Featured User Review: Giant Defy Advanced 2 Road Bike

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Featured User Review: Giant Defy Advanced 2 Road Bike
by darwinosx

Price Paid: $2595.00
Overall Rating: 4 of 5
Value Rating: 5 of 5

Summary:
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!

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.

Bike Setup:
Ultegra , Velocity Deep V wheels, Bontrager 46cm bars.

Similar Products Used:
Moots, Litespeed, Klein, Cannondale, Trek, Fuso, Serrota, and others.

Reviews by community members are the foundation of RoadBikeReview.com. Share your experience with other cyclists by writing reviews for your bikes, gear, and other related accessories. You don’t have to be an expert – everyone’s opinion counts.

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About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.


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