Proven through third-party wind-tunnel tests to be more aerodynamic from every yaw angle tested when compared to other leading aero road bikes, Propel Advanced SL sets a new standard for speed. The Advanced SL-grade composite frame is engineered with AeroSystem Shaping Technology, which saves 12-36 seconds over a distance of 40km at a speed of 40 kph compared to key aero bike competitors-with zero compromises in weight or stiffness. And technologies including the SpeedControl SLR brake system, integrated seatpost and internal cable routing, and the result is clear: Propel Advanced SL is faster from every angle.
Strengths: The aero frame is outstanding and super slippery... The shape and size of all the tubes on this make it stupid stiff. I'm coming from a Rabobank which as well was very stiff but this one is something else. Very, very efficient. Power to the pedals gets right to the back wheel. Some say that Aero bikes are not great for climbing but for me, I find this one great and balanced. I climb a lot seated so perhaps that makes a difference. Frame is not super light but mine still comes in at 15lbs with the right components.
Weaknesses: The ride is harsh. The ISP probably contributes to this but it is a firm ride. As well, I find the geometry to make for a "Twitchy" feel. Ultimately, this is a race bike though and not a touring bike. I add this only for you to be aware of and really, it's not unexpected... Kind of like buying a slammed sports car with very little suspension so it can turn fast and then complaining that it does not ride like a Cadillac... I ride with high end Tubular tires and run them at 130 lbs so it's going to be firm... I'm also 190 lbs so I can do that.
Stock Giant Aero brakes (2013) are horrible but Giant dealt with this and replaced with a new set. They would not hold centering and the screw that holds the cable would strip. Again, an issue but it was dealt with so just be careful of what brakes you have... Gen 1 or 2...
It's what I expected. Firm, fast, cool looking and a solid bike to race with. I've also recently finished a tour in Italy with it and did 500 km though the mountains. This was not a tour type trip and we were riding hard. Loved it and had no issues. Descending was awesome and stable... Hit top speeds of 100+ kmph. I have mine set up with Ultegra Di2, Power2Max Cransket, FSA bars and run Mavic R-Sys SLR Tubular tires or my Mad Fiber Tubelars.
If you're looking for a race bike that is fast and gets the power to the ground, this is it. If it's good enough for Kittel, it's good enough for me... And I wished I climbed as well as Kittel!
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2014
Strengths: Call them out...
VERY Stiff, VERY comfortable, VERY responsive.
Full Ultegra 11 except for the TRP aero optimized brakes designed by Giant specifically for the bike
Unique...NOBODY around here has one but me !
Weaknesses: Fizik saddle...not a fan...swapped out before the fitting
Other than that...nada !
Review is actually for the 2014 Propel Advanced 2 (not the SL)
Just got this bike a few weeks ago as an insurance replacement for my Spesh Tarmac which I loved. Have put a couple of hundred kms on it and THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED! This bike is the cycling equivalent of Jekyll and Hyde...silky smooth, quiet and docile until you stomp on it and wake up the beast inside. Hit the cranks and it's like being smacked in the backside...NO flex; just massive acceleration. Carves through corners like a blade. Climbs beautifully; at least as well as my Spesh did. Braking is excellent. Bike is VERY fast ! Aero optimized frame and wheelset have increased my avg. speed by almost 3 km/h. Frame geometry is spot on for my taste. Bang for the buck is crazy...wheelset alone is $1600. Without question the most fun I've ever had on two wheels! I doubt I will ever reach the limit of this bike's capabilities, but it's going to be a helluva a lot of fun trying.
This bike is a Venge killer...I know, I tested one before I tested the Giant...IMHO, it wasn't even close
Please don't buy one...I want to keep this all to myself !
GIANT ROCKS !
I've owned the Advanced SL3 for approx. 8 months now. I am really happy with my purchase. The best way to describe the ride, is any pedaling action immediately translates into forward momentum, and it feels as though the bike moves effortlessly compared to inferior road bikes. The Giant PSLR wheels are light and aero and climb very well. Although, a stiff cross wind can push you around a little, especially if you're a lightweight like me. The value is moderate considering you get mechanical Ultegra with the SL3, but you really are riding a state of the art frame and a nice set of wheels. Good enough for me :) Brakes are great, and I have the confidence to stop on a dime if needed. PSLR tires were great too, I rode several thousand KM's this year and not one flat! Just make sure to swap rubber if you plan on riding wet weather. The ride is definitely on the stiff side, but its not uncomfortable considering that its a race machine. A good fit helps here. All road 'buzz' is muted and only pavement cracks and uneven road spots are felt through the frame. It can be described as the exact opposite of my aluminum frame road bike, where road unevenness is not felt so much, but a lot of pavement 'buzz' can be felt through the chassis.
My only gripe about the bike is top end power sprints on uneven pavement can result in a slightly twitchy rear end. Probably due to the small rear triangle of the frame. This is not bad by any means, but something to note about the geometry of the bike.
To sum up, I love this machine and I look forward to putting many miles on here in the years ahead.
Strengths: An incredibly fast bike. I rode this bike back to back with some of the other best bikes in the world---Cervelo S5, R5, Felt AR 4, BMC Team Machine, Giant TCR Advanced---Imwas faster on this bike on the same course with less or the same perceived effort.
Very stiff bottom bracket, uncommonly stiff front to back, the lightest aero road bike I have ever ridden....and it 'feels' light when you ride it. Reasonably comfortable, even with the ISP.
Weaknesses: The ISP...felt like the ride could have been a little smoother. In my opinion both the Felt AR and the Cervelo S5 had a smoother ride.
I have Enve SMART 3.4...the Giant hoops were very good, but not as good as the Enve's. They felt slightly heavier. This is a very small criticism. .
Overall, this is the best aero bike I have ever ridden....the gap between mainstream manufacturers like Giant and Felt, and the 'boutique brands' is narrowing. In this case, the Giant wins over them all. That's my opinion anyway. If I had this kinda money to spend on a bike in this price range, this would be the one.
Just picked this up over the weekend, LBS just happened to get one in...my size too! Sold my '14 TCR Composite to get this.
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Hi, could some of the more experienced racers or cyclist here please,please help me here on which of the above to buy,if its the propel I will be upgrading it with carbon 50mm tubs, 3T aero bars and san marco saddle and the aircode will be getting the wheels only, that's what the budget allows, the ... Read More »
Among popularities of aero bike frames, Venge and Propel become 2 targets among S5 and TMR01 . These 4 bikes claimed to be superior in term of aerodynamic, but only Venge and Propel keep fighting on the edge of weight as they make bikes for sprinters.
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