Pro Bike: Lars van der Haar’s Giant TCX Advanced

Cross Disc Feature Articles

Lars van der Haar’s Giant TCX Advanced.

Earlier this week we told you about the historic feat of Lars van der Haar. Last Sunday, the young Dutchman from Team Rabobank became the first rider — man or woman — to win a UCI cyclocross World Cup race aboard a bike spec’d with disc brakes when he conquered all comers on the Cauberg course in Valkenberg, the Netherlands. Now we present a closer look at his bike.

The rig in question is a Giant TCX Advanced ’cross machine dressed up with a mix of Shimano’s latest and greatest, plus some old standbys from the Japanese component manufacturing giant.

The bulk of the drivetrain is the new Dura Ace Di2 9070 electronic-shifting system, save for the rear derailleur, which is actually a 10-speed Ultegra Di2 6770 model. (According to Giant, the team couldn’t get its hands on a 9070 rear derailleur, but will make the switch when it can.)

The big news, though, is of course the brakes, which according to our source from Giant are not the new, yet-to-be-released to the public R785 hydraulic disc road brakes, but actually a set of good old fashioned Shimano XTR calipers being controlled by Shimano Dura Ace Di2 R785 hydraulic disc brake levers.

The rationale for the mash-up is that while van der Haar was sold on the idea of disc brakes for ’cross, he wasn’t totally enamored with the weight of the new R785 calipers, which our source at Giant characterized as a Ultegra-level offering. So in order to save weight, van der Haar’s mechanic clipped off the R785 calipers and swapped on XTR calipers, which are apparently lighter.

On the way to pay dirt.

Whatever the case, the new R785 parts are supposed to be hitting bike shop floors sometime next month, and we’re going to get a chance to test the new system during the first three days of November and will report back asap.

Other notable takeaways are the fact that van der Haar was running the super rare Shimano XTR 29er tubular carbon rims wrapped with Dugast tubular tires. You’ll also notice that while the stock Giant TCX Advanced comes with a thru-axle front wheel, van der Haar is actually running a regular QR, and thus a swapped in fork. Our source at Giant said this was driven by the fact that the team simply could not get hold of a QR15 set of Shimano’s tubular wheels, so they had to revert to a traditional set-up.

Finally it’s hard to tell from the photos, but van der Haar is tiny. Frame size is an ultra petite 48cm, which helps keep total bike weight at just 15.8 pounds according to the spec sheet Giant provided RoadBikeReview.com. It’s also worth noting that a 48cm sized TCX Advanced 0 isn’t even listed on Giant’s USA website. It only goes to 50cm. That bike comes spec’d with a SRAM Red 22 hydraulic disc braking system, Giant house brand wheels, and retails for $7,125.

Shimano hasn’t revealed pricing on its new disc hydraulic system yet, so it’s hard to say what van der Haar’s race rig is worth, other than a lot. Here’s a look at the full spec.

  • Handlebars: PRO Vibe Anatomic Alu, 42cm
  • Front brake: Shimano XTR Disc
  • Rear brake: Shimano XTR Disc
  • Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 hydraulic disc
  • Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra DI2 6770, 10spd
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000, 46/39T
  • Pedals: Shimano XTR
  • Front Wheel: Shimano XTR 29er tubular carbon rim
  • Rear Wheel: Shimano XTR 29er tubular carbon rim
  • Front tire: Dugast
  • Rear tire: Dugast
  • Saddle: Fi’ik:k Arione
  • Seat post: Giant D-Fuse SL Composite
  • Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 68cm
  • Saddle setback (ask mechanic): 5cm
  • Seat tube length, c-t : 48cm
  • Top tube length: 51cm
  • Total bicycle weight: 15.8 pounds

 

Pro Bike: Lars van der Haar’s Giant TCX Advanced Gallery
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That Winning Feeling

No one was in sight at the finish in Valkenburg.
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Young Man

Van der Haar is just 22 and already shaking up the pro cyclocross landscape.
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THE Bike

Maybe someday it will end up in a museum.
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On The Move

Disc brakes not slowing him down.

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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