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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off sorry if I am long winded just trying to organize all my info and opinions to better help myself decide. And would like your guy's opinions as well. Hopefully all I have written and your responses may help other potential shoppers as well.

Hi guys buying my first ever new road bike and am really excited. Currently am riding a old 60$ steel bike I picked up at a police auction a couple years back that is too small and in terrible condition. So any bike is a huge upgrade!!

Anyways I am wanting to stick around $2000 but would obviously say cheaper the better if it gives me everything I want. My store has a couple last years models on sale so I'm trying to stick with those for a better bang for my buck. Been test riding a lot of bikes and have narrowed it down to 3 options.

2016 Giant Defy Advance 3 $1699
2016 Giant Defy Advance 2 $1899
2015 Giant TCR Advance 2 $1529

So first off all of these bikes felt amazing to me. The stiffness and the lightness of the carbon frame made it feel like a rocket and I absolutely loved having integrated shifting finally!! I'm interested in going fast and usually won't be going on crazy long rides but they are something I like to do occasionally and would like to do more frequently maybe in the future.

TCR Advance 2
The people at the store were worried about TCR being uncomfortable over long periods as it is a really aggressive geometry. I took it out for about a 2 hour ride and didn't have any pain from being bent over (I am only 18 and fairly flexible though so that may have something to do with it however), I did however have a very sore bottom but I think that is just cause it was my 3rd bike to try that day and had already been riding for hours. I realty felt every single bump in the road with this bike however so this may be a contributing factor to the discomfort. Hoping to ride it first tomorrow so I will have a better idea if it really is a harsh ride or if I was just getting tired.

Pros: extremely nimble,
accelerated awesome
loved the shinamo 105 everything
Comes in a good ways under my budget

Cons: really sore butt, not sure if it was the bad saddle, the ultra stiff harsh ride or maybe just me being tired

Defy Advance 3
This was the first bike that I had rode so it was very comfortable. I really like the fact that it had disk brakes on it. I plan to be riding my bike as much as possible wet or dry conditions so like the reliability of the disk brakes (correct me if I'm wrong). I didn't notice too much of a weight difference from them (anything is better than my current setup) it did feel heavier than the TCR but that may be the 105 that the TCR had playing a factor as well. I did like the shifting but when I got on the TCR and tried it out I decided I like the shinamo 105 a lot better than the lower end (starts with an "I" I think) setup on the defy.

Pros: Disk Brakes
Felt comfortable (was my first ride of the morning however)

Cons: no shinamo 105.

Defy Advance 2
I never got a chance to ride this bike today as they didn't have it built when I was there and I ran out of time but I will be riding it tomorrow. Main reason I am looking at it is cause it comes with the shinamo 105 all around and has the disk brakes the TCR is lacking. Should feel identical to the Advance 3 geometry wise I imagine.

In summary I'm essentially deciding between the geometry of the TCR vs Defy cause if I choose the Defy I am pretty sure it's worth dishing out the extra $200 for the 105 setup. I don't mind the bent over aero geometry of the TCR at all. My main concern is the feedback I will be getting from rougher roads. If I go for an all day ride with a TCR will I regret it and wish I had chosen a more forgiving Defy instead?

If I can't handle the rough ride of the TCR but still want that aero geometry would putting a different stem on the defy give me the same ride setup but with a smoother ride?

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Lost in Space...
3,434 Posts
I realty felt every single bump in the road with this bike however so this may be a contributing factor to the discomfort. Hoping to ride it first tomorrow so I will have a better idea if it really is a harsh ride or if I was just getting tired.
Verify tire width and pressure. I'd be surprised if there is that notable of a difference due to frame design.

Beyond that, I think you are way over thinking it. Personally, I can't stand disc brakes as I've had too many issues with them; I really don't see the advantage outside of racing.

If you think that having 105 gives you such a big advantage, you'll end up upgrading to ultegra in a year or two anyway... but I don't know, I haven't been following trends lately. Is 105 still the lowest 11speed setup? I guess that makes it worthwhile from the perspective of future upgrades and compatibility.

4,520 Posts
I agree with headloss; you're over-thinking it.

Tire pressure and tire width will contribute more to ride quality than any other factor, and bike shops tend to overinflate their bikes' tires. You could ask what the tire pressure is before you test ride, and ask for it to be reduced, or experiment with your existing bike and when you find a good number, ask for that in your demo bike tires. Without knowing how much you weigh and the demo bike tire's sizes, I'm hesitant to make any suggestions.

Saddles are a very personal item, so a sore butt is many times indicative of incompatibility between you and the saddle. Try other bikes, even those you're not interested in, to see if you find a more comfortable saddle. And more money does not necessarily mean more comfortable.

The differences between caliper brakes and disc brakes is more marketing than anything else. As a budding cyclist, I'd rather not see you on a disc brake bike due to their complexity of setup and maintenance. Disc brake advantages are negligible.

Shimano 105 is plenty good stuff. No need to buy higher grade components than that.

Bike FIT is the most important. Bring your own allen wrenches with you for the test rides so you can tweak the saddle and handlebar position on the various candidates. Too many cyclists go through the expense of a couple bikes before they land on the right size. Visit a few different shops to see what size they put you on, then go with the consensus and what feels best, if they agree.

2,192 Posts
Saddle, tire width, tire pressure, maybe some adjustments could probably make the TCR plenty comfortable for you. People ride these things for over 100 miles and survive. Of course some of them are getting paid to... I guess my point is I've ridden "race geometry" frames and so have most of my friends on all of our longer group rides and everybody is just fine.

Banned Sock Puppet
15,169 Posts
Any number of things could contribute to the harsher ride on the TCR, but I would say most likely it's tire width or pressure compared to the others. Interestingly, if you look around at reviews, one of the complaints is "too rigid". Which leads to my next thing. Would there be room for wider tires on the TCR like 700x28c? If so, that would improve your ride tremendously.

Is this the bike:

Giant TCR Advanced 2 - K&G Bike Center Kettering Xenia Centerville OH 937-372-2555

It looks like the only parts of the groupo that aren't Shimano 105 are brakes and crankset. Those are still Shimano, but a lower version which are fine. I would trust lower end Shimano cranksets over FSA cranksets any day!
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