Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby slowK » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:04 pm

Looking to upgrade from my entry level Specialized Roubaix with SRAM Rival. Budget $4000-4500. Something special that will get me onto the bike at 6am, rather than sleeping in after our young kids have kept me up most of the night. Strong preference for SRAM (like double tap, smaller shifters fit my hands better), ideally Force 22. Non-disc. 25mm tires. Alloy clinchers. General riding, no racing, so probably a fondo/endurance/sportive bike. I'm 160cm, so usually need the XS or 48-50cm frame size. Pretty difficult to do any test rides, as not many stores stock the smallest size bike.

The bike I really want is this Canyon:

http://www.canyon.com/_en/roadbikes/bike.html?b=3242

It ticks all the boxes for me, and looks fantastic to my eye. Although not a "fondo" bike, the geometry is actually pretty spot on for what I want - longer chainstay, slightly longer head tube, slightly shorter reach. But they don't sell to Oz.

Checked out the usual suspects' websites - Synapse, Domane (I did test ride a 50cm Domane, which was very nice), Defy, Solace, Infinito, but no one does a Force 22 bike that I can see, so I might have to go a frameset or organise a groupset swap. And most don't sell frame sets in their smallest size.

Then I came across this:

http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bicycles/giant/bikes-road-bikes/defy-advanced-sl-0/tuggerah/nsw/102223673

$3900 for a supposedly sub 800g frame with 11sp Dura-Ace, and sub 1400g clinchers, in my size.

The cons as I see it:

Not SRAM, but dammit, it's Dura Ace...
Integrated seat post. How do you test ride a bike with an ISP? And I wonder about the practicalities of ISPs, especially as I (sometimes) take my seatpost off to fit inside my car if loaded with other gear.
Nonstandard 1 1/4 inch stem size (Overdrive 2). Hard to swap/replace stems.
Would want to change a few minor parts - 50/34 rings rather than 52/36, bars with smaller reach/drop (according to the Giant website, the Giant bars are 42cm wide, with a 90mm reach/135mm drop, I ride a 40cm bar with 70mm reach/120mm drop), 25mm vs 23 mm tires.
Proprietary (Giant brand) wheel set. Not much out there about the Giant wheels, and the opinions have not been uniformly positive.
Giants generally don't set my heart racing, but this one does a bit. I think.

The few reviews I can find online (Bicycling Australia, bikeradar) are generally positive. Anyone ridden/owned one who could give any feedback? Or opinions?
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by BNA » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:40 pm

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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby ohexploitable » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:40 pm

just picture yourself riding the giant and then being passed by someone on an imported canyon
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby thejester » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:35 am

Trek Madone 3.1
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Shogun Trailbreaker3
I need a dualie
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby slowK » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:48 pm

ohexploitable wrote:just picture yourself riding the giant and then being passed by someone on an imported canyon


I'd chase them down and ask them how they bought it!
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby slowK » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:54 pm

thejester wrote:http://www.focus-bikes.com/au/en/bikes/2014/road/cayo-evo/cayo-evo-team-replica.html


Thanks for the link. Very nice bike, but I think the smallest size may be a bit long. The Focus' reach is even longer than my Roubaix, which I already find a bit long (I went from an 80 to 70mm stem). Interestingly, the Izalco Max (their raciest frame) has shorter reach for the same size. And I'm not sure about the Campy thumb levers.

I know the best thing is to test ride and not pore over geometry charts, but when shops don't stock the smallest sizes, there's not much choice.
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby rjk » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:22 pm

have a look at the trek domane series if you want a slighgtly more relaxed roadie, i have one on order, it is extremely comfortable.

it comes with 25mm tyres as well.

I have bought the project one (dont ask about price for the P1), but look at the 5.2 or the 5.9

------------------------------
http://www.averagecyclist.com/2013/05/r ... omane.html


Review: Trek Domane
I have been wanting to get out on a Trek Domane (pronounced Do-MAH-nee) since it debuted last year. I've ridden a Madone 5.2 for the past three seasons and love so many things about it, but there was still a draw to the romance of a bike that was created for the cobbles of Arenberg Forest. I am not nearly as fast or as ruggedly good looking as Fabian Cancellara (if only I could pull off the hair...), but watching him hammer through the roughest sections of Paris Roubaix, while others sought shelter on the shoulder, only added to the Domane's mystique.

Okay, enough of the mushy stuff. For me, the real draw of the Domane is that it's tailor made for riders like myself - recreational endurance riders who love to tackle the club ride, a race or two and an occasional century endeavor here ore there, while remaining as comfortable and capable as possible. There are many bikes that fit into the Plush or Endurance category, and I believe that list is only going


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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby Carrots » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:27 pm

If you need to be talked out of it, then you must want it... So buy it!

Saw that online also - pretty good deal.

I have a Propel, Defy and a TCR at home... They're all great bikes. If you liked the Roubaix, then you'll no doubt like the Defy too.
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby briztoon » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:17 pm

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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby rodneycc » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:14 pm

Or the Izalco Pro series. Think the 2013 pro 3 might even come with one of those high end sram groupsets

viewtopic.php?t=53117

Sent using Tapatalk so it will include the odd typo and mis-posting!
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby thejester » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:41 pm

slowK wrote:
thejester wrote:http://www.focus-bikes.com/au/en/bikes/2014/road/cayo-evo/cayo-evo-team-replica.html


Thanks for the link. Very nice bike, but I think the smallest size may be a bit long. The Focus' reach is even longer than my Roubaix, which I already find a bit long (I went from an 80 to 70mm stem). Interestingly, the Izalco Max (their raciest frame) has shorter reach for the same size. And I'm not sure about the Campy thumb levers.

I know the best thing is to test ride and not pore over geometry charts, but when shops don't stock the smallest sizes, there's not much choice.


The EVO was the first time I used Campy Chorus and absolutely loved it. I was dubious about the thumb shifts, but they feel very solid and secure, very easy to use. The break shift lever kind of moves diagonally back toward the bars and is a short movement. I would put campy on any bike if I had choice. Now I understand why its so highly regarded.
And....
While I am not a bike fitter a 70mm stem on an XS frame is quite long and I do sell a lot of bikes. Course there are factors to take into account
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby Stefan_A » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:09 pm

slowK wrote:The cons as I see it:

Not SRAM, but dammit, it's Dura Ace...
Integrated seat post. How do you test ride a bike with an ISP? And I wonder about the practicalities of ISPs, especially as I (sometimes) take my seatpost off to fit inside my car if loaded with other gear.
Nonstandard 1 1/4 inch stem size (Overdrive 2). Hard to swap/replace stems.
Would want to change a few minor parts - 50/34 rings rather than 52/36, bars with smaller reach/drop (according to the Giant website, the Giant bars are 42cm wide, with a 90mm reach/135mm drop, I ride a 40cm bar with 70mm reach/120mm drop), 25mm vs 23 mm tires.
Proprietary (Giant brand) wheel set. Not much out there about the Giant wheels, and the opinions have not been uniformly positive.
Giants generally don't set my heart racing, but this one does a bit. I think.

The few reviews I can find online (Bicycling Australia, bikeradar) are generally positive. Anyone ridden/owned one who could give any feedback? Or opinions?


There's heaps on this forum about Giant's branded wheels, and little of it is good.
The trouble with Giant is, like Trek, the paint jobs are generic, limited, and unimaginative.
Also, did you notice the defy you linked to has 10 speed front and rear derailleurs, while the rest of the groupo is 11 speed. You might want to clarify why.
Presume you read the ad saying the bike cannot be shipped due to warranty restrictions.
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby slowK » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:28 am

Thanks for the responses.

The Ergoride looks a bit tall (140mm head tube and high stack). My Roubaix has a 125mm HT and I have the stem with no spacers and already flipped, so I don't think I want to go much higher at the front. The Izalco also gets amazing reviews (one of my LBS really recommends them), but on the charts looks a bit too big for me.

The Domane is the only one I've managed to test ride (a WSD 50cm, which has the same frame as the men's 50cm), and it was definitely nicer than my Roubaix. The reach seemed about right (368mm) with an 80mm stem.

I think enough caveats have been raised in my mind to give the Defy Advanced Sl a miss. Travelling up to the Central Coast from Sydney is fine, and I did notice the 10sp derailleur spec (which did seem odd).

Lots of options and great bikes to think about, which is part of the fun!

Thanks all - appreciated.
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby Gsascha » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:33 pm

I have similar vertical challenges and can definitely sympathise with the frustration of not being able to test ride xs bikes in stock. Not to mention lsb staff trying to sell you bikes that may or may not fit, with a "just trust me" approach. About a year and a bit ago I ended up buying a pinarello sdg frame and building it up with ultegra. It's what they call a size 44. Cannondale size 48s are also a pretty good fit (I have a caad 9).

You have to love what you buy...so if you want to be talked out of the giant...don't buy it!
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby Duck! » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:00 pm

slowK wrote:I think enough caveats have been raised in my mind to give the Defy Advanced Sl a miss. Travelling up to the Central Coast from Sydney is fine, and I did notice the 10sp derailleur spec (which did seem odd).

It's surprisingly common for such errors to be in the spec sheet; you can be assured that if the bike is factory-spec then the correct derailleurs will be fitted.

While the Giant wheels have been very inconsistent in their quality (I've seen plenty of failures through work), the P-SLR wheels are a level above the ones that have been giving the bad rap. That said, there are still better wheels available. As far as testing, the practice is to actually try a Defy Advanced frame, because the fundamental geometry is the same, and fit is the most important factor to be testing. The higher grade carbon, slightly different tube profiles and ISP on the SL frame only subtly alter the final "feel" of the bike.

Regarding the Trek, someting to be mindful of is the appaling fit of the bottom bracket. Press-fit bearings are not meant to be able to be removed and inserted by hand, but in Trek's proprietary BB90 system, this is exactly the case; I've seen it multiple times. Being fitted directly into the carbon frame, which is not as resistant to abrasion as aluminium, it will progressively get worse over time as the movement of the bearings will erode the frame. If you test ride one, ask the shop if they'll supply you with ear plugs....
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby slowK » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:34 am

Gsascha wrote:I have similar vertical challenges and can definitely sympathise with the frustration of not being able to test ride xs bikes in stock. Not to mention lsb staff trying to sell you bikes that may or may not fit, with a "just trust me" approach. About a year and a bit ago I ended up buying a pinarello sdg frame and building it up with ultegra. It's what they call a size 44. Cannondale size 48s are also a pretty good fit (I have a caad 9).

You have to love what you buy...so if you want to be talked out of the giant...don't buy it!


I hear you! I've ranted on this before, but I think it's not the LBS's fault, but more the way they have to "buy" a bike from the distributor. I can see why they don't want to buy an unusual size for only a test ride, and then get stuck with it. It would be much better if distributors had a fleet of demo bikes in all sizes that could be requested. Looking at the charts I think the 48 Cannondale would be better for me than the 51. But then there's more toe/wheel overlap issues with smaller frames - it's all a compromise at this end.

And yep - your last line is great advice.
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby slowK » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:42 am

Duck! wrote:
slowK wrote:I think enough caveats have been raised in my mind to give the Defy Advanced Sl a miss. Travelling up to the Central Coast from Sydney is fine, and I did notice the 10sp derailleur spec (which did seem odd).

It's surprisingly common for such errors to be in the spec sheet; you can be assured that if the bike is factory-spec then the correct derailleurs will be fitted.

While the Giant wheels have been very inconsistent in their quality (I've seen plenty of failures through work), the P-SLR wheels are a level above the ones that have been giving the bad rap. That said, there are still better wheels available. As far as testing, the practice is to actually try a Defy Advanced frame, because the fundamental geometry is the same, and fit is the most important factor to be testing. The higher grade carbon, slightly different tube profiles and ISP on the SL frame only subtly alter the final "feel" of the bike.

Regarding the Trek, someting to be mindful of is the appaling fit of the bottom bracket. Press-fit bearings are not meant to be able to be removed and inserted by hand, but in Trek's proprietary BB90 system, this is exactly the case; I've seen it multiple times. Being fitted directly into the carbon frame, which is not as resistant to abrasion as aluminium, it will progressively get worse over time as the movement of the bearings will erode the frame. If you test ride one, ask the shop if they'll supply you with ear plugs....


Thanks Duck. It's great to get the inside knowledge of these issues - they don't come up in most reviews.

I know you previously mentioned SRAM levers breaking too. My LBS mechanics also don't rate SRAM road groups for reliability, but I just don't find the Shimano shifters as comfy, and I've had no issues with Rival.

I also liked your review of the Infinito. Gorgeous bike that also ticks the boxes for me, but a bit too expensive (and they don't bring the 47cm in to Australia, according to one Bianchi dealer I spoke to).
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby Gsascha » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:28 am

I forgot to add, that my pinarello was purchased for exactly the same reason when our second child was about 6 months old. having a shiny new bike definitely does help with the early morning motivation...have you considered getting a bike fit professionally done before purchasing so that you have a really good idea of appropriate geometries?
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby rodneycc » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:49 am

slowK wrote:Thanks for the responses.

The Ergoride looks a bit tall (140mm head tube and high stack). My Roubaix has a 125mm HT and I have the stem with no spacers and already flipped, so I don't think I want to go much higher at the front. The Izalco also gets amazing reviews (one of my LBS really recommends them), but on the charts looks a bit too big for me.

The Domane is the only one I've managed to test ride (a WSD 50cm, which has the same frame as the men's 50cm), and it was definitely nicer than my Roubaix. The reach seemed about right (368mm) with an 80mm stem.

I think enough caveats have been raised in my mind to give the Defy Advanced Sl a miss. Travelling up to the Central Coast from Sydney is fine, and I did notice the 10sp derailleur spec (which did seem odd).

Lots of options and great bikes to think about, which is part of the fun!

Thanks all - appreciated.


If above is the case then not sure why you would of wanted to go a Defy because they are renouned for their tall head tubes. You would probably be better off with a TCR (or even Propel) with the racier lower geo if you wanted to go a Giant.
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby Parker » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:54 pm

Its a Giant... nuff said really
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby slowK » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:00 pm

Gsascha wrote:I forgot to add, that my pinarello was purchased for exactly the same reason when our second child was about 6 months old. having a shiny new bike definitely does help with the early morning motivation...have you considered getting a bike fit professionally done before purchasing so that you have a really good idea of appropriate geometries?


Yep - for exactly the same reason as you say. Just have to find a spare 2.5 hrs to book in at my LBS.
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby slowK » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:10 pm

If above is the case then not sure why you would of wanted to go a Defy because they are renouned for their tall head tubes. You would probably be better off with a TCR (or even Propel) with the racier lower geo if you wanted to go a Giant.[/quote]

A 120-130mm head tube seems about right for me. ( I should probably refer to stack figures to be more accurate.) I avoid the stack of spacers under the stem, and can use the drops quite comfortably.

I don't think I want racier/shorter chain stay/shorter wheelbase/steeper head angle geometry. My first roadie was a 2005 TCR which had race geometry, and it was a bit twitchy for me, and toe/wheel overlap in the XS size was a real pain. This has been much less of an issue with my Roubaix, which is probably partly due to the longer wheelbase and slightly slacker head angle moving the front wheel slightly "forward" - a few mm here and there seems to make a difference between the two bikes.
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby thejester » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:22 pm

Avanti Cadent is often overlooked and has a long wheelbase
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby rjk » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:49 pm

just picked up my domane project 1 .......woohoo...what a rocket, it also gets the best marks from the bicycle victoria ride on test on endurance frames
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby rodneycc » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:14 pm

rjk wrote:just picked up my domane project 1 .......woohoo...what a rocket, it also gets the best marks from the bicycle victoria ride on test on endurance frames


And about time too! :-) (So you just need to quickly ride it up the Dandenongs, take a few piccys and update the threads:

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8664&start=6600

and

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=34894&start=500

(or as they say – it didn’t happen! :-) )

All that in 40deg heat :-)

Nice one rjk. Enjoy.
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Re: Talk me out of a Defy Advanced SL

Postby rjk » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:05 pm

rodneycc wrote:
rjk wrote:just picked up my domane project 1 .......woohoo...what a rocket, it also gets the best marks from the bicycle victoria ride on test on endurance frames


And about time too! :-) (So you just need to quickly ride it up the Dandenongs, take a few piccys and update the threads:

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewt ... start=6600

and

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewt ... &start=500

(or as they say – it didn’t happen! :-) )

All that in 40deg heat :-)

Nice one rjk. Enjoy.

I ordered the bike at the end of november and picked it up yesterday, well over 60+ days for deliverer but man was it worth it

Going up the 1:20 tomorrow morning . very very early

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