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Giant Contend Range Review

Giant Contend Review

  • Price Range: £429.95 - From £919.20
  • Discipline: Sportive
  • Usage: All-round road cycling
  • Comfortable riding position
  • Wide gear range on all models
  • D-fuse seatpost for a compliant ride
  • Internal cable routing only on SL models
  • Only Contend 2 available in extra small
  • Regular seatpost on some models

Updated: 27th September 2016


Offering a smooth and efficient ride, at a competitive price point, the Contend is Giant’s new entry level road bike. The Contend supersedes the aluminium models of the Giant Defy which is now only available with a carbon frame. The slightly more upright riding position  is designed for comfortable riding, on long days in the saddle as well as road cycling over less than perfect surfaces. The stable ride characteristics are also very similar to the Defy.

An aluminium framed road bike, all six Contend and Contend SL models feature the same comfortable riding position and confident handling characteristics. Compact chainsets and wide range cassettes are fitted, offering a broad 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.

Giant Contend SL1 Disc

Frame and Fork

Comfortable on long rides

The Contend SL features an ALUXX SL-Grade aluminium frame which is built with double butted 6011 alloy making it lightweight and strong. Double pass welds give 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, with carbon fibre blades which offer a smoother ride by absorbing the vibrations you get when cycling over uneven road surfaces. Giant's OverDrive tapered steerer improves front-end stiffness for precision steering control. Rack and mudguard mounts add versatility.

The Contend SL also features a D-fuse seatpost which provides added compliance for comfortable cycling over rough surfaces.

Giant Contend Shimano 105 Groupset


A wide range of gears for varied terrain

The wide range cassette and compact chainset, on all six models, offer a broad spread of gears that are ideal for cycling on varied terrain.

The 11 speed Shimano 105 groupset featured on the Contend SL 1 offers slick shifting with the same gear ratios that you’d find on a pro level bike. Moving down through the range the gaps between the gears get slightly bigger but you still get a wide range 11-32 cassette and compact 34/50 chainset that offer the same broad spread of gear ratios on all models.

The Contend Disc models feature semi-hydraulic road bike disc brakes, which offer the same confident feel as full hydraulic disc brakes, but use 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.

Giant Contend with Giant P SL1 tyres and SR 2 wheels


Durable rolling for all-weather riding

For the last few years Giant have been making all their own wheels in order to offer higher quality offerings at more competitive price points. The PR2 wheels on the Contend SL models come with highly durable rims that are ideal for riding on rough road surfaces. Sealed cartridge bearings in the hubs provide reliable all-weather rolling. You get similarly durable rims, with loose bearing hubs, on the SR2 wheels fitted to the Contend 1 & 2.

The 25mm wide tyres on all models balance rapid rolling characteristics with grip in the corners. The Contend SL's feature lighter weight folding bead tyres. Conventional quick release skewers allow for easy wheel upgrades.

Giant PR-2 and SR-2 wheels provide reliable all-weather rolling performance.

Giant Contend SL2 2017

Best for

A versatile all-rounder with a comfortable riding position

The endurance influenced riding position, combined with compliance features and reliable components make the Contend road bike ideal for sportives and longer distance rides over variable road surfaces. Not confined to long rides this compliant 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.

Giant Contend fork Giant Contend Top Tube
Giant Contend Seatpost Giant Contend chainset
Giant Contend Side Profile Giant Contend Wheels

Giant Contend range models

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