A well-priced aero offering from Giant, with Shimano 105 grouptest priced £1999
Giant leads the charge when it comes to offering mass-market aero frames. When the Propel was launched a little over a year ago, we were seriously impressed with the numbers coming out of the wind tunnel. At the time it was the fastest bike on the market and although a select few have joined the ranks, nothing comes remotely close to offering such great value for money.
Propel Advanced is essentially identical to the machines used by the pros, but unlike its more expensive brothers the Propel 3 has a fully adjustable seatpost and uses a lower grade of carbon-fibre, so it’s not quite as light or stiff but is still impressive.
This bike feels as fast as it looks, with its compact rear triangle, oversize BB and tapered head tube, all meaning that when you kick you get instant acceleration. Even when going at low speeds while climbing out of the saddle, there’s no hint of lagging.
The handling is very positive — it simply goes where you point it. Not once did it step out of line and all the time you’ll get constant road feedback, allowing you to really push this bike to the limits, which is more than you can say for some of its rivals.
The component choice is the reliable Shimano 105, with the only exception to this being the Giant SpeedControl mini-V brake calipers, integrated as part of the aero process and tucked away out of the wind. In practice they aren’t as snappy as some, but they still offer good stopping power and plenty of modulation.
The finishing kit is mainly good quality. Even the tyres are up to scratch; they may be adorned with the Giant logo but they’ve proven to be fast, grippy and have offered plenty of puncture resistance — and there’s been some great conditions to test that of late!
The only sticking point is Giant’s own-brand P-A2 aero wheels. Fast they may be but on the model we tested they are really flexy, the front especially so, to the point of it ‘pinging’ like a brand new wheel, even after 250 miles. It’s such a shame because other than this the bike really is very impressive. At the time of writing we’re waiting for a replacement wheel, so we’ll update with a full test soon.
Toray T700 carbon
Toray T700 carbon, Overdrive2
S-XL (5 sizes)
Shimano 105 10spd