Giant TCR Advanced Pro Disc vs Advanced SL Disc

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Bordcla
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:42 pm

by Bordcla

In the market for a lightweight do-it-all disc bike for next season. Been seriously considering the Giant TCR Disc.

The TCR Advanced SL Disc 1 seems like a good option (top grade carbon frame with their nanotube resin matrix, light, equipped with new Ultegra (8000) Di2 and decent Giant-brand wheels) for $6800 CAD.

Or, the shop where I buy has a left-over 2017 TCR Advanced Pro disc (more standard carbon, no nanotubes, adjustable seatpost instead of ISP). I could get a complete bike, minus wheels, including the older Ultegra (6800) Di2 for $3000 CAD, a $3800 difference to the top bike. Plan would be to buy a set of ENVE SES 3.4 Disc wheels to complete the bike. On the whole, the bike would be about $6000 CAD all-in, once cost of the wheels is factored in, a saving of about $800 over the SL. However, bar, stem and saddle are cheaper, heavier options.

My question is: how much of a sacrifice is it to go from the "SL" to the "Pro" frameset for these bikes? Is the higher grade carbon that much lighter, stiffer, snappier and more impact resistant (better resin) than the Pro frameset? The price is close enough. Should I go for the mid-tier bike with the better wheels, or the higher-grade bike with better componentry with slightly worse wheels for a slightly higher price?

For reference, my Tarmac is an "Expert" model, with the "next best" carbon (FACT 10r) from Specialized. Compared with an S-Works, ridden back-to-back, it feels a bit "deader" and not as snappy, and is a tad heavier. Is the difference similar between the two Giant models?

I initially thought I'd get the new S-Works Tarmac SL6 disc when it comes out, and be done with it, but that will likely be an order of magnitude more expensive (probably more than $10000 CAD). Another option for me is the new Trek Emonda SLR 8, which at $9000 includes mechanical Dura-Ace, decent wheels and an all-in weight of about 6.9kg for the complete bike (insane). As you can appreciate, even the top-end Giant is considerably cheaper for something similar (electronic Ultegra vs mech Dura-Ace), hence this question.

If I'm looking for the best, stiffest, nicest to ride bike for the money between all of these options, would I have any regrets going with either Giants, and in particular the lower grade one for a killer price?

I COULD afford $10K but would much rather spend less. This is my 3rd road bike after all...

Looking forward to hear what experience you might have with the Giants, and hear your thoughts on the broader issue.

tcxtcr
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:47 pm

by tcxtcr

The older TCR isp and non isp bikes were very close in stiffness.
I doubt there was 100 gr weight difference.
If you can win on one you could win on the other.

Bordcla
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:42 pm

by Bordcla

tcxtcr wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:19 pm
The older TCR isp and non isp bikes were very close in stiffness.
I doubt there was 100 gr weight difference.
If you can win on one you could win on the other.
"Winning" is not part of my selection criteria, as I don't race and, even if I did, I know full well that 200 grams would not be the difference-maker.

I'm more concerned with responsiveness, ride feel, liveliness, toughness, durability, and comfort, though I do want the lightest possible bike, simply because I do, and not because I expect that to be the difference between "winning" or "losing".

damond
Posts: 157
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:47 pm

by damond

My Rim brake 2017 TCR ADV SL frame came in 890gr (Uncut ISP) and 334gr for the fork (uncut). Medium size. Take that for your comparison.

From what i have been able to try myself i found my Adv SL much quicker in acceleration and snappier than the Adv (non pro) model i tried. But that might also be due to the weight difference as my bike sits at 6.7kg vs the stock ADV Ultegra bike (7.7kg?). I haven't been able to find any stiffness difference.

If you would get the lower bike and save the extra 3800$ i would suggest you to do so. But the way you put things in the equation, i would rather get the top tier frame with lower (stock) wheels. You might always upgrade the wheels later but let me tell you in advance that the giant wheels are pretty decent (really)! I have been really happy with mine with no issues at all!

stoney
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:26 am

by stoney

Just get the TCR Advanced SL version and be done with it. You've got the money so spend it. You'll be second guessing yourself if you don't.

peted76
Posts: 228
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:30 pm

by peted76

The SL is a top end frame in every way, where the normal frame is just that. Easier to upgrade the parts than the frame at a later date.
Buy the SL and be done with it.

Bordcla
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:42 pm

by Bordcla

Thanks. Pretty clear that if I go with Giant, I'll go with the SL frame. Bigger issue is go "reasonable" with the Giant or a Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0 disc from the US at roughly the same price with same equipment, or treat myself to a superbike like the new BMC SLR01 Disc, the Emonda SLR 8, or the new Specialized SL6 disc when available...

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TonyM
Posts: 2015
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

Treat yourself and keep it longer!

Bordcla
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:42 pm

by Bordcla

In terms of treating myself, wouldn't a BMC SLR01 Disc or Emonda SLR or an S-Works SL6 be an improvement over a Canyon or Giant SL? They would basically be up to 4-5 K more. What benefits do they bring (other than that SLR01 looking so good)?

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TonyM
Posts: 2015
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

For me personally the BMC SKLR01 disc is definitely this money worth. Not the other like Trek, Spez etc....but that's only my personal opinion in terms of paint, design, brand etc....I personally always buy the bikes I like and then just forget the price I paid for. But I keep these 20-25 years....

It also very much depends on which type of bike are you looking for, I mean are you looking for comfort, climbing, weight etc...Ho much FTP do you have, how much do you weigh, etc...and last but mot least the geometry of these bikes.The Émonda is very light, the BMC quite comfortable and not too heavy, the Giant is a good average bike, the Tarmac should be good and a little bit aero, the Canyon also not too heavy, etc.....At the end all these bikes are very good.
At the end you are the one decides how much more money they worth for you...and treating yourself is not always about facts.... :mrgreen:

Bordcla
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:42 pm

by Bordcla

Agree that I'm the one holding the cords on the purse. That said, I'd like to understand what I'd be getting for the extra 4k getting the BMC instead of the Canyon or Giant...?

hannawald
Posts: 162
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:28 pm

by hannawald

with BMC, Emonda or Specialized you don´t get something, which is rationally better than Giant or Canyon.. it´s just if you really fall in love with some of these bikes then you might say ok, it´s worth giving extra money. Canyon is multiple bike of the year and test winner, it really is a superb bike. It´s very comfortable, lightweight! and already built with aero efficiency in mind..I don´t knoe Giant, people here are happy with TCR and you can´t go wrong with its top range version ridden by pros.

Specialized and BMC are completely new, which means their design wouldn´t be changed next year..Specialized is proud about new Tarmac´s aero properties.. i would choose Giant or Canyon and save the money, just because all the bikes gives you the same emotional feeling, none of them you really fell in love..they will serve you as well as other more pricey options. if you wanna change them next year you can sell them and buy something else, you will loose less money..if you fall down and scratch it, you will not be that crazy just because it is a workhorse...and btw Canyon Ultimate in its blue colour is a really really nice bike..

jlok
Posts: 466
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:30 am

by jlok

I'd say the TCR Adv SL is a real bargain. Top level performance at an affordable price (20% less than other top level framesets). Spare parts are easy to find on the net. Top build quality. The only thing doubtful is the ISP design, but it's not a fault.

JS300
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:19 pm
Location: NYC to Seoul

by JS300

[Double post]
Last edited by JS300 on Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

JS300
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:19 pm
Location: NYC to Seoul

by JS300

I agree about the value in the TCR Advanced SL. I have the rim brake version, and I love it. I shopped it against other more expensive options, but could not justify the somewhat huge price difference for my weekend warrior riding. As an additional matter, Giants are much cheaper here in Korea than in the US or Europe, while other brands (BMC, Specialized, Trek, etc.) are much more expensive. In any case, I do not think you are losing anything by going with Giant except may it is not as sexy as other brands. But the SL is still a top end frame that's comparable to any other.

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