Giant Defy Advanced Pro 3 review

The cheapest Advanced Pro Defy gains hydraulics

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £1,999.00 RRP

Our review

Smooth, fast, classy and comfortable, the Advanced Pro 3 will go long and stop short
Buy if, You want a deceptively fast all-day mile-eater that’s ready to go
Pros: Great frameset, handling, fine brakes
Cons: Grippy tyres wear quite fast
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The Giant Defy Advanced Pro 3 is the most affordable Defy Advanced Pro, but still isn’t cheap. However, a lot of your money is going in to that Advanced-Grade Composite frame.

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Continuing Giant’s Compact Road design, but focused on endurance riding, our frame has a head-tube so substantial it makes the virtually straight fork look slim. Both the top tube and down tube flatten before meeting the seat tube, with the top tube narrowing, while the down tube flares to brace the huge Powercore bottom bracket area.

The Defy feels assured and accurate, with mid-corner kicks or line changes unable to unsettle it

The rear end combines deep, asymmetric chainstays and flattened seatstays that are dropped below the top tube, allowing the upper seat tube to flex more. The slimline D-profile carbon seatpost flexes more readily than a round tube.

With the stem at its lowest, we were only a little higher than our usual race position, and ideally placed for lengthy, sporting rides. Giant’s Contact SL bar and stem are well finished and sensibly stiff, with fine ergonomics, particularly the flattened bulges on the tops that are superb for climbing or cruising. Shimano’s 105 drivetrain is supplemented with the new 105-level hydraulic levers, which look huge but feel familiar and are very slick in use.

Every inch the modern endurance machine, from the compact frame and dropped seatstays to the hydraulic brakes
Every inch the modern endurance machine, from the compact frame and dropped seatstays to the hydraulic brakes
Robert Smith

Stand on the pedals, and the Giant’s potential shows, with the solid crank plus unmoving bottom bracket and chainstays sending pedalling force resolutely rearwards, while pulling on the bar to accelerate highlights the front’s lateral rigidity. The Defy always seems to have more to give, making it surprisingly fast across almost any roads.

Giant’s SL-1 Disc wheelset has rims 23mm wide and 30mm tall for a mix of rigidity, stability and agility, and they open out the P-SL1 25mm tyres to 27mm for extra grip. While grippy, the tyres do wear quite fast, but that extra volume adds comfort to an accomplished, if fairly firm, bump-taming machine. The Defy feels assured and accurate, with mid-corner kicks or line changes unable to unsettle it. Great small-bump shock absorption reduces fatigue over time.

Those wheels aren’t the lightest, but are reliable, while the hydraulic brakes are a great upgrade from the previous cable-operated units and remained efficient and predictable.

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The Defy Pro 3 offers a fine ride in a quality package and crams a lot of knowhow in its classy frame. But Giant has stiff competition now, and the disc endurance sector is heating up by the month. Only time will tell if this Giant can defy the odds.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Defy Advanced Pro 3
Brand Giant

Available Sizes S M M/L L XL
Saddle Giant Contact SL Neutral
Wheelbase (cm) 100.7
Top Tube (cm) 56
Standover Height (cm) 79
Chainstays (cm) 42
Wheelset Giant SL-1 Disc
Weight (kg) 8.24
Shifters Shimano R505 22 speed
Seatpost Giant D-Fuse SL composite
Seat Angle 73
Rear Tyre Giant P-SL1 front/rear specific, 700x25mm
Brakes Shimano RS785 hydraulic disc, 140mm rotors
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Head Angle 72.5
Handlebar Giant Contact SL alloy
Front Tyre Giant P-SL1 front/rear specific, 700x25mm
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Frame Material Advanced-Grade Composite
Fork Advanced-Grade Composite, Full-Composite OverDrive 2 Steerer
Cranks Shimano 105 34/50
Chain KMC X11SL
Cassette Shimano 105 11x32
Frame size tested M/L