It’s getting harder and harder to answer the age old question ‘How many bikes do I need?’ Even when dedicated riders acquire a full quiver the bikes often get built up for very specific purposes, so while many people have a bike that will rule on the road and one that will rock the trails, they still don’t have one that will do both. If you tend to ride off wherever the wind takes you, or just want something that offers a new level of road, gravel or touring versatility Giant’s new Toughroad bikes may be the answer.
The Toughroad series were designed for people who want to ride varying terrain, but on something lighter duty than an MTB. Fitting into Giant’s X-Road Performance category, they are intended to bridge a gap between a heavy mountain bike and a Cyclocross bike (or their gorgeous Anyroad models!), which tend to be outfitted for competition level riders with drop bars and lightweight components. Giant says the Toughroad bikes are essentially entry level CX bikes with MTB handlebars and versatile options for racks, fenders, and storage bags. Time to get carried away…
Giant has released the Toughroad bikes in two models, the SLR1 and the SLR2. The Toughroad frames are built from ALUXX SLR-grade aluminum tubing, with a blend of squared off edges and tubular sections giving them a sleek yet shapely appearance. The welds are ground smooth for a seamless look, and an ‘invisible’ seat clamp is integrated. The frames employ Giant’s D Fuse technology, meaning a degree of vertical compliance is engineered into the seat mast to ensure a comfortable ride.
Giant’s OD1 fork is constructed with composite lowers and an alloy steer tube, and the dropouts feature longer trail so the Toughroad bikes handle more like an MTB than a twitchy road racer. 700x50c puncture resistant tires are outfitted to provide traction on rough or loose surfaces without sacrificing the rolling speed of a road bike, and both models are equipped with wide range gearing.
With that idea of adventure in mind, the frames include mounts for front and rear racks, (including low-rider fork mounts), fenders, and the traditional shape allows compatibility with front triangle storage bags. They also feature an integrated chain stay protector and Giant’s X-Defender down tube protector which neatly hides your cables.
The SLR1 is the higher end model outfitted with the OD1 composite/alloy fork, a 2×10 SRAM drivetrain, Shimano M396 hydraulic disc brakes, Giant’s S-X2 double-walled wheelset, and the front and rear racks included. The SLR1 retails for $1300 USD. Color options are Matte Black or Red, and frames come in S-XL sizes.
The SLR2 is the lower-spec option, but still includes some impressive parts like the OD1 fork, Shimano M355 hydraulic disc brakes and the same S-X2 wheels as the upgraded version. The lesser model uses a Shimano 27-speed (3×9) drivetrain and does not include front or rear racks. The SLR2 comes in Matte Navy Blue or Lime colors. Sizes S-XL are available, for the price of $870.
Giant doesn’t list weights for their bikes online, but their press release indicates the Toughroad bikes will come in around 25-26lbs with or without racks installed. Check out Giant’s website for full build specs.