Strengths: Surprisingly comfortable ride for an all-aluminum bike; durable tires and wheels; better-than-entry-level feel on the road
Weaknesses: A bit heavy, especially when loaded with bottles and saddle bag (about 25 lbs loaded, but totally acceptable for the price); low-gear rear shifting sometimes clunky; occasional chainsuck due to soft chainrings
I used to ride more expensive bikes, but I sold them during a long hiatus from road riding. This was a good thing because I wanted to start over with a simple bike that wouldn't break the bank and allow me to just enjoy the ride. I'm so glad I chose the Defy. Previous to this, I was riding a Giant Escape 3 hybrid. One of the most pleasant surprises is how smooth the Defy rides. Despite the its slimmer 25mm tires in comparison to the Escape's 32mm ones, as well as its aluminum fork, the Defy's ride was more comfy, even over potholes and manhole covers--must be the geometry and better-engineered frame tubes. Also, the wheels are super strong. I'm a big guy at 230 lbs, and my Giant wheels have been spinning true since day one. And on the subject of things that spin, I've only had one flat tire so far, but it was from a giant nail in the road. Otherwise, these stock Giant tires seem to take gravel and small pieces of glass like champs. My buddy's fancy Nashbar carbon bike came with Hutchison tires that flat out at least once every ride, so kudos to Giant for creating a tire/wheel combo that works! On the negative side, the rear shifting could be smoother. Despite how many adjustments I make, it won't drop from the lowest gear to the 2nd lowest without some chatter from the chain. I chalk it up to the big jump from 32t to 26t, and have learned to live with it. Also, I had some instances of chainsuck when shifting from the big to the small ring. After inspection, I noticed some burs around one of the FSA chainring's teeth. I've since filed down the burs and haven't experienced any more chainsuck. Fingers crossed. Lastly, the stock seat was uncomfortable and the brake calipers are functional but a bit clunky. With the exception of throwing on a new saddle and my clipless pedals (Defy comes with toe clips & straps), I don't see the need to upgrade anything anytime soon.
Bike Setup: All stock, except Serfas Dual Density saddle, 2x bottle cages, and Forte Campus clipless pedals
L. W. (Luke) Lucas
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2013
Strengths: Rides well, actually feels lighter than it is. Price was within my budget, saddle is comfortable although the cover is coming a bit loose. Purchased mine used and just had to have it tuned. I added new Gator Skin tires and I was on my way. Have put 300 miles on it and no problems. Good entry level ride.
Weaknesses: Limited color options. Eight speed cassette.
Basically a good entry level road bike. Great value for the dollar.
Strengths: Picked it up 4 days ago. Instantly noticed how smooth it felt on the road. Vibration free, who needs a carbon fork ?? Finish is superb, good paint job. Smooth shifting Shimano 2300 gears. Comfortable seat, intuitive shift mechanism. Premium wheels and tires.
Weaknesses: Graphics could have been flashier.
Compared against the Trek 1.1 and the Fuji Newest 1.0 in the same price bracket. I preferred the seating position of the GIant compared to the Trek. Compared to the Fuji, it was just plain a better finished machine. I feel that I got the best deal for the money and I'm looking forward to years of using a high-quality machine.
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2012
Strengths: NIce ergonomic design. Great feel for new riders or those that like a relaxed feel.
Weaknesses: No carbon fork and wish the components were better than just a shimano 2300 set up.
Great entry level raod bike or a bike for a rider on a budget. It will get the job done and will provide years of enjoyment.
Hello all. Need some help purchasing my first road bike. I'll be using it for commuting daily here in nyc and for longer leisure/distance rides on weekends. I've tested both the secteur and the Defy 5 and while they were in very different areas (secteur in a hilly busy area, the defy 5 on a flat i ... Read More »
Hello all. I'm looking for a road bike to commute with and take long rides on weekends. I'm looking to spend around $700-$800 and I'm between the giant defy 5 and the specialized sectuer. Test road both and couldn't tell you the difference. The giant felt lighter, but the salesmen said the gearset i ... Read More »
I'm a crossfitter that used to ride bikes a lot more in my youth, and want to get back into it.
My goals are to build up to 20-30 fast miles on the road. I'm not looking to tour or tri.
I'm 53, but in fairly good shape, so I want a nice bike, but have a relatively limited budget. Based on price/ ... Read More »
Hi, I just decided to jump from my old Nevada Hybrid bike to road cycling. I just basically want to ride faster, not for competition, but for fitness, recreation, speed, and long distance riding.
I came up with a selection of two bicycles that are within my budget ($800.00dlls), the [B]Giant Defy ... Read More »
First post to forum. I have a Defy 2.5 (Ca 2009/10) and it is in need of some serious maintenance (new chain, cassettes etc) and I'm not that keen on the triple setup, always needs adjustment, seem to get a lot of chain noise etc etc.
Had a look around and it appears possible to conv ... Read More »