Just brought home the 2014 Advanced SL 1 after about 100 miles worth of test rides. While not the best at everything, I think it is a close as you can currently get. This bike was so stiff that when I got out of the saddle on a hill for the first, it leap so hard it almost put me back in the saddle. Having ridden the 2013 TCR Advanced SL 1 as well, the Defy is nearly imperceptibly less stiff, but more comfortable. In terms of comfort, it's hard to beat. The only bike that I tested that was better was the Bianchi Infinito CV. The Infinito only dampened high frequency vibration better; medium and large vibrations were equivalent between them. Nothing I tested could come close to the stability of the Defy. Nimble on rough road, straight as a narrow in crosswinds. I even tried a hill sprint from the drops, it rocked for about the first two revolutions of the cranks before stabilizing into a straight smooth and fast ascent.
As for the weaknesses, I can't complain at a price point of ~$4000. Full Ultegra 11speed with high end Giant branded wheels. What are the first things you do when you spend that kind of money? Toss the stock saddle and bars, then go get the ones you know and love.
In the end, the only thing that matters is whether you get out and ride it. When I go to choose which bike to ride, all I see is my Defy, the Bianchi T-Cube and Giant Trinity just don't seem to exist.
Strengths: lightweight, accelerates very well, corner very well, amazingly comfortable to ride. The Ultegra Di2 shifting is very sweet. Seems to hold my 6ft 4" 255lb frame very well. It climbs very well.
Weaknesses: I changed out the seat to a Fizik Arione Versus and I switched out the carbon bars to FSA Carbon Wing Pro bars-those are adjustments not truly a weakness. At the dealers suggestion I put on a very nice pair of Profile Design wheels that would hold up better with my weight. We also switched out the tires to Vittoria Rubio Pro 25mm, best tires I have had in a while.
I would have preferred more color and paint options for this bike its Blk/Red and white or nothing.
I bought the bike during a 20 percent off sale, its just the perfect bike for me because it fits like a glove. I have put on over 1,000 miles since May and I have absolutely no buyers remorse.
Test ride one for yourself, you may be quite amazed at how well it rides.
Friends have commented that the bike seems to fit me better and that im much faster than when I had the Moots Vamoots CR, this is not a boutique bike but I sure do love it.
Similar Products Used: Ti, Moots Vamoots CR, 62 cm with Campy Chorus, Didn't quite fit correctly.
Landshark Custom steel 60 cm, with full Chorus, Rode it hard for years
Scott CR 1 Carbon with Shimano 105, sold it after 3 months and went back to riding LandShark
Bike Setup: This bike has full Shimano Ultegra Di2 10 speed, fizik arione versus saddle, FSA Carbon Wing Pro bars, Vittoria Rubio Pro 25mm tires
Love it, amazing bike. I have about 200 miles so far. Have been busy with work travel, I can't wait to really cut loose on it.Read More »
Test riding the Giant Defy Advanced SL 1 extra large this wknd, all the reviews say its an amazing bike . I am 6ft 4" and 255lbs so despite all the reassurance that it will be able to handle my weight i still have a lot of concerns. It's a $5,000 bike after the discount, comes with Di 2 and a good o ... Read More »
Here is my new Defy Advanced SL 0.
I made some personal changes.
I switched the bar for a Ritchey WCS 42mm aluminum bar.
Saddle is the Fizik Antares Carbon saddle
I'll put cork tape on the bike (black)
Look carbon pedals.
Size M/L Weighs 15lbs 10oz with pedals and cages.
I wi ... Read More »