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Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1 review

25 Mar 2020

Page 2 of 2Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1 2018 review


Giant’s latest Defy is future-proof, versatile, fast and far less expensive than equivalently specced alternatives

Cyclist Rating: 
Fast • 32mm tyres • Predictable handling • Well priced
Slightly heavy • Fiddly seatpost bolt

Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1 2018 review

The Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1 review is a light and fast endurance bike that has more than enough zip

Matthew Page | December 2018

Pros: Light, stiff, tubeless-ready wheels • Balanced and neutral handling • Decent own-brand finishing kit  
Cons: Limited tyre clearance • Limited compatibility of proprietary parts • No mudguards  
Rating: 4.4  
Price: £2,999  

The Defy has been in the Giant range for several years and continues to be one of the most popular bikes on sale today, evolving in line with technological advances.

The Advanced Pro 1 model is fitted with the Ultegra R8000 mechanical groupset, shifting very smoothly and offering a noticeable improvement over 105 – especially on long rides where tired hands will appreciate its slick, light shifting action, while the 50/34 compact chainset and 11-34 cassette will get you over even the steepest hills.

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One of the big changes for 2018 is that the Defy Advanced Pro range comes set-up with tubeless wheels and tyres.

At first look, the 25mm tyres seem narrow against the competition but we were impressed by how comfortable they were which is just as well, as limited clearance means you’d struggle to fit anything wider than 28mm.

The frame design with slim seat stays and a 27.2mm seatpost also provides comfort benefits and combined with chunky bar tape, mean the contact points are well thought-out.

Geometry is designed to be comfortable for longer rides with a fairly upright position. Riders looking for a more aggressive, lower position might find Giant’s TCR a more suitable bike.

The Defy is still a fast machine, and riding downhill is impressive, its confidence-inspiring geometry providing a good balance between stability and speed when changing direction.

While the components are mostly in-house Giant branded items, we didn’t find anything to complain about with the handlebar shape, in particular, being comfortable, especially the bulge on the tops for easier grip.

The Giant own-brand carbon wheels were impressive, with excellent stiffness when sprinting and feeling light on the climbs.

The fairly shallow rim depth makes them great in all weather, even the windiest of days.

The lack of mudguard mounts is a shame as it could turn the Defy into a true year-round bike although it’s something the lower-spec Advanced frame models do offer.


Frame: 8/10
Components: 9/10
Wheels: 8/10
The ride: 9/10 

Verdict: The Defy is a popular bike for good reason. It offers outstanding comfort, especially with the tubeless tyres fitted, and geometry that feels stable at speed. It might not have the highest spec on paper, but components are well chosen to suit the excellent frame, adding up to a superb all-round package.


Frame Giant Advanced Grade Composite, Pro-grade Composite fork
Groupset Shimano Ultegra 8050
Brakes Shimano Ultegra R8050
Chainset Shimano Ultegra 50/34
Cassette Shimano Ultegra, 11-34
Bars Giant Contact SL
Stem Giant Contact SL
Seatpost Giant D-Fuse SL Composite  
Saddle Giant Contact SL
Wheels Giant SLR-1 Disc wheelset, Giant Gavia AC1 Tubeless ready 25mm tyres
Weight 8.01kg (size Medium)

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Page 2 of 2Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1 2018 review