So I have had my TCR advanced 2 for a while now, but seeing as I have been out of action for 3 months with a broke thumb I have barely ridden it and saw know need to talk about it!
That how ever has changed a little of late as I am now back on the road bike trying to recoup some fitness in the hope that I might get a little bit of mountain biking in before the summer is over! It has also meant that I am now able to talk frankly about the TCR.
It must seem like I have totally jumped on the Giant band wagon of late, I must admit I was never a huge fan of Giants as everyone has one and now as an owner I do feel like I am now just another price driven cyclist. But who really cares if you get the same level of performance…I certainly don’t any more.
In my time working in the cycling industry as both a sales person and mechanic I have had the importunately to try just about every production bike, as well as a substantial amount of boutique bikes as well. Some of these brands meet expectations while others fall miserably short (mostly the ‘hand built’ Italian frames!). So going into the hunt for a road bike all I was looking for was something that would do the job and do it well without blowing the budget, so naturally it had to be a giant. Not being a huge cyclist myself the brief for the bike was pretty simple. Buy something that would last, that’s is upgradeable and would do the job for traing up and down beach road with the girl friend. Ok for the last part you might think a TCR is a little over kill and you’re probably right. Beach road isn’t exactly demanding, but I did want something that had a good enough frame to warrant upgrading some components as things start to wear out. Which brings me to the frame…
The Frame is stiff!! TCR Advanced frames were always a good option for a good quality stiff carbon frame, but with the new frame design that came out in 2012 it has improved it stacks! The wider head tube gives the front end a nice solid feeling and the tapered top tube looks very sexy. Not sure I am a fan of Giant’s OVERDRIVE system as it restricts stem options, but the end result is what matters and it certainly does the job in the stiffness department. Unfortunately I haven’t had an opportunity to take it on some rougher roads to test compliance as of yet, that said even on beach road you can feel it has a little bit of give through the top tube.
The Spec is a full Shimano 105 Groupset, with the expection of the chain which is a 10speed KMC. Wheel wise its running Giants P-SL1 Wheel System (re branded DT-Swiss wheelset) and Giant P-SL1 folding tyres. In terms of performance the Wheels feel a bit like a Mavic Aksium, Stiff, solid but a bit on the heavy side. The tyres seem to pull up ok, feels like a reasonably hard wearing compound like that of schwalbe Durano maybe.
I am running a Garmin 200, which is not of course ANT+ compatable, so I had no need for the ride sense speed and cadence sensor, saved me a whole 78 grams…whoo.
Weight wise, my TCR Advanced, which is a medium (50cm frame)came in at 8.2kg with no reflectors, two carbon bottle cages (28g each), 105 pedals and no ride sense. Not Bad!
All in all, the TCR is a safe buy, great spec solid frame that should go the distance over the years. Stoked.