Giant Defy 1 VS Ribble Sportive Bianco

dazautomatic Posts: 7
edited January 2013 in Road buying advice
Hi chaps,

I'm going to invest in my first proper road bike soon and hoped I might get some good advice here.

Currently I've got a Giant TCX2 which I have done a few sportives on. Nice bike, but I want to be able to go a bit faster so am looking for something much lighter with road tyres.

After trying a few road bikes out at my LBS, I would be happy to get a Giant Defy 1 (aluminium frame of course).

However I am sorely tempted to take a plunge and get a Ribble Sportive Bianco instead (carbon frame).

My loving credit controller is only happy for me to buy a new bike via my work's Cycle Scheme, so I would be limited to a max of £1000.

I have heard some people say it is better to have a great aluminium frame rather than a entry level carbon frame. Is there any truth to this?

I'd love to hear your thoughts! 8)


  • alihisgreat
    alihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    The advantages of the Giant

    -buy in person from an LBS (Bought mine from Giant's own store in Cambridge)
    -test ride it
    -look at the reviews

    Advantages of the Ribble

    -its carbon?
    -generally gets good reviews too
  • dwanes
    dwanes Posts: 954
    I have had aluminium bikes previously but got the desire to buy a carbon bike so i bought a giant tcr carbon bike. Its a nice bike with no regrets but if i were to buy again i would buy aluminium. Carbon frames are really nothing special when it comes to riding, its all about marketing BullSh, all this talk about smoother ride, less road buzz, its all rubish.

    Buy the Defy, unless like me you have a desire to have a carbon bike.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I have heard some people say it is better to have a great aluminium frame rather than a entry level carbon frame. Is there any truth to this?

    Not really. Plenty so called entry level carbon frames turn up mid range with 'desirable' manufacturers paint jobs. You'd struggle to find anyone who wasn't continually testing new bikes to tell an entry level frame from a mid level one without a paint job to distinguish.

    As ALIHISGREAT says, you do get the LBS benefits of the Giant. On the other hand, you can get a fully bespoke specification on the Ribble.

    Whether the Alloy vs Carbon thing matters to you is a matter of taste. Carbon bikes are usually lighter and more people regret not going carbon than regret not going alloy! I prefer my bikes carbon or steel - alloy doesn't really do it for me!

    That said, if you have road tyres on your TCX then don't expect to go noticeably faster on either road bike (you might save a couple of minutes on a Sportive!). It doesn't really work like that. I ride bikes of quite varied weights, specs and gearing and the differences are surprisingly small. The TCX isn't really that far off a normal road bike in spec. If you just want more pace, then there are better ways to achieve it than a new bike!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    The Ribble is meant to be very good. Certainly great value. I'd go for it if on a cyclescheme thingy. Make your Giant into your winter trainer - full guards etc.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • dwanes
    dwanes Posts: 954
    The Defy is meant to be very good. Certainly great value. I'd go for it if on a cyclescheme thingy. Ride it all year round, dont worry about guards etc.
  • Dougall
    Dougall Posts: 49
    Just got myself a Giant Defy 1 & couldn't recommend it highly enough.

    It's really comfy to ride, handling is fast & it glides across teh rubbish road surfaces rounds here with ease. Would be even better I suspect with better tyres i.e. Conti 4 Seasons.
    Suspect the carbon seatpost & fork combined with the alloy frame make the difference. Previous frame I had was essentially the same as the Ribble winter bike & it was pretty flexy at the BB & pretty harsh to say the least.

    Through Cyclescheme/Cycle2Work then the Giant is a no brainer I think. I got mine from my LBS & they initially said they weren't due to get any until mid-March but managed to get one within 3-4 days direct from Giant so all good.
  • fsman
    fsman Posts: 112
    I had a similar dilemma.

    The Giant has great reviews, but I really wanted a cardon.

    I went for the Ribble Gran Fondo with a campag chainset. It is an Italian frame from from Dedacciai.
    I recommend the bike builder - good value for money.
  • Argghhh this isn't going to be an easy decision!

    I think I might sleep on it for a few more nights and test out the Defy again. I really am torn between the two at the moment :twisted:

    Thanks for all the replies, keep em coming it. Something might sway me!
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Bothe decent but the Ribble edges it for me - certainly in the flesh, really nice bit of kit. Climbs well too.

    As for alu v carbon it is not a given. All I can say is that the CAAD 10 is quoted as outperforming some carbon bikes in the same price bracket as it.
    Yellow is the new Black.