Thankfully, bike companies have realized that upright geometry doesn’t mean an “old man” bike. Just slapping a tall head tube on a frame and calling it a comfort or endurance bike won’t cut it and the recent crop of bikes in the category are knocking people’s socks off.
I’m talking the Cannondale Synapse, Trek Domane and the Bianchi Infinito CV. Every one of those bikes is now on notice with the new 2015 Giant Defy Advanced SL.
Giant prides themselves in building no-nonsense, fast and performance-oriented bikes and is coming swinging again — calling out the competition and raising the expectations for endurance road bikes. The top-end model leaves nothing to be desired and is loaded with the best parts money can buy, but at a $10,300 price tag (unfamiliar territory for Giant).
Key features of the 2015 Giant Defy Advanced SL 0:
- Advanced SL composite T-800 frameset
- D-Fuse integrated seatpost mast
- RideSense integrated wireless data transmitter
- OverDrive 2 tapered steerer (1-1/2 to 1-1/4)
- Full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 with R785 hydraulic disc brakes
- Zipp 202 Firecrest carbon disc clinchers
- Giant contact SLR carbon bar/stem
- Price: $10,300
As is typical for Giant, they are not shy about publishing their direct comparison data with competitors. As such, they compare the Defy Advanced SL directly to the Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc, Specialized Roubaix Disc and Trek Domane Disc and the results are certainly surprising.
The most surprising is the weight difference between the competition and the Defy Advanced. It is a full 230+ grams lighter than the Synapse and over 310 grames lighter than the Roubiax. You can read the details here.
In addition to the weight differences of a half a pound or more, the Defy Advanced SL also boasts some of the best compliance-to-stiffness ratios of all the bikes. It’s not the clear winner in the compliance department, but does take top honors in stiffness.
The full results of the weight, stiffness and compliance numbers are available in the following chart.
Without question, Giant is swinging for the fences with the Defy Advanced SL and if the numbers represent the actual ride performance, this endurance machine just might sit atop a crowded field as a clear choice in the category.