Editors combed through this year’s top aero bikes and narrowed the field down to four finalists: the Trek Madone SLR 7, the 3T Strada ICR Force eTap AXS, the Ribble Ultra SL R Enthusiast and the all-new Propel Advanced Pro. Each was put to the test in the U.K., on the twisty and technical roads in and around Bristol.
The specific model tested was the Propel Advanced Pro 0 AXS, which pairs a lightweight composite frameset featuring AeroSystem Shaping with a Giant SLR 1 50 Carbon WheelSystem and SRAM Force eTap AXS wireless electronic drivetrain.
Standing out against the competition, the Propel impressed testers with its “excellent balance of aero and lightweight, great value build, fast ride feel, and confident handling.”
Comparing it to the previous generation model, BikeRadar senior test editor Simon von Bromley found that “this iteration feels much more of an all-rounder race bike.”
Drilling down to the standout features that led BikeRadar to choose the Propel as its favorite aero bike of 2023, von Bromley said he appreciated the build, from the new, lighter weight frameset to the components. He called the Giant Fleet SL saddle “a firm favourite of mine” and wrote that the Contact SLR Aero carbon handlebar “has an aerodynamic yet still very comfortable shape and provides excellent vibration damping.”
Von Bromley also singled out the wheels, writing: “The Giant SLR 1 50 disc wheelset is particularly impressive. It shares its hookless rim profile with the pricier CADEX 50 Ultra Disc wheelset found on Propel Advanced SL builds, with 50mm-deep, 30mm-wide dimensions. Built with Sapim CX-Ray bladed steel spokes (24 front and rear) and Giant’s own hubs (with steel bearings), the wheels are a fantastic complement to the bike.”
Summing up its performance, von Bromley concluded this: “The Propel Advanced Pro feels competitively fast on practically all types of terrain. The frameset and wheels have more than enough stiffness to translate my efforts onto the road, and it still maintains that tangible snappiness of a good-quality carbon race bike. So while it’s true that prices for high-end road bikes have risen significantly in recent years, when you can get this much performance at the mid-range, spending any more begins to feel unnecessary.”
For more, check out the full review at BikeRadar.com.
And for all the technical details on the full new Propel range, click here.