The Giant TCR TT Bike is nearly on the road. But for those who were worrying about how you adjust your saddle height on the new Giant TCRs (this goes for the road frame too) – here’s what we did earlier… obviously insert jokes here about getting adults to help with sharp implements etc. Cutting carbon fibre is scary business, not only could a wrong measurement be fatal to your frame, breathing the carbon dust could play havoc with your VO2 max – so be careful to wear a mask and cut in a well ventilated room/outside.
First measure your saddle height from your old bike, usually this is done from the centre of the BB axle to the top of the saddle or centre of the saddle rails. Also measure the drop (saddle to bars) use a straight edge (broom handle does the job) and the distance from the tip of the saddle to the centre of your bars. Write all these measurements down. You can set the saddle on the TCR in two seat angle positions which one you use will depend on your leg length and how much power you can get into the pedal stroke. In my experience ‘stampers’ like a further forward position whilst ‘pedallers’ (with a smoother all round stroke) prefer to be a little more laid back.
The beauty of the Giant saddle clamp system is pretty much any position preference can be catered for with the two point saddle clamp. Seat angles on TT bikes are usually on the steep side (74-76°) as once you have fitted the tribars and lowered the front end a little the tendancy is to want to pull forward on the saddle, with a steeper seat angle it means you can keep your bum on most of the saddle and pedal with more power over the bottom bracket. Riders pearched on the front of their saddle or unable to reach the ends of their tri bars, shows they’ve got too stretched out. Time trialling isn’t particularly comfortable at the best of times, but surely having to sit on the saddle is only going to improve things? Also the arms should be bent at a comfortable angle so that the back is not too bent over, a lower saddle height is also better than higher as the hips tilt forward in the aero position which effectively lengthens the seat tube. It’s a complicated subject and deserves a feature on its own, OK we’ll get to work on it.
However, once you’re happy about your saddle height remove your old saddle and fit it to the TCR saddle clamp. Then place the saddle and clamp on the uncut seat tube. You can then measure from the centre of the BB to the top of the saddle (or saddle rails depending on your preference). Write this measurement down and subtract from your saddle height. The sum is the amount you will remove from the seat tube, I started to sweat at this point and re-did the measurements long into the night…
The next day out came the hack saw. I cut off the seat tube using the cutting guide supplied and fitted the seat clamp. I had added a little safety into my sums and ended up cutting a little too less than was needed, but the cutting guide makes for an easy and accurate cut so I simply re-measured and cut again.
The frame kit comes with 5 different sized shims, aerofoil shaped but similar to Aheadset spacers. These are used to ‘micro adjust’ the saddle height. It’s pretty failsafe as there is a minimum insertion mark on the clamp, so they build-in some room for error and will allow for saddle height adjustment if you change saddle heights or sell-on the frame.
Using the shims you can get bang-on your saddle height and small adjustments are easy to make. Finally be careful to tighten the clamp to the recomended torque setting and then you can measure and cut the fork steerer, Always do the saddle height and seat tube first so you can use the saddle as your reference point.
Next we’ll be fitting some Cane Creek brakes and carbon fibre levers, then cutting the tri-bars to fit and and lacing up some Nokon cables (supplied with the frame). Should be ready to get out on the road in a week or so, it’s taking a while but should be worth the wait.