After years of sitting on the sidelines, Giant has dived head-first into the aero road game with two all-new frames, the Propel Advanced SL and women’s-specific Envie Advanced, as well as a crop of wind-cheating components. Giant unveiled two new carbon fiber aero road machines just before the start of the Tour Down Under: the Propel Advanced SL and the women’s-specific Liv/giant Envie Advanced.
Think of aero road bike design as a sliding scale, with aerodynamics on the left and stiffness on the right. Tube shapes are skinny and carry Kamm-tails only out of necessity.
Integrated Aero Cockpit
The top-tier builds on both the Propel and the Envie will come stock with the Contact SLR Aero integrated stem and bar combo.
If bar/stem integration doesn’t work you you, Giant will also sell the Contact SLR Aero handlebar without the accompanying integrated stem.
Giant’s lab testing
Included in press materials for both the Propel and Envie are a number of lab tests, including head tube and bottom bracket stiffness and wind tunnel results.
Incredibly, Giant’s testing has shown that the Propel Advanced SL is actually faster in the wind tunnel than Cervelo’s S5, which is the fastest aero road frame we’ve ever tested at VeloLab, and is commonly considered to be the aero benchmark.
Giant tested its own bike with the Contact SLR Aero integrated bar and stem, and tested all the rest with a standard round handlebar and stock stem. An integrated bar and stem are certainly not the sole reason why the Propel tested so well, then.
Giant’s testing shows the Propel’s front-end stiffness to be considerably higher than the Venge, Noah FAST, and S5; it loses out to the Scott Foil, which remains one of the stiffest frames we’ve ever tested.
The Propel Advanced SL
At a claimed 950g frame weight, and 1,675g total module weight (frame, fork, brakeset, seatpost, seatpost clamp, and headset plug), the Propel Advanced SL is in with a fighting chance at being the lightest aero road frame on the market, an honor currently bestowed upon the Scott Foil. Geometry is the same as on the non-aero TCR Advanced model, except the Propel gets a horizontal top tube.
Frame Features Giant New Aero :
Giant calls these aerodynamic developments AeroSystem Shaping Technology, placing a focus on both tube and joint shapes, which have been nailed down only after hundreds of hours of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) research, as well as wind tunnel testing.
Available builds Giant New Aero :
The Propel is set to hit local shops this spring, sometime around March, and will be available in the following builds :
- Giant Propel Advanced SL0: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070, Giant PSLR-1 wheelset, Giant Contact SLR Aero integrated cockpit. $10,000
- Giant Propel Advanced SL1: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical, Giant PSLR-1 wheelset, Giant Contact SLR Aero bar and standard stem. $7,500
- Giant Propel Advanced SL2: SRAM Red, Giant PSLR-1 wheelset, Giant Contact SLR Aero bar and standard stem. $7,000
The Enve uses the same tube shapes and has the same integrated brakeset, maintaining the oversized bottom bracket area and the stiff tapered head tube. With the Envie, Giant maintained the same women’s fit concepts used in the rest of the Liv/Giant line, notably the company’s 3F (Fit, Form, Function) design philosophy.
Available Builds :
- Envie Advanced 0: SRAM Red, Giant Contact SLR Aero integrated bar/stem, Giant P-SLR1 Aero wheelset. $5,600.
- Envie Advanced 1: Shimano Ultegra, Giant Contact SLR Aero bar with standard stem, Giant P-SL0 wheelset. $3,500
- Envie Advanced 2: Shimano 105, Giant Connect SL bar, Giant P-SL1 wheelset. $2,550.