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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
Just found this forum yesterday and have decided to get back into biking and need some input. I've been trying to read all I can and appreciate all the info here...

I just went out to a local giant shop - a corporate store. Spent about an hour with a salesperson there - who was very helpful and offered some food for thought. Seems like we narrowed it down to a Defy 1 and they are ordering one in my size to try out next week.

I also have a lead on a local Argon 18 Radon with full Ultegra grouping for about the same price.

So far I am leaning towards the Giant since for about the same money I think having the ability to have the bike fitted to me which is part of the sale price and free adjustments/tune ups for life - as well as a warranty is something I see value in.
I dont know what I don't know yet and am leery of trying to size up the condition of the Argon 18 beyond things that are glaringly obvious.

I'd appreciate some input from those experienced folks out there who could shed some light on this for me.
For a novice - am I really going to appreciate the difference of the ultra vs the 105 on the Giant?
Free tune ups/adjustments a good deal?
The pricing of the Giant Defy 1 @ the corp store is the same as where I have seen it elsewhere - so I think it behooves me to get it from them given it is their brand and dealing directly with Giant would be beneficial in terms of them knowing their product and standing behind it should their be problems.

I have a test ride sched'd for next week when they get the bike in.
I'm also wondering if I should be looking up the ladder a little - perhaps a TCR - they have a great sale on them know because as the sales guy put it - they over ordered and most folks gravitated to the defy for casual riding and they are stuck with stock...
I am looking to ride casually - on my own - maybe100-150 mms per week. Nothing crazy - I am in what I would consider moderate shape and fairly active. I also have a stiff lower back and the sales guy said that the frame shape of the Defy would be more suited to me since the stance is less aggressive.
Last Q - is it worth the jump to to the defy composite? What type of difference would I appreciate between the Defy1 and the defy composite?

thanks in advance for any light you can shed...
 

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The sales person was right the Argon will have a more agressive geometry suitable for racing. The Defy is Giant's more relaxed geometry which may make long rides more comfortable. You will not notice a significant difference between 105 and Ultegra. Looking the wheelsets could be more significant than the components.

In a sense, you are selecting between a Buick Park Avenue and a Camero. It all depends on what you want to do. (and how they fit you)
 

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From your description, it appears the Argon is used. If that's correct, you're giving up some valuable LBS support, including sizing/ fitting assistance, a warranty and a number of post-purchase services. Going it alone and buying from a private seller, you run the risk that something will need repair/ replacing, or the bike will suffer a future failure - either of which will add to your initial investment.

Re: the Defy versus the TCR, even given your back issues, I suggest riding both (ideally, back to back with equalized tire pressures) before deciding. Being new to road riding, you may well prefer the more relaxed geo (and rider position) of the Defy, but it's not a given that the more aero position will prove to be a problem for you. So, ride, then decide.

Lastly, IMO, for a number of reasons, a noob should stay at the lower end of their budget for a first bike, so no need to be eying CF or Ultegra equipped bikes. In fact, if there's a Defy (or TCR) offered with 10 speed Tiagra, I'd suggest going with that. It's a fine groupset for almost all recreational riders.
 

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At one stage, I was considering between the Al. framed Defy 1 (105) and the Defy Composite and the Advanced (105).

The Composite looked tempting (previous year's model) as it had full Ultegra, vs the Defy 1's 105. Of course there was the price difference though. Being a lower grade carbon frame than the newer Advanced didn't worry me, as I was starting out.

It was a hard choice. In the end I purchased a different bike with slight differences in geometry across the bike, which suited me better.

It might be over the top, but keep in mind the stock Giant handlebars have a longer reach than many compact bars. As I have short arms, this was one negative for me (sure I could have swapped the bars for a price).

You might want to double-check that the Composite model has a 1 1/8 inch steerer, incase you want to play with the stem angle/height at some stage. (The Advanced is 1 1/2", with limited options for stem angles)

Good luck. They are great bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the input thus far.
Stopped by the shop earlier today and found they also have the defy composite and tcr and tcr comp in my size. So I will be sure to try all of them before making my decision.

I am sure that even the Defy 1 is good enough for me -I will certainly be the weak link i the chain @ this stage -I am thinking more long term and not wanting to get caught up in the upgrading/selling chasing my tail game.
I come from a background of guitar playing and the difference between a 1K guitar and a 4 K guitar is the last 5 percent if that. and in some cases that is negligible - and in most cases can really only be appreciated by someone who knows the instrument really well and has an awareness of the specs and has played enough to appreciate the differences in quality offered by that. But I also know that more $ doesn't always equate with better - sometimes it is just more $ for the sake of it.

Any thought on swapping out the P-R2 's? I have read some so so things about them. I weigh +/- 220 lbs.

thanks again.
 

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I also know that more $ doesn't always equate with better - sometimes it is just more $ for the sake of it.
thanks again.
Good thought to hold onto as you shop for your new bike. Marketing is as prevalent in the bike industry as anywhere else.

As far as avoiding upgraditis, good luck with that (as they say)... :wink5:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good thought to hold onto as you shop for your new bike. Marketing is as prevalent in the bike industry as anywhere else.

As far as avoiding upgraditis, good luck with that (as they say)... :wink5:
I did the upgrade tail chasing for the first 10 or so years of getting into guitar playing (been playing for about 27 yrs now) and learned that most of it was a lateral move and that in the end I knew what I liked and picked gtrs that had what I wanted straight out or had them built to my specs. It becomes a never ending money pit that can sometimes yield nice results but is often frustrating and I went back to listen to some recording prior to certain specific upgrades and if I was being honest in a blind test would not even be able to point out absolute differences in most cases depending on the day. We over analyze and get into to way too much minutia.
For my level of skill which is zilch - I want to get the purchase right and then focus on learning to be a decent rider so I can ride long and strong and enjoy the ride.
I'm sure I'll upgrade something though:D
 

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We over analyze and get into to way too much minutia.

For my level of skill which is zilch - I want to get the purchase right and then focus on learning to be a decent rider so I can ride long and strong and enjoy the ride.
I'm sure I'll upgrade something though:D
More good thoughts to hold onto. The really important aspects to buying a first bike are 1) get one that suites your intended uses, 2) has geo that suites your anatomy/ fits well and 3) is geared to match your fitness/ terrain.

Beyond that, shop for a reputable shop that'll assist and support you both prior to and post-purchase.

I almost always advise a noob to stay at the lower end of their budget because they don't know if they'll stay with the sport and even if they do, they'll be thinking about what they want in that next bike. And there's almost always a next bike.

Lastly, nothing wrong with upgrades, but I'd always ask the question "what is this going to do for me" before opening the wallet. From what you've offered thus far, I'm confident you get that part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
More good thoughts to hold onto. The really important aspects to buying a first bike are 1) get one that suites your intended uses, 2) has geo that suites your anatomy/ fits well and 3) is geared to match your fitness/ terrain.

Beyond that, shop for a reputable shop that'll assist and support you both prior to and post-purchase.

I almost always advise a noob to stay at the lower end of their budget because they don't know if they'll stay with the sport and even if they do, they'll be thinking about what they want in that next bike. And there's almost always a next bike.

Lastly, nothing wrong with upgrades, but I'd always ask the question "what is this going to do for me" before opening the wallet. From what you've offered thus far, I'm confident you get that part.
It is a Giant Corp store that offers free adjustments and tune ups - they sales person took a good hour or so with me when I walked in trying to get a feel for what I am looking for and going through options etc.. I def got a good vibe from the guy and the shop.
The defy 1 is aprox. 1400 CAD VS the others that are closer to 2K or 2K +. I am thinking for a first bike I'll stay lower end - because the truth is @ this point I dont know what I like and as great as test drives will be - it is just a small slice of what it will be like to ride.
I went through this with gtrs and musical equipment Trying things out in a store gives you a feel but playing it long term and @ rehearsals/gigs recording is when you get to know all the idiosyncrasies nd how it gels/doesn't gel with your needs & wants.
great forum - I really appreciate the input from all of you and it confirms what I've been thinking regarding my purchase.

Now I need to start researching books/learning tools and accessories!
 

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One of the things I liked about the Defy 1 was its standard round seatpost, instead of the Giant specific one found on the Composite and Advanced. (Thinking down the track upgrades here, if they occur).

I think the Defy 1 is a very good Al. framed bike. It appently comes with fender mounts too. Perhaps you could knock a couple of hundred off the price with cash? (I've seen them on sale in my parts for $1100).

Hopefully you'll get a good fit, if you end up going the Giant store route.
 

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Uphill,
You seem to have a really good head on your shoulders and it sounds like your guitar experience is directly related and leading you down a smart path.

Another thing to think about. Fit is an evolving deal. What is comfortable to new rider will not be the same once that rider gets alot experience. So the perfect fit today can be all wrong in 2000 miles of riding. This could me a few adjustments or possibly a different frame. This is all the more reason to spend less up front and get some miles under you. Make you 2nd bike a really nice one. The first should be solid enough to enjoy.

As for fit it is smart to get the bike at LBS so that they give you a good fit. Now there are two types of fits. One is a very basic sizing fit to ensure you are on the right frame. This is most of the time free when you buy a bike. They will adjust and tweak a bit to get you comfortable. The second type of fit is a profession fit which may take a couple hours. Here you will pay to refine the fit to maximize power/comfort by small changes all over the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Uphill,
You seem to have a really good head on your shoulders and it sounds like your guitar experience is directly related and leading you down a smart path.

Another thing to think about. Fit is an evolving deal. What is comfortable to new rider will not be the same once that rider gets alot experience. So the perfect fit today can be all wrong in 2000 miles of riding. This could me a few adjustments or possibly a different frame. This is all the more reason to spend less up front and get some miles under you. Make you 2nd bike a really nice one. The first should be solid enough to enjoy.

As for fit it is smart to get the bike at LBS so that they give you a good fit. Now there are two types of fits. One is a very basic sizing fit to ensure you are on the right frame. This is most of the time free when you buy a bike. They will adjust and tweak a bit to get you comfortable. The second type of fit is a profession fit which may take a couple hours. Here you will pay to refine the fit to maximize power/comfort by small changes all over the bike.
Hi Joe,
Thanks for the feedback.

I was at the shop earlier and while tryign to find out when the defy1 would arrive I saw a Defy Advanced 3 on sale for about 700 more (CAD) then the defy 1. Seemed like a good deal and I think that is what i am going to go with.
Any thoughts on the difference between going Carbon Vs alum? I took it out for a ride as well as a TCR and found the Defy Gemoetry much more to my liking and the bike felt great)it should - my 1st car cost less!).
Thx
 

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Carbon should be both lighter (measurable) and ride smoother (not measurable). IMHO 700 is a lot of money to pay for the upgrade. That said I do ride a carbon bike, but I got my used for $500 total.

I would ride both bikes and see which bike feels better. Does the carbon feel like $700 better or not? Make sure both bikes have identical tire pressure so that does not drive things.
 

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I agree with the riding both CF and alu bikes back to back with equalized tire pressures to decide if you want to spend an extra $700.

I also ride CF and like it as a frame material, but it isn't without trade-offs (expensive to buy, expensive to repair/ replace).
 

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I sort of went through this recently and my gut said don't overestimate my commitment to this. I bought a Felt Z85 from an LBS and couldn't be happier.

I'm getting in some miles, finding out what I like, and don't. And I'm getting involved with some group rides. This last item might spell the difference between short term fascination and long term obsession.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thx to all who replied.
Imended up riding both bikes back to back and went with the advanced 3. The difference in feel was pretty significant and I figured at the lowered price for last years model was well worth it.
Of course after my first ride i came down with a bug and am just waiting to bounce back and get out riding.
 

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Thx to all who replied.
Imended up riding both bikes back to back and went with the advanced 3. The difference in feel was pretty significant and I figured at the lowered price for last years model was well worth it.
Of course after my first ride i came down with a bug and am just waiting to bounce back and get out riding.
Well enjoying your bike getting out and riding it is the most important thing.
 
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