GIANT FASTROAD COMAX 2
£1399 › Can the FastRoad live up to its name?
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