Giant Contend AR 1 2021
211003512M
Giant

Giant Contend AR 1 2021


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$2,699.00
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GIANT CONTEND AR 1 (2021)

GIANT CONTEND AR 1 (2021)

GIANT CONTEND AR 1 (2021)

GIANT CONTEND AR 1 (2021)

GIANT CONTEND AR 1 (2021)

GIANT CONTEND AR 2 (2021)



The Giant Contend AR 1 (2021) is a great all-round aluminium endurance road bike. 

 

But it’s not just a road bike. 

 

It’s an all-road bike. 

 

Yeah, I know that sounds like it's splitting hairs but the Contend AR 2 (indeed, all the Contend AR models) sit in that grey-area between being great for road riding but also capable of taking on really rough roads, rail trails and unsealed dirt and gravel roads. 

 

In this preview, I’ll explain a little more about the AR 2. 

 

WHO IS IT FOR?

Ideally it’s for the:

 

  • The rider who is upgrading from a tired, worn out road bike.
  • Or if you’ve been riding a mountain bike and realise no one should be subject to such torture. 
  • It’s your first road bike and you want the best aluminium endurance bike you can get. 
  • Comfort and versatility is your main priority. 

 

THE FRAME

Is made from Giant’s ALUXX-grade aluminum. It is made by Giant themselves and not a third party. Something that we’ve experienced personally - and it’s disastrous. So we know that quality control is tight and the level of quality is going to be high. 

 

Resulting in less issues. 

 

In the past, on the most basic Contend models, we’ve not seen Giant use internal cable routing or their spectacular D-Fuse seat post. Or thru-axles. Or neat cable routing.

 

So, in short, this is the best entry-point endurance bike Giant has ever made. 

 

An endurance road bike implies that on long endurance rides you’re going to be comfortable. 

 

And that’s exactly what the Contend AR delivers. 

 

One area of comfort is going to be your positioning on the Contend. It’s not low and aggressive like most race bikes. In fact, it’s the opposite. 

 

Giant has designed the AR 1 so that you sit upright, placing the least amount of pressure on your hands, neck, shoulders and back. It’s a position that requires the least amount of pelvic flexibility too. This position suits most riders who have never ridden a road bike or done much cycling. 

 

On thru-axles:

 

Thru-axles are much larger diameter axled compared with normal quick-release (QR) types. In fact, the difference is enormous.

 

This results in a much stronger connection of the wheel to the frame. 

 

Resulting in (much) better handling - everywhere. Cornering, climbing and descending. 

 

The frame and wheel aren’t flexing like made when you lean into a corner or put the hammer down on a sprint or climb. The Contend AR 1 tracks cleaner and more directly; carving precise arcs in a turn and translating your power into forward motion. 

 

Another premium feature is a full carbon fork. Most road bikes at this price point tend to use an aluminum steerer tube and carbon blades. Whereas the Contend AR 1 uses a full carbon steerer and blades, resulting in a much lighter fork.  



COMFORT

In order to mute harsh impacts and vibrations, the front of the Contend AR 1 uses a carbon fork and carbon D-Fuse post. The fork helps absorb impacts and smooths the road out. 

 

The reason why it’s so good is because it flexes 12mm (which is a lot) forward/backward. This flex results in less lower back fatigue and mutes impacts travelling through the pelvis and spine. 

 

COMPONENTS

In your research you may have come across the Shimano 105 groupset. 

 

This is the third-best road groupset in the range, and is best described as the most affordable of the performance level groupsets. 

 

Unlike the Contend AR 2 and AR 3 which uses 10-speed and 9-speed groupsets, respectively, the AR 1 uses an 11-speed ratio. 

 

11-speed groupsets utilise the best and current Shimano technology. Components such as the chain, cassette and derailleurs have been updated to deliver faster, smoother gear shifts. The brake lever has been redesigned to improve ergonomics too. 

 

The groupset uses a wide range gear ratio. There’s a 50T/34T crankset that is paired to a 11T-34T cassette. This means you can climb up most steep inclines quite easily. 

 

Hydraulic disc brakes are another key feature of the Contend AR 2 as hydraulic disc brake's performance is going to be exceptional. 

 

Soon you’ll find that most road bikes will have hydro brakes. And there’s are several good reasons why:

 

First, there is brake power and modulation. You have much more control riding in wet conditions and descending. 

 

Second, there’s a lot less maintenance. No rusty or gritty cables. And no constant re-tensioning of the cables once they stretch. 

 

Third, there’s less hand effort required to slow down. Resulting in much less hand fatigue, especially when you’re doing a long descent. 

 

WHEELS

The Contend AR 1 rolls on 32mm wide tyres. This is great for riding smooth and rough roads. But if you need to ride on smooth dirt or gravel, it can do that too. 

 

But:

 

If you plan on riding on rougher unsealed surfaces, the Contend AR 1 can also accommodate tyres up to 38mm wide. 

 

And they are tubeless. 

 

For those that haven’t experienced tubeless, here are some benefits:

 

First, tubeless tyres roll faster and with less effort. 

 

Second, tubeless tyres can be used at a lower pressure - significantly enhancing comfort. 

 

And lastly, when you do sustain a puncture, any pinch flat or cut (within 3mm) the liquid sealant inside the tyre will heal the cut. 

 

However:

 

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns. 

 

The sealant inside the tyre will dry out. It’s not a big issue but in order for it to seal cuts it needs to be in liquid form. So the liquid needs to be replaced on average 6 months. 

 

WARRANTY

There is a Lifetime Frame warranty, 2 years on wheels and Shimano parts and 1 year on everything else.

GIANT CONTEND AR 1 (2021)

Size XS, S, M, M/L, L, XL
Colours Metallic Navy
Frame ALUXX grade aluminium, 12mm thru-axle
Fork Advanced Grade Composite, Carbon OverDrive Steerer, 12mm thru-axle
Handlebar Giant Contact SL D-Fuse, 31.8mm
Stem Giant Contact, 8 degree
Seat Post Giant D-Fuse Composite
Saddle Giant Approach
Shifters Shimano 105, 22 speed
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano 105 hydraulic disc, 160mm
Brake Levers Shimano 105 hydraulic disc
Cassette Shimano HG700, 11-34T, 11 speed
Chain KMC X11EL 1
Crankset Shimano RS510, 34T/50T
Bottom Bracket Shimano sealed
Rims Giant PR2 disc tubeless
Hubs Giant alloy disc, 24H
Spokes Stainless steel, 14-15g
Tyres Giant Gavia Fondo 2 tubeless, 700x32mm
Size XS, S, M, M/L, L, XL
Colours Metallic Navy
Frame ALUXX grade aluminium, 12mm thru-axle
Fork Advanced Grade Composite, Carbon OverDrive Steerer, 12mm thru-axle
Handlebar Giant Contact SL D-Fuse, 31.8mm
Stem Giant Contact, 8 degree
Seat Post Giant D-Fuse Composite
Saddle Giant Approach
Shifters Shimano 105, 22 speed
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano 105 hydraulic disc, 160mm
Brake Levers Shimano 105 hydraulic disc
Cassette Shimano HG700, 11-34T, 11 speed
Chain KMC X11EL 1
Crankset Shimano RS510, 34T/50T
Bottom Bracket Shimano sealed
Rims Giant PR2 disc tubeless
Hubs Giant alloy disc, 24H
Spokes Stainless steel, 14-15g
Tyres Giant Gavia Fondo 2 tubeless, 700x32mm
General
Brand
Giant
General
Brand
Giant
Bike
Frame Size
Medium
Size XS, S, M, M/L, L, XL
Colours Metallic Navy
Frame ALUXX grade aluminium, 12mm thru-axle
Fork Advanced Grade Composite, Carbon OverDrive Steerer, 12mm thru-axle
Handlebar Giant Contact SL D-Fuse, 31.8mm
Stem Giant Contact, 8 degree
Seat Post Giant D-Fuse Composite
Saddle Giant Approach
Shifters Shimano 105, 22 speed
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano 105 hydraulic disc, 160mm
Brake Levers Shimano 105 hydraulic disc
Cassette Shimano HG700, 11-34T, 11 speed
Chain KMC X11EL 1
Crankset Shimano RS510, 34T/50T
Bottom Bracket Shimano sealed
Rims Giant PR2 disc tubeless
Hubs Giant alloy disc, 24H
Spokes Stainless steel, 14-15g
Tyres Giant Gavia Fondo 2 tubeless, 700x32mm
General
Brand
Giant
Size XS, S, M, M/L, L, XL
Colours Metallic Navy
Frame ALUXX grade aluminium, 12mm thru-axle
Fork Advanced Grade Composite, Carbon OverDrive Steerer, 12mm thru-axle
Handlebar Giant Contact SL D-Fuse, 31.8mm
Stem Giant Contact, 8 degree
Seat Post Giant D-Fuse Composite
Saddle Giant Approach
Shifters Shimano 105, 22 speed
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano 105 hydraulic disc, 160mm
Brake Levers Shimano 105 hydraulic disc
Cassette Shimano HG700, 11-34T, 11 speed
Chain KMC X11EL 1
Crankset Shimano RS510, 34T/50T
Bottom Bracket Shimano sealed
Rims Giant PR2 disc tubeless
Hubs Giant alloy disc, 24H
Spokes Stainless steel, 14-15g
Tyres Giant Gavia Fondo 2 tubeless, 700x32mm