GIANT ANYROAD 1
Giant’s AnyRoad features a huge bow-shaped top tube flowing from head tube to rear dropouts creating a very low-slung frame. One of the key benefits of this is that it leaves masses of Giant’s clever D-shaped carbon seatpost unsupported, which allows the post to flex fore-and-aft (while the D-shape stops it twisting), creating by far the most compliant back end here. The rest of the bike is well-thought-out, too. The XR bar features a subtle flare to the drops that isn’t as extreme as most, but enough to give you ample wrist clearance when settling into the shallow drops when riding fast. For when you’re on the tops, Giant’s included the long out-of-favour cyclocross-style flat-top brake levers. The shape is a little different to your standard, with the lever blades deeper and more sculpted than most with a pronounced flat on the ends that makes them more secure when bouncing across cobbles. The drivetrain is Shimano’s Tiagra with a road-friendly 50/34, 11-32-gear range – plenty to hustle the bike along tarmac yet with a low enough bottom gear to send you up steep gravel climbs with plenty to spare. At this price you can’t really expect hydraulic disc brakes, but the AnyRoad does have the next best thing: TRP’s Spyre C cable discs. These best their mechanical competition by having both pads active, meaning there’s no brake rub that you often experience on standard single-sided brakes. Large 160mm rotors also raise the power-braking stages, as well as providing good levels of controlling modulation at the lever. The ride quality impresses with the carbon fork upfront taking the sting out of big hits, aided by the chevron-treaded big-volume tyres. The back-end’s compliance combined with the slightly squishy saddle can feel a bit soft when really hammering along on tarmac, but the off-road rides so well we’d happily live with it. On dry, dusty trails the P-SLX2 tyres really impress with enough tread to bite in corners, while on the road they don’t slow things down too much over a standard road tyre. All in all, if the Giant’s unique styling is something you can live with then we’d suggest you do, because as an all-road vehicle the AnyRoad is truly impressive, and one of the finest dirt-ready machines we’ve ever tested at this price point.
BIKE SPECS Frame Aluxx aluminium / Fork Giant carbon composite / Wheels Giant SX-2 / Transmission Shimano Tiagra 50/34, 11-32 / Brakes TRP Spyre C disc brakes with 160mm rotors www.giant-bicycles.com