Close Up: Tobias Ludvigsson’s Giant Propel Advanced SL (2014)

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Giant has joined the aero road bike trend by launching the Propel last year, and in a somewhat expected manner, it became the #1 weapon for the rouleurs and sprinters of the former Argos-Shimano, now Giant-Shimano professional team. With only a year’s history behind it, the Propel has won the minds and hearts of flat specialists like John Degenkolb or Marcel Kittel, and other riders of the team.

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The flat tubes of the frame and various other features of aero road bikes can be found when inspecting the Giant Propel Advanced SL, such as the seat stay that joins with seat tube far below the usual point, or the integrated seat post. Also, the top tube’s shape is an elaborate one, probably meant for offering optimal aerodynamical performances.

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And by now, the brake must have caught your eye. Giant claims that the V-brake fits much better in the picture of an aero road bike, at least from the air drag point of view. The model used is a Fourier BR-DX005, and its simple looks are deceiving, as the marginal gain generated by the carbon brakes costs around 300$.

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As stated earlier, the frame follows the main guidelines of the category it belongs to ticking the tapered head tube box as well, although this is a relevant part only when talking about stiffness and handling. You can also notice the down tube’s shape, highlighted by the letters that comprise the brand’s name, and, again, the V-brakes used for aerodynamical reasons.

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No aero road bike would be an aero road bike without a bulky bottom bracket area, but what’s more artful coming from Giant’s engineers is the transition of the down tube’s shape from square to oval. Also, the manufacturer believes in discretion so probably that’s why we don’t see too many cables.

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Shimano supplies the bikes with its Dura-Ace Di2 electronical groupset, as expected, but is also a technical sponsor all the way offering also the cockpit parts and wheelset.

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It’s pretty hard to get enough of the Di2, but that’s not the reason why I posted this second picture. On the left arm of the chain stay sits a sensor named Giant RS, the manufacturer’s own device that measures speed and cadence, and is compatible with any ANT+ device.

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Italian pride will get a bit hurt by this picture, but outsourcing production takes its toll at some point, regardless if you’re name is Vittoria.

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