This season WorldTour squad Team Sunweb will not only be racing Giant bikes, but also Giant wheels — along with Giant helmets, Giant shoes, Giant stems, Giant bars and more. The move to house-brand wheels under elite pro teams represents a trend among major bike brands.
- Giant Propel Disc at the Tour de France – video
- Tires of the Tour de France
- Giant Propel 2018 – all in on discs for 2018
Team Sunweb also has a women’s team and a Continental development team, which will also race on Giant bikes and equipment. Those two squads already raced on Giant’s wheels last year, including during a win at the women’s Tour of Flanders.
This year, the development team will also use Giant’s tubeless wheels and tires. The WorldTour team will likely continue with its use of Vittoria tubulars.
Getting its wheels under the team that won the Giro d’Italia and the points and mountains jerseys at the Tour de France is a coup of sorts for Giant. Last year Sunweb raced on Shimano wheels. Trek already has its Bontrager hoops as the official wheels of Trek Factory Racing, and Specialized had Peter Sagan and Bora-Hansgrohe on Roval wheels in 2017. Each of these cases is notable as bike brands have historically used house-brand wheels for lower-priced bikes, not high-end race machines. In each case, the brands will argue that their wheels are now on par if not superior to third-party wheels.
Team Sunweb will have other Giant products literally head to toe, ranging from Rev, Rivet and Pursuit helmets down to prototype and production shoes. In between Giant will also have branded bottles and cages on Sunweb’s bikes.
As for the bikes, the big news is the Propel Advanced SL Disc. Disc bikes hit the Tour de France for the first time in 2017, including the Giant Propel Disc under Michael Matthews. But while other disc bikes like Marcel Kittel’s Venge ViAS are an option to the rim-brake version, Giant went all in on discs with the Propel; there is no rim-brake 2018 Propel in Giant’s lineup. Will we see a pro-only Propel with rim brakes at the races this year? We will have to wait and see.