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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi to all, I'm new to cycling and i discovered the most rewarding sport in the planet, that is road biking. Great exercise, great rewards(beautiful places, lots of burned fats). I'm in the market of buying my first REAL road bike and found great reviews on giant defy 3 2013(Full sora group) as good entry level bike which cost 780 USD. As i visit my LBS lately, i found a slightly used GIANT TCR 1 2010, full 105 grouppo with Xero xgr-1 tires for 950 USD. I can tell that the bike is really fresh from paint to components so i'm confused now what to buy. Pls help me decide, your advice is very much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Buy the one that fits and most of all the one that makes you want to get out and ride it.

Thanks dude for that fast reply, but both bikes fits really well. Im 169cm, the size is small. What really concerns me now is which bike will have the best value for my money considering that tcr 1 is old and defy 3 is new.
 

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Thanks dude for that fast reply, but both bikes fits really well. Im 169cm, the size is small. What really concerns me now is which bike will have the best value for my money considering that tcr 1 is old and defy 3 is new.
We all want value for money spent, but you're going to have the bike a long time - and hopefully spend a lot of time on it, so you want to get it right.

In that vein, you're looking at a relaxed geo bike (Defy) and a race bike (TCR). Unless they were both set up the same (which is doubtful) it's unlikely they'd both feel the same after any time in the saddle. The Defy offers a slightly more upright riding position and slightly slower handling. The TCR, more aggressive positioning/ quicker handling.

To determine your preference, I suggest riding both back to back (out on the roads, and for some duration) before deciding.

Another factor to consider is the warranty. I'm assuming the used TCR has none, while the Defy will have Giant's lifetime warranty. Something to ask your LBS.

Re: groupsets, 105 trumps Sora in refinement, but like most any groupset, once set up/ tuned correctly, Sora will prove durable and perform well. I'd place more importance on which bike you like riding the most.

EDIT: I searched Giant's archive and Bikepedia and was unable to find a bike that matches the one pictured, so (if it matters to you) verify the model year.
 

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EDIT: I searched Giant's archive and Bikepedia and was unable to find a bike that matches the one pictured, so (if it matters to you) verify the model year.
I would guess it's not a U.S. model.
Doing some archaeology I found this. The guy is from Taiwan and the photo was taken Dec. 2009.
Giant TCR1 - a set on Flickr

The Taiwan Giant site only goes back to 2011.
 

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Buying new for the first road bike from a reputable LBS is always the best way to go. There, you can receive greater guidance and support for your bicycle and accessories. You will obtain a warranty, a better fit, free mechanical repairs and adjustments. When it comes to warranty issues, there's nothing like an excellent LBS, that's supportive, and can negotiate terms for you.

A more relaxed geo in the Defy will most likely be better appreciated by someone just entering into the world of road bike cycling. I think you're going to be so much happier with a brand new bicycle. Besides, Sora can be upgraded to 105, at your own leisure. So there's no rush! Sora will carry you for years to come when moderately cycling.
 

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I would guess it's not a U.S. model.
Doing some archaeology I found this. The guy is from Taiwan and the photo was taken Dec. 2009.
Giant TCR1 - a set on Flickr
The Taiwan Giant site only goes back to 2011.
Great sleuthing.

@OP
A used bike is a used bike - as mentioned no warranty, you may be able to get the most out of a used bike if you get a really good price on it and you are comfortable with no warranty. A new bike with warranty at msrp is not a great value.

I'm assuming the LBS is selling both to you? The used bike was a trade in? What is the LBS willing to do service wise on the used bike?
 
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Go with PJ's advice: do long test rides on both (after setting them up carefully) and get the one that you feel best on. "Brand new" is way overrated as a criterion; a used bike well cared for is good for years. Even if it's brand new when you buy it, it won't be next year (I've been road cycling for 40 years. I've bought 3 new bikes in all that time. My "newest" one is about 15 years old now - it works great). So if it turns out you like the ride of the TCR better, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 3-year old bike from a shop.

As for components, Sora does work fine, but its mechanism has a feature that is a serious drawback for some riders (and matters not a bit to others). The way the thumb shifter button is placed, you can't shift up when you're in the drops. If you think that might ever be an issue, you should think carefully. For me, it's a deal killer.
 

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Sora does work fine, but its mechanism has a feature that is a serious drawback for some riders (and matters not a bit to others). The way the thumb shifter button is placed, you can't shift up when you're in the drops. If you think that might ever be an issue, you should think carefully. For me, it's a deal killer.
Can't be certain that it does, but a 2013 model bicycle could have the new and improved Sora on it (same shifting operation as Tiagra, 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace).
 

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"Brand new" is way overrated as a criterion; a used bike well cared for is good for years.
Agreed. And warranties are great and all but one thing people tend to forget (or not know) is that the warranty only covers "defects in material and workmanship". If you crash it, you're SOL. Also, the warranty only covers parts. You're still responsible for labor to swap the frame.

OTOH, if you get a good enough deal on your used bike, you have money left to buy a new frame if need be.
TCR Composite Frameset (2012) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States
 

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PJ and Zeet have this spot on. I entered the sport 2 2/3 years ago with a new Giant Defy Advanced from my local bike shop. I received a fair price on their FIRST 2011 model at 10% off. I received much more than that from their knowledge and caring staff. I frequent that shop to this day. The Defy has a more relaxed geometry that has suited me well but is very adjustable. Having the Giant warranty gives me peace of mind too.

Enjoy your new found sport. I know I do :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
wow, thank you guys! Yes I'm in Taiwan, Giant's homeland so the market is dominated by Giant and warranty would not be an issue because I'm buying this at Giant's official store. I'm commuting everyday at 10 miles one way with fairly flat roads and few climbs plus long rides on weekend enjoying the beautiful scenic places of Taiwan straits, really enjoy doing this kind of thing. I have researched and watch every video about tcr and defy. I like the relaxed geometry of Defy 3 and actually i've already decided in going for defy until the LBS mechanic presented me this tcr1 which according to would be MUCH better that Defy 3. Really confused now so decided to find help here and thank you, i have come to the right place.
One more thing, the sora is 2013 so it has BRIEFTERS as opposed to that little thumb shifters on older ones. Actually its the 105 that keeps be thinking of this old TCR1(i really like the finish).
So pls convince me that Defy 3 is the way to go:cryin::)
 

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Did you test ride them both? You said they both "fit really well". But which do you prefer to ride? Which is more comfortable? Which handles better.
Only you can convince yourself of these things.
I agree. The proof of which bike is best (for you) is in the test ride, not 105 versus Sora shifters.

BTW OP, if you are still considering the TCR, if it's important to you, be sure to ask about warranty coverage. I'd doubt a used bike will have Giant's lifetime warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)

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Yes but as a newbie with very little experience, the ride on both really doesn't big difference. I'm now riding a giant R1000 commuter semi road bike with stem shifters so after 2 months of riding I want a REAL road bike as i'm planning a group ride island wide which takes 2 weeks(Giant sponsored).
R1000 - ?????? - ??? | ??? | Giant Bicycles | Taiwan ??

EDIT:
Defy 3 specs DEFY 3 - ?????? - ??? | ??? | Giant Bicycles | Taiwan ??
Well since you put it like that, I say go for the TCR, because you're not the newbie, I thought you were!

If you're more concerned with speed, than comfort, and having a better gruppo, then the TCR has it hands down!

Since you're already experienced with riding on a road bike, understanding that the TCR has a more aggressive cycling position, should be well-understood.
 
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