Giant’s Propel launched in 2013 as the aero road bike category was becoming a full fledged segment, but only in carbon fiber as part of their Advanced line.
Now, it looks like the sleek form factor will make its way to lower price points with and all-new SLR alloy frame that does remarkable justice to the original shapes but with traditional road brake calipers rather than aero linear pull stoppers.
As listed, there’ll be two models sharing the same frame and a new carbon Advanced SL Overdrive 2 fork (1.25 to 1.5 taper), and a standard handlebar and stem combo rather than the one-piece aero unit on the carbon bikes. Specs and more pics below…
The top model is the Propel SLR 1, decked out with Shimano Ultegra 11-speed (36/52, 11-28) running a KMC chain. The Giant SL1 Aero wheels also look like a new item, offering a mid-priced deep section wheelset. We don’t have actual width, but they appear to have a deeper rim than anything that’s spec’d on current Propel carbon bikes at any price range. Stated retail for the SLR 1 is NT 62,800, which translates to $2,039 USD as of May 7, 2015. Spec and pricing for markets outside of Asia may vary.
The frame runs all cables internally, and our guess is full length housing for everything. The rear brake runs inside the top tube and pops out on its underside before wrapping around the seat tube to the brake. That may be done for aerodynamics, but it’s also likely to reduce thigh rub on the housing, which is a big plus. It’s entry point at the front is along the side of the top tube to avoid drastic angles (and the resulting cable friction), but shift cables drop straight down behind the steerer tube and into the downtube.
The teardrop shaped seat tube is matched with the seatpost. The downtube also gets aero shaping with a cut out to direct air around the water bottle in an impressive feat of metal shaping…but it pales in comparison to the headtube junction:
This is one of the most extensively shaped alloy forms we’ve seen, combining the top- and head tubes into a single piece. Gorgeous.
The 2016 Giant Propel SLR 2 drops down to a still fantastic Shimano 105 group and uses their existing PA-2 wheels. Retail is NT 46,800 ($1,520 USD as of May 7, 2015).
Thanks to Metar for the tip!