Wednesday, October 27, 2010

first impressions

I took the new bike out for a spin yesterday morning. I hadn’t ridden for some time and I managed to do a decent couple of hours.

The TCR Advanced is the lower of the racing bikes line of Giant. As the name states, Giant is no picnic, they have a large range and there’s constant updates, colour layout and so on. I’ve always been a bit apprehensive of big brands, for no particular reason. That said, I had a trek 1000 as my first road bike, and I had an old Giant from the first carbon eras and they were both great bikes.

Back to my ride, I was undecided between the bike I got and a TCR Alliance, which is a funny combination of carbon and alloy, the price was pretty much the same, but there was the 105 vs. Ultegra issue and the full carbon vs. alloy carbon issue. I ended up with a 105 setup, I don't know if luckily or not, but this bike didn't come with compact cranks.

Tuesday morning was the date and I took the bike for its first ride, easy spin for 10 minutes and then rolling hills for most of the next hour and a half. It ended up with a 8km TT section with headwind and back spinning home via the upland hills. The first thing to note is that 105 has come a long way, but it is sill a long way from Ultegra in terms of shifting performance and overall smoothness. I don’t love it, but it will grow on me. The second thing is that this bike is a pretty solid performer on the climbs and can hold some efforts. I reckon is a good combination of the oversized bottom bracket and the Aksium race wheels. They are not the lightest wheel, but they do the job and don’t need a lot of maintenance.

Steering up and down the hills is great and there were no wobbles in the speedy sections, only a slight drop in the top speed, but I'll probably sort that out. The head set is pretty normal, not too big, not too small. It's quite massive as well, but that's what you usually get in Giant.

On the TT section I went on to the drops and felt no loss of power, so the guy that sold and fitted it to me did a great job, Thanks Steve.

It’s a great improvement for me to finally have the right size of bike, with pretty much the right specs and a geometry that favours the type of riding I do. I look forward to more k’s on it and confirming if these impressions are right.

Another first time was for our new swimming squad. We’re now in an outdoor non heated pool and we have the whole pool for ourselves with no fast 11 year olds making us feel old and slow. The session is also a bit longer (1.5hr) but being on a wetsuit kind of makes it sweet. On the downside, I'm now driving 15min to get there opposite to 4mins from the other pool... that means less sleep.
some more on that to come tomorrow.


  1. Beauty ride and kudos on getting a good fitting!

  2. My bike knowledge is weak. Looks and sounds good though!