The New Giant Propel Advanced SL

Giant Unveils New Propel Advanced SL!

January 21, 2013

Giant introduced its all-new Propel Advanced SL aerodynamic road bike at a media event last Friday before the start of the international pro road racing season in Australia.

The result of a multi-year development project involving Giant engineers, product developers and professional road racers including sprinters Theo Bos and Mark Renshaw of Team Blanco, the Propel Advanced SL was engineered to be the most aerodynamic road bike in the world.

In one of its most comprehensive development projects ever, the Giant product team employed cutting-edge methodologies and testing procedures to push the Propel beyond its competitors. The goal was to create a bike with the same light weight, stiffness and responsive ride as the legendary TCR Advanced SL—while boosting aerodynamic performance for sprinting and solo riding situations on the road.

And to verify the final result—that the Propel Advanced SL offers a significant aero advantage over the competition—Giant used innovative new testing protocols to gather the most accurate and complete data that exists in the industry today.

Eschewing current industry testing standards, which typically utilize either static dummies or human riders to measure aerodynamic performance of rider and bike, Giant developed a dynamic mannequin for its wind-tunnel development sessions at the ACE wind tunnel in Magny-Cours, France. Unlike a static mannequin, a dynamic mannequin accurately replicates the aerodynamic effects of a cyclist pedaling a bicycle.

“We didn’t rush to market with an aerodynamic road bike,” said Jon Swanson, Giant Global On-Road Category Manager. “Instead, we made a calculated decision to be deliberate and thorough in order to create something that offers a real advantage. Beyond the exhaustive development phase, we performed comprehensive head-to-head testing with a third-party facility to ensure Propel is the fastest aero bike in real-world riding conditions.”

In head-to-head wind-tunnel tests against other top aero road bikes in the market, the Propel Advanced SL proved more aerodynamic at every yaw angle tested. At a speed of 40 kilometers per hour over a distance of 40 kilometers, the Propel Advanced SL was 12 to 36 seconds faster than the other bikes tested.

With a total weight of 1,675 grams for a module—size medium frame, uncut fork, uncut integrated seatpost (including head), brake system and headset plug—the Propel Advanced SL was the lightest among leading aero road bikes on the market. It achieved this class-leading weight while still maintaining supreme steering and pedaling stiffness.

“It’s been almost a year since I started testing pre-production versions of the Propel Advanced SL,” said Bos, winner of seven pro races in 2012. “The first time I rode it I knew this was a bike that would give me an advantage in sprint situations where every fraction of a second counts.”

One of the key design ideas behind Propel Advanced SL is its AeroSystem Shaping technology. Data compiled from hundreds of hours of Computational Fluid Dynamics research and wind-tunnel tests was used by engineers to shape every frameset tube for overall system aerodynamics.

The process reflects a belief by Giant engineers that any single frame modification should be made not in isolation but with an eye on how it affects overall performance both in the wind-tunnel and on the road. The use of the dynamic mannequin, as well as race testing by Team Blanco riders, led to the final frame design.

Other new technologies with the Propel Advanced SL include its proprietary integrated SpeedControl SLR brake system. A composite reverse-position front brake and seatstay-mounted rear brake feature strategic positioning and specially designed trailing edges that reduce wind drag. And the all-new Contact SLR Aero Integrated handlebar and stem unit further improves front-end stiffness, control and aerodynamic performance.

The Propel Advanced SL series, which is being raced by select Team Blanco riders including sprinter Mark Renshaw at the Tour Down Under, is handcrafted with Giant’s lightest, stiffest Advanced SL-Grade Composite technology. It also features proven Giant frame technologies such as the OverDrive 2 tapered steerer tube, integrated seatpost (ISP) and PowerCore bottom bracket area.

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