Author Archives: stephensnider

Giant Defy Advanced 2 – 1000 km later

A couple of months ago, I wrote a review (more of an impression) of the Giant Defy Advanced 2 (DA2) having put just a handful of rides on it. Since then, I’ve racked up some miles and wanted to give a longer-term review of Giant’s endurance bike.

When the weather has been nice this spring, I’ve had a hard time deciding whether to hit the road or take the mountain bike out.  I love mountain biking, and also have a new mountain bike, but the Defy is such a joy to ride that there are days that opted to go climb hills just so I could fly down them again.  I’d leave the house, tell my wife I’d be home in a few hours, and give the bike its nose, exploring roads and paths I’d never been up before.

I took the Defy on chip sealed roads, bike paths, fresh pavement, into headwinds, out of tailwinds, and up a ridiculous number of hills.  I’ve done 50+ mile rides, and I’ve commuted to work, all 6 miles of it.  I stand by my original review that said it’s all about control.  At no point do I feel out of control on the Defy.  It handles predictably, it lends confidence when getting up out of the saddle to climb or sprint, and the disc brakes make stopping stress-free.  The carbon frame damps all but the roughest road, and I never got home with a sore butt from harsh miles over poorly-maintained county roads.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows (just mostly).  The disc brakes seem to be the cheapest component on the bike, and have already developed a chatter.  The chatter is especially bad in the front brake.  It’s something I’ve experienced in low end mechanical disc brakes before, so it’s not surprising.  I think the bike needs a good set of BB7 Road brakes to elevate the braking experience to the rest of the bike.

I’m also not wild about the wheels.  I understand that for the price point, Giant had to make some compromises on components.  But, they are heavy!  I haven’t geeked out to put them on the scale yet, but I am certain that the rear is heavier than my race MTB wheel.

Of course the racer in me wants to buy new elite wheels, get the BB7 mechanical disc brakes (or even splurge for hydro!!), and go all carbon all the things.  But… then I think about what this bike is designed to do.  It’s designed to be a comfortable bike for long rides over all sorts of roads.  It’s not a race bike.  It’s not a time trial bike.  It’s not even a cyclocross bike.  It’s an endurance bike.

As an endurance bike, I couldn’t ask for anything more.  A 30 mile ride is just a warm up on the Defy.  It is wonderful to ride over any road surface.  It handles predictably.  It is stiff enough that when I get out of the saddle to power over the rise, I can feel the bike leaping forward with each pedal stroke.  In short, it’s the perfect bike for long, meandering spring rides through the hills, summer centuries, fall Gran Fondos, and winter shake-out-the-cobwebs rides.

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Sponsor spotlight: Dumonde Tech

One of our new sponsors for the 2015 racing season is Dumonde Tech.  Dumonde tech makes a wide range of lubricants for bicycles and motorsports.  They were founded in Kirkland, WA in 1985 and started with go-kart lube and expanded from there.

Dumonde Tech logo


Dumonde Tech provided the Bike Masters racing team with small sample bottles of their regular chain lube as well as their lite chain lube.  I’ve had a chance to try their lite weight version over the last couple of months on both my road and mountain bikes.  It’s worth noting that Dumonde Tech recommends their regular chain lube for mountain biking: muddy, wet, sloppy conditions.  They recommend their lite lube for road biking, or for dry conditions mountain biking.

The instructions that came with both lubricants is the same: clean and dry chain thoroughly, being sure to remove other lubricants and dirt.  Apply the lube to the chain, then wipe off excess until the chain looks dry.  Dumonde Tech’s literature says that their lube will create a plastic coat on the chain, which will both lubricate and protect the chain.

I disregarded the instructions and used the lite lube on both my road bike and my mountain bike.  Then, I started racking up the miles.  Dumonde Tech says to go by the sound of your chain, rather than the look, to know when to reapply the lube.  My road bike went close to 500 miles before I heard a squeak start.  That’s far better than most lubes that I’ve used in the past.

I was surprised how long the lube lasted on my mountain bike chain, as well.  It lasted through two long rides (25+ miles) in the wet, including a full post-ride wash down.  Most other lubes I’ve used would need to be reapplied after one such ride, especially with a wash.  As a matter of fact, I’ve used chain lubricants that wouldn’t even last through one winter ride in the Pacific Northwest.

Dumonde Tech chain lube holds up very well through the miles.  It applies just as easily as any other chain lube, but lasts longer.  I will definitely continue to use their chain lubricants on all of my bikes throughout the remainder of the race season(s) and update my review as needed.

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