Giant Contend SL 1 Disc 2021
Giant's Contend SL 1 Disc is a high-quality aluminium road bike that's relatively light, comfortable and well priced. It's not really a racer, but offers a lively, positive ride, with crisp handling.
Most of the time, the 9.47kg Contend SL 1 Disc flatters to deceive, riding with a positive and brisk feel. The combined effect of a generous exposed length of springy seatpost and plush saddle means surface vibrations and small bumps never reach your posterior.
Point the Contend SL 1 Disc downhill and the confidence and surefooted feel that the geometry and tyre volume generate make it stable, predictable and a lot of fun. It's certainly no slouch.
The frame is neatly built from hydroformed Aluxx aluminium alloy tubes that are tidily welded together while much of the bike's handling precision comes from its carbon fork, which also helps to soak some of the vibrations up front.
The groupset is Shimano 105, only deviating with the RS510 chainset, which functions perfectly but showed signs of wear after several weeks of riding.
Giant's D-Fuse D-profile carbon seatpost is designed to smooth the ride and its effect is obvious. It works brilliantly with Giant's Approach saddle which reviewer Robin reckons is among the most comfortable he has ever used.
Giant's P-R3 AC 28mm tyres provide more comfort. On the P-R2 Disc wheelset they measure 32mm wide, which gives generous tyre volume. As the wheels are tubeless compatible, they could be converted fairly easily, allowing you to run lower pressures for even greater comfort.
The Contend SL 1 Disc is a great buy, with a thoroughly sound package that isn't crying out for immediate upgrades. It's a bike you could happily enjoy as it comes, but a future handlebar and wheel swap would make a brilliant bike really sing.