Why Did I Choose This Bike
Having ridden a 2009 Giant TCR Advanced SL for around six years, I thought it would be interesting to see how much 11 years of industry progress has changed things.
Despite the explosion of interest in gravel and adventure cycling, Im a roadie at heart. I would have chosen a full-on aero road bike such as the Propel if I still raced, but an all-round bike such as the TCR is a little more versatile and easier to live with.
While my old TCR is a size M, I went for a ML this time because the M was always a little too small for me . The difference in size isnt enormous, but it makes the saddle to bar drop a little less aggressive, which should make for a more sustainable crouch position on the bike.
Its also my first foray into using hydraulic disc brakes on a long-term basis, and Im looking forward to trying out some chunkier race tyres now that the clearances have been increased to 32mm.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
Its also an interesting build at a key price point. £3,000 is a lot of money to spend on a bike, but you could easily spend a lot more.
Given the 2021 TCR Advanced SL Disc frameset has an RRP of £2,399, getting a full bike with an outwardly very similar frame and carbon wheels for only £600 more looks like great value on paper.
Browse Giant Mountain Bikes Bmxs And More
Giants Maestro Suspension brought a new level of performance to the mountain biking scene, while their Cadex 980 C was described as the first affordable carbon fibre design. Browse through our range online and click on a model for design specifications and a detailed description. Whether youre looking for Giant mountain bikes, road bikes, BMXs or anything else, youll find it here.
Disc Brakes And Aerodynamics
Some might feel that an aero bike with disc brakes is an anathema even Giant thought that initially. When we started the project three years ago, the whole concept of an aero road bike with disc bikes was something we thought couldnt be done, says Andrew Juskaitis, Giants senior global product marketing manager.
Giants in-house carbon fibre development team partnered with French company Aero Concept Engineering , to reshape the Propel from the disc brakes up. The goal was to reduce drag on the bike and rider while still meeting low weight and stiffness targets.
Its not just the frame and fork anymore, Juskaitis explains, for what constitutes an aero bike these days. It is every single component and how they affect each other.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
Giant and ACE wind tunnel tested bike and wheel prototypes using a mannequin with articulating legs that rotate, claiming to be the only ones testing with a pedalling mannequin. The final shape of the overall bike, Giant claims, provides a 10-watt difference against the old Propel.
According to Giant, the brake unit and rotor dont cause much drag as the air has already hit the front tyre and rim section before it passes by the brakes. Whats more important is to keep the fork crown area clean, at the leading edge of the bike, and allowing the air to flow smoothly, Juskaitis says.
Russell Burton / Immediate MediaRussell Burton / Immediate Media
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Giant Tcr Advanced Pro 2 Disc Long
Its been just over a year since Giants TCR Advanced Pro 2 Disc arrived for testing, and that means its time to wrap up this epic and give you my final conclusions.
On the whole, my experience with the TCR has been very positive. As expected, its a fantastic all-round road bike that hits almost all of the right notes.
Though it no longer represents the absolute leading edge of road bike design, the TCR retains a wonderful balance of characteristics that make it a joy to own and ride most of the time.
Everyday Bikes For Everyone
From the sporty and nimble Giant Fastroad to the Giant LaFree E+ urban pedal assist commuter, Giant has a range of bikes designed to make living, and getting around, in the city a lot more fun.
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The Giant Fastroad, with its electric pedal assist siblings, is a flat-bar road bike with all the speedy attitude and capabilities of a true road bike, but the city friendly handling and management that comes with the flat handlebars.
Getting from Point A to Point B can, and should, be fun. The Giant Escape offers classic bike experience with an exceptional price. Able to be mounted up with racks, fenders and more, the range of Escape bikes are a blast to ride.
Additional pedal assist bikes such as the Giant Roam E+ and Giant Explore E+ have opened the door for more people to enjoy riding bikes and are making the world a little healthier and the air cleaner in the process.
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How To Choose The Right Giant Bike
When choosing the right Giant Bikes, you should be aware of the factors that affect the performance of different models. The following points will help you navigate our wide range of bikes when buying giant bicycles from BikeExchange.
What makes you want to ride?
You have countless reasons to get into cycling. You are likely to enjoy adventure, fitness, or transportation. What are your specific needs or reasons for riding? This will help you determine the features you need when choosing Giant brand bikes.
Where are you riding?
It might be the city streets you ride on during your commute or country trails during your workout. The riding surface and terrain where you will mostly use your Giant bicycle are important factors to consider in choosing the correct bike model.
What kind of workout do you enjoy doing?
If youre using Giant Bikes to improve your fitness, determine first whether you want just a casual workout or a more challenging one.
What is your desired level of comfort?
There are specific parts of a bike that can be designed for comfort, such as the frame, suspension, saddle, and handlebar. So, depending on the level of comfort you want, ask your Giant bike dealers to walk you through each part and what benefits they can provide.
If youre on the fence about what model of Giant Bikes to choose according to your needs and activity level, heres a guide you can follow to narrow down your choices.
Ideal for an Urban Lifestyle
Ideal for Fitness
Giant Tcr Advanced Pro 2 Final Verdict
For a final point of comparison I recently returned to my 2009 Giant TCR Advanced SL. While the 2009 bike still impresses, the 2021 TCR is undoubtedly far more refined, particularly in how it balances stiffness and ride quality .
Its a bike that hasnt just blindly followed all of the latest trends but delivers in spades on what actually matters, on almost every front.
Would I buy it? The frameset, yes, in a heartbeat. Personally, I wouldnt buy the wheels as things stand, though. The hookless rims just arent a match for this tyre nerd.
Older updates continue below.
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Giant Contend Ar3 Geometry
Giant has as much experience as anybody in setting up an all-rounder and the geometry nicely balances the need for speed and distance-riding comfort.
Seat angles throughout the Contends five-bike range are close to the classic 73 degrees, with the head angles only slightly shallower at around 72.5 degrees.
But the wheelbase is longer than youd have seen on a road bike a decade ago, with even the smallest Contends wheelbase over a metre long, which adds stability to the liveliness offered by the geometry.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
The Contend comes with a Shimano Sora groupset, and while most bikes around this price are specced with Shimanos 10-speed Tiagra, fortunately, the differences between Tiagra and Sora arent really that noticeable if youre just out riding theyre mechanically similar and you dont really notice the lack of a gear.
This is partly because Soras shifting is just as accurate with a similar feel and also because the Giant maximises gear range with the 11-34 cassette giving a one-to-one ratio for a low bailout gear.
Russell Burton / Immediate MediaDavid Caudery / Immediate MediaDavid Caudery / Immediate Media
Find Your Nearest Store In Melbourne And Surrounds
We now operate eight Bicycle Superstores across Victoria, so visit us in person and well be happy to assist you in any way we can. With experienced staff, great prices, an extensive range and a genuine passion for cycling, theres no better place to buy Giant bikes in Melbourne or anywhere else in Australia. We also stock Scott, Malvern Star, GT, Mongoose and other quality brands, so come in and find your perfect bike today. If you require assistance in the meantime, use our store finder to find the phone number of your nearest store or send a written enquiry to .
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Giant Tcr Advanced Pro 2 Disc Geometry
Giants TCR is a long standing design, so the geometry has been pretty settled for a while, but there are a few tweaks for the 2021 version.
With parallel 73-degree seat tube and head tube angles, its slightly slacker than some competitors, such as the Specialized Tarmac Disc or Trek Emonda Disc, but its still in classic road race bike territory.
Stack is unchanged versus the 2020 model, but reach decreases 5mm. Reach hasnt gone down on all sizes though, instead Giant has tweaked both stack and reach figures across the range to make the jumps between sizes a little more consistent.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
The chainstays remain short at 405mm, and the wheelbase has increased 6mm to 991mm.
Bottom bracket drop has also increased 2mm to 67mm, to maintain a similar bottom bracket height to the previous model while using larger tyres . Trail, the horizontal difference between the tyre contact patch and the steering axis, has also increased by 2mm to 59.2mm.
These changes all point towards a bike thats slightly less aggressive and a little more stable and slower handling than the previous model.
This makes sense given the increased tyre clearance and general industry trend towards making road bikes more capable on mixed surfaces.
If youre looking for a bike to race criteriums though, this years TCR perhaps edges away from that a little bit.
- Head tube angle: 73 degrees
- Seat tube angle: 73 degrees
- Chainstay length: 405mm
Giant Contend Sl Disc
At the top of Contend line is the SL Disc, made with the second-tier ALUXX process, called ALUXX SL. The fork is an Advanced-grade hybrid composite. Under the saddle is the D-Fuse seatpost. It first appeared on the 2014 TCX cyclocross bike, allowing for more flex in the seatpost to manage vibrations sent up through the frame. The frame itself also has technologies seen on other Giant bikes. The OverDrive steerer uses an 1 1/8 top and an 1 1/4 bottom bearing, which keep things stiff at the head tube and keep the steering crisp. The MegaDrive down tube carries that stiffness down to the bottom bracket.
The frame also comes with integrated rack and fender mounts if you want to commute or load up for multi-day rides.
Of course, the disc in the name of the bike refers the rotors that are slowed by flat-mount calipers.
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Giant Contend Ar3 Review
Great-looking all-rounder from one of cycling’s biggest names
At first glance, the 2021 Giant Contend AR3 doesnt quite match some of this years other bikes when it comes to the level of its groupset, and this years bike is also £150 more expensive than last years model.
Though, as weve seen elsewhere over the last few months, that sort of year-on-year price increase no longer raises eyebrows around here, which itself is quite a statement. But we know from experience that Taiwans Giant knows more than a thing or two about making high-quality bikes whatever the price.
Giant describes this Contend as a versatile all-rounder for those road riders who have a thirst for adventure with a balanced, smooth-riding frame designed to take you from fast pavement to bumpy backroads with confidence and control.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
The 2017 Giant Contend 1 Features Rim Brakes An Aluxx Frame And A 272
Recently, Giant launched its new line of aluminum road bikes called Contend. The range includes three machines: Contend SL Disc, Contend SL and Contend.
The Taiwan-based company is known for its wide range of bikes, from carbon-fibre WorldTour machines to solid commuters. In the field of composite bikes, its one of the few companies that controls every step of the carbon-fibre production process. Despite Giants expertise in carbon, its also no stranger to aluminum. The 13th element has been turned into frames for years by what the company calls its ALUXX Aluminum Technology, which is used on bikes from the race-oriented TCR to cross country-focused Anthem. Each Contend in the new line is built through the ALUXX system.
Giant says the Contend bikes have an endurance geometry: less aggressive than a race rig and more comfortable for a rider who hasnt yet developed the racers flexibility. Still, the Condents arent cruisers. The company says each bike has quick and agile riding characteristics. They look like just the bikes for your first forays into big rides or big efforts at the races.
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Giant Contend Ar3 Bottom Line
Of all the bikes I had on test, the Contend was the one that really turned heads on its arrival. People were wowed by the Contends garnet paintjob, which stands out in comparison with the blander-looking, largely monochrome bikes its up against. It is also available in black inevitably if the thought of colour makes you blanch!
Its an ideal long-distance commuter especially with its mudguard/fender compatibility and would be equally good as a fitness and leisure bike, where the long wheelbase, low gearing and tyre clearance gives it some rough-stuff capability.
It has a plush ride that you will never grow tired of and it tackles potholes and winter-scarred roads with a so-what attitude.
If you look purely at the headline numbers though, this Giant cant compete with other similarly specced bikes when it comes to value, but the Contend AR3 is still a bike worth your serious consideration.
Is A Solution In Sight
At some point in the future, when standardised hookless rims and tubeless tyres become the norm for performance oriented road and gravel wheels, this issue will likely be solved. But there isnt a timeline for this, so if youre buying now its impossible to know how long you might have to wait for it all to be sorted out.
Many are pointing to apparently incoming new ETRTO and ISO standards for road tubeless, but as weve seen with bottom brackets over the past decade or so, manufacturers love to create new standards at the merest hint of a potential performance gain, so it might not be the panacea were all hoping for.
As you might be able to infer then, Im not convinced the marginal benefits of this particular rim design currently outweigh the downsides of such significantly reduced tyre choice.
Its an evolving situation and Ill happily revise my opinion on it when things change, but thats where I currently stand.
Consumers also need to be aware that this is not just a performance issue, but also one of safety. Giant is explicitly saying that tyres not on its approved list are unsafe to use on its hookless road rims.
This is not something you want to experiment with, and Id also question if this is something consumers and bike shops will be sufficiently aware of to prevent the use of unsafe wheel and tyre combinations.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media
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Giant Escape 1 Disc Review
High-tech frame and fork, plus a price-busting spec
Giants pitch behind the Escape is an affordable bike for your commute that handles the rough with the smooth, getting you to work and back with a little sense of adventure in between. What you get for your pound shy of £700 is a mix of solid components wrapped around an impressive frame and fork.
The frame is built using Giants lightweight, butted ALUXX tubing, adorned with future-proofed flat mounts for the disc brakes into which a full-composite carbon fork is plugged almost unheard of at this price. That makes the Escape pretty lightweight at 11.1kg in an XL, despite using impressive hardwearing components throughout.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
The Escapes drivetrain employs a well-thought-out mix of lower-level Shimano components from the Altus , Acera and Alivio models, plus a non-series MT-210 chainset.
Perhaps surprisingly to some, this mix worked flawlessly. Yes, the shifts arent as super-slick and quiet as higher models, but theyre accurate and fast, and even with the chain fully crossed from big-to-big, there was no front-mech rub. Plus, it features a lighter and more efficient two-piece design chainset.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
How Does It Ride
The Propel Advanced 1 isn’t simply a one-trick pony. Aside from its aero credentials, it’s a bike with plenty of frame stiffness.
Giant uses what it calls its ‘PowerCore’ design, meaning that the bottom bracket/chainstay area is oversized. Although it uses a 24mm rather than a 30mm axle, the bearings are incorporated within the BB shell.
The result is a bottom bracket that barely moves off-centre even when you’re duking it out in a Marcel Kittel streak for the line.
The front end offers plenty of rigidity too, thanks to Giant’s OverDrive arrangement. That’s Giant’s way of saying that the head tube is built around a standard 1 1/8in bearing up top and a 1 1/4in bearing down below. Although the fork legs are composite, the steerer that slots in there is aluminium .
I’ve ridden bikes that offer a higher level of accuracy when gunning it through tight corners, but the Propel Advanced 1 provides you with enough confidence to lean the bike over hard and lay off the brakes, and to jump about in the group to get on the right wheel.
As an aero bike, the Propel Advanced 1 isn’t as featherweight as some competitors the extra material used to make the tubes deep and slippery obviously adds a bit but at 8.05kg it’s still reasonably light for something of this price. It struggles just a fraction to keep up with lighter bikes coming out of the tight corners and on the steepest of climbs, but that’s being really picky. It’s certainly no slouch in either of those situations.
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