Giant Defy 1 '14
- 'Best £1,000 road bike.' Cycling Plus magazine.
- This beautiful road bike is Giant's defiant statement that they have redefined the performance possibilities of the entry-level road bike.
- 'Climbs, corners and sprints better than bikes costing thousands more.' Giant.
Giant Defy 1 '14
This beautiful road bike is Giant's defiant statement that they have redefined the performance possibilities of an entry-level road bike.
That's why for 2 years running, Cycling Plus magazine has hailed the Giant Defy 1 as the best £1,000 road bike available or, as they put it, 'the benchmark all-rounder on the 4-figure frontier. Buy it if you want a superbly balanced all-rounder that's a joy for cruising or combat'. Click here to read the full Best £1,000 Road Bike article.
For 2014 Giant have made a wise decision about their Defy 1. They have left it fundamentally unchanged (This ain’t always the case. We’ve witnessed many frustrating examples of bicycle companies prematurely retiring classic equipment.)
With a slightly longer head tube and longer wheelbase than Giant's full race TCR bikes, the Giant Defy 1 falls very much into the 'endurance' or 'comfort' road bike category, perfect for sportive riding. Sure the Giant Defy 1 is as fast as any similarly priced road bike out there but, for most people, it's more comfortable than a pure race geometry road bike.
The Giant Defy 1 2014 is still built with Giant's trademark Fluid Formed Aluxx SL frame that the Cycling Plus reviewers loved so much. What's more, it's the first bike in the Defy hierarchy made to take a Shimano 2-piece crankset with press-fit bottom bracket.
Talking of Shimano, it's also great to see Shimano 105 STI shifters and mechs at a price point where the slightly less deluxe Shimano Tiagra prevails.
Not only do Giant uniquely make their own Aluxx frames from the smelting process to the paint shop, they also make their own forks. The Giant Defy 1 has carbon composite for light weight and pinpoint steering accuracy, matched with their Overdrive aluminium steerer which is tapered to further firm up the front end. This tapered steerer design is a great antidote to brake judder that can afflict less robustly built bikes.
Similarly, Giant’s make their own P-Elite sealed cartridge bearing wheels with their own made-to-match to tyres to create a set of hoops that are a match for anything else at this price
This is how Giant sum up this beauty of a bike.
'Brought to you by the world’s leading aluminium frame engineers, Defy redefines the performance possibilities of an entry-level road bike. Made from premium lightweight aluminium tubes and produced in Giant’s own tubing facility, it climbs, corners and sprints better than bikes costing thousands more.'
And here is the full Cycling Plus Review of the near-identical Giant Defy 1 '13
'Giant’s Defy has been the dominant bike in this price category for the past few years, but the big bike brand haven’t rested on their laurels, and the all-new frameset sets new benchmarks for alloy responsiveness and ride quality at this pricepoint.
Highs: Superb chassis creates a responsive but flowing ride backed up by balanced handling and excellent components for the money
Lows: The wheels are okay for now but the frame and component quality mean it’s worth upgrading to something lighter
Buy if: You want the best riding bike we know of for this price
Rather than one frame doing duty throughout the range, trading up to the Defy 1 from the excellent Defy 2 gets you smooth triple-pass welds and a press-fit bottom bracket. The latter means a 50g increase in weight over the Defy 2 but it’s worth it as the increased stiffness of the wider frame shell (and stiffer Shimano crank axle compared with the skinny FSA axle) is immediately noticeable on climbs.
The complete bike weight of 8.87kg is another big factor in how well the Defy defies gravity, picking up speed immediately and encouragingly in any gear. The relatively short stem, tapered fork/ head tube and big down tube mean you can really brace your shoulders against a gear without feeling like you’re going to tear the front end off.
Cornering accuracy is similarly precise, with a playful and responsive steering feel in tight turning situations that still stays the right side of stable at higher speeds on greasy roads. You get some spoke twang from the wheels the first few times you do it, but once they’ve settled, the Giant branded rolling stock performs fine, albeit at a relatively high weight.
Giant’s PR3 tyres are proving a useful addition to their growing own-brand collection too: predictable, trustworthy grip underlined with puncture protection. It’s this ride quality that really makes the Giant stand out from its peers. We’re not talking princess and pea differences either; there’s a flow, fluidity and vitality to the Defy frame that puts it in a different class to anything else we’ve ridden in its category so far this year.
The riding position is really well balanced between comfort and combat, with a compact bar and full-carbon-shaft seatpost augmenting frame comfort. The component spec is excellent considering the quality of chassis that you’re getting for the money, and touches like Defy-specific close-clearance mudguards and an aftermarket seat collar that includes rack mounts complete a superbly designed package.'
Giant bikes are the only bicycle company that builds every frame from scratch. This makes Giant bikes the Michelin 5 star chefs of the cycle industry. From raw aluminium ore to the final hard lacquered finish, Giant control every aspect of the production of every one of their trademark Aluxx alloy frames. Same with their incredible carbon creations. From weaving the fine Toray filament to the final finished frame, every Giant composite frame is the result of a painstaking 13-day process. Matching this level of quality control with the unique economies of scale that accrue from building 6 million bicycles a year ensures the premium quality that Giant bikes consistently achieve at competitive down-to-earth prices.
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|Frame||ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminium|
|Fork||Carbon Composite, OverDrive aluminium steerer|
|Handlebar||Giant Connect, 31.8|
|Seatpost||Giant Connect Composite, 30.9|
|Saddle||Giant Performance Road, Men's|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano 105|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano 105|
|Brakes||Tektro TK-R540 Giant Specific, Dual Pivot|
|Brake Levers||Shimano 105|
|Cassette||Shimano Tiagra 12x30, 10-sp|
|Crankset||Shimano R565, 34/50|
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano, Press Fit|
|Rims||P-Elite C Wheelset|
|Hubs||P-Elite C Wheelset|
|Spokes||P-Elite C Wheelset|
|Tyres||Giant P-R3, Flat Guard, Front and Rear Specific, 700x25|
|Weight||9.56kg / 21.08lbs|
This weight is based upon a medium/large sized example of this bike. We weighed the complete bike as you would receive it, complete with pedals and EN / BS-approved reflectors and bell.
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