Upgrading: S-works Tarmac (SL5) vs Giant TCR Advanced pro 1 2018

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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amosths
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:53 am

by amosths

Dear all, may I get your opinions as I finally narrow down my options for an upgrade? Background: I ride recreationally and enjoy the quick group ride. Will be coming from an Argon 18 Krypton 2013 with ultegra 6700.

1. S works Tarmac SL5. FACT 11r carbon. Second hand, but the frame looks to be in pristine condition. New R8000 groupset. Comes with an inline Thomson aluminium seat post, brandless aluminium stem and handlebars. Wheelset are Fulcrum racing 7LG with conti gp 4000s 23mm tyres. Steerer tube has been cut pretty aggressively though..

2. 2018 Giant TCR advanced pro 1 from the shop https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/tcr-advanced-pro-1, with the default specs including giant's own-brand carbon SLR1 rims, variant seatpost and Gavia tubless tyres. Shop would be able to do a basic fit for me after purchase.

Both come with full ultegra 8000 groupset. Both frames were updated a few years ago (S-works in 2015, now there's the new SL6. TCR in 2016, likely due for an update in the next few years?). I'm able to get the S-works package at a few hundred (singapore) dollars cheaper than the Giant, which would likely go into a basic bike fit and possibly swapping out stems/seatposts to get a decent fit.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to test ride either bikes. Both look great to me aesthetically. What's important to me is being comfortable on these fast bikes. What are your opinions on the relative value, ride quality/comfort on the above bikes? Should I value the higher quality carbon frame (S-works Fact-11r) or would the average rider not be able to tell the difference? Which would you pick? Thank you! :D

by Weenie


ongbenghui
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:16 am

by ongbenghui

I am from Singapore too. Just got a TCR Adv Pro Disc 1. Basically, the similar bike spec with disc brakes. The main change is to switch to FSA K-Wing handlebar.
the ride is good. No complains. but The Gavia tubeless tyres roll well but felt stiff. I have since switch to Schwalbe Pro One. Whos knows, I might switch back.

I do have a habit of redoing the bike. Have since change the hub bearings, redo the rim tapes and sealants.

So far, it ride really good.

For the Specialized option. I used to ride an old Tarmac. They felt really good. However, Tarmac been an popular bike, you might want to ask the seller why he fitted a brandless stem and brandless handlebar on a nice SL5. I am just been extra cautious.

dim
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:25 am
Location: Cambridge UK

by dim

I'm in a similar situation .... I like the Giant, I like the Specialized, and I like the Scott Addict SL

but after seeing an Trek 9, I'm starting to like the Trek a bit more:

Image
Giant TCR
Canyon Endurace AL
Specialized Allez Sport

amosths
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:53 am

by amosths

ongbenghui wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:47 am
I am from Singapore too. Just got a TCR Adv Pro Disc 1. Basically, the similar bike spec with disc brakes. The main change is to switch to FSA K-Wing handlebar.
the ride is good. No complains. but The Gavia tubeless tyres roll well but felt stiff. I have since switch to Schwalbe Pro One. Whos knows, I might switch back.

I do have a habit of redoing the bike. Have since change the hub bearings, redo the rim tapes and sealants.

So far, it ride really good.

For the Specialized option. I used to ride an old Tarmac. They felt really good. However, Tarmac been an popular bike, you might want to ask the seller why he fitted a brandless stem and brandless handlebar on a nice SL5. I am just been extra cautious.
Thanks for sharing! from what i gather, the previous owner had bought the Tarmac frame and set it up with components from his fitter.. Didn't detect any red flags or anything fishy.

Having ridden both a Tarmac and an TCR, what do you think about their respective ride qualities?

ongbenghui
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:16 am

by ongbenghui

amosths wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:56 pm
Thanks for sharing! from what i gather, the previous owner had bought the Tarmac frame and set it up with components from his fitter.. Didn't detect any red flags or anything fishy.

Having ridden both a Tarmac and an TCR, what do you think about their respective ride qualities?
Mine was really old, so, it is not a fair comparsion. But I do like the ride qualities for TCR. It is fairly stiff with no side to side flex, but still good to go thru hump and bumps.

zirxo
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:46 pm

by zirxo

I've ridden the Giant during the last 10 months and it's such a great bike. More then stiff enough, even when I'm dishing out over 1500 watts and the wheels are really good and should make the bike a lot more expensive than it is.

VamP
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:01 am

by VamP

I agree the TCR is a better package. Fulcrum 7s are basically crap, so factor in a new wheelset if you're going to go with the Tarmac. The TCR frame wheelset combo is really nice together. I mean, really, really nice.

Also, you don't say what riding position you need, but if the steerer on the Tarmac is cut right down, that might be a major consideration for you?

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reknop
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:15 am

by reknop

amosths wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:57 am
Unfortunately, I won't be able to test ride either bikes. Both look great to me aesthetically. What's important to me is being comfortable on these fast bikes. What are your opinions on the relative value, ride quality/comfort on the above bikes? Should I value the higher quality carbon frame (S-works Fact-11r) or would the average rider not be able to tell the difference? Which would you pick? Thank you! :D
If you've done a proper bikefitting than you will know what frame geometry will best fity you. Although you probably can get both frames fit your body, there is always one that fits best with the minimum of changes to bike components.

For example I can simply ride a stock Giant TCR Advanced in size M with just a 1 cm. of spacers below the stem. Setting the saddle height and set-back correct and off I can go ... Giant has alway had an excellent value for money. :)
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https://www.remo-knops.com/cycling/

Stickman
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:58 am

by Stickman

Another vote for the Giant. The lifetime frame warranty is a big factor for me.

amosths
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:53 am

by amosths

Thanks everyone for the input so far! It's very helpful.

VamP wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:01 am
I agree the TCR is a better package. Fulcrum 7s are basically crap, so factor in a new wheelset if you're going to go with the Tarmac. The TCR frame wheelset combo is really nice together. I mean, really, really nice.

Also, you don't say what riding position you need, but if the steerer on the Tarmac is cut right down, that might be a major consideration for you?
Yes, that's right. I have not yet done a proper fitting, but when I sat on the s-works on a tarmac, I did feel rather stretched out. In terms of raising the cockpit, I believe I only have an allowance of 0.5cm of spacers and flipping the -6deg 90mm stem which doesn't sound like much. I'm leaning towards the giant, and hopefully the LBS can do a decent bike fit! From your experience, does visiting a dedicated fitter (SGD 300-500 here, specialized equipment, 3-4 hrs) provide that much more than a LBS (free with bike, 45min session, eyeballing, adjusting saddle fore/aft, swapping out stem if necessary)? For the average injury-free weekend/club rider not seeking to eke out every marginal gain.

VamP
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:01 am

by VamP

amosths wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:57 am
Thanks everyone for the input so far! It's very helpful.

VamP wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:01 am
I agree the TCR is a better package. Fulcrum 7s are basically crap, so factor in a new wheelset if you're going to go with the Tarmac. The TCR frame wheelset combo is really nice together. I mean, really, really nice.

Also, you don't say what riding position you need, but if the steerer on the Tarmac is cut right down, that might be a major consideration for you?
Yes, that's right. I have not yet done a proper fitting, but when I sat on the s-works on a tarmac, I did feel rather stretched out. In terms of raising the cockpit, I believe I only have an allowance of 0.5cm of spacers and flipping the -6deg 90mm stem which doesn't sound like much. I'm leaning towards the giant, and hopefully the LBS can do a decent bike fit! From your experience, does visiting a dedicated fitter (SGD 300-500 here, specialized equipment, 3-4 hrs) provide that much more than a LBS (free with bike, 45min session, eyeballing, adjusting saddle fore/aft, swapping out stem if necessary)? For the average injury-free weekend/club rider not seeking to eke out every marginal gain.
Any bike fit will be as good as the fitter, so that's one thing to consider. If your LBS fitter has lots of experience it may be better than an inexperienced operator of Retul. I had a bike fit done some years ago by a leading physio/coach fitter. She did almost the entirety of the fit by eyeballing, and in the end made a couple of minor adjustments, which brought me another 10 watts at threshold, so I was really happy with that. Since then I just replicate that position on all new bikes.

So the answer to your queation is to do some research into fitters that you are considering.

by Weenie


REGICYCLE
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:48 pm

by REGICYCLE

Another full recommendation for the TCR and i can vouch for the quality of the wheelset :up:

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