The Giant Propel Advanced SL 0 is the latest flagship aero road bike from the Taiwanese behemoth.
While the previous Propel (which launched in 2018) went all in on aerodynamic efficiency at the expense of some added weight, this latest version is intended to offer the best of both worlds.
With an exceptionally low weight of just 6.91kg, the Propel is competitive on the scales with some of the best climbing bikes, yet appears to sacrifice little in terms of outright speed on the flats.
On top of this, smart refinements such as an increase in tyre clearance, an overhauled cable routing system and a new two-piece aero cockpit, make the new Propel a bike that isn’t overly specialised or difficult to live with.
While at €12,000 / $12,500 / AU$13,999 (UK pricing is yet to be confirmed) the price of this WorldTour spec race bike is predictably lofty, the Propel Advanced SL 0 is a true do-it-all road bike with few compromises.
Giant Propel Advanced SL frameset
Unusually for a self-styled aero road bike, the headline feature on the new Propel frameset is its low weight.
At a claimed 1,429.5g for a size medium frameset, the 2023 Propel is only 163.5g heavier than the latest Giant TCR Advanced SL frameset – an almost imperceptible difference.
It’s clear Giant isn’t lying about this either. Our size ML test bike weighs a feathery 6.91kg, including the new aero bottle cages and an out-front computer mount.
There are relatively few competitors in the aero road bike space that can come close to matching that weight figure (bikes such as the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7, Factor Ostro VAM and Canyon Aeroad CFR spring to mind).
Of course, the new Propel likely gives up some aerodynamic efficiency compared to heavier, more aggressively aero-optimised bikes such as the Cervélo S5, Cannondale SystemSix, Orbea Orca Aero or Trek Madone SLR.
But given the balance of comments we receive on the subject, the compromise struck by the Propel is likely closer to what most people want from a high-performance road bike.
Nevertheless, Giant claims the aerodynamic performance of the latest Propel surpasess that of the previous version as a complete bike by 6.21 watts at 40kph, equating to 27 seconds over 40km.
Notably, though, this figure includes the new Contact SLR Aero cockpit, Cadex 50 Ultra Disc wheelsystem and Cadex Aero Tubeless tyres (more on these later).
How much of that 6.21 watts improvement is attributable to the various component parts is unclear, but if you’re buying it as a complete bike, it arguably doesn’t matter.
My only quibble with the Propel Advanced SL frameset concerns the integrated seatpost.
The flippable head that allows you to switch between -5 and +15mm