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    Giant road bike comparison

    Sophia Willmes
    Sophia Willmes
    Feb 24, 2024 9 min
    Giant road bike comparison

    Let's find out which Giant is truly best for you.

    Giant's got a special place in the road bike scene: Their range of bikes contains some of the most excellent models out there. Meaning that you're always good to go with one of their road bikes. But not necessarily meaning that deciding on the right model for you is an easy task. To ease your pain of choice, Nic compared Giant's three major road bike models in his latest YouTube Video and we'll sum up the differences, pros and cons on the blog too to help you find the Giant that fits you best. Which one is it going to be? The Propel, the TCR or the Defy? Let's find out and get right to it!

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    1. Overview.

    Before we dive into the details of each bike, you might have noticed that for each model there are three different series. The so-called Advanced line, the Advanced Pro and then the Advanced SL (Sl standing for Super Light). The main differences are that the SL version uses a much lighter, stiffer and more expensive carbon blend, will only feature best in class components and in some cases differ slightly in frame build. Apart from that though, the geometry of each bike remains exactly the same.

    The Advanced Pro and Advanced on the other hand, have the exact same frame but the Pro version will feature either the lighter SL fork or a fully carbon steerer setup. And, while the Advanced model has a mix of a carbon fork and aluminum handlebar built in, the Pro will always rock a fully carbon setup. Further differences might include the groupset and possibly the wheelset. Now that we've cleared that – on to the first model line!

    2. Giant Defy.

    Starting off with the Giant Defy, the manufacturer's endurance bike. It is built for long days on the saddle without compromising in regards to performance and speed. It features a more relaxed geometry with the shortest reach and longest stack, which will have you sit in a more upright position and provide a more comfortable riding position. It also has the longest wheelbase and longest chain stays of the three which will provide more stability when riding at faster speeds, but it will feel slightly less direct and precise in turns. This aspect of comfort is further supported by the components and some other qualities of the bike.

    Giant Defy

    After all, the Defy features Giant's latest defuse saddle and handlebar which together with the dropped seat stays significantly reduce vibrations from the road. The handlebar does however have a higher tensile stiffness in the drops for more efficiency when sprinting and climbing. It also features a pretty wide tire clearance of 38 mm. This will once again increase comfort especially when running tubeless, will increase the versatility and even allow you to take on mild gravel roads.

    Speaking of versatility: Unlike the other two, the Defy does also allow you to mount mudguards. It also features the revolutionary compact road design which is basically just the downward sloping top tube creating a smaller front and rear triangle for increased stiffness and lighter weight. Making it still very efficient in climbing, just not quite as efficient as the other two. In terms of gearing, as it is an endurance bike, it will feature a wider range of gears to aid in a variety of situations and assist in climbing, though limiting top speed.

    Giant Defy close ups

    Now, even though it was made for long distance rides and comes with the respective setup, the Defy is still very much an efficient and performance orientated road bike. It features the same D-shaped head tube as the Propel and has fully internal cable routing for improved aerodynamics. Compared to other endurance models it is also pretty light, regarding that the flagship model in size M comes in at 7,11 kg. Compared to the TCR and Propel though, it is the heaviest. So how much does it chime in at? Well, the Defy models range from 2.999 euro all the way up to the flagship model that costs 11.999 euros – meaning that there's a Defy for almost every budget out there.

    Giant Defy price range

    3. Giant TCR.

    Next up, we have the Giant TCR, which is marketed as Giants allrounder in the road bike category and is hence built to excel on various terrain. You can basically look at it as the bridge between the Defy and the Propel.

    Giant TCR

    It features a racier geometry than the Defy with a longer reach and shorter stack putting you in a more stretched out and aerodynamic position that's not too aggressive. The shorter wheelbase and chain stays will also make the bike more nimble and will feel more direct and precise in the handling. This might take some time to get used to if you're still a beginner, but once you get the hang of it really elevate your riding experience, especially when pinning downhill and in corners. However, all in all the handling is confident.

    When looking at the frame set, we find that everything is fine tuned for the TCR to be as efficient and fast as possible on the flats and uphill. Just like the Defy, it also features the compact road design for increased stiffness and improved weight, but it does not have the same dropped seat stays. It is the lightest of the three coming in at 6.51 kg in size M for the SL model, which is insanely good and is partially due to the integrated seat post found on the SL model, but also the carbon laser-cutting methods and robotic assembly implemented by Giant. It is also more aerodynamic than the Defy as it takes some learnings from the Propel (that we'll discuss soon), but adopted in a lighter package.

    Giant TCR close ups

    Meaning that it has truncated elipse shaped tubing, seamless transitions, the disc brake mounts are integrated into the frame and the downtube completely protects even the most traditional water bottles from the wind. It doesn't have fully integrated cable routing, but that does make the bike more user friendly, when it comes to maintenance and customisation. Then, in terms of stiffness, it is a step up from the Defy especially in the bottom bracket area that provides improved efficiency and power transfer when pedaling for more speed. Tire clearance is capped at 32 mm, which, for a race bike is more than enough. Price wise, the TCR starts a little higher than the Defy, with models ranging from 3.299 all the way up to the flagship model at 11.599 euros.

    Giant TCR price range

    4. Giant Propel.

    Last but not least: The Giant Propel, the aero bike that's simply built for those looking to pursue maximum speed on the flats. Not only the geometry is almost exactly the same to the TCR in terms of reach, stack, wheelbase and so on, the handling will be just as sweet, precise and nimble, but also stable in those long corners.

    Giant Propel

    The main differences between the two have faded over time, but when we look at the tube shapes and components of the Propel, they still differ a little from the TCR. With the help of computational fluid dynamics and extensive wind tunnel testing, the deep elliptically truncated profile tubes have been optimized to provide excellent aerodynamics even with head on wind coming in at different angles. All in all, this will drastically reduce drag, save watts and make you go faster. To push aerodynamics even further the Propel also features the contact aero cockpit and aero stem, fully integrated cable routing and with the exception of the 38mm deep wheelset on the Advanced 2, all models come with a 50mm deep wheelset. These aerodynamic improvements and deep profiles on the frame and wheelset do however lead to a slight weight increase over the TCR, as there is simply more material: The Propel comes in at 6,68 kg in size M for the SL, so it's around 150 g heavier than the TCR.

    Giant Propel close ups

    On very windy days, the Propel can be a little troublesome though, as there are more contact points... but let's be honest, who really is riding on very windy days?

    It will also be a little less comfortable than the other two in the sense that it is somewhat stiffer than the TCR: Providing, of course, better power transfer for sprints and faster finishes, but feeling a little tougher on rough sections too. It also has a tire clearance of 30 mm maximum, which is okay considering it is a race bike. However, there won't be much room to improve comfort significantly. In terms of price, the Propel range, like the Defy one, cost between 2.999 euros and 11.999 euros.

    5. Which one fits you best?

    Alright, you're somewhat an expert when it comes to Giant road bikes now. But which one should that expert choose? Well, there's a pretty straight forward answer for that:

    If you're looking for a bike that prioritizes comfort over all and can be ridden for long distances without sacrificing performance, then get the Defy. It is a great option and won't let you down in various situations.

    If you're looking for a great all-round package that excels in climbing, sprints, longer rides and descents, then get the TCR. This one also suits all those, who are super conscious about weight, even though differences are minimal.

    And lastly, if you're just looking for a pure speed machine that will dominate on the flats but still be light enough for climbs then go with the Propel.

    All bikes are great value for money compared to many other brands out there and each provide a wide range of options with the TCR and Defy offering slightly more. However all cost more or less the same with the same components. The best news though? You can get all of the models above on buycycle for less! Pre-owned and in premium condition. So check out buycycle.com for your perfect Giant deal, to sell your old bike or stay on the blog a little longer, if you want to learn more about road bikes or all things cycling. Our team's always got your back whenever a question pops up, but until then, we wish you, as always: Happy browsing, happy cycling!