By Pete – Partridge Cycles’ Road Bike Specialist
Bought this as a do it all, winter commute and mix it up bike. Some of the roads and lanes here in Devon have been worn out by farm vehicles and we also have a lot of off road stuff in and around Haldon near the shop and Dartmoor slightly further afield.
Because I am a commute rider, my single speed road bike simply can’t handle the harsher weather and terrain that the winter brings and I needed a bike that I could use all year round and until the weather picks up.
I opted for the brand new 2018 Giant ToughRoad SLR GX 0. It features:
- SRAM shifting and braking
- All stock Giant kit
- ALLUX aluminium frame – not overly light nor heavy, just solid.
- Lowered Stem (By Choice)
- 40c tubeless out of the box
Historically, I have always viewed ‘gravel’ bikes with suspicion as it seemed like the industry was generating sales with something that did not exist.
I then found out Cannondales first bike back in 1971 was a gravel/ bike packing bike, so it is all cyclic I suppose. I looked at CX bikes, but the usual caveats of BB height and gearing discussed, though I am aware Giant do a new 2018 SX TCX which looks superb. 40c tyres, wider bar and so on – moving away from Cyclocross and a bit more gravel. But this time I opted for the Toughroad as my recent addition to N+1.
Having got back from 22 hilly miles in Devon on the edge of Dartmoor, I am happy to say that this bike is incredible.
I took it on road, cycle paths, gravel paths, bridleways, mud paths and through jumbo puddles, the lot! Could have even swung by Haldon MTB centre on the way back and railed it about there. 1700 feet of climbing via Mamhead but choices all the way, no more wondering where that roads, paths or trail leads.
I now realise that these things are a game changer and really freshened up a ride today and kudos to the bike brands. Riding back on a 25% descent, hammering with rain, I started thinking about the thing people like bike designer Gerrard Vroomen and co talk about, bikes are changing. Total control, comfort, speed and choice on a ride.
I can only imagine what something like the new Defy shod with wider tyres, disc brakes, through axles and so on rides like. Anyway, here it is. Fab machine. Simply just fun. I am a convert – this is a Defy which rides like a 29er – it opens up a whole new world of riding. It is like 1971 all over again! Ace!
Giant have opened up a market for bikes that can tackle any terrain in any weather, and with the flat handlebar version of the Toughroad, as well as the Anyroad series, these are fantastic bikes that we would recommend to any customer looking for an all rounder.