Giant Defy vs TCR vs Propel

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
amngwlvs
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:45 pm

by amngwlvs

Hello Weenies – finally joined after lurking for too long! Tons of useful info around here.

I know this this topic has been covered before but I never really find an answer that fits my situation.

So in 2016 I bought a Giant Propel Advanced 2 (105 groupset) with the intention of doing mostly solo training rides and Ontario Cup races. Since then the ban on discs has been lifted here, I’ve been riding far more group rides (usually 29-33km/h depending who shows up), a handful of races, and an annual trip to Tennessee which has far more climbing and descending than here in Ontario. I’m starting to realize the Propel may or may not be the best bike for the various riding I’m doing. The bike always wants to go fast and on casual group rides it reminds me of its racing pedigree. I find it a little low in the front and thus run probably around 20-25mm of spacers to keep it upright enough for all day comfort.

I’m hoping to do some longer rides this season (300ish km) so I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a Defy Advanced Pro 0 but I’m worried it will go the opposite way of the Propel and never feel like a race bike even if I race it. That’s where the TCR Advanced Pro 0 Disc comes in… but with geometry so similar to my current ride is it worth spending $6000 on it when I could spend $3500-4000 and get a decent set of deep section carbon wheels and upgrade to Di2.

So do I…

A) Save some cash, keep the Propel and upgrade to some deep section wheels, Di2 and work on flexibility.
B) Get the Defy, love it’s comfort on long days and group rides, slam the stem for longer races and keep the Propel for crits.
C) Get the TCR, ride and race the hell out of it and potentially sell the Propel to get a power meter or other goodies.

tl;dr – Which Giant would get for everything from 30 minute crits to 300k days?
2018 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0 Disc
2015 Giant Propel Advanced 2
2013 Trek 520

by Weenie


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TonyM
Posts: 1998
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

Definitely A/!

All 3 are good for your rides. It just depends on your core, fitness and expectations in terms of speed and comfort...

They will however feel very different due to their geometry (and weight) depending where you ride and how fast you ride.

I would strongly suggest you to have a bike ride test with the TCR and the Defy.

tomycs
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:06 pm

by tomycs

I'd look for the best fit. Good fit means being confortable and putting out the most power over long distance (climbing, sprinting etc. even cornering and descending speeds go up with good fit) I rate it higher than aero or how crisp shifting feels. Giant shops are typically friendly enough to let you try all 3.
Fwiw I'm confortable on my Propel and I've done 220k on it (once or twice) but it's not my first option for long distance.

northwestern
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:13 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ

by northwestern

I'd take the Defy because you can fit bigger tires on it so you can ride on more types of surfaces. I have a TCR Advanced Sl and unless the tarmac is 9/10 I can't ride fast. Gravel, sand or any other road type is completely out of the question.

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fa63
Posts: 2256
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:26 am
Location: Atlanta, GA, US

by fa63

The Defy is no slouch (I rode one for a couple years). Also, it doesn't seem to be a hindrance to the pros who race them during the cobbled classics.

amngwlvs
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:45 pm

by amngwlvs

Thanks for the replies guys; all insightful in their own way! As a couple have mentioned I think a test ride on a TCR and a Defy are both great calls considering the local Giant shop is right around the corner.
TonyM wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:57 pm
Definitely A/!

All 3 are good for your rides. It just depends on your core, fitness and expectations in terms of speed and comfort...

They will however feel very different due to their geometry (and weight) depending where you ride and how fast you ride.

I would strongly suggest you to have a bike ride test with the TCR and the Defy.
Right now I've been slacking as far as fitness goes because of the long winter we've been having but as far as speed goes it would be about an average of 30ish km/h on group rides and 35+ for more spirited group rides and races.
tomycs wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:12 pm
I'd look for the best fit. Good fit means being confortable and putting out the most power over long distance (climbing, sprinting etc. even cornering and descending speeds go up with good fit) I rate it higher than aero or how crisp shifting feels. Giant shops are typically friendly enough to let you try all 3.
Fwiw I'm confortable on my Propel and I've done 220k on it (once or twice) but it's not my first option for long distance.
Good call. I've never been very scientific with my fit though - I just kind of go with what looks/feels right. On my Propel my longest day is about 160k but I'd like to beat my personal record of 288k this summer.
northwestern wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:29 pm
I'd take the Defy because you can fit bigger tires on it so you can ride on more types of surfaces. I have a TCR Advanced Sl and unless the tarmac is 9/10 I can't ride fast. Gravel, sand or any other road type is completely out of the question.
Thanks for the reply. I've definitely ridden some rough/gravel patches on the Propel and I love it. I just imagine I'm riding Paris-Roubaix and smash the pdeals so a Defy would only heighten that feeling I'm sure.
fa63 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:30 pm
The Defy is no slouch (I rode one for a couple years). Also, it doesn't seem to be a hindrance to the pros who race them during the cobbled classics.
No it doesn't! It was Mike Teunissen's P-R bike that put the Defy in my head in the first place!

Image
2018 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0 Disc
2015 Giant Propel Advanced 2
2013 Trek 520

sharkman
Posts: 1400
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:32 pm
Location: the Netherlands

by sharkman

pro’s to my knowledge never rode defy’s . In fact I own one of the 2015 pr bikes and it’s a Tcr with the rear of a defy added (enabeling 28 + mm tyres)
Not sure on the pictured 2018 tcr bur most pro’s won’t want to compromize on the comfort geometry. I did P-r on my tcr disc but would have taken my tcx or the above mentioned custom defy id the weather would have been worse. Defy wouldn’t be my choice for a allround bike (my back is fine and I hate the large headtube) and my Propel sl is only a good choice on good tarmac/flats (and actually drives better than the new propel disc)


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amngwlvs
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:45 pm

by amngwlvs

Ahh, you are correct. Further reading and they are calling it a “special edition” Defy with a shorter head tube. No wonder the front end seemed low.

Based on your comments on the Defy and Propel though is it safe to say you’d vote TCR for an all arounder?
2018 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0 Disc
2015 Giant Propel Advanced 2
2013 Trek 520

sharkman
Posts: 1400
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:32 pm
Location: the Netherlands

by sharkman

Yes tcr preferable isp. Disc only if you ride in bad wearher or steep hills. only if the road gets really bad a tcx disc might be an option


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fa63
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Location: Atlanta, GA, US

by fa63

If you think the headtube on the Defy is too tall, then go down one size and run a longer stem. Problem solved :)

sharkman
Posts: 1400
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:32 pm
Location: the Netherlands

by sharkman

Wonder how that works, I have a tcr size L with zero spacers and a 140 mm stem


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fa63
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by fa63

Then the Defy is not for you :) But you don’t see too many people with a fit like that. Not saying your fit is wrong, as people are built differently.

amngwlvs
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:45 pm

by amngwlvs

sharkman wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:18 pm
Yes tcr preferable isp. Disc only if you ride in bad wearher or steep hills. only if the road gets really bad a tcx disc might be an option


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Why isp? I was looking at the Advanced Pro 0 which doesn’t have it. Is it worth my cash to move up to the SL? I was aiming for a disc version mostly for versatility. While I typically wouldn’t “need” them I’d prefer them if this will be a long term bike for me.

Not too worried about the roads being too rough for the TCR. If it’s going to be that rough I’d take a different bike.
fa63 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:50 pm
If you think the headtube on the Defy is too tall, then go down one size and run a longer stem. Problem solved :)
At 5’10 I’m right at the top end of a medium or bottom end of a ML. Don’t think I could squeeze down to a small but a longer lower stem is always an option!
sharkman wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:23 pm
Wonder how that works, I have a tcr size L with zero spacers and a 140 mm stem


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Damn that’s a long stem!
2018 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0 Disc
2015 Giant Propel Advanced 2
2013 Trek 520

sharkman
Posts: 1400
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:32 pm
Location: the Netherlands

by sharkman


[/quote]

Why isp? I was looking at the Advanced Pro 0 which doesn’t have it. Is it worth my cash to move up to the SL?

Damn that’s a long stem![/quote]

The pro is fine, if the price difference isn’t too big I would go for the fixed post

On all my Giants use >130 mm stems (but get them really cheap as they are old team stuff)


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amngwlvs
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:45 pm

by amngwlvs

sharkman wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:28 pm


Why isp? I was looking at the Advanced Pro 0 which doesn’t have it. Is it worth my cash to move up to the SL?

Damn that’s a long stem!

The pro is fine, if the price difference isn’t too big I would go for the fixed post

On all my Giants use >130 mm stems (but get them really cheap as they are old team stuff)


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Thanks for the reply - the difference price wise is about $1500 and the SL is completely sold out in Canada in Medium. I test rode a 105 level TCR for fit on Friday and it felt great. Even with geo so similar to the Propel on paper I couldn't believe how different it actually felt to me (that said, I only rode it in a parking lot). I test rode the Defy Advanced Pro 0 on Saturday at a different shop and while it felt great and far livelier than I expected I couldn't help but feel like it wasn't the bike I was after. Maybe it's a mental thing but it didn't feel like the do all bike I was after. May have to make the 5 hours drive to pick up the TCR AP0 at the closest shop that has it in stock since it's not available for order at my local dealer either.
2018 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0 Disc
2015 Giant Propel Advanced 2
2013 Trek 520

by Weenie


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