Giant Contend 1: Excellent Quality Road Bike for Less than $1,000: Review

There are thousands of wonder bikes out there with some incredible gear and equally incredible price tags — but you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a comfortable, safe, and fund ride. Actually, now is the best time to buy; it is easier to get a great bike cheaply than ever before. New aluminum manufacturing techniques have made it possible to create frames that are price-conscious, lightweight, and snappy feeling.

Combine the new aluminum frames with budget-oriented groupsets like Shimano’s Sora, and you’ve got a road bike that will be of better quality and more reasonable of a price than you could have bought just a few years ago.


Contend-1-Black-AngleGiant Contend 1
Aluminum Road Bike

  • Balanced road geometry
  • Smooth ride quality
  • Lightweight Efficiency
  • Contend offers responsive acceleration and a confident rider position
  • The innovative D-Fuse seatpost

Read Verified Customer Reviews

The Giant Contend

If you’re looking for a great new roadbike as an entry-level rider and don’t want to spend thousands but you also don’t want to cheap out and buy junk — I’m happy to say that there are options out there that you will be very happy with. If you’re willing to spend anywhere from $800 to less than $1,000, it is completely achievable to find a quality road bike that won’t cost you thousands of dollars.

The Contend 1 by Giant looks and feels more expensive than it really is. The frame is actually a new combination of Giant’s two previous entry level models (the aluminum TCR and the Defy).

This frame cherry picks from the best of the two models’ geometry attributes. 1) It combines the snappy rear end of the TCR and 2) the more stable and upright front of the Defy.


  • Entry level bike
  • Brakes and shifters are work properly
  • Excellent package
  • Slick groupset performance
  • Enjoyably rewarding ride
  • Quality bike
  • Uncomfortable seat
  • The front end doesn’t absorb quite as much vibration as the rear


The Giant Contend 1 has a smart parts package — including Shimano Sora components, a butted aluminum frame, and a compact (50/34 chainrings) 9-Speed drivetrain, these component parts perform very well and are still very reasonably priced.


The bike’s wide 11 x 32 cassette helps to spin easily on any grade and the shifting is very responsive and smooth. The brakes needed a lot more hand squeezing than higher-end versions do, so be aware of that aspect — however, that being said, you will feel confident in the amount of stopping power this bike provides.

Moreover, the Giant Contend 1 is very smooth and quick on all types of road surfaces from pot-holed dirt to damaged, chunky asphalt.

The weight is also on the low side — at around 20.1 pounds, it’s a great weight for this price tag. It also feels very efficient, even on super steep climbs. The best part of riding this Contend is that it’s fun. That’s what it’s all about in the end — you can’t put a price on the love of riding your road bike, but it’s still nice to know that you can buy a bike such as the Giant Contend without any regret.


Tech Specs

  • Sizes Available: XS, S, M, M/L, L, XL
  • Colors: Black/Green or Neon Red
  • Frame: ALUXX-grade Aluminum
  • Fork: Composite with Alloy OverDrive steerer
  • Shock: N/A
  • Stem: Giant Sport
  • Handlebar: Giant Connect, 31.8mm
  • Seatpost: Alloy, 27.2mm
  • Shifters: Shimano Sora
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Sora
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Sora
  • Brakes: Tektro R312
  • Brake Levers: Shimano Sora
  • Cassette: SRAM PG-950 11×32, 9-Speed
  • Chain: KMC X9
  • Crankset: Shimano Sora, 34/50
  • BB (Bottom Bracket): Shimano, Threaded
  • Rims: Giant SR-2
  • Hubs: Giant Tracker Sport Road, [F] 24h, [R] 28h
  • Spokes: Stainless Steel, 14g
  • Tires: Giant S-R4, Front and Rear Specific, 700×25
  • Saddle: Giant Contact Forward
  • Pedals: Platform, Caged
  • Weight: Average of 20.1 lbs using M/L size as example
SR-2 Wheelset
SR-2 Wheelset

Quick Glance

  • Lightweight (20.1 lbs), durable ALUXX-grade butted aluminum frame
  • Giant SR-2 rims, Giant Sport Tracker hubs, stainless steel spokes
  • Composite fork with alloy OverDrive steerer dampens vibrations
  • Shimano Sora, 9-Speed componentry with Tektro rim brakes


You can buy the Contend 1 for only $810.00 at the following link.

Final Thoughts

The Giant is a bike that combines all of these features, with one of the most beautiful looks and ride characteristics in the industry. It has everything you need for an epic ride except a few essential essentials like multi-tools and extra tubes. With pure mountain geometry, lightweight frame material, and high-end components from brands such as Shimano, XT or SRAM, it delivers dependable performance while looking amazing.

The design is made to produce a balanced feel that blends confident rider positioning with agile cornering and acceleration. A Giant WheelSystem allows you to run tubeless tires up to 32c for a smoother ride quality and reduced risk of flats. Even in wet weather and rough roads, seamless disc brake integration, which includes flat mounts and 12mm front and rear thru-axles, provides more consistent braking power for better control.