2012 Giant Defy Advanced 2
I’d been lusting after a carbon roadie since watching the Tour De France from around 2007. I started doing some research in 2011/2012. Roadies tend towards either race or plush. As this was just for commuting and occasional rec rides, I wanted the latter. I limited my search to five bikes in the end;
- Cannondale Synapse,
- Specialized Roubaix,
- Trek Madone,
- Scott CR1 and the
- Giant Defy Advanced 2.
Reviews of the Cannondale and Scott left me unenthusiastic. The Madone’s geometry is a compromise of race and plush, not necessarily a bad thing, but plush was a big attraction to me. Sadly, the shop that sells them really stuffed me around, so I ruled it out. The Roubaix was a real contender and is seen by many as the benchmark in plushness. It’s a damn fine looking machine to be sure. The Defy Advanced “series” in general had either been contenders, or outright winners in “bike of the year” shootouts. As the Giant was somewhat cheaper and even better specc’ed than the Roubaix, the latter had to really outshine the Giant in a big way. It was nigh impossible to test ride one at the time of my interest. That, the lower specifications, the fact that in some componentry on the bike was Specialized-branded made it hard to upgrade more generally had I wanted to. I later read some reviews on the Roubaix whereby owners reflected upon a ‘dead road feel’. I was able to test ride a Defy Advanced 3 (which had Shimano 105 vs the Ultegra on the Advanced 2). The bike felt amazing, it certainly didn’t leave me wanting. So I was more than happy to grab a Defy Advanced 2 at a bargain price.
I thought I had an issue with the bike as I was getting creaking on pedaling. Noise travels a fair way on these bikes and isolating it can be fun and games. What I thought for a long time was the saddle turned out to be the seat-post; it had simply left the factory without any grease/graphite and once rectified with an appropriate lubing the creaking ceased! Bottom line, it’s been a great bike and I would definitely recommend this line of bikes. The longer wheelbase affords a great level of comfort yet the bike is fast when you want it to be.
Most recent changes:
- Black handlebar tape to replace the factory white.
- XTR pedals
- Continental gatorskins 23c (folding)
- Specialized Avatar expert w/Ti rails
7.9kg (small frame)