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Giant Defy 2 - Beginner gear and accessories recommendations

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Giant Defy 2 - Beginner gear and accessories recommendations

Old 04-22-20, 08:50 PM
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ferocious3
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Giant Defy 2 - Beginner gear and accessories recommendations

I finally got into biking due to this Covid19 thing, Went to my LBS & got a 2020 Giant Defy 2 so I could enjoy riding along the Vancouver sea wall but after 2 rides and seeing all the pros, I would like to improve.

I got everything stock including regular pedals due to not being familiar with clipless or shoes, no cyclocomputer and just a regular helmet.
Debating what I should get that would be a necessity. With everything stock what are the first 5 things you would get?

Last edited by ferocious3; 04-22-20 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 04-23-20, 12:54 AM
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I was hiking for several years before I started biking last month. For me it was natural to log miles, speed, cadence with my garmen watch that I already owned. This is assuming you are doing it for fitness. I have on back order power pedal so I can record watts. I just started using strava per the recommendation of a lot of other cyclist. It's 100x more useful and entertaining that just logging onto the Garmen website.

If it is for fun; ride it a month then pick the low hanging fruit. Clothes, shoes, lights, seats, tires, small bag for tube and tools, water bottle. Maybe because of my motorcycle accident I might not have normal knees I only find clipless pedals useful on my road bike when I turn 95+ rpm. If I am on gravel bike I prefer flat pedals and turn closer 75 to 85. I don't find any benefit to clipless pedals but a lot of headache on gravel/mountain trails. The experts with normal knees will give you a more informed opinion.

If you find yourself looking at wheel sets you will have to do cost analysis of new wheels, cassettes, discs, tires vs how much improved your bike will be vs just buying a better bike. I owned zero bikes from 1991 til xmas 2019. I bought a commuter bike xmas 2019 redux 2. End up selling it after owning it for about 3 months and bought two other bikes (gravel and road ). It's slippery slope.

Welcome and enjoy yourself!
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Old 04-23-20, 04:02 AM
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First thing, make sure you have had a decent bike fit done - as a minimum positioning the seat height and fore/aft position and handle bar height.

Since you want to improve, after you get water bottles/cages tools and a way to carry flat change kit while you ride, I'd say get a bike computer and a heart rate monitor if you don't have one already.. You can live off apps on your phone for a while, but many advantages (you will surely download the Strava app, if you already started noticing faster riders). A good place to start is DC Rainmakers product comparison calculator. Personally, I went with the Wahoo Roam and love it.

Padded cycling shorts next if you don't already have those.

Then, clipless pedals and shoes once you are pretty comfortable on your new bike. There are a lot of choices but the most common are SPD (2 hole cleats) which are easier to walk in but give you a less tight connection to the pedal; and SPD-SL (three hole cleats) which are really clunky to walk in but a tighter connection. Lots of buying guides around these if you search the Internet. The "good bike fit" I mentioned above would include cleat positioning on your shoes.

Once you've gotten some miles in, you can decide how you feel about the stock seat/saddle.

After that, you have moved pretty far up Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and will be buying stuff for esteem and self actualization!
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Old 04-23-20, 05:21 AM
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KISS

About 18 years ago I had a customer come in to the shop looking for his first road bike. Keep It Simple Stupid is the concept I introduced him to. Don't over-complicate things with stuff. Today he manages the shop I was managing at that time, is a triathlete and highly competitive. Has 4 bikes and loves it. KISS.

Start of with the basics and only add as you go. Basics include cycling specific shorts, gloves, helmet, bike computer (basic model). Pedals and shoes come next. Should you really take a shine to the activity a year later, then adding a bike to the pack, or simply updating the wheels are options. One to thing to note is dumping a lot of dollars into upgrading parts can dig a hole to be reckoned with. Most often I recommend upgrading the whole machine so that the baseline meets a certain standard. Often the upgraded bike allows one to forgo pumping money into parts as the upgraded bike has the necessary bits already on it.
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Old 04-23-20, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
First thing, make sure you have had a decent bike fit done - as a minimum positioning the seat height and fore/aft position and handle bar height.

Since you want to improve, after you get water bottles/cages tools and a way to carry flat change kit while you ride, I'd say get a bike computer and a heart rate monitor if you don't have one already.. You can live off apps on your phone for a while, but many advantages (you will surely download the Strava app, if you already started noticing faster riders). A good place to start is DC Rainmakers product comparison calculator. Personally, I went with the Wahoo Roam and love it.

Padded cycling shorts next if you don't already have those.

Then, clipless pedals and shoes once you are pretty comfortable on your new bike. There are a lot of choices but the most common are SPD (2 hole cleats) which are easier to walk in but give you a less tight connection to the pedal; and SPD-SL (three hole cleats) which are really clunky to walk in but a tighter connection. Lots of buying guides around these if you search the Internet. The "good bike fit" I mentioned above would include cleat positioning on your shoes.

Once you've gotten some miles in, you can decide how you feel about the stock seat/saddle.

After that, you have moved pretty far up Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and will be buying stuff for esteem and self actualization!
what's a comfortable affordable shoe brand/model you would recommend?
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Old 04-23-20, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Flieswowings View Post
what's a comfortable affordable shoe brand/model you would recommend?
Shimano has some affordable and good shoes. About confort... as a general rule, a shoe with a stif sole (unconfortabel to walk in ) is a more confortable shoe to pedal, wether you're going clipless or not.

I always try shoes before buying them. If they don't feel confortable for a few steps around the shop, they never will on the bike. Don't buy shoes that feel tight - while pedaling your feet tend to swallow and make it worse. As a general rule, buy one size larger than you normally wear.

If you're going clipless, I sugest starting with MTB style pedals/shoes, possibly Shimano SPD and multi-release cleats.

Good luck!
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Old 04-23-20, 02:40 PM
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Thanks for all your input. I downloaded the Strava app and it has helped significantly. I have been able to ride 80km (50 miles) in the first 5 days of owning the bike and it has only motivated me to ride more.

The first thing I got was a bottle cage & bottle for the rides. I was considering getting the Garmin edge 130 next but think I will hold off & get more essentials and comfortable with the bike.

My next purchase will now be cycling shorts, some sort of mount that I can use for my phone before going all out for a bike computer & a flat repair kit. Any recommendations for a good flat kit and saddle bag?
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Old 04-23-20, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ferocious3 View Post
Thanks for all your input. I downloaded the Strava app and it has helped significantly. I have been able to ride 80km (50 miles) in the first 5 days of owning the bike and it has only motivated me to ride more.

The first thing I got was a bottle cage & bottle for the rides. I was considering getting the Garmin edge 130 next but think I will hold off & get more essentials and comfortable with the bike.

My next purchase will now be cycling shorts, some sort of mount that I can use for my phone before going all out for a bike computer & a flat repair kit. Any recommendations for a good flat kit and saddle bag?
This place tends have ridding gear on sale.
https://www.cambriabike.com/

Yea no rush on the Garmin. You can just use your phone and Strava for now. Many people happy with that.


Just an FYI on the cambria bike sale 3 for 2. I purchased 3 things that where like 3 each. so only paid $3 2x = $6
I then purchased 3 for 2 $30 3x. So I thought I would only pay $30 2x = $60. nope I paid $30 3x = $90. then took off another $3 item I purchased.
So you buy there 3 for 2 stuff I would do complete separate orders to maximize your savings.

Last edited by sean.hwy; 04-23-20 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 04-23-20, 03:26 PM
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I would prioritize a flat kit; basically what you need to get going again when you get a flat, cause it will happen eventually. If you're not running tubeless, that typically means carrying a tube, levers, and either a mini pump or CO2 inflator at minimum. Best thing to do is go through the process at home and think about everything you need and make sure that you have it in your kit.

I would also say lights. Even if only riding during the day, good rear lighting will make you a lot more noticeable on the road and lessen the chance that someone will run you over.

Have fun.
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Old 04-23-20, 07:11 PM
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Loads of decisions on shoes. At the affordable level, the cheapest are good old shoe-lace lace up and then velcro. Pay more and you get ratcheting mechanisms and dial (usually by BoA) tightening mechanisms.

I must suck at lacing shoes - I would constantly get my right lace caught in the front chain ring. The first pair of non-lacing shoes I bought was like when fire was invented - I never went back. The SPD ratchet type I started with were Shimano, lasted forever.

Since you are concerned about going faster, one goal is to always minimize rotating weight - wheels/tires/pedals/shoes, etc. So, cheap shoes are usually heavier than expensive shoes. Stiff is better than not stiff at all, but I have not really been able to tell the difference between high end stiff and mid range stiff - YMMV.
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Old 04-24-20, 02:08 AM
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A flat kit includes a spare tube, patch kit, tire levers and an inflation device. All of these items can be had from a local bike store for not much outlay. A bag will be needed as well, one that mounts under the seat is my preference. Get one that not only fits the flat kit, but has room for a energy bar and perhaps a small phone. Too large of a bag becomes an annoyance, too small and it becomes a hindrance.

One mention on inflation devices. C02 is great, but after using it for a year I went back to a good ol' frame pump. Costs nothing to use, and never runs out of air after multiple flats. The Topeak road morph for a road bike and the mountain morph for a mountain bike are my favorites. Mini pumps simply suck. Been there all day pumping and don't want to do it again. The Topeak will take you to 100+ psi without much trouble and does it in a reasonable time. Mounts under a water bottle cage.
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Old 04-24-20, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ferocious3 View Post
My next purchase will now be cycling shorts, some sort of mount that I can use for my phone before going all out for a bike computer & a flat repair kit. Any recommendations for a good flat kit and saddle bag?
How do plan on using the phone to replace what kind of bike computer? I normally only use my phone to guide me using gps. A basic bike computer with the sensor mounted on the wheel -the kind I like best with neither wires nor magnets mounted to the spokes -can probably be had for around 20 USD/EUR

For the flat kit...I probably go overkill, but besides the levers, and inner tube, I carry 1 CO2 inflator and a mini pump, and inner tube patches. I have been unlucky enough to use all of those in the same day :-(
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Old 04-24-20, 08:25 AM
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Flat kit, multi tool, find a saddle that fits you and shorts that don't chaf, and go ride.
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Old 04-24-20, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by joseruivo View Post
How do plan on using the phone to replace what kind of bike computer? I normally only use my phone to guide me using gps. A basic bike computer with the sensor mounted on the wheel -the kind I like best with neither wires nor magnets mounted to the spokes -can probably be had for around 20 USD/EUR

For the flat kit...I probably go overkill, but besides the levers, and inner tube, I carry 1 CO2 inflator and a mini pump, and inner tube patches. I have been unlucky enough to use all of those in the same day :-(
I was thinking to get a mount that can attach to the stem like the quad lock and just get an app for speed, distance, heart rate monitoring from watch. I've heard cyclemeter is good and if I get a cadence and speed sensor this would get me by for awhile before I can invest in a proper gps computer like a Garmin or Wahoo
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Old 04-24-20, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
A flat kit includes a spare tube, patch kit, tire levers and an inflation device. All of these items can be had from a local bike store for not much outlay. A bag will be needed as well, one that mounts under the seat is my preference. Get one that not only fits the flat kit, but has room for a energy bar and perhaps a small phone. Too large of a bag becomes an annoyance, too small and it becomes a hindrance.

One mention on inflation devices. C02 is great, but after using it for a year I went back to a good ol' frame pump. Costs nothing to use, and never runs out of air after multiple flats. The Topeak road morph for a road bike and the mountain morph for a mountain bike are my favorites. Mini pumps simply suck. Been there all day pumping and don't want to do it again. The Topeak will take you to 100+ psi without much trouble and does it in a reasonable time. Mounts under a water bottle cage.
Is a spare tube necessary if i'm riding tubeless? I was considering getting the on road quick patch kit on giants website which is basically 3 compound rubber patches with adhesive, then get CO2 and a lifeline tubeless repair kit into my saddle bag.​​​​​​
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Old 04-25-20, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ferocious3 View Post
Is a spare tube necessary if i'm riding tubeless? I was considering getting the on road quick patch kit on giants website which is basically 3 compound rubber patches with adhesive, then get CO2 and a lifeline tubeless repair kit into my saddle bag.​​​​​​
Most people I have seen riding tubeless just count on the sealant unless the leak is so great that sealant can't cope, in which case they throw in a tube as a quick fix. If you are confident that you can repair the tubeless tire roadside, go ahead.

My thoughts, based on experience---eventually you might get a flat where you cannot find the leak, or where you cannot spend too much time searching---for instance, in the rain, at night, on the side of a busy road, or a road with no shoulder so you are knee-deep in weeds (don't drop a tool, or you will spend ten minutes searching for it) or all of the above.

Usually you can see sealant leaking out and rubbering up on the tire surface, I guess, so finding the leak shouldn't be hard, I guess. However .... the only patch systems i have seen involve using a corkscrew device to push a plug into the tire. Not sure I would want to do that on the side of the road in bad conditions

I am not sure if the "compound rubber patches with adhesive" are for tubes or tubeless tires, and I am not sure if they go inside (makes more sense but requires pulling the tire) or outside. If these are indeed patches for a tubeless tire which go on the inside----I am not sure you can inflate a tubeless tire with a hand pump or CO2---usually they need a big blast of air to seat the bead. I am not sure but you will want to be---because once you break the bead if you cannot get the tire re-seated, you will be walking or calling.

That is why most people bring a tube as backup, I think----yeah, it is a pain to take the tubeless valve out, and put a tube in, but if the tubeless tire won't hold air, and you didn't bring more sealant, you really can't just pump it up and ride off.

My personal tubeless experience is limited---but when I have let a mounted tubeless tire lose all its air (I had it set up as a back-up and didn't need it) I had to refill it with sealant and reseat it on the rim (which is a real pain, and I assure you I will be making one of those two-liter pressure bottles) before I could inflate it normally. Ask someone smarter than myself before you get out on a ride and find out things you wish you would have known .....
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Old 04-25-20, 05:43 PM
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Tubeless isn't necessary. They are finicky to set up and a mess if a plug doesn't get you riding again. Do you know how much air it takes to set a bead if it comes off? Good tires will be a couple thousand miles between flats if you try and avoid too much broken glass and trash on the roads.
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Old 04-25-20, 08:20 PM
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1. Comfortable good quality bike shorts once you start doing longer rides you will need them.
2. Some double sided pedals, that are clip in on side and regular pedal on the other. On longer rides your feet get sore in soft soles shoes, cycling shoes are much stiffer.
3. A good pump and tool kit and learn how to use them.
4. A headlight and taillight unless you already have that.
5. A cycle computer, its fun to watch your own improvement
5A. If you have twist type shifters get better trigger type shifters and good grips. ​​​​​​
All the other stuff is pretty much nice to have's that you can avoid buying for awhile.
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Old 04-26-20, 01:28 AM
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You've already gotten good advice but if I had to limit it to five, not including a helmet, it would be:
1) extra tube(s), pump, basic tools
2) water bottle cage(s) and water bottle(s)
3) heart rate monitor
4) cycling short(s) and cycling jersey(s)

The next step would be clipless pedals and shoes. Lol of cool socks. Cycling computer (I have a Wahoo Element Bolt). More tools to do your own repairs and alterations. A power meter. An indoor smart trainer.

The last two aren't cheap but I have gotten tremendous value out of my smart trainer.
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Old 05-11-20, 10:46 PM
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"Went to my LBS & got a 2020 Giant Defy 2"

I've bought 2018 Giant Defy 2 in February 2019 - excellent bike: carbon, Shimano 105, 11-32 cassette, tubeless, hydraulic disk brakes,
and the price was $1600 (like 50% discount for the previous year model). The only tire fix kit I used for big holes is this one:

Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tire Repair Kit

I like its tubeless tires, but will replace them with faster tires some day, probably with Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL
I had several serious punctures, but sealant always allowed me to ride back to my car - never had to stop to fix the puncture.
Now 5000 km on this bike, and it runs just great!
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Old 05-12-20, 05:59 PM
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Giant has a speed and cadence setup that will mount on the inside of your frame on the left side chain stay. I have this setup on my 2019 Defy 2. You mount a magnetic pickup on a spoke on the rear wheel and one on the left side crank. I works well with the Wahoo app on my phone. It may also work on Strava but that may be the upgraded pay version of the app.
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Old 05-12-20, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Nikolay_M View Post
"Went to my LBS & got a 2020 Giant Defy 2"

I've bought 2018 Giant Defy 2 in February 2019 - excellent bike: carbon, Shimano 105, 11-32 cassette, tubeless, hydraulic disk brakes,
and the price was $1600 (like 50% discount for the previous year model). The only tire fix kit I used for big holes is this one:

Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tire Repair Kit

I like its tubeless tires, but will replace them with faster tires some day, probably with Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL
I had several serious punctures, but sealant always allowed me to ride back to my car - never had to stop to fix the puncture.
Now 5000 km on this bike, and it runs just great!
That's a good deal. I've been reading around and the wheels and tires are supposedly quite heavy 2030g for the PR2s and the stock Gavia fondo tires are about 445g (not sure if this is for the pair or each). Soon I will consider replacing the wheels. I have heard good things about hunts aero 34s and schwalbe pro one tubeless tires.
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Old 05-12-20, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ferocious3 View Post
I finally got into biking due to this Covid19 thing, Went to my LBS & got a 2020 Giant Defy 2 so I could enjoy riding along the Vancouver sea wall but after 2 rides and seeing all the pros, I would like to improve.

I got everything stock including regular pedals due to not being familiar with clipless or shoes, no cyclocomputer and just a regular helmet.
Debating what I should get that would be a necessity. With everything stock what are the first 5 things you would get?
The first things I would get under COVID would be all the touch points. Pedals, saddle (if I have one I like otherwise ride the one you got and figure out what I like and don't like after getting used to it a bit) and bar tape or grips. If we weren't under COVID I would say the first thing would be a bike fit, that is the absolute best way to get started. Having a professional put you on a fit bike and adjust everything on the fly as you are riding and make suggestions and pointers so you can be as comfortable as possible is key. Forget being pro, be comfortable first you cannot be pro if you cannot be comfortable for long hours in the saddle.

You don't have to buy clipless pedals, though they are great but you do want to buy a good quality pedal with sealed bearings (or really high quality polished bearings and races like MKS pedals) and good foot retention in the form of replaceable pins. Crank Bros makes the Stamp line and those are great high quality pedals. If you do go clipless I do recommend going with a mountain bike style cleat only because it is easier to walk on and unless you are racing aerodynamics are not going to be high on the list.

For accessories get what you need, if a cycling computer is going to help you by all means get one. Certainly a ligherweight more ventilated helmet feels great but as long as the noggin is protected by a safe relatively comfortable helmet that hasn't been used (and by that I mean crashed or dropped) you are fine. A good set of bibs and a jersey is certainly nice and will add comfort on the ride and give you storage options.

Once you wear down components I would upgrade the pads (or pads and shoes if they are not replaceable good shoes will give you stiffness and allow you to replace just the pads so you will save in the long term) to the highest quality you can. Same with cables and housing, it can do wonders to improve your shifting and braking without costing a ton but is not worth replacing from the get go as the stuff that comes on it will work and doesn't make sense to waste. Swisstop or Kool Stop and Jagwire are good places to look for pads and cables/housing respectively.
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Old 05-12-20, 11:36 PM
  #24  
Nikolay_M
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Originally Posted by ferocious3 View Post
That's a good deal. I've been reading around and the wheels and tires are supposedly quite heavy 2030g for the PR2s and the stock Gavia fondo tires are about 445g (not sure if this is for the pair or each). Soon I will consider replacing the wheels. I have heard good things about hunts aero 34s and schwalbe pro one tubeless tires.
Completely agree! I think Giant Defy 2 deserves better tires. I plan to install "Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL" probably near the end of summer. If you try schwalbe pro one TL - please, let me know how you like them!
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Old 05-13-20, 05:35 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Nikolay_M View Post
Completely agree! I think Giant Defy 2 deserves better tires. I plan to install "Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL" probably near the end of summer. If you try schwalbe pro one TL - please, let me know how you like them!
I just put a set of Continental GP 5000 TL on my Defy 2 and I'm liking them. They were difficult to get on the rim but after that things went pretty easily. They lost a little pressure overnight on the first night but the've held the pressure well since then. Then feel good in turns. I don't worry about them sliding out from under me. They give a nice ride. I'm running both front and back at 90psi but I'm going to try them at 85 psi to see how that is.
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