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  1. #1
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    Giant TCR Advanced SL - to buy or not?

    Hello everyone!

    I just signed up to this forum, and I have not had the time yet to do a thorough search to find an answer to my question. So if this has been asked before, I apologize.


    I have the opportunity to upgrade my beloved 2013 Giant Defy 1. It's been a grate bike, setup all dialed in, and I wasn't planning on getting a new one as long as the limiting factor to improve as a cyclist is my fitness level, and not the bike.
    But now I have what I consider a great opportunity to upgrade, and to obey the rule that the correct number of bikes to own is n+1
    A friend of mine is selling his 2014 Giant TCR SL frame, with brand new mechanical Ultegra groupset, new Ultegra 6800 wheels, Look Keo Max 2 carbon pedals. The bike was ridden for one season only, and I know it's been very well taken care of.
    My friend is the same height as me, but his riding position is lower then mine. Given that the TCR has an ISP, the seat post was cut to fit him, and it seems to be about 2-3 cm too short for my liking. I have not been to a bike fitter yet with the bike, this is based only on measurement I took from my Defy and the TCR. I know that I can purchase spacers to increase the seat post height.

    My questions are:
    1. is $1900 a fair price for this bike?
    2. How effective is to use spacers to increase seat height? I am afraid that the whole assembly will loose it's firmness, it will have too much wobble, and altogether less safe.

    Thank you all for your input.

  2. #2
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    Personally, I wouldn't buy a used ISP bike unless I had to cut it even more. Yes you can run spacers but as you said, there can be issues. If you change saddles, cranks or pedals it could change the fit even more. 2-3 cm is a big difference in saddle height.

  3. #3
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    I wouldn't buy an ISP bike, period. And certainly not one where the ISP is too short.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  4. #4
    wim
    wim is offline
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    Don't forget to look at the stem. If the stem on this "great opportunity" is as high as it will go and you raise the seat, you might not like the result. Of course, there are those goofy high-rise stems...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I wouldn't buy an ISP bike, period. And certainly not one where the ISP is too short.
    Second that...

  6. #6
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    Thank you all for your input.You guys really make me think twice about this.
    I have the spacers, and scheduled a bike fitting at the local lbs (where the frame was originally purchased), to see how the whole setup can be adjusted. I know that the seat height is not the only factor here, so after the fitting I hope to be able to reach a conclusion.

    As for not recommending to buy an ISP bike, regardless if the post is too short/long, could you guys elaborate on that? I mean, some top of the line bikes have ISPs, and one would assume that the manufacturers know what they are doing.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    What will the new bike give you that the one year older model doesn't give you now? are those improvements worth $1900?
    Two things: unless your friend is exactly the same as you in body proportions and flexibility you'll need to spend even more money to get it "dialled in". Re the ISP, if it's long enough to fit you there is no problem with buying a used and cut ISP, just get the correct topper and spacers. Giant have toppers up to 50mm. But again if it doesn't fit you will be throwing more money at it in the stem and bars department. Is there enough space in the steerer to make adjustments?
    Don't let the apparent good value fool you into making compromises on fit. As long as you still have room to improve fitness wise keep saving the cash and when you are being held back by your current ride buy the best and latest you can afford. Are you racing? The best improvement you can make as a cyclist for $1900 is spending that money on race entry fees and transport to races a few times a month.

  8. #8
    is riding in MOPP4
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    ISPs look cleaner and provide some weight savings. As you already know, you can add spacers if the ISP is too short for you and some seat toppers can further adjust the height by about 20mm. I think Ritchey makes one.

    Disadvantages of an ISP are low resale values and packaging the frame into a shipping case can be challenging, if those matter to you.

    ISPs are currently found on high-end bikes only. I am not aware of lower-end bikes with an ISP. However, if you research it more, you will find similar bikes in Giant's lineup that use standard seat posts--just compare the TCR Advanced SL to the Advanced Pro. Okay, the Pro uses lower modulus carbon, but I doubt the difference is perceptible. Here's Peloton's take: Giant Revamps Its 'Everyman' Racer: TCR Advanced Pro 0 - Peloton Magazine

    Personally, if the bike fits well and I didn't need to add too many, or any, spacers, I'd consider it.
    Wake me up when it's alarm green.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopek View Post
    As for not recommending to buy an ISP bike, regardless if the post is too short/long, could you guys elaborate on that? I mean, some top of the line bikes have ISPs, and one would assume that the manufacturers know what they are doing.
    Oh yes, the manufacturers know very well what they are doing. They are making the bike more proprietary, so your options on replacing parts are limited to their own or worse yet in this case, unreplaceable all together.

    As Tachycardic said, they provide some (minuscule) weight savings for those riders who are obsessed with shedding every possible gram of weight.

    He also mentioned low resale value. Maybe that's why it's such as "great deal".
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  10. #10
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    Update!

    Thank you all again for sharing your thoughts. Reading your comments definitely made me more wary about the purchasing of this bike. Therefore, I went to the bike fitting session at the lbs with a very critical mindset. Upon fitting the spacers (20mm) and doing other minor adjustments for saddle position (ramp angle), it turns out that the bike is a grate fit. With the 20mm spacers, I am still 9mm away from the indicator limit of how much the post can be extended. I do feel a little stretched out compared to the position of my previous bike. The stem is 10mm longer, and the bars are 2 cm wider then what I am used to. Of course, the litmus test will be to actually go out and ride it for a more extended period of time, which I am planning on doing on Sunday.

    I will report back once I ride it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopek View Post
    Of course, the litmus test will be to actually go out and ride it for a more extended period of time, which I am planning on doing on Sunday.

    I will report back once I ride it.
    those are quite some changes fit wise, give it a few weeks to allow your body to adapt to the new position. Oh and resist the temptation to hammer straight away as the new body geometries can stress joints that aren't used to the new forces. And well done on the new bike. pics when you have time.

  12. #12
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    The giant ISP bikes are known to be more comfortable than those with adjustable seat posts. If the seat height adjustment is 20 mm then I wouldn't worry. Be prepared to swap around sem and bars for best fit. If you can get a good fit and are comfortable and balanced on the bike then go for it.

  13. #13
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    First impressions

    The weather hasn't been very kind for riding, but I still managed to get two short (1 hour) rides in.
    WOW! I love this bike. It feels light, agile, shifts well, etc. etc. Now all my positive impressions might be due to the bike itself being so much better then my previous one. It might be due to the fact that I have not ridden since the end of September, and I don't really remember how riding my old bike felt, or being the beginning of the cycling season (for me), I am jut play enthusiastic to be back in the saddle. Either way I really enjoyed my two rides on the TCR.
    In terms of fit, it is surprisingly comfortable (so far). I am relatively new to road cycling (4 years), and I remember that it took me quite a while on my Defy to realize what needed to be changed for a better fit (saddle, handle bar). So it might be the case that over time I will feel the need for some changes on the TCR as well.
    For me personally it is a big step up. I think the price I payed was fair, so overall I am a happy camper.
    In the future I will probably upgrade the wheels. For now I am using the Giant SL1 Alloy Climbing wheels (https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/sl...ing-road-black), and I am quite happy with them.

    Thank you all for your comments, I definitely took them into account during this process.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Giant TCR Advanced SL - to buy or not?-img_20170319_143920630.jpg  

  14. #14
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    Looks great, rubber side down!

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