Updated: Aug 15, 2020
For the past couple of years I have been taking the approach of train on what you race, so I set up my Giant TCX (Cyclocross bike) with a set of SLR1 carbon hoops and tubeless road tyres and did my mid week sessions on this. I loved this bike, (and still do) so it needed to be something special to get me onto a different bike. The new model TCR was the first bike that offered substantial benefits over the TCX so I could not resist to jump on one when the opportunity arose. Here are the top 10 things that struck me as positive in the process. Some are just small, but little things all add up to make a big difference!
Dual sided Giant PowerPro power meter as standard. (Not on all models but the Pro 0 does!👌🏼)The fact the power meter now is rechargeable is awesome. No more button battery changes every 10-20 weeks. The charge ports are magnetic also, so easily to clip on to charge. I get notifications through Today’s Plan or my iPhone app when it needs charging. I was also pleasantly surprised to see consistent FTP readings that seamlessly matched my single sided Stages power meter on my TCX. I was very glad as it would have skewed my training data. Being two sided power meter you can monitor your left/ right balance also. Whilst not easy to correct if you have one imbalances can be improved over time. They can also be a possible indication of fit problems or resultant from past injuries, so good to be aware of.
The hookless all carbon SLR1 rims with Cadex tubeless tyre set up is so snug on the rim making for a very aero outcome. With tubeless as standard it gives me lower rolling resistance with lower pressures so I can also benefit from higher cornering grip and increased comfort over rougher roads. One of my favourite bonus for the 2021 is it can fit up to 32mm tyres. Whilst I’m enjoying the light rotating mass and resulting acceleration of the 25’s again, I have also loved being on the 32/28 tubeless combo on my TCX the last couple of years. It’s great to know I can return to these on my TCR when and if I ever want to.
The new Giant saddle is the shorter “power saddle” style. I’ve liked the feeling of being on the saddle nose more without having to move my hips forward on the bike to achieve it. It feels like I’m poised and ready to launch (like you do when climbing) but still in a comfortable position that can be sustained.
The carbon out front bike computer mount that came standard to hold my Garmin 530. It neatly mounts my Giant Recon (900 lumen) light perfectly also off the lower GoPro mount. Speaking of lights, whilst not a standard component, my Recon pairs to my Garmin and auto adjusts light output for my speed and natural light available. If it’s day time it turns to flash mode and it even shows the battery level on my Garmin display and warns me when the battery is low. It also turns on and off when my Garmin does so one less thing to do before and after a ride, so more coffee time for me! I love a good bit of tech.
This is a big one. The all round ability of this bike making it just so versatile. Being light it climbs well, being aero it time trials well and being compact it handles superbly. The fact that all TCRs in the range have this same frame is extraordinary.
The fact I can connect and view the status of several components via my phone is very handy. I can program my di2 gear change method, program my hood top button functions, monitor my gear usage via Today’s Plan, check my di2 battery and power meter levels and more. It’s a high tech world we live in!
My Garmin 530 has a bike alarm so if it moves when I’m at say, the coffee shop I can hear the alarm going off plus I get an instant notification on my phone and even track where it is if it’s gone! I would probably borrow a mates bike immediately and chase it down!!!
I love the colour. (Chameleon Neptune). It has a rich blue colour in the shade with a metallic fleck that just dances in the sunshine ☀️. Even the brand logo is a silver metallic. The whole range is different in colour with some pretty cool new shades. Kudos Giant for being bold with our steeds.
The fact that @GiantBrisbane built it for me on a Sunday was pretty spesh. New bike day is always special but when the bike shop goes the extra mile, it just takes it to the next level. They know their product and how to build bikes very well. These guys have prepared my race and coaching bikes for the last few years and nothing is ever a problem for these guys. You rock👊🏼
Di2 Garmin integration via D-fly. By just changing out one simple plug and play joiner you have connectivity of your bike’s Di2 system to display on your phone or even better is on your Garmin for on the fly info. Info that I found myself using here was Di2 battery level (which does drain slightly quicker with a d-fly link), what front chain ring I’m in at a glance (I can never remember). From a coaching perspective I can see what time is being spent in each gear ratio. Is my athlete in the big ring on recovery day??
If you are thinking of a 2021 TCR go for it! It’s unlike any previous model and offers superb value for money in a top tech, quality and well featured bike.