Giant SCR1.5 £649

Fun, good value, entry level all-rounder

BikeRadar score 4.5/5

The Giant SCR1.5 is a true all-rounder that would make as great a sportive bike as it would a fast and reliable commuter. Although slightly on the heavy side for its price, it lends itself to year round use and has a great value spec. Stable yet fun, well finished and practical, the Giant SCR1.5 offers a comfortable and dependable ride in traffic and over long distances.

Ride & handling: tight, fun and still stable

Out on the road the testers who were old hands at sportives were very taken with the Giant SCR1.5’s steering stability – especially its ability to hold a line on the road in close proximity to heavy traffic. 

The ride is sure-footed in a way that inspires confidence, providing comfort in spades. There's plenty of toe clearance for safe slow-speed riding.

Road bikes that have provision for mudguards usually have hugely long chainstays and wheelbase dimensions that can affect steering agility when threading through traffic. Giant, though, uses a tight set of frame dimensions and that means it has retained just enough of the fun factor to maintain the handling, though the clearance between tyres and mudguards would be quite tight. 

The short and fairly upright riding position is a definite plus towards the end of a long ride when your back and shoulder muscles are often stretched beyond the comfort zone.

Frame: looks good and more sizes to choose from

The jury's still out on the look of the Giant SCR1.5 frame but there's mudguard clearance and it's well finished.

Giant practically invented the compact frame design, where the top-tube is more acutely sloping than on a frame described as ‘sloping’.  The SCR1.5 uses its proprietary Aluux tubes and a hydro forging process to give them a radically larger cross section where the tubes join.  This gives a more organic appearance to the finished item, though some of the testers felt that Giant hadn’t quite pulled it off. 

The Giant SCR1.5 has a carbon fork with an aluminium steerer that is pretty much standard issue at this price, and there’s a generous number of spacers present to enable you to alter the handlebar height.

By providing five sizes instead of the previous three, Giant has plugged the gaps that were present on its original compact frame range so that all but the tallest of riders are catered for. Riders shorter than 5ft are covered with the similarly equipped (but 9- speed) SCR2W that has the smaller 650 size wheels

To assist on sizing there’s a useful guide on Giant’s website to determine the correct size. 

The frame is finished to Giant’s usual high standards and more work has clearly gone into the design of the graphics to make them look less low key than of old. 

Equipment: decent functional selection based on Shimano Tiagra

Shimano's 9-speed Tiagra groupset here is very nearly as good as its 105 in terms of functionality and the Giant SCR1.5 has great a handlebar and seatpost.

The Giant A3 aluminium 26.0mm handlebars, tastefully black anodised stem and C5 carbon seatpost are well finished, though the insert for the light mounting in the back of the Selle Royal Viper saddle rattled until we popped it out. 

The silver painted Shimano BR-R450 brake callipers with their plastic quick release levers look cheap but they work well and provide enough clearance for fitting mudguards, so we aren’t complaining.

Wheels: practical and comfortable rather than pretty

Not the prettiest, but with their Alex rims and hubs that you can service yourself, these wheels are practical.

It’s good to see that Giant is still using the highly dependable Alex DA22 wheels, having remained with the same manufacturer for almost two decades. These wheels are neither especially good looking nor particularly exciting technically. However they do have a dependable radial front spoke pattern with crossed rear and the hubs can be serviced using basic cycle tools.

In keeping with the trend for wider tyres on road bikes, Giant has fitted 26mm tyres here instead of the usual narrower ones. This allowed us to drop the tyre pressures to 90 from the usual 100psi, resulting in better comfort levels.

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