Cycling Plus rounded up some of 2019’s most exciting bikes and put them to the test, finding out which one they were most looking forward to for next year. The line-up was incredibly strong, with the new Giant Defy Advanced Pro put up against big names such as the new Trek Madone, Specialized Venge and the Cervelo S5.
Despite being the most affordable bike on the test by some margin, and the only non-aero bike, the Defy Advanced Pro 1 came out on top and was awarded 4 ½ stars from senior technical editor Warren Rossiter, calling it “A gloriously accomplished blend of smoothness and speed”.
Rossiter’s initial focus was on the ride changing components on the new Defy, including the innovative D-fuse shaped handlebar, which increased the compliance; "On the road, the compliant yet stiff chassis drifts from butterfly-on-a-breeze smoothness to solid, responsive attack mode when in a fast corner or technical descent”. The excellent pairing of the SLR carbon wheels and tubeless tyres supplied as standard garnered praise too, with Rossiter stating they “provide a spectacular blend of cushioning and grip”.
Despite the endurance focus of the Defy, Cycling Plus was impressed with the all-round performance that the Defy offered, especially against its aerodynamic rivals. Rossiter wrote that the Defy had “A snap in its handling and responses that put a smile on your face”, with the Defy “capable of the longest rides, on any terrain, that’s as capable going up as it is confident coming down”.
Overall, the Defy performed superbly to be awarded 4½ stars overall, coming out on top of the group test and summed up by Cycling Plus as a “bike that replaces a category leader with a lighter, faster, superior bike that won’t break the bank.” You can read the full review in the January 2019 issue of Cycling Plus.