The Iconic Giant TCR – Retro Vs Modern

The Iconic Giant TCR – Retro Vs Modern


when we think about recent advances in bike technology might think about frame material so transitioning from steel through to carbon fiber or we might think about the race to improve aerodynamics or to reduce weight but one thing we probably all overlook is geometry and that that would be a mistake because this right here is one of the most important bikes of the last 20 years this is the iconic giant TCR its DNA has spread to all corners of the bike industry in fact is so well integrated now that you probably wouldn’t even think to look anymore but when viewed next was offspring the family resemblance is striking this 20 years it’s jr. is the giant TCR advanced SL disc [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] so go on then why is this bike so iconic so legendary what 20 years ago all rode bikes had horizonte top tubes and they had to come in upwards of 10 different sizes just to accommodate all heights of rider and then there was actually very little opportunity for adjusting the fit of your bike once you had actually chosen the frame size giant meanwhile had recruited the services of maverick bike designer Mike burrows and then perhaps most famous for designing another iconic bike the Lotus monocot which Tuesday is still the fastest ever bike at the our record now the burrows had looked to the mountain bike market and seen how few sizes were needed in order to accommodate all riders and then he also saw the other benefits that a compact frame would bring so improve stiffness improve comfort through a longer seat post flexing away and then also light away and a benefit to road riders at least improved aerodynamics so Burroughs took 16-inch mountain bike frame from Giant and Julie built it up as his road bike now giant themselves first saw that mongrel bike back in 1994 and their European president Yan Dirksen himself I see an ex pro cyclist is immediately a big advocate because you see giant despite being the biggest fly brand in the world selling six point three million bikes per year actually at that time didn’t really sell anything in the road market but in this they saw a big opportunity to stir things up so it’s just two years later the aluminium total compact road was born [Music] now by large us road cyclists a quite traditional bunch and so in order to be convinced to the merits of contact road frames we needed to see them in action now fortunately for giant team unsay the legendary spanish team were quick to see the benefits haven’t been shown early samples it’s perhaps not surprising really because they’re an iminium frames at a time way there still to this day quite incredible 900 grams and the frame could double up as both their Road and their time trial bikes there was then just one last piece of the puzzle Jai needed to convince the president of the UCI at the time be slightly infamous Hein Verbruggen not to ban their revolutionary frame says now that was easier said than done but common sense did prevail t month they started winning and a legend began [Music] so here we are then 20 years on riding the latest and greatest TCR ironically enough actually this one is currently banned by the UCI although that is because the disk race of course and not the frameset now we saw on that early on thay team bike but those first frames were made out aluminium and actually wasn’t until 2003 that we’ve got our first carbon-fiber TCR then this one now is currently made out of giant advanced grade SL carbon fiber which I’ll admit as a name it doesn’t exactly tell us very much but the scales don’t lie this weighs just over 7 kilos for a complete bike and that’s built up with Rams new eat out HRD and then the early promise have improved stiffness from that compact frame geometry all those years ago still very much lives on Giants say then testing this bike has the best stiffness to weight ratio of any road bike out there you can see where that comes from the fittingly labeled giant down tube blends into an oversized bottom bracket a great power transfer and then have neglected the front end either this is a very good thing they put consider amount of time into developing that overdrive steerer which keeps the front end tracking nicely and that we help no doubt buy those 12 mil through axles the difference between the old and the new is it has to be said pretty striking it’s beautiful as that old bike was as fantastic as it still is to ride this one is just so much stiffer and it feels an awful lot faster I mean it is an out-and-out race bike even down to the chainstay length which giant of somehow managed to keep the same on this disc bike as their rim break version in fact for the traditionalists out there you can ride this bike and not really remember that you’re on a disparate bike until you actually come to put your brakes on it in which case you’ll definitely know and that to my mind it’s a good thing and it has to be said there’s no surprise this is an out-and-out race bike it was designed and developed with help from John Allison and then before then giant Shimano and before them rubber Bank and before them highroad and then before them t-mobile until we get right back to start again we team on say in fact this bike has amassed a huge number of victories including we have to say B 1998 British men’s Road Race Championship under one Matthew Stephens oh yeah in fact you could probably argue that this is the most accessible model of road bike ever I certainly certainly would have threw one of them now I know there are still people out there the struggle at the site of a compact Road frame yes even after 20 years but should we all nevertheless be a little bit thankful to giant for creating the TCR in the first place well yep I think we should actually they simplified sizing they streamline the manufacturing process which has helped usher in mass market carbon production as among other things and they also created a lighter and stiffer bike now yeah those things would have happened inevitably anyway I’m sure but someone had to start it and this was the genesis now I talked a little bit earlier about Schramm’s eat app HRD groupset if you want to see a whole video on that then click just up there and you’ll get through to one or to see more tech on GCN click over there and you get through to our tech playlist and before going to either those do make sure you subscribe to GCN to do that just click on the globe