Raw 2024 Propel

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by Maddie

I ordered a MY24 Propel Advanced Pro frameset in size M and carbon black color end of January. I was able to pick up the frameset one week later in Italy. Bare frame without any hardware was 986g, fork uncut 367g. The paint on the frame seemed nice but nothing spectacular, it’s matte black with some green/purple logos. I took this shot in the hotel after picking up the frame. As usual, my plan was to strip the frame from the paint.


The unidirectional carbon weave shines through a bit but only at the bottom bracket area. Everywhere else, it’s solid black. Starting my inspection at the fork, I was surprised to see a slotted hole that was not machined, but much rather drilled/filed by hand.


Cost cutting for sure. Of course, one is supposed to add a brake line guide there and you won’t see that slot but still interesting to spot this. Bottom bracket is 40.95-40.98mm throughout on both sides, so well done. Both thru axle inserts needed tapping, especially on the fork. I also faced the caliper mounts but this is something that I do anyway. With an endoscope camera I checked the inside of the frame for irregularities. No surprises there, everything looked well-made and very clean. I admit I expected nothing less from Giant.

After inspecting the frame and fork, I started to remove the paintjob on the fork. 95% of the surface area got the well-known knife method. You have much more control compared to sanding, especially if you are using an electric sander. I own one and have used it many times in the past but I prefer to stay away from it now. Working in tight areas or around corners, it’s almost impossible to not damage the first layer of carbon. After I was done with the knife, I used 600 and then 800 sandpaper.
A thick coat of clear first, then black paint, primer and filler in some areas after which the first layer of carbon weave was exposed. There were many imperfections that needed filler. I invested around four hours for the whole fork. And it’s not something I enjoyed to do, especially since I had to wear a mask all the time. Take a guess how much material I was able to remove.

It was 42g. Which is a LOT.

I sanded more than 20 framesets to this day and only two times I have seen a fork with more removable material than that. It’s 2024 and in terms of paint, Giant is still in 2010. In my experience, you can remove 10-20g of weight at the fork and 50-80g at the frame in most cases. Specialized being a notable exception with their superlight paintjobs (20g-30g on the newest S-Works SL8). BTW, 325g for an uncut fork is pretty light. And to those who have doubts about the weights: I use two Kern precision scales. So definitely no Park Tool underreporting ;-)

Some impressions:


The horizontal line on the second pic shows that the right fork leg is composed of two parts. A lower part with an aluminium thread insert and an upper part of the fork leg. They are glued together. And the vertical curved line is not a hairline crack. It’s just the parting line from the mould.


Behold the first Cadex fork ;-)


And then the stripping of the frame… Frame and fork were definitely not painted at the same place or at least not with the same material. While the fork was ok to work with, the same can’t be said about the frame. Especially the primer was super hard to remove and required frequent sharpening of the blades and many times I was close to using the electric sander. More than 20 hours went into this eventually. At least it was a lot of heavy material: The naked frame now weighs 879 grams, 107g less than with paint. As with the fork mentioned earlier, it’s been a while since I have seen such a weight reduction on a frame.
A few observations: In the factory they used a lot of white filler where the two triangles are glued together. The DS rear dropout is made out of cast aluminium. That’s definitely a cost saving measure. NDS is carbon. In general, the frame is well made for sure.


This is where I'm at currently. I need to murder out the aluminium rear end, sand the frame with 800 grit sandpaper and add some logos.


I'll then send the frame and fork to my painter who will just add clearcoat with a ceramic coating in it. And then it's time to build this thing.

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by spokenwords

well thats a way to start a new build. looking forward to more. youre using different color decals for the frame and fork? fork decals seemed like a nice color.
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by Weenie

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by Kayrehn

That's a rare dedication to weightweenism nowadays, certainly the start of an awesome build!

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by Maddie

I would have loved a ready to paint option for sure. I envy you guys with an SL8 for that matter :-)

I will paint the logos with the same color as it is on the fork. What you see are just the stencils with a protective (yellow) backing paper.

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by Whipit

Maddie wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2024 10:54 pm
More than 20 hours went into this eventually.
Everytime I get enthused to strip my crux I find a post like this... and decide the paint job isn't so bad after all

Thanks for the detailed overview

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by Whipit

Double post

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by mike

very well done. i spent many hours on
my trek emonda slr rim brake and was able to get the frame to 630 grams and fork around 280 grams.

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by tomsneo

Can't wait to see the finished product! , I have this frame also so do my teammates all of their frames show the raw carbon on certain areas some more than most. Are you going to have your painter clearcoat the frame with the decals?
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by Mr.Gib

Amazing work. I wish I had it in me to do this kind of thing. My hands and fingers are literally not strong enough to endure that sort of work out.

Re the aluminum drive side drop out, I wonder if it is not a cost saving decision, but rather a performance/durability decision. Considering that is where the derailleur will be attached, might aluminum make for a more precise and durable base of support? Is there any argument for leaving the aluminum visible? It's a different aesthetic for sure, and I'd probably go black also, but maybe it would be part of the uniqueness of the whole package. Either way this will be a first class ride. What groupset and wheels?
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by Maddie

If one just wants another paintjob, then there's no need to completely strip the paint to bare carbon. Painters will do the necessary prep work. I could write a book about weight of clearcoat, filler, primer, paintjobs in general. There's a lot of myths out there in terms of weight of paintjobs. Paint itself doesn't weigh a lot. It's what's below the paint that makes the difference most of the time.

Nice work on that Emonda, Mike. Impressive that you came close to 900g for frame and fork!

Regarding the aluminium dropout. I need to have a closer look at the TCR dropout but I'm sure it's the same since it also has the same derailleur hanger. Possible that this dropouts is produced for all road bikes from Giant, including Liv. And it's an interesting thought to leave the aluminium look, Mr. Gib. I'll think about it.

Main ingredients of the build: Farsports 50/30mm wheels with carbon spokes, EXS handlebar and stem combo, mix of DA and Ultegra 12s, Red DUB cranks (sanded of course), Quarq PM with DA chainrings, GP5000S TR in 28. Plus some tinkering and modifying to get it below 6.7kg with pedals.

My plan was to paint the logos myself this week but I simply won't find the time because of work. I don't intend to rush these things. And on Friday I have to catch a flight to Mallorca. I'm not complaining... :-) I will continue with the logos when I'm back one week later. My painter who will take care of the clearcoat is also superbusy currently.

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by Ferry

Very nice, I love the raw look!

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by Maddie

These are the sanded/clearcoated Red cranks


And this is the Hylix seatpost that I modified to 121g


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by dpries

This is a great thread! Awesome work Maddie, love to see the savings that are possible with this kind of effort!

Looks slick too...

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by C36

Love the work! having just spent three evenings sanding my first part (farsports F1 cockpit) I am miles away from sanding a frame… I sanded everything (150, 350, 600, 1000, 2000) and clearly I went through some of the first carbon ply… but I had a strange feeling a blade would grab and cut through some fiber…

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by Maddie

I agree working with the blade can be a challenge. When I started with this technique, I also slipped and accidentally created cuts. It happens. What can help is mount the part that you are working on to a table so that it can't move around. Just make sure that you don't crush carbon parts when clamping. Grab the blade or the knife with both hands to have better control. And gloves are a good idea.

150 is very coarse. When I sand parts, I prefer to start with 350 or even 400 and change the paper often. With 150 or thereabouts, apart from going too deep, there is also the risk of scratches that are difficult to remove. But yes, it speeds up the process a bit compared to 350.
If I sand, then I tend to sand dry to see the progress better. Dry sanding means a mask is mandatory though. Wet sanding creates a mess and you don't know if you are getting close to the first carbon layer or are already too deep. When I switch to 600 or higher, then I also add water.

And man, my fingers still ache four days later... :oops: Did I mention that I don't like to do this kind of work at all :lol: :lol: Good thing that the worst is done and we can move on to nicer things of the build.

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