This summer Giant Bicycles lifted the lid of their brand new Defy endurance/sportive bike. Completely redesigned with a new carbon frame incorporating disc brakes, the new bike signaled a bold new direction for the company. The disc range starts at £1,199 and tops out at £7,999, all featuring carbon frames. There will also be five aluminum non-disc models priced from £499 up to £999.
We got a first look at the new disc bike and even got to ride the top-end model and came away very impressed. The Defy is Giant’s best-selling bike and the only aspect to carry over into the new model is the geometry, everything else has changed. The carbon model uses a new D-Fuse seatmast (or seatpost on lower models) designed to improve ride comfort, along with super skinny seatstays and a slender top tube.
The biggest news though is that the carbon Defy bikes are only being offered with disc brakes. Giant felt the time was right to make the switch, saying it suits the potential customers and the type of riding they’re doing with the Defy. Making this commitment allowed Giant to shed quite a bit of weight from the frame in the process, with a claimed 890g weight for a medium.
Giant have taken a pragmatic view towards thru-axles, the oversize axles common on mountain bikes that some manufacturers are using on disc road bikes, and stuck with regular quick releases, as this offers greater wheel choice at this stage in the development of the disc road bike.
And if disc brakes aren't your cup of tea, there are a range of aluminium Defy bikes without disc brakes.
Giant have now revealed the full range of 2015 bikes and prices for each model. There will be eight Advanced models with a carbon fibre range priced from £1,199 to £7,999, each with disc brakes. The aluminium Defy without disc brakes will number six models costing £499 to £999. Let’s take a closer look. While the specifications here are correct, there may be some changes to paint jobs and colour options when the bikes hit the showroom floor later this year.
This is the range-topping model and the one road.cc rode at the worldwide launch in Scotland earlier this year. It has the same Zipp 202 wheels with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with R785 hydro disc brakes and TRP 140mm rotors and Giant Contact SLR carbon handlebars and stem.
road.cc got the chance to ride this bike over two days in Scotland at the worldwide launch.
This is the same frame as the top model but features a Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset with Shimano RS685 hydraulic disc brakes. Giant P-SLR0 disc wheels with a 30mm deep carbon clincher rim and hubs with DT Swiss internals and Giant Contact SLR finishing kit
The Advanced Pro drops the integrated seatmast in favour or a regular seatpost, with the same d-shaped profiles as the seatmast on the top models. There are the same skinny seatstays too. Otherwise the main change is a switch to a lower grade of carbon fibre, T-700 instead of the more expensive T-800 used in the Advanced SL.
A Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset with R785 hydro disc brakes and 140mm toros, 11-28 cassette and 50/34 compact chainset, and Giant P-SL0 disc wheels with a carbon fibre rim.
The Advanced Pro 1 also uses the same seatmast-less frame with a Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset and RS685 hydraulic disc brakes. Wheels are the same Giant P-SL0 Disc with a 30mm carbon rim and 25mm Giant branded tyres.
Again, the same frame but a Shimano 105 groupset with TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes and 160mm rotors.
The entry-level Advanced range, extending to three bikes, use an ‘Advanced-grade composite’ frame sharing the same tube profiles as the op models, including the super skinny seatstays and d-shaped top tube, with a regular D-Fuse seatpost. EAch of these models uses a regular OverDrive steerer tube with a 1 1/8-inch to 1 1/4-inch taper.
This model is offered with a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset with TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes and Giant P-R2 Disc wheels with 25mm Giant P-R3 tyres.
Step down the range and this model features a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset with the same TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes. Wheels are Giant P-R2 Disc with front and rear specific 25mm Giant P-R3 tyres and Giant Contact finishing kit.
The most affordable carbon disc-equipped model in the Defy range is this £1,199 model. It uses a fork with carbon blades and an OverDrive aluminium steerer tube. Groupset is Shimano Tiagra 10-speed with a 50/34 compact chainset and 11-28 cassette. Brakes are TRP Spyre discs with 160mm rotors.
Those are all the disc brake models in Giant’s 2015 Defy range. The entry-level Defy has also been updated offering aluminium frames that share some of the key features of the carbon frames, but using regular caliper rim brakes.
There will be six models priced from £499 to £999. This bike pictured here is that most affordable Defy 5, costing £499 and featuring a ALUXX-grade butted aluminum frame, aluminum fork with alloy OverDrive steerer, Shimano Claris 16-speed groupset and Tektro rim brakes.
More at www.giant-bicycles.com
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.