There's a second hand bike I'm looking at. Photos are here: Giant defy 1 2017. The seller says it's a giant defy 1 2017, purchased last year. I noticed the stem says something like raceface which suggests to me that it's been replaced.

I found another similar looking one where the seller says it's a Giant defy 1 2016 model. Photos are at: Giant defy 1 2016

I haven't been able to find the exact same model on the giant website.

Can anyone identify what model is this bike? Or is it a fake?

  • 1
    Have you asked Seller for paperwork? If they bought it new, there should be sales receipt or warranty paperwork, at least.
    – Criggie
    Apr 5, 2021 at 19:41
  • 1
    @Criggie Fewer and fewer people keep physical paperwork these days. However, some sellers might have an email order confirmation or even a bank statement showing a purchase for the appropriate amount at the right store (you may be able to look up a list price, perhaps on the archive for a rough check).
    – pateksan
    Apr 7, 2021 at 9:10
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    @pateksan paperwork makes the world go around. If OP asks the seller, they might get lucky. Or the seller can say "no paperwork found" knowiing it shows some enhancements on the truth. Anything's worth trying. And if the bike is 10 years older than stated, one has a bargaining point on the price.
    – Criggie
    Apr 7, 2021 at 10:33
  • I didnt ask for paperwork but that would also be useful as some manufacturers offer lifetime frame warranty. I didn't buy it in the end as the price of 10 speed cassettes was almost double 8 speed. I couldn't justify getting a dropbar bike I wasn't sure was genuine, to replace my 2017 cross city bike. The seller offered me first their new reduced price. It was sold within a day.
    – evo412
    Apr 8, 2021 at 4:43

4 Answers 4


I would say they (both posts) are most likely either being intentionally misleading or they don't actually know what kind of bike they have. Looking at their the 2016 Defy 1, it seems to be disk only, and be specced with 105 level components. Even going back to 2013 which is as far back as Giant's site seems to go back, it's still speced with 105 level components. As @Criggie mentioned in the comments, 9 speed Tiagra has been discontinued well before 2016.

However, it seems that even Giant's own site doesn't have their complete past catalog anymore, but this article seems to point towards it only being available in disc brake versions.

For 2016, the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer steps forward again, trickling down the disc brakes of the upper-tier models and merging them with the alloy frame that takes multiple design cues from the carbon models

It seems that by 2016, only the Sora level model, the Defy 3 (and the Defy 5 with Claris level components had rim brakes.

They are most likely not counterfeit bikes as it would be unlikely to put so much effort into a low-mid tier road bike, but it does seem they are both being represented as something they are not.

  • I think you've got it right. In my experience, used bike sellers often don't know much more about the bike than the naming labels we can see in the paint scheme. Nowadays, manufacturers often differentiate their models subtly by adding or changing a seemingly inconsequential word (e.g. Defy 1 Disc vs. Defy 1 vs. Defy Advanced 1).
    – Armand
    Apr 6, 2021 at 0:21

The paint scheme looks like that of the 2009 Giant Defy Advanced 1 Check out https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/value-guide/product/3050124/ bikepedia.com and bicylebluebook.com have lots of info on bikes by year and model. Here's the 2010 Giant Defy 1, which again looks very similar, with a few minor differences in the paint scheme: https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/value-guide/product/19422/

  • 3
    The year of a bike is less important than its condition and its specs. As OP noticed items like stems are easily swapped, necessarily so for bike fit. Looks like 9 speed tiagra which if original would date it from 2001 to 2010. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimano#Road_groupsets
    – Criggie
    Apr 5, 2021 at 3:57
  • I think that's the right era, but OP's frames look like aluminium, whereas the defy advanced 1 you've linked is carbon. I suspect the OP bikes are real something, but as you suggest, a different year to the listing for a start
    – Swifty
    Apr 5, 2021 at 13:58

In addition to the answers you already have, it sounds perfectly possible that the bike was stolen in the past, even if the person currently selling it is unaware and bought it in good faith.

You might want to check if your country operates anything like the UK's immobilise or smart water, both are schemes aimed at tracking and tracing stolen property.

I would say things like these are worth checking every time you look at a bike with anything less than complete sale-and-purchase history, as you might be doing a great favour to someone who once had their beloved bike nicked!


Thanks to the answer from @Armand, it looks a lot like the paint scheme of the models 2009/2010. Maybe the seller bought it from a shop, the shop genuinely sold it as a 2017 model, who knows.

Anyway, I would suggest you to stay away from buying such a bike unless provided with a receipt of the original transaction or a signed and verified agreement from the seller (something where you have ID's number and you can check it).

Counterfeit probably is not, dubious origin for sure it is, unless proven differently. See this unrelated but related to second-hand shopping question

  • 1
    That q you linked sure had a doozy of a denouement!
    – Armand
    Apr 7, 2021 at 19:36

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