Giant Contend set to replace the Defy Alloy

June 27, 2016
Giant Contend set to replace the Defy Alloy

Giant recently announced 'early release' details of their 2017 line-up and included was a new entry-level endurance road bike named 'Contend' to replace the alloy series of the immensely popular Defy range. Giant claim that 'every Contend bike puts an emphasis on confident handling, smooth ride quality, and lightweight efficiency'. Much like the Defy series, the Cotend will offer a versatile frame geometry designed with a comfortable riding position and reactive handling.

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Main features

Following a similar theme to their other styles, there are three distinct categories of the Contend; Contend SL Disc, Contend SL and Contend.

The Contend SL versions (disc and standard) are based on the same platform, ALUXX SL-grade aluminium frame with an advanced-grade hybrid composite fork. The disc equipped version features integrated flat-mount disc brakes for improved stopping power and better performance in all weather conditions. The Contend range was created with endurance riding in mind so comfort is at the forefront of its tech features. A 'D-fuse composite seatpost' is incorporated to aid compliance and reduce road vibration.

The Contend SL has many other features normally only associated with performance bikes. To start with the Contend SL has internal cable routing improving the aesthetic, oversized bottom bracket area for enhanced power transfer and Giant's 'OverDrive' tapered steerer tube to enhance handling through increased front end stiffness.

Giant's 'PowerCore' is at the heart of the Contend's performance attributes. Power transfer is optimised thanks to an oversized bottom bracket / chain stay area and further assisted by asymmetric chainstays designed to 'provide additional stiffness on the driveside and stability on the non-driveside'.

Possibly the best descriptive piece of tech on the Contend is the 'Megadrive'. The 'massive' rectangular downtube links the front of the bike to the 'PowerCore' maintaining frame stiffness while keeping weight down. From a practical point of view disc brakes are a great inclusion regardless of the type of riding you plan to do, and built in mounts allow for the addition of fender or racks, a big tick for the commuting or touring community.

The base Contend version offers similar attributes but its frame and fork is ALUXX-grade aluminium (instead of ALUXX SL-grade) and a 27.2 round-diameter seatpost replaces the D-Fuse composite seatpost. All Contend SL and Contend models will feature quick release wheels.

Comparing the out-going Defy Alloy range with the Contend reveals a slight tweak to the frame geometry. The top tube length, head tube angle and head tube length carry over to keep the riding position much the same. However, a one-centimetre reduction in the chainstay length also results in a shorter wheelbase. This change should create a more reactive handling quality.

The Contend SL 1 Disc - AU$1,899

  • Frame: ALUXX SL-grade aluminum

  • Fork: Composite with alloy OverDrive steerer

  • Drivetrain: Shimano 105 11-speed. 50/34 + 11/32

  • Brakes: Giant Conduct brake semi-hydraulic, 140mm (features a hydraulic adaptor on stem)

  • Wheels: Giant PR-2 Disc rims, Giant P-SL 1, Front and Rear Specific, 700x25, Folding tyres

Worthy of note, this model features mechanical brake levers that link to a hydraulic system at the stem (made by brake experts Tektro). It allows Giant to equip this bike with 105 and hydraulic brakes at a fair price. The brakes feel good and we're told work incredibly well. The system doesn't appear to add weight, with bike weighing in at 9.2kg

Contend SL1D CB Black 2000px

The Contend SL 2 Disc - AU$1,599

  • Frame: ALUXX SL-grade aluminum

  • Fork: Composite with alloy OverDrive steerer

  • Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra 10-speed. 50/34 + 11/32

  • Brakes: TRP Spyre C, mechanical disc, 160mm

  • Wheels: Giant SR-2 Disc rims, Giant P-SL 1, Front and Rear Specific, 700x25, Folding tyres

Contend SL2D MD Black

Contend 1 - AU$1,099

  • Frame: ALUXX-grade aluminum

  • Fork: Composite with alloy OverDrive steerer

  • Drivetrain: Shimano Sora 9-speed. 50/34 + 11/32

  • Brakes: Tektro R312

  • Wheels: Giant SR-2 rims, Giant S-R4, Front and Rear Specific, 700x25 folding tyres

Contend 1 Red

Contend 2 - AU$899

  • Frame: ALUXX-grade aluminum

  • Fork: Composite with alloy OverDrive steerer

  • Drivetrain: Shimano Claris 8-speed. 50/34 + 11/32

  • Brakes: Tektro R312

  • Wheels: Giant SR-2 rims, Giant S-R4, Front and Rear Specific, 700x25 folding tyres

Contend 2 White


Giant Australia will offer a simplified Contend range to that available in international markets. Imagery is supplied by Giant USA

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