The Truth About Road Bike Frame Testing

Giant Bicycle Road Frame Testing

Giant are not going to be silent any more.

They have never before presented the data you find here. These are the test results comparing their premium road bicycle frames against the relevant competitors.

Giant purchased their full production framesets– the same framesets anyone can buy — and tested them alongside their handcrafted TCR Advanced SL, TCR Advanced and TCR Composite full production framesets. Giant tested in three key areas: Weight, Steering Stiffness, and Pedalling Stiffness.

Some of their competitors have done these same tests but they don’t include Giant in their published results. That’s because the Giant bikes are superior, and they can’t figure out a way around that superiority. So they just leave Giant out.



Giant weigh their road frames against their relevant competitors – the full production frame, uncut fork, full paint and graphics, and all production hardware like derailleur hangers, water bottle bolts, and cable guides. All the frames are equivalent sizes. If they don’t have an Integrated Seat Post, like the Giant TCR Advanced SL (ISP), they add 250 grams – the average weight of a high-quality composite seat post – to the frame weight. The TCR Advanced SL (ISP), the same bike frame ridden by the Rabobank Team, is the lightest. No question.

road bike weight testing results
Road bike weight testing results

Steering Stiffness

Steering stiffness is felt under hard cornering and is a result of the fork, headset, and headtube all flexing under load. Unlike some of Their competitor’s testing – which substitutes a steel bar for the fork – Giant uses the production fork included with the frameset providing complete system performance information that translates directly to ride quality.

For this test, each frameset is fixed and locked at the rear dropouts. Side force, simulating cornering, is applied to the production fork dropouts to duplicate input forces from steering and terrain. The deflection at the fork dropouts is measured; the higher the value, the stiffer the frameset.

Again, Giant win. Hands down.

Road bike steering stiffness testing
Road bike steering stiffness testing

Pedalling Stiffness

Pedaling stiffness can be felt under heavy pedaling (such as sprinting) and is the result of the side-to-side motion of the bottom bracket area. With pedaling stiffness, more is better. The less bottom bracket flex, the more power will be transferred through the drivetrain to the rear wheel – propelling you forward faster.

For this test, each frameset is fixed and locked at the fork dropouts and the rear dropouts, inclined to 10-degrees, and a steel crank is installed and rotated to 45-degrees. Force is applied to the end of the crank arm. The deflection at the bottom bracket is measured; the higher the value, the stiffer the frameset and better the pedaling efficiency.

Giant number two here, and they are okay with that. That’s because among the top five framesets (and note that Giant frames occupy three of those top five), the stiffness is so substantial that no rider is going to flex any one of those top five more than the others.

Road bike pedalling stiffness testing
Road bike pedalling stiffness testing


Giant wins. The reason is because Giant is the only major bicycle manufacturer in the world that controls the entire process from start to finish – from the raw carbon thread (or from Giant’s own aluminium forge), to a finished bicycle, to the Giant retailer, to your hands. No other major manufacturer has this complete control, so they can’t hit these numbers.

Every Giant bicycle – every angle, curve, and tube junction – is born from world-leading technology and craftsmanship. Giant’s continuous research, development, testing, and refining means unrivalled performance for the ultimate ride.

But ultimately the test that really matters is yours. Pay us a visit and take one for a test ride. Riding is believing.

Visit and view the video now, and download the test data here.

Posted on Leave a comment