Giant’s TCR is no secret. It’s been ridden by Giant-Shimano (now Giant-Alpecin) in some of the biggest races on the pro calendar and combines performance and comfort along with what Giant claim to be the best stiffness-to-weight ratio in its class.
But for 2016, Giant have taken that bike and re-vamped it to introduce the all-new TCR Advanced SL. TCR, in case you did know, stands for Total Compact Road and it’s basically a lighter, more comfortable bike, with a compact geometry, to sit in the range opposite the fully aero Propel.
Giant say the new TCR SL frameset is 12 per cent lighter than the previous model, all of that without sacrificing any of the stiffness. They say that the frame weighs 856g and the frameset (frame, fork, headset, seatpost and seatpost clamp) weighs in at 1,376g for a medium. That means you’ll be able to build one of these well under the UCI weight limit should you so wish.
The frame itself features Giant’s MegaDrive downtube and PowerCore 86mm-wide bottom bracket to make for a very solid foundation to aid power transfer, while the refined shape of the integrated seatpost and seatstays combine to offer comfort without sacrificing pedaling efficiency. That seatpost is dubbed the Variant Integrated Seatpost, and has been slightly rounded out from the post on the previous TCR. Giant’s engineers have worked to make the post compliant.
Giant have also refined the cable routing on the TCR SL. The ports are fewer and larger, while the bottom bracket guide has been designed to be tool-free, making it easier to install and replace cabling.
As well as the flagship TCR SL, the more affordable TCR Advanced Pro and TCR Advanced versions of the frame have also been redesigned to fall into line with the top-of-the-range model. The Advanced Pro and Advanced feature the same frame, but the latter features a slightly pared down fork as a concession to achieving a lower price.
The 2016 Giant TCR Advanced SL will be available in three bike builds, with the all-singing TCR Advanced SL 0 coming with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and Giant SLR 0 wheels, which we’ll come on to. The TCR Advanced SL 1, meanwhile, wears a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset and the same wheelset, and the TCR Advanced SL 2 drops down to a Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset and Giant SLR 1 hoops. You’ll also be able to get the TCR Advanced SL as a frameset if you want to piece together your own build.
As for the Advanced Pro, that will also come in three builds, as well as a frameset only option. The top-level Advanced Pro 0 is adorned with a Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical groupset and Giant SLR 0 wheels, the Advanced Pro 1 has a Shimano Ultegra groupset and Giant SLR 1 wheels, and the Advanced Pro 2 has a Shimano 105 gruppo and, once again, SLR 1 hoops.
Finally, as far as the TCR is concerned, the ‘entry-level’ Advanced will, like the Advanced Pro SL and Advanced Pro, come in three build options, based around Shimano Ultegra, 105 and Tiagra setups, and Giant’s P-R2 wheels. UK pricing for all models is yet to be confirmed.
As well as the TCR itself, Giant have also been busy working on their wheels. The new TCR SL will feature Giant’s latest SLR 0 wheels, and the headline feature is what Giant call Dynamic Balanced Lacing. This, basically, places more stress on the ‘pulling’ spokes and less on the ‘pushing’ spokes when the wheel is under tension. When a wheel is static, the tension on the spokes is different, but Giant say when you start moving the tension between the spokes balances out, making for a stiffer, more efficient wheel.
They SLR 0 wheels are a claimed 1,330g for the pair (30mm depth), and you’ll be able to buy them separately, rather than have to fork out for the whole TCR SL in order to get your hands on them. They’ll also be available in a 55mm-deep version as well.
For more info on the new bikes and wheels, check out Giant’s website.