28% higher than that of the outgoing Defy Advanced Pro, and that the fork used on the new Defy Advanced SL and Defy Advanced Pro weighs 350g, 15% lighter than the previous generation. The new Contact SLR D-Fuse handlebar is said to be 8% lighter.

Those are enough claims and statistics for now but don’t fear, there will be more.

Increased compliance

Like many other brands, Giant argues that increased compliance is important not only because it leads to more comfort but also because smoothness reduces fatigue and ultimately makes for higher speed.

“In the rear of the bike, dropped seatstays absorb road shocks and vibrations as they travel up from the rear wheel toward the rider,” says Giant.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - seat tube junction.jpg

Like many other road bikes, most endurance bikes come with dropped seatstays these days – the stays meet the seat tube lower than the top tube/ seat tube junction – Trek’s Domane being a notable exception.

“Up front, the newly designed fork is made with Giant’s Advanced SL or Advanced composite (depending on the series), which absorbs shocks travelling up through the front wheel,” says Giant.

> Find out all about the Giant TCR Advanced 2

Each Defy is specced with components designed to increase compliance further, including an updated D-Fuse seatpost. Giant has used D-Fuse seatposts for years, originally on cyclocross bikes before extending their use to the road bike range. The new version thins radically towards the top.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - saddle and post.jpg

“The heart of the design is a D-shaped composite shaft that absorbs shocks and adds a small amount of flexing action (up to 7mm),” says Giant. “This significantly reduces the energy of bumps and vibrations that travel through one of the bike’s key contact points, the saddle. Testing shows that the new Defy Advanced SL frameset and seatpost produce 42% greater compliance (combined) than the previous generation Defy Advanced Pro series.”

Told you there’d be more stats.

Giant has also introduced new versions of its Contact SLR/SL handlebars which use similar D-shaped composite tubing for the top sections. The idea is to provide “greater downward compliance while at the same time increasing upward stiffness”. In other words, the theory goes, you get shock-absorption qualities alongside efficiency when sprinting or climbing out of the saddle.

Giant claims that the new Contact SLR D-Fuse handlebar – which comes on Defy Advanced SL and some Defy Advanced Pro models – provides 40% more compliance than the previous generation.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - fork clearance.jpg

One other important change is the increase in tyre clearance on the new-generation bikes. Each Defy comes fitted with 32mm tyres – tubeless, so you can run them at low pressures for increased comfort – but there’s space for tyres up to 38mm wide, an increase of 3mm over the previous iteration.

Taking control

Giant is keen to emphasise the amount of control the Defy range offers.

“An oversized and tapered steerer tube boosts stiffness up front for razor-sharp steering and cornering performance,” says Giant.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - down tube.jpg

The Defy Advanced SL and Defy Advanced Pro both use Giant’s Overdrive Aero fork/headset/stem sizing: the tapered steerer is 1-1/4in at the top, 1-1/2in at the bottom. The Defy Advanced uses a steerer that’s 1-1/8in at the top and 1-1/4in at the bottom.

As mentioned, all Defy bikes are fitted with either a Contact SLR D-Fuse or Contact SL D-Fuse composite handlebar (depending on the model). As well as the compliance, Giant says that these “offer a unique ergonomic shape with a short reach” while the drops have an 8° flare (so the bottom sections sit wider than the hoods) that’s designed to provide stable handling.

The new stems – the Contact SLR AeroLight, Contact SL AeroLight or Contact AeroLight, depending on the series — are said to be made with “stiff composite or aluminium material and offer semi-internal cable routing”.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - computer mount.jpg

Semi-internal? The stems are n-shaped in profile, the cables and hoses sitting in the hollow on the underside so they can only be seen from below (the Giant Propel uses a similar system). 

Giant says, “Every Defy model comes with a WheelSystem and tyres that are ideal for endurance road riding – offering an ideal balance of vertical forgiveness and extremely low side-load drag to improve control without sacrificing aero efficiency.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - rim detail 1.jpg

“From the wide, hookless carbon rims of the Defy Advanced SL and Defy Advanced Pro series to the high-volume 32mm tubeless tyres that come on every Defy model, the wheels and tyres work as a system to deliver efficiency, grip and all-around control.”

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - tyre.jpg

All of these wheels and tyres are from Giant’s own range – or from the Giant-owned Cadex brand – and hydraulic disc brakes are specced across the board.

While we're talking about wheels and tyres, all models include integrated mudguard mounts. 

Stiffness-to-weight

Giant says that it has measured stiffness on medium-sized framesets using the protocols established by Germany’s Tour magazine. Each frame was locked at the rear dropouts with lateral force applied to the fork.

“One of the key findings is that the flagship Defy Advanced SL provides up to 8.9% greater transmission stiffness than its top-of-the-line predecessor” says Giant.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - bottom bracket.jpg

As mentioned previously, the top-of-the-line predecessor was the 2023 Defy Advanced Pro – a level lower and considerably cheaper than the Defy Advanced SL.

Anyway, here are the stiffness figures provided by Giant...

2024 Giant Defy stiffness - 1

“Increased frame stiffness means better power transmission, enabling the rider to reach and maintain higher speeds with less effort,” says Giant. “The combination of lower weight and higher stiffness adds up to unrivalled overall efficiency.”

According to Giant’s figures, the new mid-level Defy Advanced Pro is stiffer than the previous version too, although that’s far more marginal – just 0.2%.

Giant says the fact that the new Defy Advanced SL is significantly lighter than the outgoing Defy Advanced Pro – as well as being stiffer – means the stiffness-to-weight ratio is 28% higher.

2024 Giant Defy efficiency - 1

Giant also says that both the new Defy Advanced Pro and the new Defy Advanced have higher stiffness-to-weight ratios than the 2023 Giant Defy Advanced Pro.

Defy drops weight

As mentioned, the new top-end Defy Advanced SL has a claimed frame weight of 785g (size medium). That compares with 980g for the frame of the 2023 Defy Advanced Pro.

The new Defy Advanced SL’s fork is a claimed 345g, compared with 406g for the 2023 Defy Advanced Pro’s fork.

Here are all of Giant’s quoted figures:

2024 Giant Defy weights - 1

To save you doing the arithmetic, Giant claims that the new Defy Advanced SL is 228.4g lighter than the 2023 Defy Advanced Pro.

The new Defy Advanced Pro is 153.4g less than the 2023 Defy Advanced Pro and the new Defy Advanced is 117.4g lighter than that reference bike.

You’ll notice that the frame weight is exactly the same for the Defy Advanced Pro as for the Defy Advanced. There’s a good reason for that: they share a frame, it’s just that Giant fits it with differently sized headset bearings and a different fork, depending on the series. 

Tweaked geometry

All three new Defy platforms share a geometry that’s a little less relaxed than previously. Giant says that it’s responding to consumer demand here.

2024 Giant Defy geometry - 1

Let’s take the medium-sized model as an example. It has a 545mm top tube, 480mm seat tube, and 150mm head tube. The stack is 558mm and the reach, is 379.8mm, giving a stack/reach of 1.47.

Previously, the medium-sized Defy had the same length seat tube and top tube, but the head tube was 160mm – 10mm longer. The stack was 567mm and the reach was 377mm, giving a stack/reach of 1.50.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - head tube.jpg

For comparison, the stack height of a medium-sized Giant TCR road bike is 545mm and the reach is 388mm, giving a stack/reach of 1.40 – so, as you’d expect, the TCR’s ride position is significantly more aggressive.

Giant has reduced head tube length by 10mm across all sizes of the Defy, so although the ride position is nothing like that of the TCR, it’s lower than it used to be. 

Differences between the Defy platforms

The Defy Advanced SL is the lightest version, made from what Giant calls its Advanced SL composite and coming with a claimed frame weight of 785g (size medium).

The Defy Advanced Pro and Defy Advanced share a frame that’s made with Giant’s Advanced Composite and weighs a claimed 860g.

Whereas the Defy Advanced Pro and the Defy Advanced SL use the same 345g fork, the Defy Advanced has a slightly heavier (381g) model.

The Defy Advanced SL and Defy Advanced Pro both use Giant’s Overdrive Aero fork standard with a 1-1/4 in to 1 1/2in steerer.

The Defy Advanced uses a 1-1/8in to 1-1/4in tapered steerer.

Beyond the frameset, the Defy Advanced SL uses Giant’s top-level D-Fuse SLR seatpost and handlebar, whereas less expensive models are specced with Giant’s not-so-posh D-Fuse components.

All levels get internal cable routing, Giant wheels/tyres, and flat-mount disc brakes.

Models and prices

Defy Advanced SL 0, £11,499
Groupset SRAM Red eTap AXS with Quarq DZero power meter
Wheels Cadex 36 Disc carbon

Defy Advanced SL 1, £8,499
Groupset Shimano Ultegra Di2 with Giant Power Pro power meter
Wheels Giant SLR 1 36 carbon

Defy Advanced Pro 0, £5,999
Groupset Shimano Ultegra Di2 with Giant Power Pro power meter
Wheels Giant SLR 1 36 carbon

Defy Advanced Pro 1, £4,599
Groupset Shimano 105 Di2 with Giant Power Pro power meter
Wheels Giant SLR 1 36 carbon

Defy Advanced Pro 2, £3,499
Groupset Shimano 105
Wheels Giant SLR 2 36 carbon

Defy Advanced 0, £3,299
Groupset SRAM Rival eTap AXS
Wheels Giant P-R2 Disc alloy

Defy Advanced 1, £3,199
Groupset Shimano 105 Di2
Wheels Giant P-R2 Disc alloy

Defy Advanced 2, £2,699
Groupset Shimano 105
Wheels Giant P-R2 Disc alloy

Defy Advanced 3, £2,299
Groupset Shimano Tiagra
Wheels Giant S-R2 Disc alloy

Giant Defy Advanced SL first ride

We’ve had the new Giant Defy Advanced SL in for review here at road.cc for about a week. During that time, I’ve managed to ride it four times – enough to form some initial impressions.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - riding 3.jpg

The first thing to say is that the Advanced SL is the uppermost of the three Defy levels. The second thing to say is that the SL 0 is the top model within that level, so we’re talking about a very high-end bike here. It’s built up with SRAM’s flagship Red eTap AXS groupset – complete with a Quarq DZero power meter – and Cadex 36 Disc wheels laced with aero carbon spokes. You get the idea: it’s an upmarket machine. The price? Well, it's £11,499, I'm afraid, but the Defy range starts at £2,299.

As mentioned, the geometry is the same whichever of the new Defy models you go for. With a head tube that’s shrunk 10mm from previously, the new Defy splits the difference between the old model and the Defy and Propel road bikes, and that’s exactly how it feels when you climb aboard.

2024 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 - riding 2.jpg

The previous Defy didn’t have you riding bolt-upright but the handlebar was positioned higher and closer to the saddle than on a more race-focused bike. It was pretty relaxed by road bike standards. I got on with it absolutely fine although the front end was a bit too high for a bike that I’d buy myself.

Your position on the new Defy feels more sporty. Okay, the difference is only 10mm but it adds a racy edge to the ride which I really like. I’ve not noticed any more stress on my back or neck than with the previous model – but I do tend to ride bikes with more aggressive geometries than this on a regular basis.

You might prefer the new geometry or you might not. If it’s not to your taste, you can always keep the stem and handlebar high with headset spacers.

One other ingredient that’s the same whatever Defy model you go for is the tyre width. Giant fits 700 x 32mm tyres across the range but the trusty road.cc vernier callipers measured ours at 34.2mm on the Cadex 36 rims. That’s pretty chunky for a road bike, and Giant reckons you can go up to 38mm.

Greater tyre clearance is highly fashionable, not just for endurance bikes but for road bikes generally. Specialized says you can fit 40mm tyres to its new Roubaix, for example. It makes a lot of sense and adds a load of versatility.

All of the tyres Giant fits are tubeless so you can run them at low pressures for oodles of comfort without the risk of pinch flats. I’ve done that and they feel great, even on some really nasty, beat-up road surfaces.

Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 2024

Oh, one other thing about the way the bike feels: the flare on the handlebars. The large-sized bike comes with a 44cm bar that measures more like 47cm (centre to centre) at the ends. You really notice that. Whether or not you're a fan is a different matter, but it certainly adds some stability.

I won’t talk any more about comfort here because I’ve not ridden the bike enough for that, but I would say that if you’re looking for a forgiving bike, the ability to fit 38mm tyres has to be a big plus.

We weighed our Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 at 7.24kg. That’s a size large, including bottle cages and computer mount, but without pedals.

I’m not one of those people who gets overly excited by bike weight – it's nice and all – but I’ve got to say that the Defy Advanced SL 0 accelerates astonishingly quickly for an endurance bike. Yes, it’s an endurance bike fitted with SRAM Red and top-end wheels so that’s not entirely surprising, but even so, it’s really quick off the mark. If you think endurance bikes are all like big old sofas, think again.

The Defy Advanced SL is also way stiffer than you might expect when you get out of the saddle to sprint or climb. Okay, it isn’t as pin-sharp and efficient as something like Giant’s performance-focused TCR bike, but it’s not a million miles behind. It feels more direct than a lot of race bikes out there.

To sum up for the time being, I’d say that the new Giant Defy – at least the Advanced SL 0 version that I’ve been riding – is an endurance bike that thinks it’s a road race bike. A little bit. I mean, it's still an endurance bike – very much so – but with some race bike-esque features.

The weight and stiffness are those of a race machine, but then you have an endurance geometry – albeit not as relaxed as it used to be – big tyres, and the D-Fuse seatpost and handlebar that are designed with comfort in mind. It’s a really interesting mix.

Are many people going to drop £11.5k on the Giant Defy Advanced SL 0? Nope, of course not, but there are Defy options for the rest of us too.

www.giant-bicycles.com

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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36 comments

Avatar
Gimpl | 5 months ago
0 likes

I want one to replace my utterly brilliant 2013 Composite 1. No rim brake option though so will happily continue with the one I've got.

Avatar
Cugel | 5 months ago
0 likes

Here's an interesting list, derived from a search of this website. It's a list of their bike reviews in time order. The interesting part is the prices:

https://road.cc/category/review-section/bikes/road-bikes

The proportion of bikes costing 5 figures is rather high. Does it reflect the actual sales of bikes across the price spectrum, either of RoadCC readers or of sporty cyclist types in general?

There are many bikes reviewed priced north of £5000 too. In fact, there seems to be only a very small number of bikes priced at amounts I'd personally be wiling to pay for what they provide ........

How about you? What proportion of that list (say, first three pages) represent bikes that you might consider paying the asking price for?

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Cugel | 5 months ago
0 likes

I'm sort of with you, but I think my selection of mid-range second-hand tourers which can be pressed into most uses plus niche interest recumbents and other oddities would see them out of business quick sharp.

Avatar
bikeman01 | 5 months ago
0 likes

How can a '44cm bar measures more like 47cm'?

Is that like my Giant Defy's 100mm stem that is actually 110mm?

Giant needs need a new tape measure.

Avatar
Cugel | 5 months ago
2 likes

How many buyers of this model will buy that reported on - the ridiculouly priced £12,000 item? One assumes: very few.

Given that it seems a good overall design and that a large number of buyers are likely to go for those versions of this bike costing a third, a quarter or even less than the price of the silly-price item, why not ride and report on one of those more reasonably priced albeit still very expensive models?

Perhaps you will argue that the £12,000 version gives the essential qualities of the lower priced models? If so, why would anyone at all buy the one you rode and described?  Perhaps the answer is that only the top model has a price and parts that will satisfy the buyer who buys bikes as if they were frocks or handbags from the latest catwalk struts and poses?  1

Or maybe, given the large amount of manufacturer PR quoted in uncritical and unexamined style within the article, perhaps this article is in fact just an advert, using "the best" bike model to give the best impression? Well, Giant fans will now have damp undergarments, I suppose. The more sceptical will just have their scepticism about such articles upped another notch.

Avatar
mark1a replied to Cugel | 5 months ago
7 likes

Bore off.

Avatar
Sredlums replied to mark1a | 5 months ago
1 like

'Bore off' means 'something that is carried away' so I figured that was not what you were trying to say. So I looked it up at the Urban Dictionairy, and here's what it said:

"Bore Off: a word used by unintelligent and simple people who are unable to come up with a witty response and so turn to this phrase instead."

I'll leave it at that.

Avatar
mark1a replied to Sredlums | 5 months ago
8 likes
Sredlums wrote:

'Bore off' means 'something that is carried away' so I figured that was not what you were trying to say. So I looked it up at the Urban Dictionairy, and here's what it said:

"Bore Off: a word used by unintelligent and simple people who are unable to come up with a witty response and so turn to this phrase instead."

I'll leave it at that.

I looked it up in the Urban Dictionary (rather than Dictionairy) and the top result (rather than your selective alternative) was:

"A mash of FK off and bore someone else."

... which is exactly what I was trying to say.

 

Avatar
Cugel replied to mark1a | 5 months ago
0 likes
mark1a wrote:
Sredlums wrote:

'Bore off' means 'something that is carried away' so I figured that was not what you were trying to say. So I looked it up at the Urban Dictionairy, and here's what it said:

"Bore Off: a word used by unintelligent and simple people who are unable to come up with a witty response and so turn to this phrase instead."

I'll leave it at that.

I looked it up in the Urban Dictionary (rather than Dictionairy) and the top result (rather than your selective alternative) was:

"A mash of FK off and bore someone else."

... which is exactly what I was trying to say.

 

Trying and failing, as usual.

See?  It's always best to be thoroughy explicit, complete, unambiguous and without the meaningless yob-yell that no one can discern the meaning off except for the over-excited emotional condition of the wee yob. 

Why not ask Mark IV to post on your behalf?  They might have impoved the articulater by now. You can then go and lie on the scrap pile in the corner until they melt you down to make something useful.  1

Avatar
Cugel replied to mark1a | 5 months ago
2 likes
mark1a wrote:

Bore off.

Did you buy the bling one then?    1

Avatar
mark1a replied to Cugel | 5 months ago
6 likes
Cugel wrote:

Did you buy the bling one then?    1

No. I don't have any Giant bikes. It was just an off the cuff reaction to yet another tirade comparing bikes to handbags. 

I'm not really sure how to break this to you, but some bikes cost a lot of money. On the other hand some don't. On occasion, they are reviewed on bike related websites, including this one. If this offends you, then really you need to stay off websites with bike related content, or maybe take up basket-weaving instead. Can we just assume that if an item being reviewed is (a) something you think is overpriced or (b) something that you don't own or use yourself, that you're not engaged with it and save us from endless comparisons to handbags, frocks, fashion accessories, catwalks and whacko theories about a global marketing conspiracy?

 

Avatar
Jack Sexty replied to Cugel | 5 months ago
11 likes

Are many people going to drop £11.5k on the Giant Defy Advanced SL 0? Nope, of course not, but there are Defy options for the rest of us too.

We ask for the lower-priced ones constantly. If you want to come work for us and are more successful, I will give you my house* and everything in it. 

* Actually a small apartment, with not much stuff in it because I don't have 12 grand to spend on a bike either. But hopefully you get my point. 

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Jack Sexty | 5 months ago
4 likes
Jack Sexty wrote:

If you want to come work for us [...]

Please don't!  It might be entertaining but with that swap we'd never reach the end of an article!

Commentors are best employed below the line... (well - I'd maybe read an article from some of the very knowledgeable folk down here - and someone reminded me of Boatsie the other day...)

Avatar
Cugel replied to chrisonabike | 5 months ago
0 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:
Jack Sexty wrote:

If you want to come work for us [...]

Please don't!  It might be entertaining but with that swap we'd never reach the end of an article!

Try that Adam Kerin on Zero Friction Cycling!  On & on & on & on & .... But tons of very useful information about what bike stuff works and what doesn't, of those he tests. Oh, if only he would test some bikes.

You lads and your cheep-cheep-cheeps! Short and sweet, like little bits of sugary bon-bon (no mental nutrition whatsover, though).  1

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Cugel | 5 months ago
0 likes

As the Reader's Digest parody in The Simpsons pointed out - brevity is ... wit. And the 'net is a sushi train of interest tidbits: aperitif here, starter over there...

OTOH there's room below the line for all tastes. (Well...) So stick to your guns. Like the Ramblin' Jack Elliott put down - "Son, they don't call me Ramblin' Jack 'cause I walk a lot".

Avatar
Dnnnnnn replied to chrisonabike | 5 months ago
1 like

someone reminded me of Boatsie the other day.../quote]

I'd subscribe to road.cc if they did a proper piece on Boatsie.
Bring Back Boatsie!

Avatar
Cugel replied to Jack Sexty | 5 months ago
0 likes
Jack Sexty wrote:

Are many people going to drop £11.5k on the Giant Defy Advanced SL 0? Nope, of course not, but there are Defy options for the rest of us too.

We ask for the lower-priced ones constantly. If you want to come work for us and are more successful, I will give you my house* and everything in it. 

* Actually a small apartment, with not much stuff in it because I don't have 12 grand to spend on a bike either. But hopefully you get my point. 

Your point would seem to be that Giant insists that you review their most expensive model, so you comply and do so. I always thought that an independent reviewer should be able to choose themselves what to review?

If the rascals won't give you the model you'd prefer to test, for the benefit of probably the majority of your readers - those likely to buy the £2500 or thereabouts model rather than the top model - perhaps you could just review some other less expensive bikes instead?

But I realise that you have various constraints intrinsic to the nature of the business model allowing websites such as this to survive. 

*********

At bottom we consumers would like websites such as this one to have more freedom from manufacturer restraints and powers over what you're able to write. If you were fully independent and more critical* (on behalf of consumers) of various things-reviewed then I'd happily pay a substantial monthly subscription. As it is, I don't feel inclined to pay you for what often read like adverts and PR regurgitations rather than more vigorous reviews.

(And the constant stoking of the cyclist vs drivist kultcha war isn't very attractive either).

There are some reviewers in the cycling-stuff interwebs who are able to be much more critical, independent, disinterested and otherwise free of manufacturer clout or influences. They seem, though, to have this freedom because something other than their website provides financial support. Their reviews are almost a hobby.

Even they can host their personal predelictions and prejudices. Consider Hambini, for example - often convincingly critical but also inclined to go over-the-top agin' some luckless manufacturer or gubbins-type he takes agin', in his sweary 5-year-old fashion. But also consider Adam Kerin of Zero Friction Cycling, who goes to the end-of-the-earth in attempts to test as objectively as possible .... but offers hard criticisms as well as high praise based on what he finds - with plenty of evidence and reasoning.

*************

Advert-based website financing of product-interest websites, though, seems to be on the decline. Maybe events will force a rejig of your business model to rely more on subscriptions than on advertising revenue of various kinds? If you became more of a hambini (without the arrogance & nastiness) employing independent testing akin to that of Adam Kerin, I'd pay you ten quid a month for true tests and reviews. After all, it would save us consumers at least that each month.

* Critical doesn't mean condemnatory, although it might include some condemnations if deserved. It means only that claims are tested and the results compared to those claims without fear or favour, whether the claims prove justified or not.

 

Avatar
LookAhead replied to Cugel | 5 months ago
7 likes
Cugel wrote:

If you became more of a hambini (without the arrogance & nastiness)

Quite right, you wouldn't want to give up your monopoly on those.

Avatar
quiff replied to Cugel | 5 months ago
2 likes
Cugel wrote:

perhaps you could just review some other less expensive bikes instead?... 

I'd pay you ten quid a month for true tests and reviews. 

They're going to need quite a lot of those tenners up front to buy their first bike for review.

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perce replied to quiff | 5 months ago
1 like

Here's my review of my bike - it's great! Can I have a tenner now?

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Left_is_for_Losers replied to Cugel | 5 months ago
2 likes

Not sure whether your anti-top cycling equipment crusade is reflective of the fact that people in your age still barter and currency is not yet a thing, or that you just can't afford it. 

I would never buy a £12k bike - but the fact it exists means that I can still want to buy one. And the tech does filter down as well. 

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Cugel replied to Left_is_for_Losers | 5 months ago
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Left_is_for_Losers wrote:

Not sure whether your anti-top cycling equipment crusade is reflective of the fact that people in your age still barter and currency is not yet a thing, or that you just can't afford it. 

I would never buy a £12k bike - but the fact it exists means that I can still want to buy one. And the tech does filter down as well. 

Congrats on being a fully paid-up member of the Honourable (ha!) Consumer-Producer Hegemony! You special badge is in the post (I think). 

No, I can't afford £12,000 for a bike - neither the dosh or the embarrasment of being so foolish, especially when the debt collector calls.

There is a method, by the way, for appearing to have a £12,000 bike rather than the more mundane variety, if you just can't help wanting one.  Just change the labels!  From a distance, through a steamy cafe window, few will notice the subterfuge if you make the bling-labels big enough. You may have to greatly polish the bits, mind. And if you get dropped from the club run, everyone will notice then examine your frock bike more closely.

Incidentally, if you examine the development of "the tech" you'll find that it often filters up not down. First come the prototypes, tested in the mass market. Eventually come the refined versions, with extra shine, paradoxically less material and a stirring recommendation from a professional cyclist (aka the sales-bimbo).

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Surreyrider replied to Left_is_for_Losers | 5 months ago
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The fact it exists means Giant knows/is pretty sure there is a market for it.

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bikeman01 replied to Surreyrider | 5 months ago
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Have you ever seen anyone droping £12k of their own money on a Giant bike?

The guys with deep pockets in my club don't ride Giants.

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wtjs replied to bikeman01 | 5 months ago
2 likes

The guys with deep pockets in my club don't ride Giants

This looks like unreasonable snobbery. Contrary to all the recent uproar about the price of bikes, Giant Alu bikes look really good value and I think that top riders would do just as well on a top Giant bike as they do on their sponsored bigger-name ones

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Gimpl replied to wtjs | 5 months ago
1 like
wtjs wrote:

The guys with deep pockets in my club don't ride Giants

This looks like unreasonable snobbery. Contrary to all the recent uproar about the price of bikes, Giant Alu bikes look really good value and I think that top riders would do just as well on a top Giant bike as they do on their sponsored bigger-name ones

I agree - for me Giant are the Honda of bicycles. Absolutely brilliant and reliable. 

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momove replied to wtjs | 5 months ago
1 like

Yes, there's a lot of brand snobbery which does nothing for widening either cycling as a sport or as transport.

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TheBillder replied to momove | 5 months ago
1 like

There seems to be a bit of halo marketing here. I'd be willing to bet that the bulk of sales will be at the lower end, but Giant, Trek, Specialized and Cannondale know that plenty of customers will assume that the lower priced bike has some of the star dust of the top end.

As with many consumer niches, there are lots of cyclists who would prefer not to buy a big brand as that might not trumpet their inside knowledge. Personally, I don't care, which is why my bikes are a mix of odd stuff cobbled together, some obscure, some very mainstream, and mostly low budget.

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Surreyrider replied to bikeman01 | 4 months ago
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No. But that wasn't my point. Giant aren't in the business of making a loss so they must know there is enough of a market for them to turn a profit on this model. 

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Rendel Harris replied to Surreyrider | 5 months ago
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Surreyrider wrote:

The fact it exists means Giant knows/is pretty sure there is a market for it.

I'm not sure that's the case, isn't it part of the UCI conditions of approval for pro racing that a bike used by a pro team has to be available to the cycling public to buy? I suspect Giant would regard this as a loss leader to get the publicity that being used on the World Tour gets them to sell their lower value bikes; like bikeman01 below, in my experience those who'll pay five figures for a bike will generally go for Pinarello, Cervelo or S-Works, I doubt Giant would sell many of the hghest-end model.

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