Possibly the most versatile bike ever created.

When I was growing up in the suburbs, we used to ride our bikes to get around town. It was a useful means of transportation that didn’t require us to rely on our parents for a ride and even provided some exercise. For the most part, we all rode mountain bikes. Although not always the smoothest or quickest of ride, they allowed us to get from place to place and were rugged enough to go off-road to hit some trails on a whim.

Fast-forward 20 years and not much has changed. I don’t mountain bike nearly as much as I used to, but as a father of three, living in the suburbs, my need for a versatile bike still exists. I need something that allows me to cruise around town with my daughters, while being sleek enough to use for fitness purposes, and burly enough to do some trail riding when the urge arises.

The frame is constructed with some of the most advanced aluminum materials on the market, making the bike not only strong but crazy light for its size.

When the ToughRoad SLR 1 ($1,300) from Giant showed up at my door, all my problems were solved. The Tough Road is part of Giant’s X-Road category of bikes and is the epitome of versatility. By blending the features of on- and off-road bikes, Giant has created a rugged beast that can make a seamless transition from the road to the trails.

It’s a good thing for you too, because the adventure riding trend in biking is only getting more popular. More and more riders are looking to push the boundaries of where they can take their bikes, and they want to avoid the elitist attitude that’s often associated with road biking groups. The ToughRoad is perfect for adventure riding. There’s room on the bike for bags to take full advantage of the “bikepacking” niche—bags like the like the Scout Bikepacking Frame Bag, the Scout Bikepacking Handlebar Bag and the Scout Bikepacking Seat Bag, which will only enhance your ability to explore. You can throw food, a change of clothes or whatever else into the bag and… boom, you’re covering way more ground than any backpacker could walk in a single day.

The ToughRoad also has a unique design, which adds to its versatility. The frame is constructed with some of the most advanced aluminum materials on the market, making the bike not only strong but crazy light for its size. It’s also surprisingly comfortable thanks to its D-Fuse seatpost, which transfers the energy from a bump away from the rider. And the drivetrain is designed to allow you to travel at various speeds, which is frequently required when riding over multiple terrains.


Personally, having been on the bike for a month now, I’ve found it to be exactly what I was looking for. The bike is huge, rugged and looks really friggin’ cool, catching the eye of many a passerby. It provides an uncommon smoothness when I’m out on the road for a fitness-related ride, and the burliness of the bike allows me to expand the terrain of my rides to include some of the local trails near me.

What’s more, as a father of three, the addition of the bags comes in quite handy. They allow me to carry all of the “stuff” that comes with having kids and riding with them around town. I’ve even used the bags to carry my TRX training system with me so that I can randomly stop at a park, bust out a bodyweight workout and carry on with my ride. So if you’re the type of guy who is looking to do it all, from a casual bike ride with your kids to fitness bike rides that expand your horizons, then the versatility of the ToughRoad SLR 1 by Giant will not disappoint.