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TECH NEWS

New Giant Propel to debut at Tour de France

Check out the hugely revamped aero road bike before it's raced by Team BikeExchange-Jayco this weekend

The new and yet-to-be-released Giant Propel road bike is set to make its Tour de France debut with Team BikeExchange-Jayco after being pictured out and about in the lead-up to the race.

Main pic: ASO/Charly Lopez

We first showed you the new bike a couple of weeks ago when the recently retired Tony Martin was spotted riding it. 

Is this the new Giant Propel?

Is this the 2023 Giant Propel (via Tony Martin, Instagram)

Now Giant Bicycles itself has posted pictures on social media and Team BikeExchange-Jayco riders have been photographed riding the bike. Giant hasn’t given any details on the new Propel, though, nor announced an official release date.

You’ll probably know that Giant divides its top-end road bike lineup into the TCR – which is all about lightweight and stiffness – the Propel – which prioritises aerodynamics – and the Defy – which is more focused on endurance and comfort.

The Propel was last updated in 2018 and a lot has changed in the road bike landscape since then. Over the past couple of years brands have been making their lightweight bikes more aero – the Specialized Tarmac SL7 is a prime example – and their aero bikes more lightweight – such as Trek’s latest Madone, launched yesterday.

Being either lightweight or aerodynamically efficient is no longer enough; top-end road bikes now need to be capable of hitting the UCI’s 6.8kg minimum weight limit for racing – or very close to it – while also being super-slippery through the air.

Trek releases radical Madone SLR, its “fastest road race bike ever” 

Although Giant has yet to release information, it looks very much as if it has tried to shed weight on the new Propel – to the point that it barely looks like a Propel anymore. We’ll be stunned if Giant doesn’t eventually release this bike as “the lightest ever Propel” – as well as being more aero than before, of course. Hell, why not go for the full package? It'll probably be stiffer and more comfortable too

2022 Giant Propel Advanced SL1 Disc

This is the current 2022 Giant Propel Advanced SL1 Disc: it's massively different!

The seat tube is much shallower than previously and has also lost its cutout around the leading edge of the rear wheel, and the down tube is shallower too. The seatstays are slimmer and there’s a far less beefy stem. The current stem has a composite cover to hide the gear cables and brake hoses, but there’s nothing of that kind on the new model.

Rather than giving you a complete rundown of everything different, it’s a whole lot more sense to tell you what hasn’t been altered. Um, the top tube is still horizontal – in marked contrast to Giant’s other road bikes – and it still has an integrated seat mast, although even that is a completely new profile. 

The bikes pictured are fitted with unreleased 50mm-deep wheels from Giant’s Cadex brand too.

We’re not sure where all of these changes will leave Giant’s TCR. When Specialized brought in the Tarmac SL7 it effectively killed off its Venge aero bike. We can’t see anything similar happening here because the TCR is Giant’s flagship road bike. The brand likes to boast about the TCR’s stiffness-to-weight, handling, and ride quality so it’ll be interesting to see how the new Propel is pitched. 

As mentioned, we don’t have a release date for the new Giant Propel, but it’s almost certain to be within the next few weeks. We'll give you more info on road.cc when we get it.

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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