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  1. #1
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    Giant Defy 2 - your opinions?

    For anyone who owns, has owned, is familiar with, or is willing to take a look at (use the link below) the 2012 Giant Defy 2, can you please give me your opinions/thoughts?

    Defy 2 (2012) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

    A local bike shop has it on sale for 20% off MSRP...making it $927.99.

    Background: I'm 45,6'2", 210 pounds (normally around 190 but surgery kept me off my feet for 6 weeks) and this will be my first road bike. I am taking up cycling because of having microfracture surgery (removed 6 pieces of loose cartilage, put 7 holes in my bone trying to get new, but much softer than what you're born with, cartilage to grow) to my left knee in November (just started walking again 3 weeks ago) - doc says no more tennis or running and suggested I take up cycling. I'm looking to spend as little as possible but still get a decent first bike with better than Shimano 2300 components. I'll be riding in flat, hilly, city, urban, and rural areas. Hopefully I'll eventually be strong enough to ride with my buddies in the Blue Ridge Mountains (about 40 miles away) and up
    Grandfather Mountain. Speed in a bike would be nice but I also would like to be comfortable as well.

    Thank you for your help!

    TripleB

  2. #2
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    Triple B,
    I'm also new in road cycling and just want to share you my opinion/experience about Giant Defy. My first bike was a Giant Defy 3 with upgraded components that I bought off Craigslist for about $800 around Sept '2012. As my first road bike, I learned a lot from it. Performance was very good, it had Shimano Tiagra components that were very responsive and not bad looking. I rode it for around 400 miles then I decided to sell to upgrade to a BMC SL01 (full carbon w/ 105 components) last December. I still got $650 for selling the Giant Defy 3:-). What I'm saying is, if you are contented with Alloy frame and decent components with at par performance, go for it! You would love Giant's Performance! But if you think that eventually, you would get more serious in cycling, throw a bit more (around $600) and get full carbon with better components. You will ride with a smile on your face. By the way, I'm 39 yo.

    Just my 2 cents...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pepckat View Post
    Triple B,
    But if you think that eventually, you would get more serious in cycling, throw a bit more (around $600) and get full carbon with better components. You will ride with a smile on your face. By the way, I'm 39 yo.

    Just my 2 cents...
    Thanks for the input.

    To be honest, $1000 is really pushing my limit. With $1000+ out of pocket with my knee surgery, a 16 year old daughter (insurance....UGH), and a 5 year old who now wants to play lacrosse, money is extremely tight. I've played tennis for 40 years and during that time was also a runner on and off. I want to truly make sure cycling is really something I'm going to stick with long term before putting a great deal of money into it. If down the road 2 or 3 years I've fallen in love with it like I did tennis and running I won't hesitate putting more money in a bike....right now, I just can't do it.

    Again, I appreciate all your input.

    TripleB

  4. #4
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    Your welcome. Again, Giant Defy is a great bike, proven and tested...Go for it!!! Just make sure that the bike shop will recommend the right size for you.

    Good luck and Happy riding!!!

  5. #5
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    i, too, faced the same budget constraints and after reading all the great online reviews and test riding several others at that price point, i went with the giant.

    several years later, i own and still ride 2011 giant defy as my primary bike. i upgraded to 105 components (shifters, derailleurs and crankset,) vuelta corsa superlite wheels, and fsa compact bars--about $600 in components. i then powder coated it and added my own decals, so it looks custom. the point is that the giant is such a terrific frame and fit me so well (fit is EVERYTHING, i cannot stress this enough) that i deemed it worthy of upgrading.

    if you can find a frame that fits you and that you love, then you'll be set. as your fitness and (hopefully) finances improves, you'll be well positioned to upgrade to components that will increase your joy of ownership and compliment your (improved) riding abilities. the giant was that frame for me. i feel confident recommending it to you, provided, of course that IT FITS!.

    good luck and let us know how it works out for you.

  6. #6
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    my first bike was an 09 Defy 1. It was a decent bike but i was never completely happy with it. knowing what i know now, i probably would have liked it better if it was a) sized correctly as it was 1 size too big and getting my ideal fit was tough, and b) ran 25's on it instead of 23's. I found that the aluminum frame wasn't the smoothest and handling was a little muted, but in the end, it was a good bike.

    I upgraded to titanium because i wanted less harshness from my bike, but again, i probably could have benefitted from 25's, wide wheels, latex tubes.

  7. #7
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    i just bought a defy 1. if you can swing it, thats a really the sweet spot as far as components go imo. i wouldnt waste money on buying a bike that you can grow out of but i also wouldnt spend money on a carbon frame at this level of cycling.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnice View Post
    as your fitness and (hopefully) finances improves, you'll be well positioned to upgrade to components that will increase your joy of ownership and compliment your (improved) riding abilities.
    Jim at the cycle shop I went to yesterday said that the Defy 2 components were more easily upgraded because it is a 10 speed instead of a 9 speed.

    Is this true and can anyone explain why a 10 speed is easier to upgrade component wise than a 9 or 8 speed?

    Thanks for everyone's comments/opinions so far.

    TripleB

  9. #9
    .je
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    it probably means a few things, first, 10 speed is already an 'upgrade' over 9 (if you like 10 speeds), but more than that, you can get even better 10 speed components because they are still being made. 9 speed components are either not being made in the series you want, or are downgrades in weight or feel from the upper levels to keep prices down. In your situation, it may be a long time before you would ever think to change anything, and then you might decide not to.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by .je View Post
    it probably means a few things, first, 10 speed is already an 'upgrade' over 9 (if you like 10 speeds), but more than that, you can get even better 10 speed components because they are still being made. 9 speed components are either not being made in the series you want, or are downgrades in weight or feel from the upper levels to keep prices down. In your situation, it may be a long time before you would ever think to change anything, and then you might decide not to.
    Thank you for that explanation. I do remember him now saying that 10 speed components were easier to find.

    Understanding cycling is a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. When I was growing up all I knew was that I was moving up in the world when I went from my 1 speed bike to a 10 speed bike

    TripleB


  11. #11
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    Like Je said, 10 speed is more upgradable because 9 speed is obsolete and only really equipped on road bikes in really lower end models.

    I would counsel against upgrading the bike component wise piecemeal. It winds up being much more expensive in the long run. Bike manufacturers buy OEM parts in massive quantities and, because of economies of scale, keep the total price down.

    You might find a deal on a Defy 1 that has a 105 drivetrain. I think the ones we have on sale are $1050 or so. If you can get a closeout around that price, then the 105 is worth it. If not, enjoy the Defy 2. Take good care of it: clean it, make sure the drivetrain is clean and lubed, have it serviced regularly, change the chain when needed, and upgrade tires when they wear out. When the time comes for you to feed your new bike enthusiasm, you'll have good resale value on that Defy and you can upgrade to a carbon frame with at least 105 - probably Ultegra.
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  12. #12
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    Take a look at this bike, entry level with good components for an excellent price. You might also look at bikedirect.com.
    Diamondback Podium 2 Road Bike '12 > Complete Bikes > Road Bikes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wannaXbe View Post
    Take a look at this bike, entry level with good components for an excellent price. You might also look at bikedirect.com.
    Diamondback Podium 2 Road Bike '12 > Complete Bikes > Road Bikes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Thanks for the link. What is the best way to determine which side I need?

    TripleB


  14. #14
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    I am 6' and ride a 56cm but it really depends on your personal preference and your inseam measurement can determine which size as well.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wannaXbe View Post
    I am 6' and ride a 56cm but it really depends on your personal preference and your inseam measurement can determine which size as well.
    I went to another bike shop today that sold Specialized bikes. They have all their bikes (even ones they have to order) 10% off MSRP through February. That just threw about 5 more bikes into the realm of possibilities

    Anyway, the guy there said that I looked like a 58. He then saw a used bike he had that was 60 and had me get on it. I've never been on a road bike before so I'm not sure how they are supposed to fit but it felt too large...but he said it was right...even pointed out a 61 Elite Mid Compact that he said would work well for me.

    I did like the fact that once he found out my circumstances he pointed me to entry level bikes: Secteur Compact and Allez Compact, both $699. They also give free "tune ups" (not sure what they are called when done on bikes) for life.

    But now that I've found out about 9 and 8 speed components being harder to find I really hate looking at anything less than a 10 speed.

    Going to a Trek shop tomorrow and then a Fuji shop over the weekend to see what they have to offer. I go back to the doc Monday to see if I can get the all clear to ride so I can go back to the places I like and do some test rides.

    Thanks for all the input.

    TripleB

  16. #16
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    Fit Calcualtor

    triple b, please use the above link and get the important measurements that will ensure your correct fit. i would go so far as writing these down and taking them to the bike shops you've ultimately decided to buy from. they should be familiar with it, and if not ask them why not. fit is too important to be left up to the eye of some salesman in a bike shop who may be interested in nothing more than clearing out old inventory.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnice View Post
    Fit Calcualtor

    triple b, please use the above link and get the important measurements that will ensure your correct fit. i would go so far as writing these down and taking them to the bike shops you've ultimately decided to buy from. they should be familiar with it, and if not ask them why not. fit is too important to be left up to the eye of some salesman in a bike shop who may be interested in nothing more than clearing out old inventory.
    I really hate that Competitive Cyclist calculator .... because it ain't bad. Developing our own calculator based on the Retul data that I've accumulated is on my to-do list.

    dnice is right, though. Getting the right fitting bike is much much more important, ultimately, than the particular manufacturer at the level you're purchasing - that is, an aluminum frame with Tiagra is not going to be Earth shatteringly different whether you get a Defy or Specialized.

    Here's what I do with folks, and this is something you can insist on doing when you test ride bikes: I use a Bio-Size device to measure inseam, torso and arm length. You basically just have to get your inseam in centimeters. You can use the book method, where you bring the spine of a book up into your crotch and have someone measure to the floor with a tape measure to get your inseam in CM. Make sure you're not shy and you apply some pressure and get it up there. You might have to do it a few times and take an average.

    I then usually multiply that number by .88 or .87 to get saddle height as measured from the middle of the bottom bracket to the top of the middle of the saddle. The 87% is more conservative and will give a slightly lower saddle height. I'll then take a prospective bike and replicate that saddle height number. That should get you in the ballpark with respect to saddle height, and is now one constant you can use in which to evaluate all bikes you test ride - and you need to test ride bikes.

    Pay attention to where your hands settle. If your elbows are a bit locked when on the hoods in the default position, or you find you settle in a position slightly behind the hoods or even the top, or you feel like you're reaching, then it's too long. Also, that seatpost will look low on a frame that is too big. This can get tricky because people have different proportions: some have long legs, short torso, others the opposite.
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  18. #18
    .je
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    You can find all the 9 and even 8 speed wear-out parts from online retailers and ebay, I'd think they'll be available for a long time. You will also see pretty quickly that replacements for 9 and 8 are something like 1/2 or 1/3 the cost of 10 speed parts. The only expensive parts are the shifter levers, and from what I read you won't wear them out for many years.

  19. #19
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    I purchased a Defy 2 new in 2-09, opting for a compact crankset (50-34) to replace the triple on the bike. I encountered shift lock problems so the LBS suggested I upgrade my SIS and rear derailleur to Ultegra. I ended up with a 105 front derailleur. The bike has worked extremely well for me. I did switch to Kenda Kaliente 700x23 tires (about $27 each and very light). To date, I've had 2 flats in about 12,000 miles. I am a 71 year old endurance rider so I opt to set my bike up for centuries, 200K's and 24 hour events. Last year, I changed out the compact 50 tooth outer chainring for an FSA 46 tooth in order to get my chainline straighter and more in line for extended riding. I really don't need to pedal at 35mph. When I go that fast, I'm coasting. This year, I went from a ten speed 105 cassette (11-27) to a ten speed Tiagra 12-30 to get one more lower gear. The Tiagra slipped right on with no adjustment necessary and the cost is about 1/2 of the Ultegra 12-30 cassette. My granny gear is now better for the hills here in Northern Michigan.

    My advice would be to consider a triple crankset as low as possible if you are new to cycling and a cassette such as the Tiagra 12-30. I would not get anything under 10 speeds as this will give you the greatest latitude to configure you bike to fit your abilities and riding needs.

    I also changed out the stock seat that came with the bike after one season to a Stella SMP Extra saddle. At about $100, it was a bargain to keep the parts from going numb. I'm on my second saddle. The first one lasted 3 years including time on the trainer in the winter.

    The aluminium frame of the Defy is of course not as light as the carbons but it is a relatively lightweight and proven technology. Would I buy another Defy 2? In a heartbeat.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripleB View Post
    I went to another bike shop today that sold Specialized bikes. They have all their bikes (even ones they have to order) 10% off MSRP through February. That just threw about 5 more bikes into the realm of possibilities

    Anyway, the guy there said that I looked like a 58. He then saw a used bike he had that was 60 and had me get on it. I've never been on a road bike before so I'm not sure how they are supposed to fit but it felt too large...but he said it was right...even pointed out a 61 Elite Mid Compact that he said would work well for me.

    I did like the fact that once he found out my circumstances he pointed me to entry level bikes: Secteur Compact and Allez Compact, both $699. They also give free "tune ups" (not sure what they are called when done on bikes) for life.

    But now that I've found out about 9 and 8 speed components being harder to find I really hate looking at anything less than a 10 speed.

    Going to a Trek shop tomorrow and then a Fuji shop over the weekend to see what they have to offer. I go back to the doc Monday to see if I can get the all clear to ride so I can go back to the places I like and do some test rides.

    Thanks for all the input.

    TripleB
    Please stop using the bold type.

    I would be weary of any lbs that told me a used bike they had was a perfect fit. Also, most used bikes do not carry any warranty.

    It's always best to find a bike that's a perfect fit of course and if anything, slightly smaller. You can extend the stem and make other changes to fit you. Unfortunately you can't make a bigger bike any smaller.

  21. #21
    .je
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    If you're OK with Nashbar, Jenson, any of the UK vendors, or online, you can really find any 8 or 9 speed moving part. I am not sure if your bike store has these in stock or can order them, but I would guess they could do that. Bikes are still being sold with 8 and 9 speed drivetrains. Not to confuse you, but it isn't the biggest reason to choose 10. Old tech, and limited options are more the story, if they are any factor.

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