Strengths: Excellent frame, very compliant ride, comfort, full shimano groupo
Weaknesses: Rims, tires
2015 Advanced Defy 2. I've had the bike for a couple of months now and really love its incredible how much more comfortable it rides than my alloy bike. My only gripe would be with the wheels, they came way out of true, luckily my bike store trued them for free. The rims came with rim strips that constantly gave me flats until I figured it out and replaced with rim tape. The tires it comes with are sticky in turns but have a steel bead and way a ton. I'm assuming disc brakes will eventually take over so this will probably future proof the bike somewhat. Anyways its a great all around bike but some high quality rims and tires would really move it up to the next level.
Date Reviewed: December 2, 2012
Strengths: Very stable on quick,curvey descents.Excellent build quality. This bike is THE endurance road bike. Not a race bike, but doesn't claim to be. Very comfortable for long rides and poor pavement.
Weaknesses: Lighter and stiffer would be nice, but then the ride wouln't be the same.
IMPORTANT; Giant basicly changed the numbering system when Shimano came out with Di, so this is an Ultegra bike for 2012 and 2013 whereas, you had to buy the D-A #1 for Ultegra in 2011. Giant also lightened the frame for 2012 and the price stayed the same for 2012/13@ $3050. I am 56 and don't have the speed of my youth. I really like the stability of this bike at speed. It doesn't climb as well as a Scott CR1 but it is more stable if you hit some rough pavement in the middle of a descent and I don't bounce like I did when I was younger. The SL3/4 Roubaix is probably another good pick now that they made the frame stiffer after the sluggish SL2, but I can't see paying $1 more for the relatively pricey Specialized. Giant hasn't cheaped out on any parts to get this bike at this price point, all Ultegra, even the chain. If I can still move 20 years from now, I'll be able to ride this bike for as long as the Lord gives me breath.
Strengths: Very strong, stiff but comfortable frame. Excellent value. Quality components with no skimping or downgrades like some other companies.
Weaknesses: An endurance bike should have 25c tires not 23's. 18/24 spoke wheels aren't strong enough for bigger riders.
This is a review of the 2012 Giant Defy Advanced 2.
I'm 52 and have been riding high end road bikes for 35+ years. Most recently titanium in the form of a Moots Vamoots and prior to that a Litespeed Vortex. I haven't had a carbon bike since the Trek 2500 in 1988. I also looked at several versions of the Specialized Roubaix and the Cannondale Synapse as i was looking for a higher head tube and slightly relaxed angles. The Synapse was out of the running immediately. It focuses on comfort above all else and I wanted a stiff but comfortable frame. Cannondale also cheaps out on some components in this price range and was more expensive than the Giant.
I also rode the Specialized SL2, SL 3 and SL 3 Pro. Specialized needs to retire the SL 2 and stop milking it. Maybe next year they will and have the SL 3 and SL 3 Pro instead plus the SL 4. The SL 2 did not give me what I wanted from a carbon frame at all. Not that stiff and not that comfortable plus it is hundreds more than the Giant. The SL 3 was better but you have to go to the SL 3 Pro to get the same stiffness and comfort as the Giant frame. They are also much more expensive. I really expected I would be getting a Roubaix but the Giant blows it away.
Retail on this bike is $3050 which is a great deal compared to similar frame and speed bikes. It is also full Ultegra not some lower specced or cheesy components that others sneak on their bikes. You can can see that since Giant builds their own frames they are able to offer a better frame and components at a lower price than the others. I bought it for $2595! Amazing deal.
The huge head and down tube provide great stiffness and a connected direct feeling that provide amazing handling and stiffness. But it is also a comfortable bike. Really a joy to ride and and encourages hard riding. Fantastic up hills.
I replaced the stock Giant wheels with Velocity Deep V rims with Ultegra hubs that I had built up. It comes with DT Swiss designed hubs and wheels but 18/24 spoke is probably not strong enough for a big guy like me. It also comes with Giant 23c tires that I think are made by Kenda that I replaced with Continental GP4000s 25c tires. Great grippy tires and very strong wheels. I sold the Giant wheels on Craigslist to someone who can better use them. I think they are very nice wheels that can also be run tubeless but at 6' 3" and 260 lbs they made me nervous.
So great ride, very responsive, on first ride I was swooping down steep and twisty descents with confidence. Loving this bike!
Similar Products Used: Moots, Litespeed, Klein, Cannondale, Trek, Fuso, Serrota, and others.
Bike Setup: Ultegra
Velocity Deep V wheels
Bontrager 46cm bars.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: May 18, 2012
Strengths: Quality bike for the money.
Purchased the Advanced 2 (2012) model which is equipped with the ultegra groupset. Ihave previously owned a 2004 TCR Advanced , KHS, and Merida road bikes. I purchased the bike for it's comfortable carbon frame geometry and quality components It is everything I thought it would be,. whether you want to do a crit or a long ride. Climbing is made easier with the compact cranks which I was a bit dubious about at first but found the 50/34 chainring combo excellent. There are a good range of frame sizes to choose from as well. Giant gives you alot of bike for the dollars.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2011
Strengths: Cornering and handling for an endurance frame was the best of the three frames tested. The fitout with full Shimano 105 (no downgraded brakes or parts), DTSwiss R1800 wheels and Fizik Aliante saddle is a great value in this category.
Weaknesses: The perception of an aluminum steerer tube is a slight negative, but then when I put 32 oz of water in the bottles, I'm pretty sure there is no measureable downside to the slight added weight of the aluminum over a carbon steerer tube.
I'd test ridden the Giant Defy Advanced, the Specialized Roubaix and the Cannondale Synapse Carbon. Of the three, the Giant exhibited the characteristics most similar to my older Trek Racing frame, in that its cornering and handling were precise. The Synapse did not possess the handling capability of either bike and the Roubaix SL2 seemed outdated with the bottom bracket technology of bearing cups and I didn't really see myself riding cobbles anytime soon. The Giant was really a racing frame with the advantages of a taller head tube with more comfortable geometry and a more compliant ride quality that is noticed when ridden over 50 miles. A good summary of the bike is its a racing bike with a less aggressive ride position, but a very aggressive performance standard. After almost 500 miles in the first month, the bike is everything I thought it would be.
Similar Products Used: Tested the Specialized Roubaix SL2 and the Cannondale Synapse Carbon. Upgraded from a Trek carbon/aluminum 2100 series witha 105 Gruppo.
Bike Setup: The bike came with a complete 2011 Shimano 105 Gruppo & Dura Ace bottom bracket, DTSwiss R1800 medium aero profile wheels, Fizik Aliante saddle. I am upgrading the Michelin Pro Optimum 25mm tires to Conti GP 4000s 23 mm tires and using the Pro Optimums on the my second set of wet/winter weather Mavic Open Pro wheels.
Hello I am currently purchasing my second road bike which o am to use for racing and longer rides and I am having trouble deciding between these two bikes.
I can can get the focus for roughly $600 dollars less than the giant.
Can someone with some experience with one or both of these bikes give me ... Read More »
I am testing a bike I really like this weekend. A Giant Defy Advanced 2. I can get the 2012 Defy Advanced 2 for $2000 or I can pick up a 2012 Defy Advanced for 3k. Do you think the electric shifting is work the 1k difference? I believe the 0 also comes with better wheels. Take into account I haven't ... Read More »
First post. First wanted to thank everyone for all the great information on this board. I am a long time lurker, first time poster. My bike experience is very limited. A year ago I bought my first bike in a decade for general fitness purposes. I typically ride ~30-50 miles a week on p ... Read More »
I just got finished reading the cover story of Cycling Plus (U.K. magazine), which named the Giant Defy Advanced 2 as 2013 "Bike of the Year." Intrigued, I checked the Giant (U. S.) website, but found listings for only the Advanced 0 and Advanced 1. A further Google search revealed the only Defy Ad ... Read More »
I'm close to purchasing one of these two bikes. Both new leftover 2012 models:
Roubaix Expert / Ultegra $2495
Defy Advanced 2 / Ultegra $2695
For the last couple of years the Roubaix was the bike I had planned on getting, but the Defy really caught my eye. I've tested the Roubaix but won't ... Read More »