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Giant Defy Advanced Range Review

Giant Defy Advanced Review

  • Price Range: From £1,198.99- From £5,998.99
  • Discipline: Sportive & endurance racing
  • Usage: Rough road cycling
  • Lightweight carbon frames
  • Hydraulic disc brakes on all models
  • Comfortable, fast and efficient
  • SL models limit range options
  • D-Fuse seatpost limits upgrading
  • Only Giant finishing kit

Updated: 22 February 2018

Overview

The Defy Advanced is Giant’s high performance endurance and sportive bike. Every model features a lightweight Advanced-Grade Composite carbon frame, delivering a stiff platform for power transfer, yet allowing for a comfortable ride. Giant made sure to give excellent value for money on every model, and Shimano road drivetrains and hydraulic disc brakes are found throughout the range.

The Defy range consists of Advanced, Advanced Pro and SL models. All models share the same frame geometry but vary in their component spec. The SL also stands apart, as the frame is made with a lighter carbon and comes with an integrated seatpost for extra weight savings. The Defy Advanced is built to take on the likes of the Paris-Roubaix classic road race, with its rough cobbled sections, so makes a fine bike for uneven and difficult roads.

Giant Defy Advanced grade carbon composite frame

Frame and Fork

Advanced-Grade Composite frames

Giant’s Defy Advanced range all feature Giant’s Advanced-Grade composite frames. Carbon fibre is a wonderful material that allows manufacturers to build certain characteristics into the frame. Giant made the Defy frames super lightweight, while also being robust; stiff for efficient power transfer, but also comfortable. The Defy has Giant’s endurance geometry, giving a comfortable, yet efficient riding position that’s more upright than racing geometry like you’d find on the Giant TCR. 

The D-Fuse seatpost increases this comfort, having a distinct ‘D’ shape to dampen vibrations. The slim seatstays also help add to the excellent compliance of the Defy, allowing it to be ridden over rougher surfaces without a harsh feeling ride.

On the SL models, an Advanced SL-Grade Composite is used that is lighter while maintaining the same strength.The frames feature an integrated seatpost, which is actually a part of the frame. It saves weight and also helps with compliance, aiding comfort. The OverDrive 2 headtube is larger than standard tapered headtubes, and incorporates a larger steerer tube on the forks. The Defy Advanced models receive forks with alloy steerers and carbon blades, while the Pro and SL models get full carbon forks and larger steerer tubes for greater stiffness.

Out on the road the bike feels great, proving that Giant’s frame fettling has worked. The ride is plush and comfortable despite the frame’s performance carbon makeup. Cycling Weekly

Giant Defy Advanced Shimano groupset

Groupset

Shimano drivetrains throughout

Getting every Defy Advanced moving is a Shimano drivetrain, from the base level Advanced 3 all the way to the flagship SL 0. Every model receives a double chainring up front with compact 34/50t chainrings, as well as a wide 11-32T or 11-30T cassette, giving easy and wide gearing.

Starting at the Advanced 3, you’ll find a 10 speed Tiagra drivetrain, moving up to an 11 speed 105 drivetrain on the Advanced 2. The Advanced 1 and Advanced Pro 2 both get a combination 105 and Ultegra drivetrain. The Advanced Pro 1 gets a full Ultegra drivetrain, while the Pro 0 and SL 1 get electronic Ultegra Di2 drivetrains. The flagship SL 0 get Shimano’s professional Dura Ace Di2 drivetrain for ultimate performance.

Every Defy Advanced has hydraulic disc brakes, giving precise and controllable stopping power. The Advanced 3, 2 and 1 all have Giant’s Conduct Hydraulic Disc system that uses standard mechanic Shimano STI levers that connect to a hydraulic system that then connects to the hydraulic disc brakes. This allows Giant to offer hydraulic performance at a much more affordable price point. Full hydraulic systems are used for the Pro and SL models. 

Giant’s Defy range features both Shimano drivetrain and hydraulic disc for every model, making sure the reliability and control is available.

Giant Defy Advanced wheels

Wheels

Giant alloy and carbon options

Giant has embraced tubeless technology, providing the improved puncture protection and rolling resistance for the entire Defy Advanced range.

Giant makes both alloy and carbon wheels in their own factory, using the same excellent techniques used for Giant frames, making sure they’re both lightweight and robust enough for proper riding. Every Defy model comes with Giant wheels and tyres, either alloy or carbon, depending the price point.

The Advanced models get Giant PR-2 alloy wheels, which are fast rolling, yet keep the price of the bike accessible. The Pro models get SLR-1 carbon wheels that are super lightweight and strong, giving superb power transfer. The top-level SL 0 gets even lighter SLR-0 wheels. Matching the frame, the wheels have 12mm thru-axles front and rear for improved stiffness and accurate steering. Giant Gavia tyres are found across the range, and all come tubeless as standard, giving better rolling and puncture protection.

The Giant Defy Advanced is a sportive machine

Best for

Endurance and rough road riding

The Giant Defy Advanced is one of the most comfortable and rapid sportive road bikes around, delivering quality and performance starting at an accessible price point. It’s designed to be ridden over long distances and to take on rougher roads than the race-focussed Giant TCR. Every Giant Defy Advanced features a lightweight carbon fibre frame that’s stiff and has more relaxed endurance geometry.

For long distance rides, racing on tough roads and even commuting, the Giant Defy Advanced provides a fantastic platform that’s has more upright geometry that gives a better riding position when taking on longer rides. With tech features from thru-axles front and rear to the D-Fuse seatpost, the Defy Advanced gives you the confidence to push yourself further.

Giant Defy integrated seat clamp Giant Defy bottom bracket
Giant Defy handlebars Giant Defy internal cable routing
Giant Defy Giant Conduct Hydraulic disc brakes Giant Defy disc brakes

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