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by Dave Rome
July 17, 2020
Last updated in 2015, Giant’s TCX Advanced has remained a popular pick amongst cyclocross racers and those seeking a sporty bike for gravel. New for 2021, the mega manufacturer has overhauled the carbon platform, stripping off weight, increasing compliance, and boosting tyre clearance.
The 2021 TCX Advanced Pro may still be pitched as a bike for short blood-in-mouth lap racing, but it also looks rather ready for some aggressive gravel, too.
The new TCX Advanced Pro offers nearly the exact angles, reach, and stack figures of the previous version. Here, a medium features a claimed 65 mm trail figure, achieved by a 71.5º head angle and 50 mm fork offset. The seat tube remains at a fairly traditional 73º.
Giant has bolstered the frame and fork clearance to cater for a whopping 45 mm of rubber, but despite that the bottom bracket drop (60 mm) and 430 mm chainstay lengths have remained unchanged. Meanwhile, many of the sizes are now supplied with stem lengths that are 10-20 mm shorter than before.
The geometry remains mostly unchanged. Note: the full displayed size range is only available in select markets.
What has most obviously changed is the weight — the new TCX Advanced Pro frameset is a claimed 260 grams lighter than before. The frame itself accounts for 200 g of that (now 850 g claimed), while the new fork saves the other 60 g (400 g claimed). Of course, some six years have passed since the last version, and so those new figures merely put the new TCX Advanced Pro back in the mix with its key competition.
The new frame offers asymmetrical chain stays to assist with rear-end stiffness, but despite that, Giant claims torsional and lateral frame stiffness figures are unchanged from before.
The previous generation TCX Advanced made use of Giant’s D-shaped D-fuse carbon seat post, a flexible item that makes a noticeable difference to seated comfort. However that seat post design has always locked its users into that post, and the use of a dropper post was simply out of the question. In what’s perhaps a signal of things to come for other bikes in Giant’s range, the new TCX Advanced Pro still uses the D-Fuse concept, but moves to a wholly new seat post clamp design that can also be used with a regular 30.9 mm seat post.
Giant has completely overhauled its seat tube clamp design.
Giant has moved the seat post clamp wedge from the top of the top tube and placed it down at the seat stay junction. Doing so has effectively lengthened the flexible length of the seat post, a design, that in concept is also used by the likes of Specialized and Canyon. Additionally, this seat clamp is now tightened from the side, and so tool access is surely not an issue.
All 2021 TCX Advanced Pros come with a new full-carbon D-Fuse SLR seat post that Giant states is 20% more compliant than the previous D-Fuse SL. The use of an internal adapter clamp opens this frame up to any 30.9 mm post, including internally-routed droppers. Personally, I’ve found previous D-Fuse posts to work wonders for soothing the ride, but the choice is a great thing.
Like all of Giant’s performance bikes, the new TCX Advanced Pro bikes are equipped with tubeless wheels and tyres out of the box. The company even provides tyre sealant. Those tyres are UCI-ready 33 mm-wide Maxxis All-Terrenes.
All models are set up with 1x shifting, however, it appears from the photos that the frame can handle a front derailleur, too. Giant is sticking with its 1 1/4″ OD2 stem clamp size at the fork steerer and a PF86 bottom bracket, a press-fit design we’ve typically had good experiences with (especially when it’s Giant making it).
The following models are available in the US:
– TCX Advanced Pro 0: US$5,000 / AU$7,699
– TCX Advanced Pro 1: US$3,500 / AU$5,699
– TCX Advanced Pro 2: US$2,500 / AU$4,299
– TCX Advanced Pro frameset: US$2,000 / AU$na
Australian model availability is still to be announced.
Giant is sticking with its PF86 bottom bracket. Of all the major brands on the market, Giant’s press fit system is typically the quietest.
The new TCX retains the relatively horizontal top tube for easy shouldering.
The new D-Fuse SLR seatpost is said to be 20% more compliant than the previous D-Fuse offering.
The new TCX Advanced Pro features asymmetric chain stays.
2021 Giant TCX Advanced Pro 0.
2021 Giant TCX Advanced Pro 1
2021 Giant TCX Advanced Pro 2.