RIDE Media has a vast archive of bike tests. We are posting reviews from recent years online. This is the fifth test from #RIDE70, published in November 2015: a Giant Defy with Shimano Ultegra disc brakes.

“I could take a lot more risks on this Defy than I could on a standard road bike. I write ‘risk’ but I never considered cycling on the Defy dangerous: the disc brakes ensured I was in complete control. No, it wasn’t risky, just riding… good, clean, honest riding – just how it’s meant to be!”


Build report in brief…

This Defy Advanced Pro 1 looks fantastic and because of the Di2 and hydraulic brake set-up, it is obvious that once it is built and tuned, there will be next to no maintenance required. Barring any mishaps, it is likely that the first thing that will need to be replaced is a wearing drivetrain.

There is no shifting cable stretch with Di2 (and no cables for the hydraulic brakes) and disc brake pads wear at a slower rate than rubber rim stoppers.


Read the full review as it appeared in the magazine

Click the image above to see the review as it appeared in #RIDE70 (November 2015).

  • It may be relatively simple, but the colour scheme used on the Giant Defy Advanced 1 makes for a seriously atrractive bike. The grey and yellow are vibrant enough to be called silver and gold… the bright highlights are used sparingly but are accentuated by smatterings of black.
  • Shimano Ultegra Di2 and disc brakes need minimal maintenance and ride well.
  • There’s the usual strong dose of carbon reinforcement at the bottom bracket but also an ultra-smooth finish with most of the bulk in front of the seat tube.
  • An oversize headset makes for a stiff front end. The Giant-branded handlebars and stem serve as a reminder that the company is big enough to produce almost everything you need on a bike… except the drivetrain that is supplied by its long-term collaborator, Shimano.