Now in its seventh year the Defy has been rebuilt from ground up with all new tube shapes, an integrated seatpost (ISP), new wheels and even new graphics. Arguably the biggest change for the Defy is the inclusion of Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes. The endurance oriented geometry of the bike however remains unchanged, as Giant has determined this to be ideal for the endurance road category.
Four criterion were the basis of the new design; control, weight, stiffness and compliance; pretty standard ideals for high end road bikes. In the process of fleshing out these goals for the Defy, head designer for Giant, Jon Swanson said, “Anything we do needs to be authentic; no gimmicks, no fluff, no bullshit, no little things stuck in…just keep it clean; very much to the point. A purely engineered product”.
And so it is; just a clean, straightforward modern looking frame, with all cables and hoses internally routed bar the front brake hose, no gimmicks, no fluff. The graphics have also been amped up with a new blue colour that’s more neon for extra punch and contrast, and the Giant logo font on the down tube has been tweaked marginally to bring it up to date.
The weight of a bike plays a big role in its performance. It also plays a part in the rider’s perception of how that bike performs. Giant knows this and as such one of their key goals is to create frames that perform, but which are also remarkably light. Given this weight minimisation goal the addition of disc brake tabs to a frame is problematic, as adding disc mounts will usually bring a weight penalty. However the weight reduction goals Giant had for the Defy actually saw them create a lighter disc brake ready frame…
Bicycling Australia has done a full review on the Defy.