Giant Toughroad bikes- title shot

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 Toughroad SLR1- rear shot

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.

Giant Toughroad with bags

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.

Giant Toughroad SLR1, side

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.

Giant Toughroad SLR2, side

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 Toughroad geometry chart

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.


  1. “It’s getting harder and harder to answer the age old question ‘How many bikes do I need?’”

    Easy: The number of bikes you have, plus one.

  2. Not many hybrids out there with 50c tires, folks. In that sense it’s closer to a 29er. With drop bars it would be a monster cross, I guess. Sensible year round commuter, a bit more fat is good on the snow.

  3. “700x50c puncture resistant tires are outfitted to provide traction … without sacrificing the rolling speed of a road bike..”

    That’s incredibly unlikely.

  4. I had a Giant hybrid a few years ago and it was a lot of fun. Rode it around town and on some dirt paths. These are just hybrids for those with a lot of cash, who don’t want to admit they’re riding hybrids. Plus most hybrids come with linear pull brakes.

  5. makes sense. i’m a roadie and a mtber. But i just ride road bike because i have to to get the right to race. Road bikes don’t make much sense for racer already ( TT are much better) so for most rider they just don’t make sense at all.

  6. To all those saying this bike is just another hybrid: what good does it serve to place this bike and a cypress in the same category?

  7. monstercross has been around for a while now. nothing new here.

    oh yea, hybrids have been here since the 50’s or longer….

  8. I have a rigid 29er that I put 40 mm tires on. It’s steel and use it commuting and anything else that I want. I can also put a suspension fork and some 2.4 tires. Way ahead of you Giant. Oh yeah, cost me less too.

  9. I just bought one (SL2 model) and I absolutely love it! Handles really well and remarkably comfy. Swapped tires for Schwalbe Marathon Supremes and dropped 2 lbs. goes very fast and really fun to ride.

  10. Just purchased the SLR1. A great bike to use anywhere I choose to go and the capability to carry gear or shopping. I do have concerns with the odd shaped frame and seat post pole (which is not round shaped and has a weird locking method). Didn’t like the gear change levers (SD Ram) but slowly getting used to it. I changed the seat to something more comfortable and upgraded the pedals but everything else is stock so far. The bike looks great and I wouldn’t say its a fast ride but I didn’t buy it for those reasons.

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