Gi­ant Defy Ad­vanced Pro 1 › The most af­ford­able bike on test comes out on top


Cycling Plus - - ROAD TEST -

This is a pretty strik­ing test, fea­tur­ing six of the most ex­cit­ing new bikes for 2019. That five of them hap­pen to be aero road bikes shows that par­tic­u­lar trend has no in­ten­tion of abat­ing, and they’re all disc-braked, high­light­ing where road bikes are head­ing.

Choos­ing a win­ner isn’t easy, as ev­ery bike here has in­cred­i­ble mer­its and we’d feel priv­i­leged to own any of them. Can­non­dale’s first strike at an aero bike is a bril­liant achieve­ment. It’s se­ri­ously fast and bat­tles through the wind with ease; it han­dles like its leg­endary Evo race bike; but it’s car­ry­ing a few more grams than we’d have liked in this spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

Or­bea’s Orca Aero Disc is a ra­zor­sharp han­dling bike with a light, re­ac­tive front end. It’ll ex­cite you and help you hit PBs all day ev­ery day, but does ride firmer than some with its stiff, nar­row wheels.

Trek’s Madone is stun­ning – we’ve never rid­den a bike this fast, nim­ble and smooth. It fully de­serves all the ac­co­lades com­ing its way, but the £10,000 price is tough to swal­low.

Cervélo’s new S5 com­bines rad­i­cal looks and think­ing in a bike that cov­ers ground with ease. It re­acts to steer­ing in­puts like a clas­sic race bike and rolls smoothly over rough sur­faces. Spe­cial­ized’s Venge Pro is ba­si­cally an S-Works light, with 90 per cent of the per­for­mance of the bike Sa­gan keeps win­ning on for less cash, but com­pared to its ri­vals you could ar­gue it’s lower specced.

That just leaves the Gi­ant Defy, which proves that en­durance bikes don’t have to be bor­ing. The clever car­bon ma­nip­u­la­tion, lux­u­ri­ous ride and con­sid­ered de­sign add up to a bike that re­places a cat­e­gory leader with a lighter, faster, su­pe­rior bike that won’t break the bank. So, the Defy comes out on top, but ev­ery bike here is a stun­ner. You will need deep pock­ets, but you won’t be

The Gi­ant Defy proves that en­durance bikes don’t have to be bor­ing

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