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Giant Contend 3

Old 09-10-18, 03:10 PM
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Jon T
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Giant Contend 3

I'm stuck in the 20th century. Still riding steel with dt friction shifting, etc., etc. I was in the lbs (new one so I had to check it out) looking at the modern bikes. The one that caught my eye was the Giant Contend 3. It's a 2018 so it's on sale for almost $100 off retail. I like the fact that both the frame and fork are aluminum and not CF. I was talking to a fellow cyclist at work and he said other than the Claris running gear it looks like a good entry-level bike for me. I'm not new to cycling. I'm 63 yo and have been bike riding ever since I can remember. My current ride is 34 yo (bought it new) and looks/runs as good as the day it was new. What say you about the Contend 3? I'm not gonna' be doing crit's or tt's--just recreational riding. The Contend 3 is in a price range I can afford. I just thought it might be nice to join the 21st century finally.
TIA for your inputs and opinions.
Jon

Last edited by Jon T; 09-10-18 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 09-10-18, 09:57 PM
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Jon T
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Any one?
Jon
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Old 09-10-18, 10:14 PM
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jbert240
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Your post reads as if it was written by me....I'm 65 and still riding my 1994 Bridgestone XO3 with friction shifting, although I did up grade it to V brakes. This summer I was also on the hunt for a updated road bike. I ended up with the Giant Contend 1 with Sora groupset and carbon fork. This bike is geat and is very comfortable and smooth riding and the best part is that I have no back or neck pain with the drop bars.
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Old 09-10-18, 10:31 PM
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CO_Steve
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I know some folks like to buy new but this time of year for $5-600 you can get some nice road bikes in near new condition. Stretch the budget a bit more and a 105/Ultegra bike is possible, especially in alu.
Since you've kept your old ride so long you must be a little versed in the car and feeding of a bike, so maybe it needs a bit of lube/tune.

Example:

2011 Upgraded Sram Red Trek XO1 Road/Cyclocross/Commuter bike
$735
Winston-Salem, NC$735 OBO
2011 Trek XO1 Road/Cyclocross/Commuter bike

Short version:

56, All upgraded to Sram RED 2x10 except front derailer and crankset. Bike mechanic owned, very carefully maintained. 1 paint chip in the fork, and one scuff on the toptube.

Long version:

This is the ultimate "quiver-killer" bike. Currently optimized for road riding or commuting, it also works as a gravel bike, a cross bike, and could even be "underbiked" on singletrack.

Components:
- 56cm frame
- Aluminum frame, Carbon fork
- Upgraded Sram RED 2x10 shifters, rear derailleur, and rear casette
- Stock Sram Apex front derailleur and crankset
- Upgraded and <1yr old Jagwire cables and housing

2 small imperfections: 1 chip in the paint behind the fork (pictured) from an little rock getting kicked up (this is about 3 years old, and goes no deeper than the paint), and a small paint scuff on the top from being put in a rack on a car incorrectly. Cables are fine, paint is just scuffed, and this is also pictured.

Everything spins and clicks as it should, enthusiastically. Bike has been professionally maintained and cared for, kept indoors, and cleaned after every rain ride.


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Old 09-10-18, 10:51 PM
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I've been looking at road bikes. I like the Giant's. I think in your price range it would be a good bike for you. That said, when you get into the better models they don't compare well to other manufacturers, imo. For example, lots of their bikes don't have a carbon fork yet they cost more for similar groupsets. One thing I see on the Contend 3 is the tire size is narrow. A real racer at 25mm. Personally I would prefer more rubber on the road, up to like 32c and maybe 35c if you go off the asphalt..

Not to throw a curveball at you but places like BikesDirect or Lim Bikes, both of which are online bike sellers, they have great prices with great components. I've narrowed my choice down to a Scott Speedster 20. It has Shimano Tiagra hardware with 32c tires, carbon fork and steerer for $820. That's at Lim Bikes. BikesDirect has even better deals on Motobecane bikes with great Shimano components.
A bit pricey in comparisons but at the price of the Contend 3 I think it'd be a good bike for you. I like the color scheme for sure.
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Old 09-11-18, 01:33 AM
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Not sure about Lim Bikes, but BikesDirect comes in a box and you have to assemble it---really easy stuff, but you have to adjust the brakes and shifting yourself ... or take it to a shop. Not terrible, as you will eventually need to take it to a shop for a tune-up after a few weeks or so .... check that the wheels are straight, readjust the cables after they stretch and take a set.

The Giant Contend line is solid. The Contend 3 ought to be fine. personally i would go for the Contend 1 for the Carbon fork, Sora, and tubeless ... . but the 3 looks solid.

Check out this too: https://www.performancebike.com/shop...e-2018-31-8650
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Old 09-11-18, 05:02 AM
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Other than being 53, sounds a lot like me. Riding a 30 and 31 year old bike. Have thought about new, and the Giant is certainly competitive price wise as well as having a good feel. I would probably go for the Tiara group myself.
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Old 09-11-18, 05:35 AM
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One of the "best bang for the buck" brands seem to be Fuji. Places like Performancebike and others have them not just $100 off retail, but several hundred off. (and if you don't have a performance affiliate in your state, you may skate out of both shipping, and tax!)
Also, as mentioned above, the used market (Craigslist,etc.) can be a gold mine. I'd start checking Craigslist a couple times every day, and have your cash handy. I recently lucked into a clean,low miles 2014 Fuji, with Shimano 105, for $350 ! The virtually-same bike for this year retails for $1500, and sells on big price drop around $1200. And if I was closer to The Big City (Atl), the great deals are much more common, from what I'm seeing.
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Old 09-11-18, 02:15 PM
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I'll vouch for the Contend line. I went with the Contend 1 for the upgraded hardware but both of them ride smoothly on the road. I bought mine wanting to get my foot in the door with a limited budget then upgrade in the next year or two (3rd baby on the way and we needed to buy a bigger vehicle this year) but after doing 1000+ miles so far this summer, I don't really feel like I need an upgrade, I really enjoy everything about this bike. You could certainly find cheaper on the used market though. I've even seen a few Contend/Defy's lately at around the $400-$600 price point. If you know what you are doing then there's no reason to spend extra I guess. I'm still learning how to maintain bikes so for me LBS was the better option.
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Old 09-11-18, 03:56 PM
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I bought a 2018 Contend 3 for my 24 yo son about back in March. It was on clearance at a store that was closing. A year ago I had been looking at the Contend SLs and Defys and ended up with a Defy 1 (I found one used) but I had ridden the Contend 3 at that time and a buddy of mine bought one. For under $400 out the door it was a no brainer. It is a very basic entry level bike with basic groupset but as his first road bike, it is perfect. He absolutely loves it and kicks my butt with it on a regular basis when we ride together... He has many 100's of miles on it and rides it hard and absolutely nothing has gone wrong with it. It still shifts and brakes great and no squeaks or rattles at all. He will likely upgrade one day if he stays with it but for now it suits him well.

There are far better bikes out there for more $ and buying used is good if you can find them (really difficult around here) but you can't go wrong with the Contend 3. It has been a great bike.

Last edited by dbf909; 09-11-18 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 09-11-18, 09:31 PM
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Jon T
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Resist the urge to get a new bike just to get a new bike. Or make up excuses to get a new bike.

Riding an old bike is cool. Just get it professionally tuned up and it'll ride better than these new bikes.
Agreed, riding the ol' gal is fun and I always get a compliment or two on every ride. I just thought it might be nice to have some thing new again. No need for a professional tune-up. I do it all mine self. It still rides and looks as good as the day it was new.
Thanks for all the replies.
Jon
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