Giant Contend AR 4 review

Just below the £1000 threshold, Giant's Contend AR 4 hits the magic price point but makes some compromises along the way

giant contend ar 4 review
(Image credit: Dan Gould/Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Giant AL 4 offers sufficient enough comfort without dulling the ride quality, and thanks to its wide tyre clearance, there’s room for some exploration. It accelerates well and handles the bends in the road with ease. It is, unfortunately, let down by its weight. The disc brakes will no doubt contribute to this, and these didn’t particularly impress us with their responsiveness.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    All-rounder appeal

  • +

    Easy maintenance

Reasons to avoid
  • -


  • -

    Braking performance

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Giant’s Contend range is expansive with this frame available in carbon, aluminium, and with disc or rim brakes at assorted price points. In this case, we have the aluminium AR 4 with disc brakes, which costs £999 and aims to meet the ever unquenchable demand for bikes just under £1000

We tested the Giant Contend as part of a four-up grouptest, including a Boardman SLR 8.9, Genesis CDA 30 and one further bike yet to be released. Each bike was tested with the specced tyres, as well as the Schwalbe Pro One as a control. 

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Giant Contend AR 4
RRP£999Row 0 - Cell 2
Weight 10.28kgRow 1 - Cell 2
Frame Alloy ALUXX single buttedRow 2 - Cell 2
ForkCarbon, Overdrive steererRow 3 - Cell 2
Bottom bracket CartridgeRow 4 - Cell 2
SeatpostD-Fuse alloyRow 5 - Cell 2
HandlebarsAluminium 42cmRow 6 - Cell 2
Shifters and derallieursShimano ClarisRow 7 - Cell 2
CassetteShimano CS-HG50 11-34Row 8 - Cell 2
ChainsetFSA - 50/34 Row 9 - Cell 2
BrakesTektro cable-actuated discRow 10 - Cell 2
WheelsGiant S-R2 Disc wheelsetRow 11 - Cell 2
TyresGiant 32mm, max 40mm Row 12 - Cell 2

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan the Editor of Cycling Weekly website. An NCTJ qualified traditional journalist by trade, Michelle began her career working for local newspapers. She's worked within the cycling industry since 2012, and joined the Cycling Weekly team in 2017, having previously been Editor at Total Women's Cycling. Prior to welcoming her daughter in 2022, Michelle raced on the road, track, and in time trials, and still rides as much as she can - albeit a fair proportion indoors, for now.