Bike test 05: RIDE 70 – Giant
The fifth of the five bikes on test in RIDE Cycling Review #70 is the Giant Defy Pro 1 Disc. “Here is a bike which is suitable for almost all uses and almost all types of riders,” concludes Jack Lynch in his review. “I loved it and, whilst I found myself wanting a bit of extra speed when at maximum exertion, for the most part it was a dream.
“The Defy Advanced 1 altered my expectations of bikes and cycling.
“For $5,000 a bike can be bought with electronic gears, hydraulic disc brakes and a pair of carbon-fibre wheels. It ticks every box for that price category and has genuinely made me reconsider the contents of my bike shed.”
Click the photo below to begin the slideshow of 26 images from the Giant Defy test.
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Rob on the Giant Defy
“It’s Rob talking about the Giant Defy with disc brakes; this is Ultegra from Shimano. It’s a great looking bike. I thought it was a little bit too small and, during the ride, I sort of liked the size and then questioned the size. I did find that, sometimes out of the saddle on climbs, I’d even hit my thighs on the handlebars. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.
“But that shouldn’t be what the talking point is about.
“The talking point, really, is about my conversion.
“I’ve been a big cynic about disc brakes; I just didn’t really think they were necessary. But I’ve been on a couple of bikes where the braking isn’t so great. And then I get onto this one, which has got Shimano discs – and they’re not a huge rotor (???cm), nor do I know too much about the technical specification of it all – but I can say that I’m absolutely sold on the idea.
“This bike is fantastic.
“It’s a little bit heavier than some of the others we’ve got on test, but also a bit lighter than others. It’s a curious mix. But you don’t really notice it while you’re riding. I think if you did go from this to a light bike then that’s when the discrepancies would be obvious.
“I went up and down a pretty nice, hilly course on a Sunday to get a taste of this – and I’m really pleased I did. There were some technical descents, some potholes I had to mix here, some traffic that I had to dodge there… and, mate, this was absolutely fantastic.
“I feel like I’m telling a friend, ‘Go and buy this’. It’s something that I’m going to have a think about.
“I think I could use one of these in the stable, so to speak.
“What’s strange – and worth referencing – is that it’s set up for Australian standards, so right for the front brake, and that’s contrary to what I usually have. But the way that it’s set up is that there’s a fair throw of the lever before the braking comes into effect.
“I don’t know, but I think Jack has done that deliberately and I’m glad he did because I think it’s fantastic.
“I had no concern at all under brake – and I’m talking about having to make some mid-ride, rapid amendments on account of traffic and lots of different things. [The bike] was completely predictable. I love this bike. I’m totally sold on the idea of disc brakes now.
“I got a little bit of rain towards the end of my ride and honestly it didn’t affect it other than the fact that the tyres did slide a little bit quicker.
“Then we go to the bike itself which deserves a lot of referencing.
“The seatpost is one of those super long and we notice where the TCR concept came from. It was Giant that developed it back in the late-1990s: Total Compact Road. The idea was that you can have one bike that fits people in a range of sizes. This seatpost has got a lot showing – maybe a little bit too much – but the flex in it makes it a very comfortable ride. It is noticeable.
“I think it’s built – or marketed – as a ‘comfort’ bike, but I’d have to check on that. I’m not sure where the Defy falls. But because it’s a small bike, it wasn’t like I was sitting up high at the front but I was at the back – or it seemed like that because a lot of the post was showing – but that adds to the comfort.
“I’m very impressed with this bike. I could talk about it for a long time but we’ll let Jack do the review and leave it up to you; when you get a chance to have a test of it, I think you’ll like it.”
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