Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Giant Defy Composite 2 - First Ride out and initial impressions.....

After seeing plenty of these bikes sold through the shop and mail order, and after what felt like an eternal wait, I finally got my new road bike. After a long wet winter riding around the roads on my 2012 Orange Crush,www.allterraincycles.co.uk/Orange-2014-Crush-MTB-Bike how would a shiny carbon road bike compare?

Well the first big difference was the weight. So much lighter than the Crush, and a vast improvement on my previous road bike, a Giant Defy 4 http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/Giant-2014-Defy-1-Compact-Road-Bike  Tried (and failed) to hide a grin as I thought I may be finally able to climb hills a bit quicker.

One of the downsides to working in a bike shop, even one as big and friendly as All Terrain Cycles, www.allterraincycles.co.uk is the fact that when you have a nice shiny new toy, you want to go and ride it, but work must come first. Even when the sun is shining. I think a Government policy on not working on sunny days needs to be set up. 

Just so long as we all get paid still of course!

The end of the day couldn’t come soon enough, it seemed to last all day. Finally, the work day ended and I could get and ride the new Defy.  Since I already had a set of Bontrager RXL MTB shoes,http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/Bontrager-RXL-ATB-Shoe I’ve fitted a set of Shimano M530 SPD pedals .http://www.allterraincycles.co.uk/Shimano-PD-M530-SPD-Trail-Pedals  

I know the purists will scorn me, but they’ll do me for now. I’ll upgrade to something like the Shimano 105 Carbon SPD-SL pedals at a later date.

So, kitted up, pedals fitted, saddle height set to a sensible start position, off we go……

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no racing snake, but this bike felt fast.  Even on my five and a half mile commute home, I could feel the difference to my old Defy, and most certainly to the Crush.

 The carbon frame was comfortable, with no flex (even with 16 stone of me on it!!). A quick squirt of power out of the car park resulted in a huge grin. The bike accelerated really easily, and inspired me to a short sprint. Reached 25mph before I remembered the speed bumps. Oops. Tried the squirt sprint again once out of the car park, and the grin returned. The rest of the ride home was almost a dream. 

The Shimano 105 10 speed groupset shifts cleanly and accurately every time. Managed to not use the lowest ratios to get me up the climbs, so I’ve still got some “go to” gears for bigger hills. On the downhill sections, I was able to carry speed really well, and managed to crank it up to 30mph (most certainly not any faster than the posted speed limit!!) without trouble.

All in all, a fantastic first ride. I’ve been looking forward to getting this bike, and have not been disappointed. All I need to do now is get the ride position set up correctly, and get fitter. Summer riding on my Defy should be fun.

 Happy riding - Tim Bird  

 ( All Terrain Cycles Staff member and proud owner of a Giant Composite 2 ! )