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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I am coming back into riding after 10 months due to a horrible accident.

I am looking for an honest review between the 3 TCR frames:

1) TCR Advanced
2) TCR Advanced SL
3) TCR Advanced SL ISP

If money and frame weight are not an issue, which one is more comfortable? I am not looking for advertising hype only real rider input. I am now a whopping 215 lbs compared to 175 lbs ten months ago.

Thanks for your time.
 

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I don't have any experience with the advanced, but my understanding is that the TCR Advanced SL ISP is designed to have some, albeit modest, build in flex in the ISP portion of the frame versus the non-ISP TCR Advanced SL.
 

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I haven't ridden a TCR, but have tested a couple of the Defys, and own one. If you want comfort in a race-y bike, Defys kick a55. But you probably want a TCR. See if your friendly, local Giant dealer has any in stock you can test ride. Also, Giant has a mobile demo program that travels around the country. If there are any going on this late in the season, that's a great way to check out and test ride a lot of different bikes.

I wish I could be more helpful, but hopefully some peeps here who own TCRs will chime in and offer up some more informed opinions. Good luck and let us know how yr bike search goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys.

I bought a new TCR Advanced frameset for about $1300 and I am going to build it tomorrow with Sram Red. I couldn't see paying $2800 for an SL.
Good suggestion on the Defy. Perhaps I should have ridden one. I was thinking the Defy might be too relaxed for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Very Cool. Thanks for the input.

I just finished the build.
Check it out:

Shifters: Sram Red
Rear Derailleur: Sram Red
Front Derailleur: Sram Rival
Crankset: New Ultegra
Cassette: Dura-Ace
Chain: Dura-Ace
Bars: 3t ergosum carbon
Stem: 3t team
Saddle: Fizik carbon twin-flex
Wheels: Easton 1530g set laying around
Tires: 4000's
Pedals: Look Keo

--I have got to tell you this build is awesome. I bought everything new (except for wheels) shopping around for last few weeks. Frame $1300. Crank was $200. Shifters and Rear mech were $550. Brakes and front mech. were $100. Saddle $140. Bars and stem were $140. Wheels are hand-me-downs.

My goal was to have the best possible weight,stiffness and price.
I think I succeeded in all three categories. This is a budget bike that packs a big bang. I haven't weighed it but I feels really light -about 16 pounds.

I love Shimano drivetrains but I prefer Sram shifting and weight.. It's interesting that the Ultegra crank is as stiff as Dura Ace and only 24g heavier at less than half the price. It just doesn't have the shinny nickel finish. The rival brakes are only 16g heavier than Red at less than half the cost.

It rides and shifted flawlessly on the test ride just now. I can't believe it rides so perfect. I think it's my cheapest "practical" real race bike I've built. I am taking it on a real ride in the morning.

Sorry for the crappy cellphone pics--standby for some real pics later.

--Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ride Report:

I got the frame set t though a dealer on the Central Coast of California.
I heard that Giant is out of stock at the moment.

It weighed in at: 15.9 lbs

It is built to suit a powerful rider with cheap,heavy training wheels.
I've got a few hundred miles on it already.

The ride:
It's an EXCELLENT balance as you would expect for a purebred racer. The angles this TCR uses are a great blend.
Handling/Climbing:
The 73 degree head angle makes for relaxed,stable and predictable steering. I don't know why so many companies use steep head tubes and make nervous front ends. We're not track racers. The slack seat angle is very comfortable. It climbs wonderfully as the stays are only 40.5cm long. The wheel is pulled in tight. It's a mashers delight as there is hardly any bottom flex at all. I climb an 8% grade two miles long everyday. Do note that I had to slide the seat forward an extra cm to get over the crank properly. The seatpost only flexes a bit which is great so my saddle doesn't move all over hell and back. I don't feel like I am on a pogo stick the way my Tarmac SL felt. This TCR and my R3 both climb excellent. Lighter wheels like my 303's would shine at this.
Comfort:
The shock absorption is very good. It smooths out most of the bumps but you can still feel the texture of the road. It's not totally isolating or "muddy" nor is it a jack hammer like my aero Cervelo S2. I can grab both my seat stays and squeeze. You will see them move. Although I haven't done any 4-6 hour rides yet, I don't expect comfort issues as I should have felt warning signs by now. I've owned many frames that are too rough. This is not one of those.
Frame Design:
Okay, this frame just feels solid. Two seat collar bolts with a big collar, huge tubes everywhere, stout front and rear end, cool looking solid seat post. Is it aero? Some tubes look aero but the downtube looks like a square brick and the head tube is big round sucker-- So, I really don't know. I pull hard and fast and climb hard too. I am in it for the ride. I think aero has more to do with body position than bike tubes anyway.
Overall:
Is it plush? Yes, plusher than you would think... but there are even plusher frames if that's your goal.
Is it stiff? God yes...very stiff.
Is it light? Kind of...under 16 pounds loaded is not bad for a budget bike.Of course it could be lighter...cha ching.
Is it fragile? It feels super solid but I am not going to bang it around. Lifetime warranty is good.

All of us here want the best of these three categories. This TCR does everything very well. You can buy a $12k superbike but I doubt you will enjoy it anymore than this one.
But, if you've got the cash....go for it.

Here is a parting shot from today's ride--- over the mountains and back to the sea!
 

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thanks for the report. right now i am still saving for a carbon frameset for my defy 2. i am considering to test ride a tcr when i find a store that sells them since the price between the tcr advanced and the defy advanced frameset are the same.
 
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