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Giant Anyroad 1 review

11 Dec 2018
Verdict:

Speedy on the road, but the Anyroad 1 is quite happy on rougher roads with occasional forays onto dirt or grass

Cyclist Rating: 

This review was first published in Issue 50 of Cyclist magazine 

Giant has built a bike that claims to be able to take the rough with the smooth, widely extending the choice of road surface or terrain you can ride in comfort.

It’s equipped with hydraulic disc brakes and a huge spread of gear ratios, too.

Buy the Giant Anyroad 1 from Rutland Cycling

Frameset

The Anyroad’s frame is made from Giant’s ALUXX-grade aluminium, which employs single-butted tubing in an effort to mix strength with relatively light weight.

Being single-butted means the tubes employed in the frameset are only thicker at one end, where strength is more important than weight (double-butted tubes are rolled at either end).

While the bike itself isn’t remarkably light, the diameter of the tubing is clearly minimal, given the carbon-like echo that responds to the bike dealer’s bete noire – the flick test.

Its geometry is firmly in the ‘endurance’ mould, and comfort over distance is the aim: a 160mm headtube hints at the riding position you’ll enjoy.

Giant’s bikes are known for their small rear frame triangles, but the Anyroad eschews this performance-led set-up in favour of a more shallow slope to the seatstays and a longer chainstay, both with the intention of making life more comfortable for the rider, and contributing to a wheelbase of 1016mm – positively stretched out for our size S bike.

Cabling is entirely internally routed, with threaded recesses for mudguards and a front rack.

Groupset

Giant have raised the bar a notch over the Specialized and Viking, by using Shimano Tiagra groupset components on the Anyroad.

Besides adding two extra gear ratios, Tiagra being 10-speed to Sora’s nine, it’s slightly lighter.

There’s a 50/34 compact chainset and 11-34 cassette which offers a very wide range of options, but not the most seamless shifts between them, given the sizeable jumps between ratios on the 10-speed block.

Giant’s own Conduct hydro brakes use a cockpit-mounted master cylinder (rather than one located in the hood of the shifter) which effectively converts mechanical input into hydraulic response, allowing the stock Tiagra cable shifters to be retained.

Finishing kit

Being the worldwide manufacturing behemoth that they are, you’d be right to expect Giant’s own-branded finishing kit to be used on the build.

400mm diameter alloy bars are held to the steerer by a 100mm stem. The D-Fuse seatpost is designed to reduce vibration, and is held by an internal clamp which neatens the rear end nicely.

Because of the low standover height of the frame, we ran the post with a whopping 260mm length exposed.

The Giant Contact saddle, for us, wasn’t the most comfortable, but is easily replaced.

Wheels

Giant’s own S-X2 disc-specific wheelset is tubeless-ready, and features a 19mm internal diameter to accept rubber even wider than the 30c Giant Crosscut Tour2 tyres fitted to this bike.

Running them close to their maximum inflation of 75psi will do you for the morning commute through town, while their road-biased central tread is sufficient for this kind of riding.

Pronounced blocks on the tyres’ shoulders give you confidence when cutting across fields and on byways.

The ride

First impression

The first thing most people do when looking at the Anyroad is remark on its top tube.

There’s sloping top tubes, and then there’s this… Giant says it’s to give you more confident handling on varied terrain, and it takes some getting used to looking down at a bike which one moment might be a BMX, the next an MTB, and the next a road bike.

A 702mm standover height, ladies and gentlemen…

On the road

This is one incredibly cossetting machine, the Anyroad’s easy-going riding position promoting a late-summer feeling of joie de vivre.

The view from its cockpit is similar to a standard road bike, so it’s perhaps no surprise that this is where it felt better.

A standard compact chainset enforces the feeling of ‘road bike that’ll handle a little extra’, and while this does provide you with a familiar feeling at the cranks, we did find the spread of gears on the 10-speed Tiagra cassette was a little wide, especially at the bigger end of the block.

That said, for long rides when performance isn’t the primary focus, this bike put big smiles on our face.

It handles dire road surfaces with ease, partly thanks to its lengthy seatpost and low-pressure 30c tyres, and doesn’t even disgrace itself on some tarmac climbs (that 34x34 smallest gear really comes into its own on a bike that weighs more than 10kg).

On lighter off-road terrain – cinder paths, park tracks and the like, progress is far from power-sappingly mundane – it rips along at a rate.

Point it at rougher, rutted trails, however, and it starts to come undone. But as a bike that claims to handle rough and smooth roads, and even provides a foray or two on to dirt and grass, it’s a confidence-inspiring package.

Handling

As an all-rounder, its handling is more than good enough, offering a predictable rate of turn no matter what you throw it at (within reason).

While it’s not a sprinter’s bike (far from it), the amount of speed you can generate means decent brakes are a must if you’re not to overcook it on corners.

Thankfully, the pseudo-hydraulic set-up of the Anyroad has got your back.

While having a junction box does marginally slow the response to a rate that’s slightly slower than that of ‘complete hydraulic’ systems, the firmness of stopping power is more than ample for tarmac and loose paths, and this braking input can be fairly easily measured if you’re after less than a handful.

The Crosscut Tour2 tyres feel similar to wide-profile road tyres most of the time, and certainly add to the comfort of the ride.

However, once you’re off the straight and narrow, their treaded shoulders do provoke a little twitchiness on tarmac, as you might expect.

Point them down a track, however, and they dig in when they need to, whilst remaining (for the duration of our testing at least) puncture resistant.

Of course, being tubeless-ready, you can fill them with slime and not even need to worry about taking spare tubes with you.

Short tours, commuting, weekend fun on back lanes (both tarmac and otherwise), the Anyroad pretty much lives up to its moniker.

RATINGS

Frame: Strong but reasonably lightweight aluminium. 9/10 
Components: Great gearing range from the Tiagra groupset. 8/10 
Wheels: Disc-specific and tubeless ready rims and tyres. 7/10 
The ride: Stacks of fun on both tarmac and trails. 8/10 

Verdict: Speedy on the road, but as the name suggests, the Anyroad 1 is quite happy to take to rougher roads and the occasional foray onto dirt or grass.  

Buy the Giant Anyroad 1 from Rutland Cycling


Geometry

                                     
Top Tube (TT) 525mm
Seat Tube (ST) 400mm
Stack (S) 569mm
Reach (R) 362mm
Chainstays (C) 429mm
Head Angle (HA) 71.2 degrees
Seat Angle (SA) 74.1 degrees
Wheelbase (WB) 1016mm
BB drop (BB) 60mm

Spec

Giant Anyroad 1
Frame ALUXX-grade aluminium, Advanced-grade carbon fork
Groupset Shimano Tiagra
Brakes Giant Conduct hydraulic discs
Chainset Shimano Tiagra, 50/34
Cassette Shimano HG-500, 11-34
Bars Giant Connect XR Egro-Control, alloy
Stem Giant Connect, alloy
Seatpost Giant D-Fuse
Wheels Giant S-X2, Giant Crossfit Tour2 700 x 30 tyres
Saddle Giant Contact (Neutral)
Weight 10.38kg (S)
Contact giant-bicycles.com
Price: 
£1,190

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