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I have started biking a couple of years ago and am looking to upgrade my bike. For nearly the same price I can get either the 2012 Defy Composite 2 or the 2013 Defy Composite 3. The 2 uses Sram Apex and the 3 uses Shimano Tiaga. But I have also heard that Giant upgraded their carbon frame on the 2013 bikes compared to the carbon frame of 2012. Thoughts as to which I should buy?

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I have started biking a couple of years ago and am looking to upgrade my bike. For nearly the same price I can get either the 2012 Defy Composite 2 or the 2013 Defy Composite 3. The 2 uses Sram Apex and the 3 uses Shimano Tiaga. But I have also heard that Giant upgraded their carbon frame on the 2013 bikes compared to the carbon frame of 2012. Thoughts as to which I should buy?

Thanks
I was in the same situation. Wanting to upgrade, and pretty sure I wanted at least Shimano 105 on my next ride. I ended up buying a 2012 Defy Composite 2 with the full Apex group. So far I have 120 miles on her and am loving it. Its still pretty cold here in NYS. So I haven't been able to go out everyday or for longer rides. That said, I love the Apex, the "double tap" has been no problem at all to get use to. The front and rear shifting has worked flawlessly for me so far. When I went for my first ride I discovered that I couldn't reach the brake levers from the drops. No problem, the shifters and brake levers are adjustable for reach. I feel very good about my purchase and look forward to many more miles on her.

There is a good review of the 2013 Defy Comp 3 in 2013 Bicycling Buyer's Guide, page 50.

View attachment 277323
 

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I'd go with the older one with better parts. It's been marked down because the new bike is out, not because it's any less of a bike. The newer bike has cheaper parts. Even if Giant has changed the frame, I sincerely doubt it's something you can feel. Good choice BTW - I have a 3 year old Defy Advanced 1 with Ultegra and it's been flawless while my friends' more expensive bikes have seen trouble.
 

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Nothing wrong with either but now is the time to buy a 2012, they are all on sale. Before you commit look around your city and see what else is available at your price point.

Compare apples to apples and instead of going cheaper see if you can go better for the same price like 105. A company like Giant will have all its own product on the bike, other companies need to outsource the parts. Most of the parts are easy and cheap to change, concentrate on frame, wheels and group and compare those bike to bike.

Have fun shopping!
 

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I'd go with whichever one you like the color on. Or the 2012 Comp 2 with SRAM Apex, that's what I did back in September. So far I might have around 700 miles on it, very happy with the ride quality and the SRAM shifting. My previous bike had Shimano Tiagra and honestly, the heavier mechanical feedback of the SRAM shifters is more to my liking. Plus I like having the ability to pull the shifter paddles back toward the bar when riding in the drops.

The specs for the 2013s were out when I picked up mine, and it looked like the biggest difference was the new frame has some integrated sensor mounts. And I did not like the color of the 2013 Comp 2.

Here is mine in action last week. Love spring time in New England!

 

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I'm not much help, but I was faced with essentially the same decision (2012 TCR comp 1 or 2013 TCR comp 2). After weighing out the pros/cons, I went with the 2012 model.

Better components, essentially the same frame, and cheaper! After a 33% discount on the bike, I was able to buy all the gear for less than the full price of the bike.

I've logged mostly trainer miles, but so far I'm thrilled with the purchase (although I would have probably been happy with either).

I'm surprised your shop still has 2012 models though? My local shops all had 3-4 2012 models TOTAL, which were all sold by late January. I was lucky I found a 2012 in my size!
 
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