£1399 › Can the FastRoad live up to its name?

Cycling Plus - - ROAD TEST -

Gi­ant has been mak­ing car­bon com­pos­ite bikes longer than most, and brings a huge wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence to the ta­ble. Here, it of­fers the cheap­est car­bon bike on test with a sen­si­ble com­po­nent pack­age. As the name sug­gests this bike has been de­signed to pedal fast on the tar­mac, com­bin­ing road speed and com­pe­tence with the com­fort and for­giv­ing ride of a flat bar bike.

While the curved frame might look funky it’s de­signed to de­liver a rider friendly and com­pli­ant ride. The jury’s out on the looks but you don’t no­tice this once you’re ped­alling. Th­ese curved tubes give the il­lu­sion of the head-tube be­ing long with a high front end, but the 130mm head-tube here isn’t dis­sim­i­lar to many drop bar en­durance bikes

On the road there’s a good bal­ance be­tween speed, up­right sta­bil­ity and com­fort. The front end feels stiff and pre­cise thanks to Gi­ant’s Over­Drive tapered steerer that runs 1 1/4in lower and 1 1/8in up­per bear­ings. The steer­ing in­stills con­fi­dence thanks to its sta­bil­ity; we never had any twitchy is­sues re­gard­less of our speed.

With this frame it’s more about what you don’t no­tice. Its com­pli­ance plus the D-Fuse com­pos­ite seat­post soak up road vi­bra­tions, mak­ing the FastRoad feel com­fort­able and for­giv­ing. While it’s not a sharp shooter it never feels slow or slug­gish, and con­tin­ues to de­liver a com­fort­able ride, how­ever long you’re in the sad­dle.

The 10-speed Shi­mano Ti­a­gra gears front and rear do a solid job, and help to keep the over­all price of the bike down. The wide range of gear op­tions avail­able from the 11/34 cas­sette and FC-RS400 50/34 com­pact

The jury’s out on the looks but you don’t no­tice this once you’re ped­alling

chain­set meant, like the Scott, we never missed it not be­ing 11-speed.

The cock­pit is user friendly and Gi­ant’s Con­nect flat bar is in­of­fen­sive and comes with its own Con­tact Ergo bar ends. We didn’t use them much dur­ing test­ing, but if you come from a moun­tain bike or spin class world, you will prob­a­bly make good use of them.

The bar is the nar­row­est on test, at 56cm in­clud­ing bar ends, and we re­ally no­ticed it ini­tially com­pared to the oth­ers, miss­ing the chance to tuck into wider bars on fast de­scents. For all other du­ties it felt good, not dis­sim­i­lar to be­ing sat up on road bars.

Gi­ant’s own brand wheels are okay and ben­e­fit from be­ing laced with qual­ity Sapim spokes. They’re also tube­less ready to help avoid pinch punc­tures, so you can run the 28mm Gi­ant Gavia AC tyres at lower pres­sures. We found that the Gavias worked fine on the road but did start to strug­gle when we came to gravel.

As a pack­age the FastRoad is an ex­tremely ca­pa­ble bike, re­gard­less of the dis­tances you want to cover. Gi­ant has given it a rider-friendly spec and has used its ex­pe­ri­ence in car­bon con­struc­tion to make sure the bike has a for­giv­ing ride. It’s sta­ble and re­as­sur­ing, ideal for all­day rides. That’s not to say it’s not fun to ride, it is. It’s just not as edgy as some. Best of all it of­fers great value con­sid­er­ing what you get for the money.

Be­low The nar­row­est bar on test has room for Shi­mano Ti­a­gra shifters Bot­tom The D-Fuse com­pos­ite seat­post pro­vides a lit­tle more com­fort

As a pack­age the FastRoad is an ex­tremely ca­pa­ble bike HIGHS Rider friendly, ride-for­giv­ing car­bon frame and fork, sen­si­ble driv­e­train LOWS Nar­row bar, 10-speed gears, tyres not as wide as some BUY IF You want a sen­si­ble and com­fort­able yet con­fi­den­ce­in­still­ing bike, how­ever long you’re in the sad­dle

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