Giant’s Defy has always been the Taiwanese brand’s most user-friendly road bike. Its geometry hits the ideal balance between an upright riding position and a sportier, more slammed stance.
The Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 comes with an endurance-friendly low bottom gear, cooling Ice-Tech rotors and a raft of Giant-branded kit. This includes the carbon bar, D-profile seatpost and carbon wheels fitted with 32mm tyres.
It’s a comprehensive and very attractive package for the price.
Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 kit
Giant hasn’t taken any chances when it comes to shifting and braking. Its mechanical Ultegra is as reliable as ever, and the 50/34 chainset and 11-34 cassette provide a 1:1 bottom gear that will get you up the steepest climbs. Braking is equally impressive.
Giant’s D-Fuse D-shaped seatpost has long been a feature on many of its bikes, and similar profiles have since been adopted by numerous brands.
The shape retains the lateral rigidity of a round post but allows for some fore-and-aft movement that absorbs road buzz and vibrations.
Giant has now incorporated D-Fuse into the handlebar, with the D-shape orientated so that the compliance comes into play when you hit a rough surface. Giant claims this offers 10 per cent more compliance than its standard carbon bar.
But when you’re sprinting, the bar is impressively stiff – Giant claims it’s 30 per cent stiffer in this direction than its standard bar. A neat balancing act.
The Pro 2 Giant wheels are based around a new 42mm-deep hookless rim, which makes fitting a tubeless tyre a doddle and sealing the tyres easier. Hookless rims are also stronger and lighter, which helps explain their light weight.
At just 1,545g a pair they’re a healthy 250g lighter than last year’s model. Freehub pick-up is fast and the big-volume tyres balloon out nicely thanks to 19.4mm internal-width rims.
Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 geometry
The Defy’s geometry – with its 605mm stack and 390mm reach – delivers a balanced riding position, which is sporty rather than overly relaxed. Personally, I think Giant has got the Pro 2’s dimensions absolutely spot-on for this style of bike.
Compared to the other bikes on test, on like-for-like sizing the Felt VR Advanced Ultegra Di2 is a centimetre taller while the Kinesis GTD V2 has a 5mm lower stack and 5mm longer reach.
|Seat angle (degrees)||74.5||74||73.5||73||73||72.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||70.5||71.8||72.5||72.5||72.5||72.5|
|Seat tube (mm)||410||445||480||515||535||565|
|Top tube (mm)||515||530||545||560||575||595|
|Head tube (mm)||120||140||160||185||205||225|
|Fork offset (mm)||50||50||50||50||50||50|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||75||75||75||70||70||70|
|Handlebar width (mm)||400||400||420||420||440||440|
|Stem length (mm)||80||90||100||100||110||110|
|Crank length (mm)||170||170||172.5||172.5||175||175|
|Wheel size (mm)||700C||700C||700C||700C||700C||700C|
Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 ride impressions
On the tarmac, the Defy’s figures translate to a high-quality ride. It’s smooth over bumpy roads and the big tyres also coped admirably with some gravel road excursions.
The bike is stable at speed and through corners but never feels laborious.
When you put the power down you can feel the tautness of the frame, while the excellent power transfer when you’re sprinting shows the influence of the Giant TCR.
In terms of pure road speed, it’s not a pro-Tour bike but a lot of that is down to the 32mm tyres. Personally, I’m happy losing a little top-end speed in return for the Defy Pro 2’s all-day comfort, but you could go down to 28mm rubber.
Another part that increases comfort is the new seat. I was never a big fan of Giant’s Neutral saddle, but the short Fleet is excellent.
I also appreciated the accessories Giant includes in the package. There’s a carbon bike computer mount with fittings for the major GPS brands, and this integrates into the stem for a very clean-looking front end.
At the back, there’s a Bluetooth Ridesense sensor that transmits speed and cadence data to a head unit, and a neat removable composite bridge for mounting mudguards; frame and fork both have hidden mudguard mounts.
If Giant added a bottle cage – which many of its rivals do – it would be ready to ride straight out of the shop.
Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 bottom line
As an endurance bike, the Defy is pretty much flawless. The ride quality exudes comfort, the handling is pure class and the specification doesn’t leave you wanting for anything other than a bottle cage or two.
It’s extremely good value and, with its subtle black-grape hue, it looks every inch a superbike. Not only that, this Defy is very definitely a super distance bike.
How we tested
With the best aero road bikes getting lighter, race bikes getting more comfortable and the best gravel bikes becoming so road capable, the endurance bike category is often overlooked. But we think endurance bikes offer some of the best all-round rides.
So we put four of the best new endurance bikes for around £4,000 to the test to find out which offers the total package.
Also on test
|Price||EUR €4599.00GBP £3999.00USD $4550.00|
|Available sizes||XS, S, M, M/L, L, XL|
|Headset||FSA Sealed cartridge 1.5 x 1.25in|
|Tyres||Giant Gavia Fondo 1, tubeless, 700 x 32c|
|Stem||Giant Contact SL|
|Seatpost||Giant D-Fuse SLR, composite|
|Saddle||Contact Fleet SL|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Ultegra|
|Handlebar||Giant D-Fuse SLR, composite|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano press-fit|
|Front derailleur||Shimano Ultegra|
|Frame||Advanced-grade carbon composite|
|Fork||Advanced-grade carbon composite overdrive 2 steerer|
|Cranks||Shimano Ultegra 34/50|
|Brakes||Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc|
|Wheels||Giant SLR-2 42 carbon disc wheels|