Well priced, understated & regularly at the top of tests, Giant have been getting it right for a number of years. It’s no surprise that they’re the World’s biggest retailer of bikes. You may have seen our blog post on the Giant Bicycle company earlier in the year. If you missed if you can catch up here.
With the Giant Trinity Advanced being the fastest bike in the World in 2017, their 2018 line up looks even more exciting. Established in 1972 in Taiwan by a businessman and his friends, these guys are no stranger to the game. Now worth roughly 2bn USD, they really are bicycle Giants. We’ve had a look at the full 2018 road bike range.
THE CONTEND RANGE
The entry level of the Giant range, the Contend range is made up of an aluminium frame made to measure very similar to the Defy range listed below. The only differences in the contend come in the form of tapered head tubes, shorter chain stays and a seat post that is designed to dampen vibrations.
All bar one of the Contend range retail under £1,000. This makes them compatible for most budgets and the bike to work scheme. And we’d definitely consider these bikes if you’re in the market for a sturdy companion to get you through the morning commutes as well as some longer weekend rides/sportives.
The bike comes in three options, the Contend, Contend SL and Contend SL Disc.
BUY IF: you want a sturdy companion to get you through the morning commutes on a budget.
Above the Contend comes the Defy. The Defy is the carbon fibre long distance road bike line up. This bike is similar to the Cannondale Synapse or the Specialized Roubaix of course with the 2017/18 addition of disc brakes.
Aimed at the endurance/sportive rider and engineered to be comfortable over longer distances whilst remaining both efficient and fast. They come with a slightly shorter top tube than the equivalent TCRs and have taller head tubes to take away some of the pressures from your hips/lower back. Adapted in 2015 to really hone in comfort – the new Defy comes in three options.
With three different options in the Defy Advanced, it’s definitely want of the more popular bikes in the road collection. All the models come fitted with Giant’s Conduct hydraulic disc brakes operated with a cable. They range from Shimano’s fourth tier Tiagra components up to the Ultegra version (Advanced 1).
Buy If: You have a bottom end bike but you’re ready to increase the mileage for the next stage.
Defy Advanced Pro
The middle ground of the Defy range, made from a slightly lower grade carbon than the SL and a standard seat post isntead of the integrated seat post the SL comes with. The bottom of the Defy Advanced Pro range comes with the 105 groupset, and the Advanced pro 0 comes complete with Ultegra Di2.
Buy If: You want a bike that will be comfortable for long miles with the assurance of hydraulic disc brakes.
Defy Advanced SL
By re-engineering the layers of carbon fibre and using the wind shadows & stress profiles Giant have managed to get the advanced SL at under 900g in a medium. This makes it one of the lightest bikes in it’s category.
Finding the perfect medium between the high end race bikes in the giant range – and a comfortable companion ready to handle long days in the saddle. The bike is noticeably stiffer than many of it’s endurance counterparts – especially sprinting out of corners & hammering the short climbs.
Available in two options, both with disc braes – one tips the scales at £5,349 and comes with the Ultegra Di2 groupset. The top of the range weighs in at £7,499 and is complete with Shimano Dura-Ace.
Buy If: You want a high quality, light weight endurance bike with disc brakes.
Giant pitch the Propel as the ‘Worlds fastest aero road bike’. Competing with bikes such as the Canyon Aeroad, the Pinarello Dogma and the S-Works Venge Vias – that’s quite a claim. Hours of wind tunnel testing, careful engineering and a touch of ingenuity has created the current frame. A slight curve on the seat tube and a very deep down tube create the characteristics of the frame – very similar to many of the Aero road bikes seen today.
Propel Advanced Disc.
New for 2018 it’s no surprise that we see a disc version of the Propel. With all of the options listed below available in a disc version, bikes seem to be heading in the direction of discs – as first seen in the peloton. Giant’s engineers claim that the disc brake version is faster than the more common rim-brake set up. As long as the integration is taken care of appropriately.
A new combined aero handlebar mixed with varying wheel depths and internal cable routing – these bikes have seen a shift over the last season to be real racing machines. Explosive in a sprint, light up the climbs and no compromise of control or handling – definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for an aero road bike.
Buy If: You want a propel with even more control and improved aero-dynamics to the rim-brake counterpart.
The Propel Advanced is a carbon fibre frame although an alloy steerer stops the set-up from claiming a full carbon design. Although this has it’s perks if you’re looking to cut costs. Available in 3 options – the bike comes with varying tiers of the shimano group set. Although only the Propel Advanced 0 comes with deep section wheels and a Di2 group set.
Buy If: You’re looking for an aero bike on a budget.
Propel Advanced Pro.
With the same geometry as the top of the line Propel Advanced SL. With a slightly lower grade of carbon fibre and an adjustable seat post. This is very similar to the difference between the Defy Advanced Pro & Defy Advanced SL listed earlier.
Available in three options, they retail from £2,699 up to £3,999. Although the Propel Advanced Pro 1 looks the best value with an Ultegra groupset and 55mm Aero wheels. The top end bike comes complete with Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 groupset. All the bikes certainly look the part & you definitely wouldn’t be let down in terms of performance.
Buy If: You’re looking for a competitive aero road bike without remortgaging the house.
Propel Advanced SL.
As seen in the peloton ridden back in the day by cycling Giants such as Marcel Kittel & John Degenkolb, now donned by many of the Sunweb Team – who you may know from Tom DuMoulin’s successes this year.
This really is designed from start to finish to compete with the worlds fastest aero road bikes. Every single part of the bike has been carefully engineered to get the most out of the bike – saving grams and adding speed wherever possible. With the top bike tipping the scales at £8,999 this really is the complete package.
Buy If: You want a pro level aero road bike – regardless of the cost.
The largest of the Giant ranges – the TCR range has long been one of the most popular bikes in the road cycling world. Designed to be lightweight, stiff and fast – all the TCR models come in some form of carbon fibre. With a complete change in 2016 – it’s no surprise this year has seen little change across the range.
Built to Giant’s compact road design this bike is a great companion for anyone out on the roads. The top tube slips downwards and the frame triangles are smaller than usual making for a smoother ride all round. This doesn’t feel to different to the majority of road bikes although some people prefer it. The exposed seat post absorbs some of the vibrations from the road & the stand over height is lower.
The TCR advanced is available in 4 different options. As with the rest of the road bikes they vary in shimano group sets. Starting at Tiagra and £1299, they go right up to £2,699 for the Ultegra Di2. Also available in two disc models this bike is often seen racking up the miles out on the British roads.
Buy If: You’re after a high performance all round bike with a reasonable price tag.
TCR Advanced Pro.
The TCR Sdvanced Pro comes in three different builds and shares many of the Advanced Sl’s features. Lightweight, stiff and amazingly responsive – this bike is one to consider. A reduced top tube from the older, pre 2016 version. In fact, Giant trimmed down most of the tubes, it’s definitely a leaner, meaner version. Chainstays, fork legs, seat post & seat stays all took cut backs.
Like many others in the range it comes with 3 different options. Starting with a shimano 105 group set, the top end bike tips the scales at £3,999 and comes complete with Dura-Ace 9100 components and Giant’s own SLR1 wheels.
Buy If: You’re after a stiff frame that will perform on race day.
TCR Advanced SL.
Unlike the Propel counter part, the TCR Advanced SL has been carefully engineered with one thing in mind. Stiffness to weight ratio. The pinnacle of the TCR range this bike is comfortably Giant’s lightest frame set ever. With the forks weighing 302g and the M frame weighing 856g – it’s certainly not on the heavy side.
Designed to handle with the best – this bike really is made for people looking to squeeze every inch of efficiency out of their road riding. If you’re looking to sacrifice every gram and squeeze out all the marginal gains, this bike really could be for you. And it certainly won’t flex when you’re hammering the pedals.
You can buy the frame set for a little over £2,000 or spray up to £7,899 at the top end option. Complete with Dura-Ace Di2 shifters and Giant’s top of the range SLR 0 wheels, it really is an all singing, all dancing, race machine.
Buy If: You want a super light, very stiff, race weapon without a price limit.
Designed for women, by women, these bikes are fast becoming very popular in the women’s cycling community. With all the changes you’d like to see on a women’s bike, the Liv range has looked after every detail rather than trying to re-market a “unisex” bike.
The Liv Envie is pitched at women that want to ride fast. Often seen in the triathlon world this aero road bike comes with a variety of options & components. Sharing lots of the same engineering as the Giant Propel, the avail is designed at the racing end of the cycling community.
Available as the Envie Advanced or the Envie Advanced Pro alongside the Advanced Tri version of the bike. The Envie Advanced Pro is kitted out with Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 at one end whereas the bottom end Advanced 2 comes with the Shimano 105 components. Our pick of the bunch would be the Advanced 1 coming with the Ultegra group-set but only tipping the scales at £2,749.
Buy If: You want a race ready aero road bike – designed for women.
Liv Langma Advanced
The Liv Langma comes in four different options, all carbon this bike is designed to be lightweight, strong &efficient. Designed from the Giant TCR, this bike comes with many similar options. Starting at £1,299 the carbon frame with Tiagra gear set is by no means a “budget bike”. Stretching up to the Langma Advanced 0 with the Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset.
Buy If: You’re looking for a solid road bike without a hefty price tag.
Liv Langma Advanced Pro
Complete with a full carbon fork and a different headset system, this bike is starting to look like the Livs we’re used to seeing in the women’s peloton. Available in a disc option as well as rim brake options, the cheaper version comes with the mid range Shimano 105 groupset.
Buy If: You want a race ready carbon road bike.
Liv Langma Advanced SL
The top of the Langma range, this bike is an out and out race weapon. Made from the highest grade carbon and only available with rim brakes – this bike just wants to go fast. The most affordable of the range has a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset while the Langma Advanced SL 0 comes with SRAM’s Red eTap.
Buy If: You’re looking for a women’s specific carbon road bike with a great strength to weight ratio.
The Liv Avail echoes the style of the Giant Defy & Contend. The range contains a total of 10 models from aluminium bikes right through the full carbon. There are four rim brake aluminium options and two discs. Starting at only £575 with the Liv Avail 2. This bike comes with a full aluminium set up and Shimano Claris 16 speed gears.
The Avail’s stretch right up to a full carbon bike in the form of the Avail Advanced Pro. This would set you back £3,999 but comes complete with Shimano Ultegra Di2 components and hydraulic disc brakes. These brakes can be found on the full Avail Advanced range.
Buy If: You want to buy a women’s specific endurance road bike.