In this post Staff rider Kerry Rough gives her insight into the female specific Giant Envie Advanced 2 which features a Shimano 105 groupset and a full carbon frame.
Giant Envie Advanced 2 Road Bike 2013 product review
With Giant's introduction of their AeroBikes being a little later than their competitors, they needed to offer me something above and beyond what I could get elsewhere.
After researching the bikes available, I settled on the Envie Advanced 2 - being a triathlete, the World's first true women's-specific aerodynamic road bicycle really appealed to me.
What struck me the first time I mounted the Fruit Salad (the name given to my new steed by staff riders at Giant store Rutland Water), I could immediately tell just how stiff and strong this bike was going to be. Offering the rider several Speedcontrol features, with a proprietary braking system (Speedcontrol SLR brakesystem) for powerful aerodynamic stopping power, I know that the bike was going to stop me hell or high water.
The brakes are hidden from the wind, and with the system offering strategic trailing edges, the aerodynamics of this braking system were just the starting point. I was also struck by the smooth feel of the bike, and the ladies specific geometry is unlike anything else I have ridden. I have always ridden men's bikes, and it was more than obvious that Giant have taken women's sizing into account. I was able to climb hills with relative ease compared to other size chainsets I'd used previously.
FRAME AND FORKS
Giant oversizing was greatly evident in the fork steerer-tube design, made from Advanced-Grade Composite and Full composite, you can really tell that high performance frame technology has been used to produce such a lightweight and stiff compliant frame. Being moulded as one continuous piece of carbon, the weight has been reduced without affecting the ride quality, strength or stiffness. This was especially evident when cornering and when getting out of the seat during sprint efforts. Feeling invisible, the bike almost encouraged me on hill sprints and climbing like a mountain goat around the bumps of Rutland. 'Fruit Salad' didn't let me down. The front end of the bike is expertly crafted. The fat head tube assured me that this bike was going to last the miles and efforts I put it through.
Giant have not skimped on the components with full Shimano 105 Groupset which includes a 50/34 Crankset. The Giant Envie comes complete with Giant P-SL1 Wheels which are strong and fairly lightweight. The quality is certainly not compromised, but with such aerodynamic features throughout the rest of the bike, it may be a worthwhile investment to upgrade to some deeper rims, especially for competitive triathletes like myself!
Another newsworthy extra feature is the integrated ANT+ Ride Sense Sensor and magnets. This allows you to transmit speed and cadence data directly to any ANT+ device - perfect for athletes training with a ANT+ compatible devices.
The market for this bike is exactly like me: the female triathlete. With input from Olympic and World Champion Marianne Vos, this bike was designed for the serious road racers and triathletes. It was built with versatility in mind, whilst at the same time aiming to be the fastest women's bike available on the market.
Cyclists will quite literally be drooling with its distinctive Fruit Salad coloured finish. Heads will turn at any race or event you turn up to with this delightfully snazzy set-up. This bike climbs with ease and performs effortlessly on those descents.
GIANT ENVIE ADVANCED 2 FRAME GEOMETRY
- Click for bigger picture
GIANT ENVIE ADVANCED 2 - FULL SPECIFICATION
- Sizes - XS, S, M
- Colours - Composite/Coral/Yellow
- Frame - Advanced-Grade composite
- Fork - Advanced-Grade composite, Full-composite, OverDrive 2 steerer
- Shock - n/a
- Handlebar - Giant Connect SL, women's, 31.8
- Stem - Giant Contact
- Seatpost - Giant Vector composite
- Saddle - Fi'zi:k Donna w/ Manganese Rails
- Pedals - n/a
- Shifters - Shimano 105
- Front D�railleur - Shimano 105
- Rear Derailleur - Shimano 105
- Brakes - Giant Speedcontrol
- Brake Levers - Shimano 105
- Cassette - Shimano 105 - 11x28, 10-speed
- Chain - KMC X10SL
- Crankset - Shimano 105 - 50/34
- Bottom Bracket - Shimano, Press Fit
- Rims - Giant P-SL1 WheelSystem
- Hubs - Giant P-SL1 WheelSystem
- Spokes - Giant P-SL1 WheelSystem
- Tires - Giant P-SL1, Front and Rear specific, 700x23c, folding
- Extras - RideSense