Giant’s unleashed a new weapon for the cobbled classics of Europe under Team Rabobank riders. Introduced in 2012, the Defy Advanced SL ISP made its pro racing debut at the aturing a frame designed to dissipate vibrations and keep the rider comfortable.
Giant is no stranger to, uh, giant tubes and intersections, and the new Defy doesn’t stray from that design philosophy. Starting at the front, their OverDrive headtube is as big as ever but gets taller. This puts the rider in a more comfortable, upright position and adds strength and stability for better control over the rough stuff. The fork has straight legs and improved tire clearance, allowing them to run up to 28c wide tires.
From there, the downtube gets even bigger, which Davis says helps to soak up vibrations. Moving back, the ISP (Integrated Seat Post) gets chiseled away at the back to give it a bit more compliance over bumps.
Compared to the TCR Advanced, below, you can see the flatter seatstays and modified junction at the top- and seat tubes. The other key difference between this and their standard team bikes is the lack of an orange, blue and white paint scheme. Since a fully painted frame can add about 200g of non-performance-enhancing weight, using just 50g or so of protective clear coat helps keep this bike at the same total weight as the TCR.
Some Defy Advanced models were recalled due to possible fork breakage, but the SL model was not affected.