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Got on the contend coming off of used vintage steel framed road bikes. With that sort as my best point of reference, this bike is an amazing leap forward. It's extremely light while still feeling like solid metal. I end up having to shoulder my bicycle often on my commute. Carrying this contend is like carrying a light duffel bag, the aluxx sl is no joke. Before I wasn't accustomed to being able to hit too big of bumps like railroad crossings on a road bike while at speed. The contend smooths things out enough to just power over them, free grins. The discs breaks are next level to boot. I was apprehensive, but for the price this bike is really a dream. For a few hundred less you can get a decent used bike that will be okay. With this giant you're getting many times the bicycle, and one you'll love. Personally I'm a fan of this compact frame geometry that has become popular. It looks great on the XL contend and makes perfect sense to me. Less metal, less weight, more speed. I might be a convert to the compact chain rings as well. I have been getting much more use out of the lower climbing gears and tearing up some decent hills, all about that spin. I can't say enough good stuff about this new contend. Everywhere I go people mention how beautiful it is. Good stuff, thanks to H&F and Giant.