The new Propel Advanced SL is crafted with Giant’s most premium raw carbon fiber and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques to achieve a greater stiffness-to-weight ratio than the previous generation. For competitive racers, nothing matters more than power-to-weight, so making the new Propel both stiffer and lighter was essential.
Tests show that the new frameset is not only one of the lightest in the aero road category, but it also achieves significant gains in stiffness. Lighter weight plus increased stiffness equals better efficiency on the road. When determining the precise tubing shapes and diameters, along with the layup of the Advanced SL Composite material that’s used to create the frame and fork, Giant engineers focused on two key areas of stiffness: frame stiffness, which determines the amount of overall frame and fork torsional flex under load; and pedaling stiffness, which measures the lateral flex of the bottom bracket area under load.
Most of the gains in stiffness come from modified sections of the head tube, down tube and bottom bracket area. But just making a frameset ultra-stiff doesn’t necessarily make it faster. To optimise all-around performance in real-world conditions, compliance and control also play a role. For that reason, the rear half of the new Propel has been re-engineered to provide a smoother ride quality, which helps make it a more capable all-rounder.
The seat tube, chainstays and integrated seatpost have all been re-engineered, with slimmer diameter tubing compared to the previous generation Propel Advanced SL. This new design helps reduce weight, and it also gives the new Propel improved road handling. Compared to the outgoing Propel Advanced SL, the new model has 85 percent added rear-end compliance (via the new integrated seatpost), making it more capable for long, hard days in the saddle, when its road-smoothing properties help minimise fatigue. Added frame and fork clearance also allows you to run larger diameter tires (up to 30mm) for an even smoother ride.
The cockpit has been completely redesigned with an innovative new two-piece Contact SLR Aero handlebar and stem setup that makes it easier to change components and dial in a precise fit. This new OverDrive Aero system keeps the cables and hoses hidden from the wind while avoiding the complexities associated with fully integrated handlebar/stem designs that are common with many of today’s aero road bikes.
The new Contact SLR Aero carbon handlebar has flattened tops for aero efficiency and hand comfort, along with a deeper drop for added control while sprinting, cornering and descending.