Today we are looking at one of the solid rocks of the Giant range.
One of their top selling bikes, the Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0, offers a package aimed at being a bike that can do it all, while looking good and staying comfortable.
It's full of the latest technology and is backed by one of the largest bike producers in the world.
Damian and his team at Flemington Cycles provided La Velocita's Aaron Mulkearns with a Defy Advance Pro 0 so he could put it through its paces.
Photography - Andrew Clifforth
We had the pleasure of testing Giant's new all-rounder for the road, the Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0. It's one of the growing band of road bikes with disc brakes and includes that all important for some, comfort factor, lets see how it measured up….
Giant bills the Defy range as being 'lightweight, compliant on rough roads, super efficient, and designed to offer greater control in all types of conditions'. It's a bike that's designed to leave you feeling fresh after hours in the saddle. Or, for those that don't want a full race geometry steed, something that requires a little less flexibility to enjoy, but is still capable of hitting some good speeds and staying with the bunch.
The frame feels really strong. Giant bikes always seem to feel that way, solid. They just seem well made, this model is no exception. The frame finish in matte black makes a more overall endurance and upright seated bike look a lot more stealthy, something that really appealed to us. It actually looks fast.
Giant have done a great job with the Defy Advanced Pro 0, it was extremely comfortable and it was super smooth to ride.
We only had a chance to take the bike on our 45km test route with our local bunch ride. We took the Defy over some good climbs, flatter sprint sections and some longer undulating roads of varying quality.
We gave the Defy a good go and had a good crack to see what it could do. It delivered. It probably didn’t give us the top end that we'd reach on a more aggressive race fit bike, but we found the Defy's performance constant. There's no highs and no lows with this bike. It's just consistently good across the range.
Giant's advanced-grade composite frame with vibration-damping 'D-Fuse' composite telescoping seat post get the job done. We'd sum it up as providing comfort for days. The low level of vibration when riding on all surfaces was definitely noticeable.
Reducing vibration generally keeps you feeling better for longer on rides. The telescoping seat post is a nice piece of engineering by Giant. The tightening mechanism is nicely hidden under a rubber seal, keeping a clean looking frame good.
While Giant top end bikes generally run an integrated seat post or ISP (the seat post is part of the frame), the Defy Advanced Pro 0 gets a more traditional seat post. We found that not having the ISP did not detract from the ride quality.
In fact, at La Velocita we are fans of removable seat posts, as it helps keep the resale value of your bike up and also makes your bike easier to travel with.
Gears & Brakes
Giant has gone with Shimano's Ultegra Di2 11-speed electronic group set paired with Shimano R785 hydraulic disc brakes.
The Ultegra Di2 electronic gearing was faultless. The latest iteration by Shimano is a big step up on the previous. It's fantastic, no matter what phase of riding you are in, if you want a gear you’ve got it.
Hydraulic discs... Wow a huge feeling of safeness when needing to stop. If you're not used to them, discs can be a bit nervy at the start. One once you know your limits and get a feel for modulating them they are just awesome.
The hoods on the Ultegra brake leavers are massive! It divided the team at La Velocita, purely from a 'look' perspective. To some, they appear large and out of balance, but when riding on the hoods, they provide an excellent and safe hand hold.
We'll be taking a closer look at the Ultegra electronic group set soon so watch this space.
There's been a lot said about Giants jump into their own Wheels over the last few years. We took a clean look at the Giant P-SL0 Disc 'WheelSystem'. With 30mm deep disc-specific rims, double-butted spokes and Swiss hub internals our test pair came in at just under 1.8kg (without tyres and tubes).
So how did they ride. We actually really liked them. They rolled really well, the graphics and dark theme really suited the bike. Our tester is not the heaviest rider at 69kg, but felt pretty stiff and strong, and while not exactly lightweight they are not too heavy either for a pair that comes with a bike at this price.
At $4,699 RRP you'll be getting pretty serious.
There are two lower spec'd models in the Defy Advanced Pro range being the Defy Advanced 1 ($3,699) and Defy Advance 2 ($2,899) that are also worth a look.
This is a great upper/middle range bike. If you are after something that covers all aspects of riding and want to get a little bit of everything in a complete package this bike is for you, You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks again to Fleminton Cycles for helping us out with the test bike. We spent time examining the bike and found that it had been put together without a single fault.
You can check out Fleminton Cycles at 450 Racecourse Road, Fleminton or online at www.flemingtoncycles.com.au