• Looks fast standing still - the 2018 Propel Advanced Pro Disc.
    Looks fast standing still - the 2018 Propel Advanced Pro Disc.
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'Fast Standing Still' - 2018 Giant Propel Advanced Disc

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Giant’s latest incarnation of the Propel has arrived, the bike’s styling giving a clear indication of the future direction of not just the company’s range but aero bike design itself.

Available only in disc brake configuration, Giant say the objective of the new Propel Advanced Disc is to ‘forget limitations, ignore conventional wisdom, and create a race-winning aero road bike without compromises.’

Having taken a first-hand look at the bike that propelled Aussie Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb to Green Jersey victory at this year’s Tour de France, it seems Giant have met their objective.

Giant have tweaked and refined their flagship Propel to put it into genuine 'superbike' territory.

Michael Matthews' Thoughts

Matthews raced on pre-production versions of the Propel Advanced SL Disc earlier this year and said with the new aerodynamics, the bike was super fast. "When you need to accelerate, it really gives you that kick you need," he said. "And even in the rain, with the disc brakes it’s perfect.”

Three years in research, development and testing, the frames has been extensively wind tunnel tested, complete with a robotic mannequin to, according to Giant, “accurately replicate the effects of a rider pedalling with various wind angles.”

The 2018 Propel Advanced Pro Disc series frameset is handcrafted with Advanced-grade composite, including a full-composite asymmetric fork, developed with AeroSystem Shaping Technology. It features an integrated Giant SLR 1 Aero WheelSystem along with the Giant Contact SLR Aero handlebar and Contact SL Aero stem that has internal cable routing.
The 2018 Propel Advanced Pro Disc series frameset is handcrafted with Advanced-grade composite, including a full-composite asymmetric fork, developed with AeroSystem Shaping Technology. It features an integrated Giant SLR 1 Aero WheelSystem along with the Giant Contact SLR Aero handlebar and Contact SL Aero stem that has internal cable routing.

'Superior Aerodynamics'

“Superior aerodynamics is a critical part of the equation, but our team of engineers, aerodynamics experts and pro racers wanted more,” say Giant.

“So we began the process of building an aero road machine that also delivers measurable gains in control and efficiency. It would have disc brakes integrated into the overall design. It would be light and stiff, and would offer previously unattainable aerodynamic performance. It's easy to improve aerodynamic performance by sacrificing stiffness or weight.”

With a noticeably larger headtube, downtube and bottom bracket area compared to the previous model, the Propel Disc is incredibly stiff - Giant claiming the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio among all competitors.

Wind-tunnel tests on the new Propel Disc range reveal a lower drag coefficient at a wider range of yaw angles than its non-disc-brake predecessor. Image: Damien Droz
Wind-tunnel tests on the new Propel Disc range reveal a lower drag coefficient at a wider range of yaw angles than its non-disc-brake predecessor. Image: Damien Droz

Disc Only - No More V-Brakes

Giant say extensive research has proven that, with proper integration, a disc-brake design can actually improve aerodynamic performance. Doing away with their previous front and rear 'V', or side pull, brakes the new model is available with Shimano 140mm discs.

“The Propel Disc range delivers superior braking power and greater modulation in wet or dry conditions,” say Giant. “This was a critical performance demand from our pro road racers, who typically race for hours on twisting terrain with high-speed descents and cornering before they make the decisive breakaway or sprint for the finish.”

65mm / 42mm Wheel Combination

Wheel wise Giant say the most aero and efficient option is a 65mm SLR rim on the rear and lower profile 42mm SLR on the front.

“This is proven in wind-tunnel testing to produce minimal drag,” say Giant. “The front wheel, which is more affected by crosswinds, features a shallower 42mm rim. This further boosts the bike’s aerodynamic performance by lessening the effect of crosswinds on the front wheel while also reducing overall drag.”

Giant say the new Propel Disc range was engineered and designed to produce a measurable aerodynamic advantage while also boosting efficiency and control. Image: Cameron Baird
Giant say the new Propel Disc range was engineered and designed to produce a measurable aerodynamic advantage while also boosting efficiency and control. Image: Cameron Baird

Faster, Stiffer, Lighter

Giant claim the frameset of the new Propel Advanced SL Disc, including the new integrated stem and handlebar, is lighter than that of key competitor bikes with company tests showing the Propel Advanced SL Disc frame is also stiffer than those bikes.

“A lighter chassis gives the new Propel Disc range a livelier ride quality, producing more explosive acceleration,” say Giant. “Increased frame stiffness means better power transmission, enabling the rider to reach and maintain higher speeds with less effort. The combination of lower weight and higher stiffness adds up to unrivalled efficiency.”

The Propel Advanced Disc with Shimano Ultegra will retail in the vicinity of $4,999.
The Propel Advanced Disc with Shimano Ultegra will retail in the vicinity of $4,999.

2018 PROPEL ADVANCED DISC - $4,999

High-performance Advanced-grade composite frame
Advanced-grade composite fork with alloy/composite hybrid OverDrive steerer
Giant SLR 1 Carbon Aero WheelSystem with Giant Gavia Race 1 tubeless tyres
Shimano Ultegra 11-speed mechanical componentry
Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes

2018 PROPEL ADVANCED PRO DISC - $6,599 

High-performance Advanced-grade composite frame
Advanced-grade composite fork with full-composite OverDrive 2 steerer
Giant SLR 1 Aero Composite WheelSystem with Giant Gavia Race 1 tubeless tyres
Shimano Ultegra 11-speed electronic componentry
Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes

2018 PROPEL ADVANCED SL 1 DISC - $7,999 

Professional-grade Advanced SL composite frame with integrated Vector composite seatpost
Advanced SL-grade composite fork with full-composite OverDrive 2 steerer
Giant SLR 1 Aero Composite WheelSystem with Giant Gavia Race 0 tubeless tyres
Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed electronic componentry
Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes

2018 PROPEL ADVANCED SL 0 DISC - $11,999

Professional-grade Advanced SL composite frame with integrated Vector composite seatpost
Advanced SL-grade composite fork with full-composite OverDrive 2 steerer
Giant SLR 0 Aero Composite WheelSystem with Giant Gavia Race 0 tubeless tyres
Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed electronic componentry
Shimano Dura-Ace hydraulic disc brakes

The flagship Advanced SL 0 also carries Shimano's new crank-based power meter.

 

 

 

 

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