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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.
Blue/BlackMedium£999.00In Stock

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.'
Cycling Plus.

Road Bike Sizing Guide.


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
Stem Giant Connect
Seatpost Giant Connect Composite, 30.9
Saddle Giant Performance Road, Men's
Shifters Shimano 105
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
Chain KMC X10
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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Q. I'm considering a Defy 1 and was wondering what the crank lengths were on M, M/L, L?
A. Thanks for your question the crank lengths for the defy1 2014 are as followed. - Medium 172.5mm, Medium/Large 172.5mm and Large 175mm, we have also got the stem lengths and the handle bars widths which are as followed. - Stem length medium and medium/large is 10mm and the large is 110mm. The handlebar widths are both medium and medium/large are 42 and the large are 44.
Q. Is the Defy 1 '13 or '14 compatible with panniers?
A. the Defy is not designed to take a pannier rack/bags, whilst it might be possible to fit one with p-clips we would not recommend it. If you're looking for something to take a rack you might want to look at something like the Genesis CdF, or you could consider a seatpost rack like the Vavert Express if you're carrying lighter loads.
Q. I'm 170cm - given the slightly off-piste giant size guides, I'm not sure if I'd need a M or a M/L - given that the M goes up to 170cm and the M/L starts at 170cm... Better to go in the smaller or larger direction?
A. With Giant a Small is recommended for the height range of 163-170cm and a Medium is recommended for the height range 170-178cm. Your inside leg does point slightly towards the smaller size however, given your height, we would still say to ride a Medium. If you go for a Small, your reach would just be a little too short, leaving you feeling cramped.
Q. Is there a triple chainset version of the Giant Defy 1, can see triples on the 2013 model but not the 2014? How soon would you be able to get one in the Sheffield store if so (2013 would be ok if not 2014)?
A. Unfortunately the Giant Defy 1 is not available with a triple chainset. Whilst we are not aware of the full 2014 Giant Defy range as of yet, the new Defy 1 has been released and has as standard a compact double chainset. In general, triple chain-set equipped bicycles are beginning to be phased out. Derailleur technology is advancing and you are now effectively getting the same range of gears from most compact double equivalents. This is due to these bikes being fitted as standard with wide ratio cassettes.
Q. Hi. What's the weight of a medium size Defy 1 '14, without pedals, please? Thanks.
A. Unfortunately as we have only just received these into our stock, we haven't had a chance to weigh one yet. We can advise that the 2013 model of the Giant Defy 1 weighed in at 9.54kg (for a medium sized frame weighed with pedals and reflectors attached). Given that the spec is largely the same for the 2014 model, this should provide a good indication as to what this model will weigh in at.

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