Cape Town coffee ride with Giant and Liv Bikes

We caught up recently with Kylie, Gavin, and Nic to test out and rate three entry level road bikes from Giant and Liv, perfectly suited for anyone looking to experience the world famous annual Cape Town Cycle Tour.

Our route consisted of a mild 30 km loop. Starting on Signal Hill at dawn and traversing Tafelberg Road to the start of the gravel track and back. From here, we descended the winding, tree-lined Kloof Road, through Sea Point and ultimately making the compulsory coffee stop in Mouille Point.

 

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I was lucky enough to get partnered with the best-looking bike of the lot, the new 2017 Giant Contend SL 1. We met up before sunrise and were treated with the most intense orange sunrise from Signal Hill, where we made our way to Tafelberg Road and then back down the Kloof and off to a mandatory coffee stop. Having ridden some steep climbs, fast tight descents and everything in-between, the comfort and general bang for your buck with this bike is incredible. Anyone looking to do their first Cape Town Cycle Tour or wanting to get into cycling and not have to upgrade too soon, this is the complete package for you Nicholas Allen

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There is nothing better than starting a ride as the sun rises. The view from Signal Hill makes waking up early worthwhile: you get the feeling that the whole city is sleeping quietly below you, while you get a head start on the day and enjoy the freedom of two wheels. A quick loop on Tafelberg Road offered more incredible views of the city, and a dash down Kloof Nek for a caffeine fix in Sea Point was the perfect end to the excursion. Kylie Hanekom

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I have forgotten how far entry-level bikes have come in the past few years, the handling of this bike was superb, thanks to the compact geometry borrowed from its more famous cousin the TCR, this is the bike to get if you want to race and have fun but don’t want to spend crazy amounts of cash. Gavin Salt

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Riding the Avail made me realise that it is possible to have fun irrespective of the performance level or price tag of a bike. Getting outside and enjoying time with friends is the core of a good coffee ride, and you don’t need a full carbon race bike to experience it. Kylie Hanekom

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Kit and apparel details:


Nic and Kylie were kitted out with the latest Giant and Liv clothing and apparel.

 

Nic wore the Giant Race Day top and bib shorts (top R1,370; and bib shorts R1,785 ). For protection, Nic donned the Giant Compel helmet (R510) and Giant Horizon Gloves (R275).

 

Kylie's shorts and jersey are from Liv's BeLiv range. The shorts retail for R785 while the jersey can be bought for R815. The helmets and gloves are also by Liv with the Race Day gloves (at R310) and the Luta helmet retailing for a bargain R510.

 

Bike model details:


Giant Contend SL 2017 - R17,900

 

The perfect blend of confident and capable. Designed to take your road riding to the next level, Contend SL is your ticket to longer rides, faster speeds, and more fun than you ever imagined.

 

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  • SizesXS, S, M, ML, L, XL
  • ColorsBlue/Black, Black/Red
  • FrameALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum
  • ForkHybrid Composite, OverDrive Steerer
  • HandlebarGiant Connect
  • StemSport
  • SeatpostGiant D-Fuse Composite
  • SaddleContact Forward
  • ShiftersShimano 105
  • Front DerailleurShimano 105
  • Rear DerailleurShimano 105
  • BrakesTektro TK-R540 Giant Specific, Dual Pivot
  • Brake LeversShimano 105
  • CassetteShimano 105 11-32, 11s
  • ChainKMC X11EL-1
  • CranksetRS500, 34/50
  • Bottom BracketShimano, Press Fit RS500
  • RimsPR2 DBL
  • HubsPR2 DBL
  • SpokesPR2 DBL
  • TiresGiant P-SL 1, Front and Rear Specific, 700x25, Folding

 

Liv Avail 3 2017 - R8,900

 

For quick spins, or ambitious adventures, Avail is a confident companion for all types of road rides. Its lightweight frame and women's specific endurance geometry keep you in control, even on rough roads or long rides.

 

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  • SizesXS, S, M, L
  • ColorsIndigo, White
  • FrameALUXX-grade aluminum
  • ForkAluminum, alloy OverDrive steerer
  • ShockN/A
  • HandlebarGiant Connect, 31.8mm
  • StemGiant Sport
  • SeatpostGiant Sport, 27.2mm
  • SaddleLiv Connect Forward
  • PedalsPlatform, Caged
  • ShiftersShimano Claris
  • Front DerailleurShimano Claris
  • Rear DerailleurShimano Claris
  • BrakesTektro R312
  • Brake LeversShimano Claris
  • CassetteSRAM PG-850 11x32, 8-speed
  • ChainKMC Z72
  • CranksetFSA Tempo, 34/50
  • Bottom BracketShimano, threaded
  • RimsGiant S-R2
  • HubsGiant Tracker Sport Road, [F] 24h, [R] 28h
  • SpokesStainless Steel, 14g
  • TiresGiant S-R4, 700x25, Front and Rear specific, wire bead
  • ExtrasBar top brake levers

 

Giant Contend 2017 - R11,900

 

Designed and developed by the world’s leading aluminum frame engineers for the all-around road rider, Contend is the result of a focused approach to high-value road performance. Born in Giant’s own in-house aluminum forging facility, the ALUXX frame forms the heart of this balanced road machine.

 

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  • SizesXS, S, M, ML, L, XL
  • ColorsBlack/White, Red/White
  • FrameALUXX Grade Aluminum
  • ForkHybrid Composite, OverDrive Steerer, disc
  • HandlebarGiant Connect
  • StemSport
  • SeatpostAlloy round
  • SaddleContact Forward
  • ShiftersShimano Sora
  • Front DerailleurShimano Sora
  • Rear DerailleurShimano Sora
  • BrakesTektro TK-R312 Giant Specific, Dual PivotFinish need must Match Tiagra brake color
  • Brake LeversShimano Sora
  • CassetteSRAM PG 950 11-32, 9s
  • ChainKMC X9
  • CranksetShimano Sora 50/34
  • Bottom BracketCartridge
  • RimsGiant S-R2
  • HubsGiant Tracker Sport Road
  • SpokesStainless Steel
  • TiresGiant S-R4, Front and Rear Specific, 700x25




30 Comments

T-Bob, Jan 24 2017 01:17

Road helmets with peaks... ouch. 

Tiny K, Jan 24 2017 01:53

Road helmets with peaks... ouch. 

 

And this coming from a serious rider, ouch! LOL!

Hairy, Jan 24 2017 03:46

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looks like a noob argus rider with his helmut (deliberate spelling) at an angle like that :P

bionic racer, Jan 24 2017 04:21

ccs-38514-0-62837900-1484494274.jpg

looks like a noob argus rider with his helmut (deliberate spelling) at an angle like that :P

Haha after seeing this photo of myself im feeling like a noob - was hoping most people would have been too blinded by the bright yellow shoes to notice.....

Pure Savage, Jan 24 2017 04:55

Are the two giants the female and male bottom of the range? Just a Liv and Giant variant?

Hairy, Jan 24 2017 05:06

Haha after seeing this photo of myself im feeling like a noob - was hoping most people would have been too blinded by the bright yellow shoes to notice.....

lekker bionic, two posts into your account and you show good humour and banter, welcome :thumbup:  :clap: ! 

Pure Savage, Jan 24 2017 05:12

Haha after seeing this photo of myself im feeling like a noob - was hoping most people would have been too blinded by the bright yellow shoes to notice.....

It was the gloves, you needed yellow gloves.

Duane_Bosch, Jan 25 2017 08:06

Are the two giants the female and male bottom of the range? Just a Liv and Giant variant?

I think the Avail is the ladies version of the SCR. Based on the Claris groupset.

 

My Fiance has the 2016 SCR 2. We've made no changes to it apart from bar tape, fitting a ladies Arione and fitting a 34 bail out gear which came in rather handy in the Alps in Sept. I'm no expert roadie but it feels like a MUCH better ride than my better speced Merida and we only paid R8500 from Giant Cape Town.

 

I'm  BIG FAN of Giant Bikes. We've got 4 in the family.

 

TCR

SCR

2015 Reign

2012 Reign X

CAAD4, Jan 25 2017 08:17

ccs-38514-0-62837900-1484494274.jpg
looks like a noob argus rider with his helmut (deliberate spelling) at an angle like that :P


Jerome the Brat pack all had serious swagger and all their hats were tilted. Ask your parents. Oom Ben and I know this.

Duane_Bosch, Jan 25 2017 08:20

Jerome the Brat pack all had serious swagger and all their hats were tilted. Ask your parents. Oom Ben and I know this.

Maybe he's just got a skwif head.

bionic racer, Jan 25 2017 08:20

Maybe he's just got a skwif head.

i actually do!!

Pure Savage, Jan 25 2017 08:21

I think the Avail is the ladies version of the SCR. Based on the Claris groupset.

 

My Fiance has the 2016 SCR 2. We've made no changes to it apart from bar tape, fitting a ladies Arione and fitting a 34 bail out gear which came in rather handy in the Alps in Sept. I'm no expert roadie but it feels like a MUCH better ride than my better speced Merida and we only paid R8500 from Giant Cape Town.

 

I'm  BIG FAN of Giant Bikes. We've got 4 in the family.

 

TCR

SCR

2015 Reign

2012 Reign X

 

Awesome, one of the ladies we ride with has the carbon Liv and is really amazing bike.

 

I just find for the same money sometimes the ladies bikes are a bit more pricey than the mens equivalent, I was told this is because they bring in fewer units. The new ladies Scott road bike looks lekker with discs.

bionic racer, Jan 25 2017 08:21

It was the gloves, you needed yellow gloves.

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bionic racer, Jan 25 2017 08:23

Are the two giants the female and male bottom of the range? Just a Liv and Giant variant?

HI

Essencially yes, although the Avail is more similar to the mens Defy (the higher model Avails come with disc brakes) the Contend is "in-between" the geometries of the TCR and Defy so gives a racey feel but with a slightly more upright riding position..

Slowbee, Jan 25 2017 08:23

I dont know how feasible this is - but the next time you guys do something like this can you invite a few hubbers along?

 

Would be great to swop bikes around just for a "feel" on what it is like to ride different models of different brands.

 

Yes, I know, bike size is an issue, as is distance, cleats etc. But was thinking maybe of something like along Table Mtn road that is flat kinda out and back and will allow for various people to hop on and off to test them?

bionic racer, Jan 25 2017 08:26

I think the Avail is the ladies version of the SCR. Based on the Claris groupset.

 

My Fiance has the 2016 SCR 2. We've made no changes to it apart from bar tape, fitting a ladies Arione and fitting a 34 bail out gear which came in rather handy in the Alps in Sept. I'm no expert roadie but it feels like a MUCH better ride than my better speced Merida and we only paid R8500 from Giant Cape Town.

 

I'm  BIG FAN of Giant Bikes. We've got 4 in the family.

 

TCR

SCR

2015 Reign

2012 Reign X

As per my comments in the article i was very surprised with the way the Contend rode (My usual bike is a top end carbon propel with Campag record and stupid light wheels)....didn't feel any lack of confidence when we were bombing down Kloof nek behind the car taking photos - and not much can compete at the price....think its time to add a 5th Giant to your collection...

Duane_Bosch, Jan 25 2017 08:28

 

I just find for the same money sometimes the ladies bikes are a bit more pricey than the mens equivalent, I was told this is because they bring in fewer units. The new ladies Scott road bike looks lekker with discs.

Ja true. At that price point I think they fit a fat saddle and they throw a pink stripe here & there and call it "ladies specific"

 

When we got the SCR I knew full well that we would be getting a ladies specific saddle. So we got the bike and started shopping around for a ladies saddle. Picked up a ladies Arione for R750 at Bike Mob. BARGAIN!

Duane_Bosch, Jan 25 2017 08:31

think its time to add a 5th Giant to your collection...

My one mate has a 2017 TCR in the same colorway as that Contend. SUCH a stunning bike. The pics really don't do that color justice. He had a choice of the TCR, Swift and a Spez Tarmac.

 

I've got a TCR already. I'm not fast enough to justify a Propel.

 

If I knew then what I know now my DH bike would also be a Giant.

'Dale, Jan 25 2017 08:38

Giant bikes

Very underrated

Great value

The brand sell the most bikes worldwide  - enough said

bionic racer, Jan 25 2017 08:40

Jerome the Brat pack all had serious swagger and all their hats were tilted. Ask your parents. Oom Ben and I know this.

I have swagger??....AWESOME - *makes note to always wear tilted helmet*

bionic racer, Jan 25 2017 08:45

I dont know how feasible this is - but the next time you guys do something like this can you invite a few hubbers along?

 

Would be great to swop bikes around just for a "feel" on what it is like to ride different models of different brands.

 

Yes, I know, bike size is an issue, as is distance, cleats etc. But was thinking maybe of something like along Table Mtn road that is flat kinda out and back and will allow for various people to hop on and off to test them?

HI...we have done demo days with our Giant MTB's and they are always successful and it has been suggested to do something similar with road...as now you have Aero, All-round and Endurance bikes to choose from, each with their own pros and cons and handling characteristics....watch this space, ill chat to the Hub dudes and maybe we can organize something in the near future...

Slowbee, Jan 25 2017 08:49

HI...we have done demo days with our Giant MTB's and they are always successful and it has been suggested to do something similar with road...as now you have Aero, All-round and Endurance bikes to choose from, each with their own pros and cons and handling characteristics....watch this space, ill chat to the Hub dudes and maybe we can organize something in the near future...

:clap: :clap:  not all of us will umm get to ride a propel...till test day :whistling:

bionic racer, Jan 25 2017 08:51

Awesome, one of the ladies we ride with has the carbon Liv and is really amazing bike.

 

I just find for the same money sometimes the ladies bikes are a bit more pricey than the mens equivalent, I was told this is because they bring in fewer units. The new ladies Scott road bike looks lekker with discs.

Hi Yes unfortunately fewer women's bikes manufactured so they are usually a little more expensive (although generally not much more) - but with more and more Women buying bikes we may see this pricing level out soon...

 

Avail-ADV-2-HD-Comp.jpg?height=600&quali

bionic racer, Jan 25 2017 08:55

Ja true. At that price point I think they fit a fat saddle and they throw a pink stripe here & there and call it "ladies specific"

 

When we got the SCR I knew full well that we would be getting a ladies specific saddle. So we got the bike and started shopping around for a ladies saddle. Picked up a ladies Arione for R750 at Bike Mob. BARGAIN!

That was the case several years ago (and still is with most manufactures) Liv is now its own brand (still manufactured by Giant) so the bikes are designed from the ground up as womens specific bikes....so if there is a pink stripe on it its there for a reason :-) 

bionic racer, Jan 25 2017 09:09

My one mate has a 2017 TCR in the same colorway as that Contend. SUCH a stunning bike. The pics really don't do that color justice. He had a choice of the TCR, Swift and a Spez Tarmac.

 

I've got a TCR already. I'm not fast enough to justify a Propel.

 

If I knew then what I know now my DH bike would also be a Giant.

That Contend is parked in front of my desk (along with a Giant Anyroad), you are right the photos do not do the colour justice, and if you ride the Contend fast enough people may just mistake it for the TCR Adv