Giant TCR State-of-the-art 2 evaluation

Freda Walters

Race bikes with rim brakes are an endangered species in 2021 but there’s even now a case to be produced for straightforward, lightweight bikes that focus on using enjoyment earlier mentioned all.

Giant’s TCR is a famous system that is received many tests by successive generations. With entire 105 and a body which is barely distinct from its superbike cousins, is it even now a winner?

The TCR is a benchmark for all-rounder race bikes and the TCR Advanced 2 is the quite most economical design in the selection, the hottest incarnation of a reasonably reasonably priced equipment that previously gained our coveted Bike of the 12 months award back in 2018.

Charges have crept up because then, but it continues to be an desirable proposition for riders trying to get a pure road bike encounter, and it is a top rated selection for aspiring racers who can reside with no disc brakes.

Big TCR Sophisticated 2 frameset

This TCR is one of an ever-dwindling selection of appropriate rim brake race bikes. It could possibly really feel perverse to opt for lesser brakes in this working day and age, but for primarily reasonable-climate riding, a good established of rim brakes continues to be a completely wise choice, a single that comes with a side-get of appealing simplicity and minimal body weight.

This comprehensive bike weighs just 7.9kg for a medium, a healthful chunk less than a lot of bikes in this rate bracket.

The TCR is created from what Giant phone calls Highly developed-quality carbon, the 2nd tier sitting under State-of-the-art SL and the exact same things the bigger-specced TCR State-of-the-art Professional is made from.

According to Giant’s have figures, the frame weighs 830g unpainted, and the penalty about the leading-conclude design is just 85g additionally the bodyweight of a seatpost due to the fact the SL has an built-in mast.

Giant TCR Advanced 2 road bike top tube

The TCR’s signature sloping best tube.
Russell Burton / Quick Media

Outwardly, the bicycle differs minimal from its much more high priced brethren. It’s obtained the identical smooth, pretty much organic curves and signature compact (or semi-compact – it is less extraordinary than it as soon as was) body style with a sloping prime tube.

Giant claimed some aero gains when it revamped the TCR for 2021 but it’s not a pure aero bike – that specialized niche in the brand’s vary is occupied by the rather meatier-seeking Propel.

The TCR is, by distinction, really dainty hunting, with appealingly simple lines complemented by a slim fork.

It is a superior on the lookout point with an interesting paintjob and, thanks to excellent aged quick-release skewers and a normal cockpit arrangement with the cables on display, there must be no awkward compatibility concerns or mechanical complications when it comes to swapping components or producing changes to your in good shape.

Large TCR State-of-the-art 2 geometry

Large TCR State-of-the-art 2 make

The Advanced 2 spec receives you a entire Shimano 105 groupset with no 3rd-celebration substitutions aside from the chain.

Offered the bike’s racy intentions, Big opts for a 52/36 crank in excess of a real compact, even though the 11-30 cassette suggests gearing is continue to moderately reduced for hauling up major climbs.

The finishing kit is all Giant’s possess and entirely inoffensive, as are the very own-model PR-2 alloy wheels. When a lot more high priced TCRs characteristic hookless carbon rims that occur with some limits on tyre compatibility, there are no these kinds of issues here.

The rims and tyres are both tubeless-all set, and the previous are usefully wide at 22mm inside, an impressively up-to-day spec that can help plump up the nominally 25mm Huge tyres fitted to nearly 28mm extensive.

Tyre clearance, incidentally, is just one spot where by the rim brake TCR is inevitably outshone by the disc model. Officially, 28mm is the most width authorized, even though the disc design requires 32s.

Huge TCR Superior 2 trip impressions

On the highway, the TCR is a delightfully pure and unfiltered working experience. It’s rigid, direct and, many thanks to its reduced weight, a satisfaction to throw around.

The TCR’s aesthetic is that of a lightweight climber’s bicycle that would be at home in the mountains, and the using encounter is completely in preserving with that desire.

Even understanding that aero trumps bodyweight pretty much all of the time when it arrives to genuine velocity, there’s no arguing with how pleasant a lighter bicycle feels.

The underlying TCR method hasn’t improved for yrs and which is since it works. The bicycle is correct and productive sensation, a joy on rapidly specialized descents.

The geometry is as racy as at any time, with steep frame angles and a shorter wheelbase of just 980mm for a medium. The reach is relatively lengthy at 388mm, when the stack of 545mm will get most riders as lower as they need to have, but isn’t as aggressive as some.

Shimano 105 rim brakes on the Giant TCR Advanced 2 road bike

Rim brakes make feeling in conditions of simplicity and minimal fat.
Russell Burton / Fast Media

Below really hard pedalling, the TCR is stiff adequate rather than completely unyielding, but this is very likely as significantly to do with the wheels as it is the frameset.

There is unquestionably nothing at all wrong with Giant’s clinchers, but a set of carbon race rims would by natural means experience even far more remarkable, and this bike is excellent enough in each other respect to have earned them as a potential up grade.

In its common variety, though, the TCR is totally completely ready to race and desires for very little. You could also throw some income at a established of premium tyres, but the Large rubber fitted is just wonderful.

The TCR is not a cushy endurance bike, but with the tyres established up tubeless you can enjoy the benefits of decreased tyre pressures with the reward of further puncture safety.

Shimano 105 is as knowledgeable as at any time, with shifting just a little fewer crisp than Ultegra. The brakes are not the equivalent of discs of training course, but they are additional than suitable and don’t flex like less expensive third-social gathering calipers.

Large TCR State-of-the-art 2 all round

There’s a purpose the TCR has been these kinds of a consistent high scorer as a result of several generations. It deservedly sits along with greats together with the Cannondale SuperSix and the Specialized Tarmac.

Big, nonetheless, is arguably additional generous at the inexpensive conclusion of the variety than substantially of the opposition. This everyman TCR is not a shoddy tribute act to the pro model’s supergroup, it’s a wonderful bicycle in its very own appropriate and a person I’d recommend wholeheartedly.

In normal variety, it is a able bike that is ready to race or just trip all working day as quickly as doable, and the frameset is good adequate to justify big cash updates down the line if the mood can take you.

If you do not feel you have to have disc brakes, the TCR is 1 of the very best street bikes you can buy correct now.

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