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Giant Contend Range Review

Giant Contend Review

Price:

£625.00 - £1,499.00

Finance from:

£52.09/month (0% APR)

High-quality aluminium alloy frame
Full carbon fork
Tubeless tyre options
Hydraulic disc or rim brakes
Wide range of sizes available
A lot of bike for the money

Discipline:

General road riding

Weight:

Coming Soon


A versatile all-rounder the Giant Contend is one of the best entry-level road bikes for new cyclists

Updated: 25th October 2019

Overview

The Contend is Giant’s entry-level road bike that combines great performance with incredible value for money. Designed for all-round riding, the Giant Contend we review here combines the comfortable riding position of an endurance bike with the nimble handling of a road racer. There are versions with disc brakes as well as traditional rim brakes and the new AR (any road) version features wider tyres for riding on rougher roads and gravel tracks.

All eight of the various Contend models feature virtually the same frame geometry that offers a comfortable riding position with confident handling characteristics. Compact chainsets and big cassettes are fitted, giving you a wide range of gears for taking on the steepest of climbs. This makes the Contend ideal for all sorts of road riding including sportives and long-distance adventures.

Giant Contend frame

Frame

Comfortable on long rides

There are two different frame options for the Contend, both feature the same nimble endurance style geometry. The Contend SL gets an ALUXX SL-Grade aluminium frame which is made from double-butted 6011 alloy making it lightweight and strong. Double pass welds offer a smoother frame finish. The ALUXX Grade aluminium frame, on the Contend and Contend AR models, is built with single butted 6061 alloy tubes. Both frames feature the D-Fuse seat tube for a more compliant ride and internal cable routing for clean lines. The Contend 2 is available in X small size which makes it a good option for budding young cyclists.

It’s great to see a full carbon composite fork on every bike in the range. The carbon fibre fork helps to smooth out the ride by absorbing the vibrations you get when riding over uneven road surfaces. This combines with the D-Fuse seat post to offer a smoother ride. The disc-equipped bikes have a 12mm thru-axle for precise steering control under braking. Rack and mudguard mounts add versatility making the Contend a great choice for commuting and winter training.

Balanced and assured aluminium endurance bike equally suited to long rides at pace and commuter pothole-bashing – road.cc

Giant Contend Geometry(Click to expand)

Contend & Contend AR

S

M

ML

L

XL

SEAT TUBE LENGTH (mm)

465

500

535

555

585

SEAT TUBE ANGLE

74.0°

73.5°

73.0°

73.0°

72.5°

TOP TUBE LENGTH (mm)

530

545

560

575

595

HEAD TUBE LENGTH (mm)

138

158

178

198

218

HEAD TUBE ANGLE

71.8°

72.5°

72.5°

72.5°

72.5°

FORK RAKE (mm)

50

50

50

50

50

TRAIL (mm)

61.9

57.1

57.1

57.1

57.1

WHEELBASE (mm)

986

990

1002

1017

1031

CHAIN STAY LENGTH (mm)

412

412

412

412

412

BOTTOM BRACKET DROP (mm)

75

75

70

70

70

STACK (mm)

541

563

577

596

615

REACH (mm)

375

378

384

393

401

STAND OVER HEIGHT (mm)

746

774

803

821

844

HANDLEBAR WIDTH (mm)

400

420

420

440

440

STEM LENGTH (mm)

90

100

100

110

110

CRANK LENGTH (mm)

170

172.5

172.5

175

175

WHEEL SIZE

700C

700C

700C

700C

700C


Contend SL

S

M

ML

L

XL

SEAT TUBE LENGTH (mm)

445

480

515

535

565

SEAT TUBE ANGLE

74.0°

73.5°

73.0°

73.0°

72.5°

TOP TUBE LENGTH (mm)

530

545

560

575

595

HEAD TUBE LENGTH (mm)

138

158

178

198

218

HEAD TUBE ANGLE

71.8°

72.5°

72.5°

72.5°

72.5°

FORK RAKE (mm)

50

50

50

50

50

TRAIL (mm)

63.3

58.4

58.4

58.4

58.4

WHEELBASE (mm)

986

990

1002

1017

1031

CHAIN STAY LENGTH (mm)

412

412

412

412

412

BOTTOM BRACKET DROP (mm)

75

75

70

70

70

STACK (mm)

541

563

577

596

615

REACH (mm)

375

378

384

393

401

STAND OVER HEIGHT (mm)

746

774

803

821

844

HANDLEBAR WIDTH (mm)

400

420

420

440

440

STEM LENGTH (mm)

90

100

100

110

110

CRANK LENGTH (mm)

170

172.5

172.5

175

175

WHEEL SIZE

700C

700C

700C

700C

700C


Giant Contend drivetrain

Groupset

A wide range of gears for varied terrain

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 good spread of gears for tackling all the ups and downs you’ll find on your route. The exceptions to this are the top-of-the-range Contend SL 1 bikes that have larger 36/52 chainrings for those with stronger legs. Both the SL 1 and AR 1 models have 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 cassette that offers the same broad range of gear ratios on all models.

All the disc models have hydraulic brakes which offer superior power and feel. The SL1 and the AR1 both have Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes. The other disc-equipped models use 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.

Another nice touch is the carbon D-Fuse seatpost that’s fitted to the SL 1, SL2, AR 1 and AR 2 bikes. This improves the vibration damping for an even smoother ride feel.

Giant Contend fork and front wheel

Wheels

Durable rolling for all-weather riding

For the last few years Giant have been making all their own wheels, so they can offer higFor the last few years, Giant have been making all their own wheels, so they can deliver higher quality offerings at more competitive price points. The P-R2 wheels on the Contend SL 1s and AR 1 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 S-R2 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 AR 1 and 2 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 32mm wide tyres on the AR bikes offer more cushioning making them the ideal choice if you want to cycle on rougher roads and tracks. The 28mm wide tyres on all the other models offer a great balance between rapid rolling and cornering grip.

Superb all-round ride that should appeal to all sorts of riders. – Bike Radar

Giant Contend

Best for

A versatile all-rounder with a comfortable riding position

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. The AR bikes take this a step further with their wider tyres. 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. If you want to adventure onto unmade roads then the AR bikes are the best choice, although you can fit this size of tyre to any of the Contend bikes.

Giant Contend brake Giant Contend frame detail
Giant Contend seatpost clamp Giant Contend internal cable routing detail
Giant Contend saddle Giant Contend Connect disc brake detail

Giant Contend range models

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