Gi­ant Defy Re­launch

The en­durance bike bal­ances per­for­mance and com­fort

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Daniel Walker

The en­durance bike bal­ances per­for­mance and com­fort

It felt as if the cows were mock­ing me. It seemed as if they could climb the steep grassy slopes be­side Passo Gavia ef­fort­lessly. Their bells rang out clearly in the still moun­tain air in con­trast to my gasp­ing and wheez­ing. It all seemed to say, “Yeah, you prob­a­bly should’ve stayed at sea level.” But cy­cling is about push­ing your­self. I was with a group in the Ital­ian Alps test­ing the new Gi­ant Defy Ad­vanced Pro 0,

a bike de­signed to help rid­ers push them­selves and their bound­aries but with­out sac­ri­fic­ing com­fort.

Gi­ant has used the Defy to push new ad­vance­ments in bike de­sign. It was the first road line to use disc brakes ex­clu­sively, as well as fea­ture the com­pany’s D-fuse seat­post. On this gen­er­a­tion of the Defy, Gi­ant’s most sig­nif­i­cant tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment is in the cock­pit at the han­dle­bars, mi­grat­ing the el­e­ments of the D-fuse seat­post to the front of the bike. The seat­post of­fers flex fore and aft for added com­fort on bumpy sur­faces. With the Con­tact slr D-fuse han­dle­bar, the D-like cutouts be­neath the tops al­low for 10 per cent more com­pli­ance when your weight is push­ing down­ward on the com­po­nent. As you ride on a pot­holed road, you can feel, and see, the bars flex. The bars have also been de­signed to of­fer the req­ui­site rigid­ity when sub­jected to the forces nec­es­sary for a stage, or town­line sprint, win.

Find­ing the bal­ance be­tween these two du­elling char­ac­ter­is­tics – flex and stiff­ness – can be dif­fi­cult, but Gi­ant has nailed it. The frame is as stiff as the com­pany’s aero bike, the Pro­pel. But paired with the D-fuse tech­nol­ogy, the frame’s rigid­ity is mel­lowed. The top-tube and head-tube length work for those of us who are less flex­i­ble. As I made my way up one of the Giro d’italia’s most no­to­ri­ous climbs, I ap­pre­ci­ated that ev­ery mea­gre watt was be­ing trans­ferred into for­ward progress. For an en­durance bike, the Defy felt lively and re­spon­sive when it needed to be and did a re­mark­able job of smooth­ing out pot­holes and road buzz on the de­scents and val­ley roads.

Be­yond the bike it­self, Gi­ant has in­cluded its own branded power me­ter stock on the Ad­vanced Pro 0 model. That com­bined with a full Ul­te­gra Di2 build and Gi­ant’s SL-1 car­bon clinch­ers, and you have a bike that’s ver­sa­tile enough to do pretty much any­thing short of cri­terium rac­ing. At a price of $6,199, it pro­vides se­ri­ous good value for your dol­lar.

It’s not only at the top of the range that you’ll see up­dates; the en­tire Defy lineup has seen sig­nif­i­cant changes for 2019. While only the Ad­vanced Pro 0 will come stock with a power me­ter, all the bikes will have the D-fuse seat­post and han­dle­bars. Less ex­pen­sive mod­els will have al­loy ver­sions of this tech­nol­ogy.

Six mod­els of Defy – from the Ad­vanced Pro 0 to the Ad­vanced 3 ($2,299) – roll into shops this fall.

“Find­ing the bal­ance be­tween these two du­elling char­ac­ter­is­tics can be dif­fi­cult, but Gi­ant has nailed it.”

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