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  • Gabrielecolombo2

    this is a beautiful bike which i prefer to the overly busy, paint schemes with a hundred decals on them.
    To me there is just so much you can put on a frame before it just become plain silly.

  • Paolo

    Have to second the opinion about electronic shifting. It works fantastic, but it doesn’t give me the same feeling as pushing some mechanical levers. I guess its like watches, you can buy a $50 quarz which is more accurate than a $3000 mechanical. It’s nice in a world full of computers and electronics to have something mechanical and electronic free on your wrist or under you bum :-) 

  • Davidtcr

    I have a 2012 TCR Advanced 0 and absolutely love it, the ride is very smooth and I particularly love the Di2. I will disagree with Wade on the stiffness though, I find that the frame feels very stiff and efficient when being pushed – much more so than other bikes I have ridden, although I won’t claim that that includes too many high end race bikes.

    • Thanks David. Just to clarify something. I don’t write the reviews, Matt (our Tech Editor) does. Also, I believe Giant claims that the stiffness has been improved and compares highly with other race bikes, but I cannot find the video where they say that again. For me, stiffer doesn’t always mean better, so don’t take it as a bad thing.

      Here’s a review that RIDE did on the 2012 model:


  • Andrew

    It appears that Mr Giant has got all of his ducks lined up here and knocking them over. Good looking bike. above acceptable performance at a  price that may cause the other bike manufacturers to take stock. If this is not a good reason to jump off that old clunker with down shifters and 36 hole wheels then I will eat my riding cap

  • Oswel Salcedo

    Giant Marketing about frame testing

    • Thanks Oswel. That’s the one I was looking for

  • Jimmy

    I was looking to buy in this price bracket, but for a brand that should have unbeatable value, I found it easy to beat.
    Also Giant have painted some great looking bikes – this is not one if them.Azzuri (which always seem to be on sale) have Ui2 for $2,500, and have generally been less than $3k since they arrived.  $4k price tag for entry level electronic shifting is not very impressive with their purchasing power.
    I bought a Focus Izalco last month instead.

    • Are you sure the Azzuri is the same spec? (wheels and frame are surely much lower)

      • Jimmy

        No – sorry the Giant frame is definitely a higher spec. 
        Wheels are a Reynolds Solitude, they looks like a standard 1500-1600 gram solid training wheelset, again probably a lower spec.

    • CTech

      The sale price for the Azzuri Forza Ultegra Di2 applies to bikes that are pre-ordered only, so buyers won’t get a chance to test ride it first, but Cycling Express will take it back if you don’t want to keep it. No word on what the waiting time but they are taking orders for their December shipment now, so it’s likely to be a few weeks at least.

    • Sam

      How are you finding the izalco? Were you considering the Cayo with Ui2 a well?

      • Jimmy

        Very happy with the Izalco, but I don’t have much to compare it to as it’s my first carbon frame.  I was looking at the Cayo Evo or Izalco, but found I preferred the geometry of the Izalco, and the Cayo Evo wasn’t available in XXL. 

        Thanks CTech. I don’t think many (any?) would buy the Azzuri over the Giant, I just thought the price gap was interesting for the same groupset. But as you pointed out, these prices aren’t comparing apples with apples (full RRP vs Sale, my bad), test ride is a deal-breaker.

        • Sean Doyle

           I have the Azzuri frame with my own mix (mash?) of components. I’ve ridden a fair few different bikes and can say it’s not an inferior frame to most. I have not ridden a Giant in a long while so can’t comment on how their design philosophy is working for them. With that price gap I doubt the performance difference, if any, would make me buy the Giant.

      • winston

        I actually have both bikes. A 2012 Izalco pro 1 with SRAM red (actually a warranty replacement for a cracked 2011 frame) and a 2012 Cayo EVO2 with Di2 Ultegra. I do prefer the Izalco, it just feel faster, however I am incredibly impressed by the Cayo and the $1000 + price difference from new would probably push me to the Cayo. In many ways I prefer the electronic shifting, and do not really feel the romantic desire for mechanical groupsets over electronic. The fact that it auto trims the front derraileur and responds so quickly has sealed the deal for me – my next Melbourne bike will have electronic shifting!

        Luckily for me I have both, one as a Melbourne bike, one as a Perth bike! Big fan of Focus.

      • Bennyfrenny

         I’ve been on my Izalco pro for a year now and I just love it. I got the matte black frame with 3T gear and Sram force and added a set of Mavic Cosmic Carbone wheels to it.
        Fast, smooth and really beautiful.

      • Sam

         Great, thanks for the feedback guys.

      • Andrew

        My son just bought the Izalco after having the Cayo for about 2 years. I ride it a bit as we have the same basic set up. Cayo was stiff but heavy and a little one dimensional BUT a  very nice bike to ride. The Izalco is more refined , nice ride and very much in the Focus style of bike and runs well with tubulars. I would hesitate on a clincher  wheel unless it was set up right with  say good Michelin’s and right pressures  as the frame transmits a bit of buzz

  • If you want a Giant TCR Advanced with a mechanical groupset, there’s the TCR Advanced 1 w/Ultegra listed at $2,400 on BikeExchange right now.

    There’s also a pile of 2012 Advanced zeros at less than 3 grand.  If the reviewed bike is a compelling value proposition at $4,000, it’s gotta be a steal at 3.

    For what it’s worth, I ride the 2011 TCR Advanced as my race bike, but don’t have a lot to compare it with.  One thing I will say is that given the crappy roads Australian club racers have to race on, I reckon trading off a small amount of stiffness for less buzz through the handlebars is a pretty good compromise. 

    • Crothenb

       Wait 6 – 9 months and buy the ’13 model at a further 25% off(Giant always discount mid year) and this will be a bargain.

      • Why wait?  The first sentence of the review states that the only difference between the 2012 and 2013 bikes is the paint job.

        • Harvster00

           Agree. picked mine up for $2900 for 2012 model. i am really happy with the value at this price – nothing else seemed to compare to the spec…..

        • Nick

          Have you seen the 2012 paint job? It has to be the worst looking $3000 bike around.

          A circa-2002 Dell computer grey, with black graphics and a random aqua blue on the top tube? It looks worse in real life than in the pics.

          I like Giants (I loved the TCR I owned) and I don’t go for flashy graphics, but they really did need to improve that bike. The other TCRs and the Defys all looked ok.

        • Nick

          Have you seen the 2012 paint job? It has to be the worst looking $3000 bike around.

          A circa-2002 Dell computer grey, with black graphics and a random aqua blue on the top tube? It looks worse in real life than in the pics.

          I like Giants (I loved the TCR I owned) and I don’t go for flashy graphics, but they really did need to improve that bike. The other TCRs and the Defys all looked ok.

  • jules

    hey CT(ech), how about a comparo test of established brand (e.g. this) and chinese online no-name stuff. i’ve seen a few racers rolling around with chinarellos and as someone with a heavy mortgage and genetically challenged sphincter size, i’m tempted. i know you did a review of frames a while back which looked at these, but an actual ride review would be good.

  • Dale

    LOL at people comparing hungfu frames to these… i have a 2012 tcr 0 and i reckon its the best bang for buck bike on the market.. the difference between the giants and others in the same price point is giant use FULL shimano ultegra  groupsets and the rest use mix and match componets like FSA cranks, base spec brakes, tiagria casettes etc to save money.. not even in the same leauge..

  • Chris

    Bought one of these puppies as my traiing Bike, Have SL advanced Rabo, Great bike I can not tell the Difference between the two, In fact this could be a little but stiffer,

    Raced on it yesterday and was impresed.

  • During the 2012 Tour de France, the Advanced 0 was being sold for $3k. The 2012 colour scheme wasn’t too good but the bike was a bargain. I had earlier considered getting the Azzuri, but a little extra for a name brand frame, better wheels and the opportunity to test ride it made sense.

    If you want a cheap Ui2 bike there are others even cheaper than the Azzuri.

    I can only advise not to crash the bike because Giant don’t sell the frame separately :-|

  • I have a Giant TCR Advanced 0 2012, mine is a crash replacement which replaced a 2011 Advanced 0. I can remember the first thing I thought of when I got on the bike for the first time was A) how smooth a ride it was and B) how stiff the rear end is, it felt like a rocket going up the hills and none of that has changed. I can push it really hard in the corners and it just soaks it up, no problems at all.

    I know Giant dont have the brand name or Euroness of the Cologno etc but they offer great value for money, really well spec’d bikes for the cash and you get a lot of stuff that other bikes dont get e.g. the RideSense sensor is fantastic imo. 

    • Andrew

      I fully agree. The crap that Fizik came out with 5+ years ago about having a bigger platform to move around on when riding and hence more power was a crock. Interesting that they have newer saddle range  without the nose length. I found that the airone did not much more than numb certain delicate parts. Moved to a prologo and found that I actually had to put my hips in the right place and correct my posture and ride better. However as everyone says , saddles are personal

      • Anonymous

        It’s such a personal thing… I went the other way (Prologo Scratch to Arione) and found it an improvement!

        The problem, of course, is who wants to drop $200 a time just to try different saddles? More of those test programs need to be available. (I know Fizik themselves, along with Specialized, do that.)

  • Anonymous

    It was my understanding that all so-called monocoque frames were manufactured in two parts, ie the main and rear triangles, which are then bonded together. In reporting that this is the case for the Giant were you implying that others are laid up in one piece?

    • Sean Doyle

       There have been a few over the years mould as one complete piece. Uber expensive as the moulds are hideously expensive.

  • Anonymous

     I got the silver one from last year for $3.2k, not quite as cheap as the
    TdF special but close. Can’t understand why everybody hated the silver
    so much! There’s less logos on this year’s model though, which I
    would’ve appreciated.

    My previous bike was a CAAD9 so the
    smoothness was pretty immediately apparent. It’s still lively though – a
    couple of people I trust reckon the cheaper stuff like Azzuri ride a
    bit dead. It’s all the other stuff though – internal cables don’t
    rattle, the RideSense pod works, Di2 works, you get the full Ultegra group with no sub-outs, everything is neatly done,
    colour-matched, etc. I know Giant are a bit like Toyota but in this case
    they’re also making the bike equivalent of Ferraris for other brands in
    the same factory and applying the design lessons they’ve learned from
    that. They’d have to be doing something wrong to mess it up really.

    wheels are secretly really good too. CTech I think the smaller DT
    branding on them is because they supply the spokes and the 240 hub
    internals only; the hub shells have wider flanges than usual if I
    remember correctly and the rims are a bit wider than normal, both are

  • Anonymous

    This is the internet.  For goodnes sakes, take a drive side photo.  Even every forum noob knows this is base protocol for bike photo posting.

  • Anthony

    I wonder if there is any real difference between a bike like this and a 5/6 K bike with a more status driven image associated with it. Considering Giant are making many of the bikes on behalf of other more image conscious companies it would seem illogical to suggest they produce an inferior product. I feel we are often a little bit too fickle with our ideas of what makes a great bike. I hate it how people judge you for what you ride, it’s completely self indulgent delusion. We all could get around with our power to weight ratios stamped on our backs for that matter. The review suggests ‘the ride quality will appeal to new riders’, what does this mean. How do you define ride quality? A double blind test ride would sort this out. I think it’s just a bit too cheap (and the wrong brand) to appeal to many in the material game that has become road riding.

    What is the accepted/expected lifetime of a frame like this. How quickly do you loose that stiff ride quality? I include all carbon bikes in this question. I have an aging carbon frame and I definitely get a lot more noise out of the saddle compared to a few years ago. 

    • Sean Doyle

       The funny bit. I was told by an industry insider that Merida actually now make some of Giants frames. Unreal world we live in sometimes.

    • Sean Doyle

       The funny bit. I was told by an industry insider that Merida actually now make some of Giants frames. Unreal world we live in sometimes.

    • CTech

      Great questions, Anthony. Just like cars, road bikes allow the rider to make a grab for a certain status, regardless of whether they are worthy of it. 

      How do I define ride quality? In some ways, it’s the personality of the bike, its manners, and the way it behaves in different situations. The TCR Advanced is the perfect host, a crowd-pleaser, because it occupies the middle-ground so well. Most, if not all, riders will be able to get on with the TCR Advanced, but for more experienced riders, they may find the bike lacking in one area or another because they have greater expectations.

      I read some time ago that carbon doesn’t suffer from fatigue and it won’t soften with age. Does this also apply to the resin? I hope a clever materials engineer is reading this and can offer a view based on some sound experience with carbon. Regarding your bike, I wonder if the noise from your saddle has more to do with the rails or clamp than the carbon of the frame?

      • NY’er


        I think your words “regardless of whether they are worthy of it” encompass the attitude that Anthony (and myself) despise. Who are you, or anyone else, one to decide whether I’m “worthy” of riding a particular bike? Surely my worthiness comes down to my ability to pay for it?
        Such a tiny proportion of us are professional riders, so does that mean none of us should ride professional level bikes? Of course not.
        If someone is riding a fancy/expensive/cool bike, then good for them! Appreciate the bike for what it is and leave your judgements on their “worthiness” at home.

    • jules

       i think you’ll find the noise is creaking in joints – seat post in seat tube, pedal threads in crank arm – there can be numerous causes of that. the solution is to lube the joints, which is done when first assembling the bike and explains why they creak more with age. it’s highly unlikely that the carbon frame is creaking.

  • Arfy

    Well I can’t vouch for the TCR Advanced, but I just replaced my (crashed) 2010 TCR Advanced SL with the 2012 model and was amazed at the difference in ride quality.  It seems slightly stiffer in the rear end with the redesigned chain stays, but the biggest difference is in the tracking through high-speed corners – it now feels like it’s on rails!  As for value, I managed to pick it up with Dura Ace mechanical for under $4K so I’m not complaining.


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