Giant Defy Advanced 1 Review

Updated May 31, 2013
Giant Defy Advanced 1
Bottom Line Bottom Line

The sound marriage of race-inspired features and a plush, comfortable ride makes the Giant Defy Advanced 1 perfect for both racing and long-haul rides. The bike is swift and stiff but also smooth while managing to keep vibration to a minimum.


Race-ready for serious cyclists. Guy Kesteven at calls the Defy Advanced 1 "super-stiff" and great for climbing hills. He's even more impressed with the price for such performance: "The fact it'll cruise comfortably with luxurious poise all day is recommendation enough, but when the hammer goes down, it's simply in a different class to other bikes at this price." Its only downside seems to be the relatively heavy wheels, which some users and testers say don't match the lightweight carbon frame.

  • Comfortable for high mileage
  • Aggressive race performance
  • Shimano Ultegra components
  • Not light
  • Heavy wheels

While other experts make note of the bike's hefty price tag, they say its components are race-ready for serious cyclists. Men's Fitness' Nick Davidson says, "Giant's composite technology means you'll crush tough climbs, fast sprints, and grueling miles all on a single trusty steed." A number of user posts call this a very responsive bike with fast acceleration; others point to its precise, responsive handling.


Lightweight carbon frame feels plush. Reviewers say the Giant Defy Advanced 1 offers more comfortable positioning than most road bikes in this category. It also provides a smoother ride with less road vibration while retaining its serious racing performance.

Kesteven says, "there's a properly luxurious feel about the Giant," but adds that it's "no spongy limo ride and rough sections and holes can still be felt clearly." Owners add that "this bike is very smooth on the road and incredibly comfortable," and especially like it for longer rides.


TCR technology. While the Advanced 1's buff-looking carbon frame is impressive, reviewers say the bike as a whole isn't particularly light, possibly due to the wheelset. Kesteven writes that the tall headtube and fairly long wheelbase classify this bike as a comfort-oriented cruiser, but the Defy uses the same Advanced carbon fit and construction techniques as Giant's TCR race bikes. "The triangulated down tube and seat tube also swell at the bottom bracket for maximum stiffness," he notes, and the Defy frame "demonstrates its class in sheer ride quality."

Customer Service

All-around good news. While Giant's frames are covered by a lifetime warranty, the forks are guaranteed for 10 years to the original owner who purchased the bike assembled from an authorized Giant dealer. All other original parts have a one-year warranty.

A number of reviews rave about Giant's customer service, which must be accessed through a dealer. One customer received a 2013 replacement frame for his 2011 bike after Giant replaced three split seat posts and determined it was a problem with the frame.

Our Sources

1. Cycling Plus magazine

Giant Defy Advanced 1, Editors of Cycling Plus, July 2011

Cycling Plus gives the Giant Defy Advanced 1 4 stars out of 5 in this group test. Editors rave about the bike's frame, which has a race-like feel that they say is at home on fast straights or grueling climbs. They also find the ride comfortable.


Giant Defy Advanced 1 Review, Guy Kesteven, Feb. 8, 2011

Kesteven gives the Giant Defy Advanced 1 4 stars out of 5 in this review provided by Triathlon Plus magazine. He says the bike has "sublime ride quality" that feels plush but doesn't let up on the speed front. There's some confusion about which bike he actually rides, the U.K. Advanced 1 or the U.S. version.

3. Bicycling Magazine

2012 Editors' Choice Plus Bikes: Giant Defy Advanced 1, Editors of Bicycling Magazine, June 2012

Bicycling Magazine gives its Editors' Choice award in the plush road category to the Giant Defy Advanced 1. Testers say the bike has an exceptionally smooth, plush ride, but can compete with its racier counterparts when it comes to speed and climbing prowess.

4. Men's Fitness

10 Best Road Bikes for Serious Cyclists, Nick Davidson, Not dated

Men's Fitness names the Defy Advanced 1 in this write-up but provides very little review content or reasoning.