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Bike at Bedtime: Giant Defy Advanced 3

Check out the versatile sportive/endurance bike that has just arrived for testing

The Giant Defy Advanced 3 has just arrived at for testing, and here's a sneaky glimpse before we take it out on the road.

While Giant’s TCR is focused on stiffness-to-weight and the Propel is all about aerodynamics, the Defy has its sights set on long-distance comfort. We have the large model in for review, with a 575mm effective top tube and a 205mm head tube.

2021 Giant Defy Advanced 3 - head tube.jpg

That top tube is 5mm shorter than on the equivalent TCR, and the head tube is 20mm taller, putting you into a more upright riding position with a little less strain on your back and neck. This is still a sporty bike, though, designed to be quick and efficient – it’s just that the position isn’t quite as aggressive as some.

2021 Giant road bikes - explore the complete range with our guide

2021 Giant Defy Advanced 3 - seat tube junction.jpg

Giant includes other features specifically intended to add more comfort. The composite D-Fuse seatpost is slim and D-shaped, the idea being that it will absorb road shock and vibration. Giant’s frame design, with a top tube that slopes significantly along its length and a small rear triangle, means that you’ll certainly have quite a lot of seatpost extending out of the frame and capable of being flexed. Giant reckons that the D-Fuse post will allow up to 12mm of movement to smooth the ride.

2021 Giant Defy Advanced 3 - drop bar and lever.jpg

It’s a similar story with the D-Fuse handlebar. Giant says that the drops have 10% more downward compliance than its round-shaped Contact handlebar, but that it’s stiffer than a round bar in the upward direction.

2021 Giant Defy Advanced 3 - clearance.jpg

Following the comfort theme, Giant specs 32mm-wide tyres on its Defy bikes and there’s enough space for 35s if you want to go even wider in the future, and they’re tubeless so you can run them at reasonably low pressures without the risk of a pinch flat.

Read our review of a previous version of the Giant Defy Advanced 3 

2021 Giant Defy Advanced 3 - saddle.jpg

One other thing to mention when it comes to comfort is that Giant makes some really good saddles these days. The Approach fitted here contains free-flowing particles that sit in pockets beneath the cover, moulding to your anatomy to distribute the pressure.

At £2,099, The Defy Advanced 3 is the most affordable model in the range, built around what Giant calls an Advanced-Grade Composite frame that’s compatible with mudguards, and a full composite fork.

2021 Giant Defy Advanced 3 - drivetrain.jpg

It’s specced with a Shimano Tiagra 10-speed groupset, including hydraulic disc brakes. The 50/34-tooth compact chainset and 11-34-tooth cassette should get you up even the steepest of climbs without too much trouble. Shimano 105 (£2,299) and Shimano Ultegra (£2,499) builds are also available.

More expensive Defy Advanced Pro models use the same frame but the full-carbon fork has an OverDrive 2 steerer, turning on 1 1/4in and 1 1/2in bearings rather than the 1 1/8in and 1 1/4in bearings of the Defy Advanced for improved front end precision.

The Advanced Pro models are built up with Shimano 105 (£3,299), Shimano Ultegra (£3,999) and SRAM Force eTap AXS (£5,499) groupsets.

Right, that’s yer lot for now. We’ll have a review of the Giant Defy Advanced 3 on in the next few weeks.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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