Updated: 7 February 2018
The Contend is Giant’s entry level road bike. Designed for all-round performance, the Contend features the slightly-more-upright riding position of an endurance road bike combined with the nimble handling of a road racer. The position on the bike is very similar to the Giant Defy Advanced carbon endurance racer, designed for comfort on long days in the saddle as well as cycling over less than perfect road surfaces. The Contend’s slightly nimbler handling characteristics are thanks to the shorter chainstays.
All six Contend and Contend SL models feature the same frame geometry that offers a comfortable riding position with confident handling characteristics. Compact chainsets and wide range cassettes are fitted, offering a wide range of gears for taking on the steepest of climbs. This makes the Contend ideal for all sorts of road riding, especially sportives and long distance adventures.
There are two different Contend frame options. The Contend SL gets an ALUXX SL-Grade aluminium frame which is built with double butted 6011 alloy making it lightweight and strong. Double pass welds offer a smoother frame finish while internal cable routing keeps the lines nice and clean. The Contend SL also features a D-fuse seatpost which provides added compliance, for comfort when cycling over rough surfaces. The ALUXX Grade aluminium frame, on the more affordable Contend models, is made with single butted 6061 alloy tubes.
All models have a hybrid composite fork. The carbon fibre fork blades help to smooth out the ride by absorbing the vibrations you get when riding over uneven road surfaces. The OverDrive tapered steerer adds stiffness for precise steering control. Rack and mudguard mounts mean you can easily use the Contend for commuting or winter training.
Balanced and assured aluminium endurance bike equally suited to long rides at pace and commuter pothole-bashing – road.cc
Giant's Contend combines a well-proven geometry with wise component choices to create a budget-friendly bike that rides well above its price point. – Bike Radar
With a compact 34/50t chainset combined with a wide range 11-32t cassette, the Contend offers a wide range of gears for tackling all the ups and downs you’ll find on your route. At the top of the range the Contend SL 1 and SL 1 Disc both get a slick shifting Shimano 105 11-speed groupset, with the same number of gears that you will find on a pro bike. Moving through the range, the number of gears drops from 11 to 10, 9 and 8. While the gaps between the gears get slightly bigger, you still get a wide range 11-32 cassette that offers the same broad range of gear ratios on all models.
The Contend SL Disc models feature Giant’s Conduct semi-hydraulic disc brakes. This is a very clever system which offers the same confident feel as full hydraulic disc brakes but uses regular gear shifters to keep the costs down. This also makes it easier to upgrade in the future as you can use any conventional brake lever with the Conduct brakes.
For the last few years Giant have been making all their own wheels, so they can offer higher quality offerings at more competitive price points. The PR2 wheels on the Contend SLs feature highly durable rims that are ideal for riding on rough road surfaces. Sealed cartridge bearings in the hubs give you reliable all-weather rolling. You get similarly durable rims, with loose bearing hubs, on the SR2 wheels fitted to the other models in the range.
Giant are at the forefront of tubeless tyre innovation and it is great to see that the Contend SL bikes are now supplied with tubeless wheels and tyres. This means that you can take advantage of this puncture reducing technology from the first pedal stroke. The 25mm wide tyres on all models offer the ideal balance between rapid rolling and cornering grip. Conventional quick release skewers allow for easy wheel upgrades.
Superb all-round ride that should appeal to all sorts of riders. – Bike Radar
The Contend’s endurance influenced riding position, combined with compliance features and reliable components, make this versatile road bike ideal for sportives and longer distance rides over variable road surfaces. Not confined to long distance cycling, this bike is nimble enough for shorter hacks and training rides. Rack and mudguard mounts open the Contend up to commuting and winter cycling and even a bit of light touring.
A versatile all-rounder the Giant Contend is one of the best entry level road bikes for new cyclists, as well as experienced riders looking for a comfortable and durable winter training machine.
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