Monday, 1 December 2014

Giant Defy Composite 2 2014 - a Staff Long Term Review

What can I say about this bike that hasn’t been said before?? A full carbon, Shimano 105 equipped road bike for less than £1500. Amazing performance at a great value price.

Let’s go back to March 2014.......
I am stoked to get my hands on my bike (finally). Only ever had a basic road bike before, a Giant Defy 4 – Aluxx Frame and fork, Shimano 2300 groupset. This svelte carbon bike should be fun....
Eight months later and I’m still feeling the same. The Defy has been a pleasure to ride. Comfort and compliance, a geometry that suited me and my ability, and great reliable kit. All in, a fantastic package. The first few rides enabled me to fine tune the ride position, and get used to the new gears. After that it was time to put the miles in....

So the first few rides were my daily commute, 5 ½ miles each way. Not anything super exciting, but enough to get me started. Within a few rides had my times down to under 20 minutes (just). I was impressed with the way the bike rode and handled. Even with my near 17 stone weight on it, the Defy was still lively and nimble. It climbed really well also, even with my lack of fitness at the time. With the summer approaching and that ‘little’ race coming to the area, I decided to start pushing the distances a little bit. By adding on a bit extra to my ride home, I was able to get up to 20 miles easily. Even with my level of fitness I was able to push more and more on the bike. 

No matter how hard I pushed, or how fast (and badly) I descended and cornered, the Defy never felt out of shape or control. By the time the Tour de France had its Grand Depart here in Yorkshire I had got down to 16 stone and felt much better about riding longer distances. So much so that the day of the second stage, I decided to ride out to our VIP area, and then put in a few extra miles after. By the end of the day, I had ridden nearly 50 miles. That was unheard of for me, and I felt I could have ridden more, if not for failing light, failing legs and lungs, and the wife (boss) wanting me home again.

From then I tried to get out for a longer ride once a week, which was an absolute pleasure. Usually 15 – 20 miles on a Friday evening, along roads giving some fantastic views across Yorkshire. Pure riding heaven.  As the year drew to a close, and the nights got darker it was time to think ahead to winter and 2015. 

The new Giant dealer book landed, and all of the staff started rifling through it to see what was new for the next season, but more on that in a later blog.

Overall I have been very impressed with the Defy Composite 2. It is a fantastic bike to ride. For me it opened up a whole new world of riding. For the new season I have decided to try something new.

 A cyclocross bike. A bit of a change from the road, but more suited to my needs. Most of my riding is commuting, with the occasional longer ride, often with my Wife, along quiet roads and the canal towpath. The Defy was fantastic on the roads, but that’s not where most of my riding will be. If I was out for longer rides every weekend, or entering Sportive rides, the Defy would be perfect.  

It didn’t work out as the ideal bike for me, but it proved to be a blast to ride and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an endurance/sportive bike.

 With a TCX on order for me now, all I have to do is not look at the catalogue for 2015 and fall in love with road bikes again. At least not yet.....