New GIANT Propel Advanced SL 2023 – More aero, more all-round?

Lighter, stiffer and even more aerodynamic. With the completely revised GIANT Propel series, the bike brand from Taiwan want to set new standards in the aero bike category. You can find out all the details about the new GIANT Propel 2023 and what has changed compared to its predecessor here.

GIANT Propel Advanced SL | € 12.000 | Manufacturer’s website

Anyone who has followed the big bike races in recent weeks may have seen it already: the new GIANT Propel Advanced SL. Even before its official market launch, it showed what it could do and secured stage victories in the Tour de France. The previous GIANT Propel model was launched in 2018 – what has changed compared to its predecessor?

The new frame design of the GIANT Propel Advanced SL 2023

At first glance, it is noticeable that the new Propel is heading towards an all-rounder – it’s significantly lighter, slimmer and less voluminous. With its key data, it could poach on the Specialized Tarmac SL7’s territory. The frame of the new Propel has been rejuvenated because the head tube area, including the top tube as well as the seat tube and the seat dome, have become narrower. The seat post has also been integrated with the frame, thanks to which the Propel Advanced SL is said to have 85% more flexibility in the rear triangle than the previous model. The increased flexibility is intended to reduce fatigue and enable long days in the saddle. Among other things, the frameset of the Propel Advanced SL is said to have a higher frame rigidity than the 2018 Propel and be around 225 g lighter in frame size M. The stiffness has been improved in the bottom bracket area and around the head tube and down tube, which, in turn, should bring advantages in terms of efficiency. According to GIANT, at 845 g the frame is one of the lightest in the aero road bike category – although that’s difficult to say, as the boundaries of this category are now blurred. But the frame has not only become lighter and stiffer, it should also offer more space in the rear triangle and fork to fit wider tires up to 30 mm.

The frame has become slimmer in the head tube area and in many other places.

Aerodynamics on the new GIANT Propel Advanced SL 2023

GIANT has not only optimized the frame but also the bike as a whole: new cockpit, new aero wheel system with 50 mm rim depth and even two different bottle holders were developed to reduce air resistance on the down tube and seat tube to a minimum. In total, according to GIANT, the savings should amount to 6 watts compared to the previous model. This should correspond to a time saving of 27 seconds over 40 kilometers at 40 kilometers per hour.

The new GIANT Contact SLR Aero Cockpit 2023

If you compare the cockpit with its predecessor, you can also see clear differences here. While the old model still had a complex one-piece cockpit that hardly allowed any adjustment options, the new Propel has been fitted with a two-piece system, which is also said to be lighter by just over 100 g. The two-piece Contact SLR Aero handlebar and stem are designed to make adjusting and changing components easier. Not only does the two-piece system contribute to this, but the cable layout should also help. Cables no longer run into the frame behind the steerer tube but disappear into the handlebars and then continue under the stem into the frame. This way, the cables should be better protected from the wind. The Contact SLR Aero handlebar is flattened at the top and is designed to improve aero efficiency and hand comfort while providing more control when sprinting, cornering and descending with the flatter drop.

The two-piece Contact SLR Aero handlebars and stem are said to make it easier to adjust and change components and are also said to be almost 100 g lighter than the old system.

The variants of the new GIANT Propel 2023

The GIANT Propel comes in four different versions – all made of carbon. The entry level Propel Advanced 2 is available for € 2,999, followed by the Advanced 1 for € 4,799, which, just like the Advanced 2, relies on an Advanced-Grade carbon composite frame with a hybrid aluminum and carbon fork. The bike which links the entry level model and the higher model in the lineup is the Propel Advanced Pro, which is not available in Germany. The top model Propel Advanced SL, on the other hand, relies on the high-quality Advanced SL carbon for the professional sector and has the new integrated Vector seat post. It also rolls on the new CADEX 50 Ultra Disc wheelset and CADEX Aero tires.

GIANT gives the Propel portfolio a complete overhaul that sounds very promising: higher rigidity despite lower weight, more comfort, improvements in aerodynamics, and a two-piece cockpit for easier adjustability and serviceability. GIANT is taking a step away from the pure race aero bike and heads in the direction of an all-rounder – at least to a certain extent. We are excited and can hardly wait for the first test.

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Words: Mike Hunger Photos: GIANT