For the past few years, Giant’s Defy 1 has been the dominating bikes in this price category, but this great bike brand hasn’t take slumber on its glory, the fully new 2012 frameset is the hallmark of alloy responsiveness and a benchmark of quality ride at this price point.
Plus: The superb chassis offers a highly responsive yet flowing ride totally backed by balanced handling and wonderful components for what you spend.
Negatives: The wheels are pretty fine but the components quality and the frame calls for upgrading to something a little lighter.
Buy only if: you desire the top quality ride available at that price.
You can easily get a press-fit bottom bracket and with smooth triple-pass welds by merely trading the Defy 1 from the wonderful Defy 2; this saves one frame running throughout the range. The weight shifts upwards by 50 g when doing the trade but the gained stiffness of the wider frameset is worth the move. The tougher Shimano crank axle that beats the skinny FSA counterpart offers immediately noticeable benefits while taking on steep climbs.
One other big factor that makes Defy defy gravity is the absolute total bike weight of 8.8 kg. This means gaining speed rapidly and receptively in any gear. You can actually brace your shoulders against any gear without getting that strenuous feeling that you’re going to rip the front end off; this is possible, courtesy of the big down tube, tapered fork-head tube and the relatively short stem
Negotiating corners have never been made easier; the playful yet responsive steering feel great in turning situations and keeps reliable even on greasy roads at top riding speeds. The wheels will give you little spoke twangs the first few time times you take a ride; they soon settle and Giant gives you the best albeit at a weight relatively higher than normal.
The growing Giant own-brand collection also boasts the useful addition: PR3 tyres. They’re predictable and have a grip you can trust, leave alone the puncture protection. All this well thought of designs make Giant stick its head above the crowd. Not actually citing princess and pea differences either; there’s that wonderful vitality, fluidity and remarkable flow to the Defy frame that isolates it to a better class than any other machine we’ve tried in this category so far this very year.
Striking a balance between combat and comfort, the riding position is really well placed – the frame comfort is augmented by that full-carbon-shaft seatpost and a compact bar. Considering how much you spend and the quality of chassis you get, top design close clearance mudguards that are Giant Defy 1-specific and the aftermarket seat collar fitted with rack mounts, the package is unbeatable.
Sizes XS, S, M, M/L, L, XL
Frame ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum
Fork Advanced-Grade Composite, Alloy OverDrive Steerer
Handlebar Giant Connect, 31.8
Stem Giant Connect
Seatpost Giant Connect Composite, 30.9
Saddle Giant Performance Road, Men’s
Shifters Shimano 105
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Brakes Tektro TK-R540 Giant Specific, Dual Pivot
Brake Levers Shimano 105
Cassette Shimano Tiagra 12×28, 10-Speed
Chain KMC X10
Crankset Shimano R565, 34/50
Bottom Bracket Shimano, Press Fit
Rims Giant P-R2, Double Wall
Hubs Giant Sealed Bearing, 24/28h
Spokes DT Swiss Competition, 14/15g
Tires Giant P-R3, 700×23, Flat Guard, Front and Rear Specific