For its 2014 model year, Giant is introducing a new addition to its award-winning aero road lineup. The Propel Advanced follows the successful 2013 launch of the Propel Advanced SL, the best-in-class aero road bike ridden by Team Belkin riders at the Tour de France and other WorldTour pro road races.
Unveiled at Eurobike 2013 in Friedrichshafen, Germany last week, the new Propel Advanced features many of the same aero-focused technologies as the pro-level Propel Advanced SL, but in an Advanced-grade composite frame option. “The key to the Propel Advanced is that it’s backed by that same comprehensive development process that produced the Propel Advanced SL models that our pro racers love,” said Jon Swanson, Giant Global Road Category Manager. “The goal for both bikes was exactly the same—to produce a bike that’s not only more aerodynamic than anything else in its category, but that’s also lighter, stiffer and more versatile for real-world road riding. And you see that in the way it’s being used by pros. We’ve seen Belkin riders racing Propel in everything from time trials to massive mountain stages at the Tour.”
The aero road project was one of the most comprehensive development challenges ever undertaken at Giant. Over the course of two years, a team of engineers, product developers and pro riders from Team Belkin (Team Blanco at the time) went to unprecedented lengths to achieve its goals. A total of 88 prototype iterations were tested before the final design went into production.
Throughout the development process, Giant used innovative new testing methodologies to gather the most accurate and complete data that exists in the industry today. Rather than following conventional aerodynamic testing procedures—which typically utilize either static dummies or human riders to estimate aerodynamic performance of rider and bike—Giant developed a dynamic mannequin for its wind-tunnel sessions. This practice replicates the aerodynamic effects of a rider pedaling, but ensures that the data is free from the variances intrinsic to live rider testing.
All of the aero engineering that went into the Propel Advanced SL carries over to the Advanced series. One of the key design ideas behind both series is AeroSystem Shaping technology. Data compiled from hundreds of hours of Computational Fluid Dynamics research and wind-tunnel tests was used by engineers to shape every frameset tube for overall system aerodynamics.
The process reflects a belief by Giant engineers that any single frame modification should be made not in isolation but with an eye on how it affects overall performance both in the wind-tunnel and on the road. The use of the dynamic mannequin, as well as race testing by Team Blanco riders, led to the final frame design.
Other new technologies with the Propel Advanced include its proprietary integrated SpeedControl SLbrake system. A reverse-position front brake and seatstay-mounted rear brake feature strategic positioning and specially designed trailing edges that reduce wind drag. And the Vector SLR seatpost offers wide-ranging adjustability while minimizing drag.
Other key features on each of the three Propel Advanced models in the 2014 global lineup include Giant’s OverDrive 2 steerer tube technology for precise handling and front-end stiffness; a PowerCore bottom bracket for maximum pedaling efficiency and sprinting power; and internal cable routing for a clean, aerodynamic look and performance.
The 2014 Propel Advanced series includes three global models, with availability and model lineup varying by country. Learn more at giant-bicycles.com/PropelAdvanced.