How much technology do endurance bikes really need? The Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0 didn’t just throw up a host of fundamental questions when it entered our office, but it also managed to provide the answers, stunning us with their simplicity.

Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0 | 7,70 kg | 4.200 €
Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0 | 7.70 kg | € 4,200

When it comes to being cool, big brands like Giant have an uphill battle. But fortunately for the Defy Advanced Pro 0, coolness is rarely a question of quality. Our first impressions were fairly blasé, noting that its ultra sloping toptube, bulky steerer tube, long wheelbase and mega relaxed riding position rendered it the ultimate marathon bike. After the first test ride though, our eyes had been opened – dramatically. This seemingly meek cat had a vicious tiger hidden inside, with the super efficient carbon frame exerting its authority all over the climbs and even when instructed to sprint.

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The Giant Defy is capable of taking hairpins as if on rails. Thanks to the long wheelbase, comfortable ‘D-Fuse’ carbon seat post and torsional stiffness in the forks, the bike is unperturbed by braking bumps or road grooves, but if comfort is a worry then you can switch from the standard 25 mm tires to 28 mm ones, increasing the already high levels of comfort.

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With an imminent descent on the horizon, our concern about the performance of the pretty small 140 mm TRP rotors with their Shimano hydraulic line grew. Fortunately these proved unfounded and there was no braking chatter, although the odd screech or two serenaded us as we rolled down towards the valley floor. Riders weighing more than 80 kg might be wiser to upgrade to 160 mm rotors, adding a barely perceptible weight gain to the super lightweight 7.7 kg medium/large package.

Smart: The Giant RS Sensor uses ANT+ to deliver your speed.
Smart: The Giant RS Sensor uses ANT+ to deliver your speed.
In your face: The Giant Defy’s headtube is mega long, giving an upright position and minimising the necessity for ugly spacers. But if you want a lower cockpit you have to mount a stem with negative rise.
In your face: The Giant Defy’s headtube is mega long, giving an upright position and minimising the necessity for ugly spacers. But if you want a lower cockpit you have to mount a stem with negative rise.
Maverick: The TRP rotor doesn’t have any significant advantages – but nor does it threaten any disadvantages either. We’d have loved to see thru-axles on the Giant.
Maverick: The TRP rotor doesn’t have any significant advantages – but nor does it threaten any disadvantages either. We’d have loved to see thru-axles on the Giant.

Specification of the Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0

Drivetrain: Shimano Dura Ace | 50/34, 11 – 28
Wheels: Giant SLR 1
Brakes: Shimano BR-RS785
Tires: Giant P-SLR1
Weight: 7.70 kg
Prices: € 4,200
More info: giant-bicycles.com

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We struggled to find fault on this brilliantly well-specced bike with its outstanding Dura-Ace groupset. However, one test rider with size 46 feet had repeated issues with the flared chainstays and unwanted encounters with his heels.

Conclusion:

Otherworldly performances don’t always demand complex technologies (or PEDs), and the Defy Advanced Pro 0 is proof of this. Giant have created a superb endurance performance bike for ambitious Gran Fondo riders who value a comfy and upright position for those long days in the saddle.

Strengths

  • Very stable and comfortable
  • Simple set-up
  • Great value for money

Weaknesses

  • Wide chainstays at the rear

To get an overview about the bikes we tested, check this article: What’s the best road bike to conquer the Alps? 7 bikes on test

Alle bikes in test: Trek Domane SLR 7 | Specialized Roubaix SL4 Pro Disc Race UDi2 | Merida Scultura Disc 6000 | Cervélo C3 SRAM Force 1X | Canyon Endurace CF SLX | Argon 18 Krypton XROAD Disc

This article belongs to the GRAN FONDO Issue #002. For the full interactive experience we recommend reading it in our magazine app for iPhone & iPad – it’s awesome – and free!

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Words: Thomas Seidelmann, Robin Schmitt Photos: Klaus Kneist, Noah Haxel, Robin Schmitt, Julian Mittelstädt (Post production)