Giant Defy 2-Is This The Best Entry-Level Performance Road Bike ?

The Defy range is Giant’s entry-level into performance cycling, with the Giant Defy 2 just one of the five models available. Giant’s superior alloy technology sets the Defy apart from the rest of the pack.Giant Defy 2

The quality of the Giant Defy 2 shines through and is clearly obvious as soon as you start the ride. From the first press of the pedals the Giant Defy 2 feels taut and responsive which is a direct result of Giant’s expertise in the production of their most advanced Aluxx SL aluminium tubing ever, making the Defy aluminium range lighter and stiffer than you would ever have thought possible in a bike at this price.

The Tiagra components of the Giant Defy 2 make the bike is so reliable and so smooth in the transition of the full range of gears giving you the ability and the confidence to tackle any hills that you may encounter.

The state-of-the-art tapered steerer-tube fork gives that extra feeling of stiffness, precision and stability in the way it holds its line. This gives total confidence when tackling most surfaces encountered including gritty back roads littered with occasional ice patches.

The smooth, silky ride of the Giant Defy 2 is down to Giant’s unequalled skill in aluminium production. Although big potholes still clang through, rough sections or even unsurfaced “roads” don’t vibrate through the frame anything like as much as they would on most alloy bikes.

The ride position has been developed perfectly to compliment the carbon-bladed and crowned fork, soaking up road shock really well and even on long rides in the stretched position, backs and wrists suffer no buzz or numbness. Also even under heavy braking when pushing hard through corners the Giant Defy 2 holds it line and there is no twitching or fluttering.

Giant Defy 2 – The Build

Because Giant are one of the largest aluminium bike manufacturers they are in the rare position of being able to produce all their own frames. This results in Giant Defy 2 attention to detail rarely seen on other aluminium bikes, the lacquered naked alloy finish being just one example. Giant was also the first major manufacturer to introduce ‘compact geometry’; the sloped top tube and tight, straight-stayed rear end of the evolved layout are very clear.

Even with all this state of the art technology the Giant Defy 2 hasn’t forgotten about  basic, everyday practicalities and the threaded rack mounts and slotted head-tube guides make for a very clean, easily serviced cable run, although there is no room for mudguards.

There is one minor complaint and is something to be aware of, which is that the large-sized Giant Defy 2 is literally built for giants. It comes with a super-long stem and seat post and even with all the spacers removed, it is very difficult to create a low aerodynamic riding position.

That small complaint aside the rest of the package is virtually faultless. The Tiagra stop-and-go gear and the compact chainset provides smooth ratios. Mavic’s CXP 22 rims are a proven workhorse, the Giant hubs and the Kenda tyres were silky smooth.

The Giant Defy 2 delivers gut wrenching performance when you need it, but if you are in the mood for a gentle, comfortable cruise then this bike delivers a beautiful, smooth ride.

Giant Defy 2 – Specifications

Sizes…….Small (46.5cm), Medium (50cm), Medium/Large (53.5cm), Large (55.5cm), Extra Large (58.5cm)

 

Colours…….Black / Red / White

Frame…….Aluxx SL aluminium, fluid-formed

Forks……. Advanced Composite Overdrive, 1 1/4in–1 1/8in aluminium steerer

Drivetrain

Shifters…. ……………..Shimano Tiagra, 20 speed

Front Derailleur ………..Shimano Tiagra

Rear Derailleur …………Shimano Tiagra

Brakes…………………..Tektro TK-R340 Giant Specific, Dual Pivot

Brake Levers …………..Shimano Tiagra

Cassette……………….. Shimano Tiagra 12×30

Chain …………………..Shimano Tiagra

Crankset ……………….FSA Omega, 34/50

Bottom Bracket ………..FSA MegaExo

 

Components

Handlebar ……………… Giant Sport 31.8

Stem ……………………..Giant Sport

Seatpost …………………Giant Sport

Saddle……………………Giant Performance Road, Men’s

Pedals…………………….Caged w/ Clips

 

Wheels

Rims……………………….Giant S-R2

Hubs……………………… Giant 32h

Spokes……………………. Black Stainless Steel

Tyres……………………… Giant S-R4, Front and Rear specific, 700x23mm

Weight 8.99kg (19.84lb) without pedals

 

Giant Defy 2 – Our Verdict

Handling……………….. 9/10

Specification…………. .9/10

Value for money…….. 10/10

Comfort………………… 10/10

The Giant Defy 2 is an outstandingly smooth yet responsive performance road bike and along with an impressive supporting kit you get a good bike at a good price.