Giant’s new, top-of-the-line endurance road bike is disc only and comes stock with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 shifting, Zipp 202 Disc carbon clinchers, and a $10,300 price tag.
After launching the bike in Scotland in early July, Giant is showing off its impressive 2015 Defy Advanced SL endurance road bike at the Eurobike trade show in Germany. The world’s largest bike maker claims the new frame is the lightest road frame it’s ever produced (890 grams for size medium Defy Advanced SL).
Perhaps more significant is that Giant is going all in with disc brakes, outfitting all eight carbon fiber 2015 Defy models with the burgeoning road braking standard. If you want traditional rim brakes you’ll need to choose from one of five lower-tier alloy models.
Giant claims to have increased compliance primarily through the use of the D-Fuse integrated seatpost in the two Advanced SL models, a design originally used in Giant’s top end TCX cyclocross bikes. The thin D-shaped post is claimed to add 12mm of ride-smoothing flex, but have no effect on power transfer.
Check out the video below to see the integrated seatpost in action.
Once cut, the seatpost has 25mm of adjustment, which Giant feels is adequate to alleviate concerns about resale, a common complaint leveled at integrated post designs. However, that doesn’t solve potential problems of travel or test rides.
The Giant Defy Advanced SL dampens road vibration with its D-Fuse seatpost. (upper left), has internal cable routing and a built-in speed and cadence sensor (upper right), and comes with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes (lower right) and a Shimano Di2 electronic shifting drivetrain (lower left).
The other composite frame models use a more traditional seatpost binder that has an expander bolt easily be accessed at the top tube. Giant says the ride characteristic of the two systems will vary some, and the non-integrated posts are less stiff and a little heavier.
All the new frames also utilize dramatically thinned compliance-enhancing seat stays, which attach lower on the seat tube. The stays are basically as thin as possible while keeping them hollow, says Giant. By keeping the stays hollow and eliminating the need for a brake bridge, the bike has increased vertical compliance without sacrificing stiffness. Lowering the junction point gives the frame balance. The upper half of the bike is compliant, the lower half maintains stiffness. Ride feel is further enhanced by the stock 25c tires, and Giant claims 28s will fit no problem. You can read our first ride review here.
For more information visit giant-bicycles.com.
This article is part of RoadBikeReviews’s coverage of the 2014 Eurobike trade show in Freidrichschafen, Germany. For more from Eurobike CLICK HERE.