Giant Avail Advanced 2 Women's Review

Updated May 31, 2013
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Giant Avail Advanced 2
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Reviewers have called the budget-friendly Giant Avail Advanced 2 an impressively priced carbon-frame women's bike for years. It has been upgraded a number of times and Giant has introduced newer 2013 versions of other Avail models, but the Advanced 2 remains a great choice for its value. Triathlon Plus magazine names it one of 2012's "best women's bikes."

Performance

A budget-friendly advanced option. This women's version of the men's Defy Advanced features the same carbon construction and oversized tapered front end, but with a slightly shorter top tube and an OverDrive steerer tube that's oversized for better handling. The most recent upgrades include Shimano Ultegra components and Giant's integrated RideSense wireless sensor that transmits a rider's cadence and speed to any ANT+ compatible device.

ProsCarbon composite frame, Shimano Ultegra components, Great value, RideSense technologyConsWheels are a bit heavy, Sluggish acceleration on hills

Reviewers at Triathlon Plus magazine like how the Avail Advanced 2 easily powers up hills, as well as its stability on descents and responsiveness on corners. Experts say the Avail carbon fiber frame is lightweight but stiff and responds immediately when you want to accelerate, noting that the "compact rear triangle and fat chainstays create a stiffness in the frame that's noticeable when a fast response is what you need."

While the bike responds well during acceleration, Triathlon Plus editors find that it takes more effort to get up to speed on level ground than some competitors. When it does get up to speed, reviewers say the bike maintains speed well and the Shimano Ultegra components provide lightweight, smooth shifting.

Wheels are a sore point, however; "while they turn well enough they're a functional feature rather than one that's geared towards high-speed performance," reports Triathlon Plus.

Comfort

Smooth and fast. Giant intended the Avail Advanced 2 to be versatile for long-distance riding as well as racing. Triathlon Plus confirms that the bike "is designed for comfort as well as speed."

Reviewers like the bike's thin seat stays and frame, saying they absorb the bumps and smooth out rough road surfaces. The longer headtube and oversized steerer tube create a more relaxed riding position for more endurance positioning; it was a "pleasure to ride" over long distances, says one tester. The steerer tube forms the top of the fork and rotates inside the head tube.

The Fizik Vesta Manganese Rail saddle and narrower women's-specific handlebar that comes in widths of 36, 38 or 40 cm, with an 80 mm reach and 120 mm drop, also receive praise.

Durability

Wheels are a weak spot. According to Giant, this is a bike that goes "longer and stronger." Reviewers say the thin seat stays add flex to the frame while the OverDrive 2 headtube helps the frame resist twisting.

The Giant P-SL1 wheelset is "a value-for-money wheelset" with a lightweight alloy rim, alloy hubs and DT Swiss Champion stainless steel spokes. Triathlon Plus editors say that given the importance of wheels to performance, it's a shame Giant didn't include higher-end gear and "if you're a serious racer this is probably the first thing that you'd want to upgrade."

Customer Service

No direct line. Giant has no customer service number; instead, the company suggests owners contact a local Giant retailer who will then contact the manufacturer. Giant Bicycle guarantees the frame and rigid fork for as long as the original purchaser owns the bicycle. Paint, all original components and Giant brand replacement parts have a one-year warranty.

Our Sources

1. Triathlon Plus

Best Women's Bikes Review: Giant Avail Advanced 2, Editors of Triathlon Plus, July 31, 2012

Triathlon Plus features excellent group tests, including this one of four top women's bikes that includes the Giant Avail Advanced 2, Scott Contessa Foil, Specialized Amira Elite and Focus Izalco Donna 3.0. Editors call it a fair price for an aero carbon composite frame and Shimano Ultegra components.

2. BikeRadar.com

Liv/Giant Avail Advanced SL 1 – First Ride Review, Lorna Adley, Nov. 13, 2012

Adley reviews the 2013 Giant Avail Advanced SL 1, which has basically the same bike geometry as the Avail Advanced 2 but with higher-end gear components. She calls it "a good all-day machine, with solid handling."