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  1. #1
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    bye bye TCR SL3, Hello 2014 Propel Sl1

    Bike weighs in at 14.73lbs. So the frame is actually lighter then my TCR SL. I didn't want the 404's that came with the bike, instead my LBS swapped them for 202's which are going on my Trek Domane 6.9 Project One.

    Still waiting for..

    2 Tacx tao Carbon cages
    Chris King Ceramic BB (forgot to give to them)
    Giant SLR Integrated Bar/stem (not yet released, but is on the SL0)








  2. #2
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    bye bye TCR SL3, Hello 2014 Propel Sl1

    Looks fast standing still

  3. #3
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    Beautiful!!

  4. #4
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    I saw one of these at my LBS, and man, it is sexy as hell!

    Enjoy the new whip!

  5. #5
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    That is a great looking bike. I'm still trying to decide between it and a couple other bikes, but seeing those pictures puts it in the lead again. If you don't mind, please post a short ride report once you get some miles on it. I'm curious how it compares to your TCR in turns of comfort, stiffness, climbing, etc.

  6. #6
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    Sure, here's my review of the Propel so far.

    This bike just rides wonderful. It's stiff enough, but not super stiff like the TCR SL. It doesn't have the same transfer of power, where when you pedal hard you can feel the bike lunge forward, but I don't think it was never meant to be that way. It provides the right amount of stiffness where it's not punishing you. Over the weekend, I spent 3.5hrs on this bike and did not feel tired one bit, where on my TCR, any ride over 2-3hrs was hard on the body.

    This bike is fast, not sure if that has anything to do with it being aero, or the fact that I felt fresher throughout the ride. I was able to keep a steady pace all throughout and the bike just wanted to go. I also noticed that even with the same measurements and the bike being the same geometry as the TCR, it just felt a little more relax. My LBS guy also said the same thing when he switched from his TCR SL over to the Propel. It was strange, we were both wondering why since the geometry to both bikes are the same. the Propel just seem to fit better, or feel better.

    The brakes to this bike is its Achilles heel. They just suck.. they suck so much that I have to consider what my ride is going to before I decide to take the bike. I can't describe how badly they suck. If Dura Ace 9000 brakes are a 10, My old Ultegra an 8, I would have to give these a 3 or a 4. They do not inspire confidence, they are just outright scary. When on a fast descent, I have to brake early cause I feel the brakes are just going to disintegrate off the bike, or the force of the braking will just rip it out of bolts holding it down.

    Overall this bike is hands down so much better then the TCR SL. It's not as stiff where its punishing you, but stiff enough that transfer of power is perfect. Feels more relaxed, it's faster. If I were on a long stretch of road, or events then I knew were being patrolled by police where the roads are open for us to ride, this would be my bike of choice. I just don't have confidence in its braking abilities.

    It would be a hard choice to make between the TCR Advanced SL vs Propel Advanced SL. I love everything the propel is, even its design but the brakes are just to much of a concern for my everyday/only bike. But I'm lucky and glad to have another bike with Dura Ace brakes, that makes my choice easy, Propel please.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the review. That's good info about the brakes. That was something I was concerned about.

  8. #8
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    Poor brakes! Not for me then. I live in hilly country where 40mph++ descents are a part of every ride. My TCR Advanced SL stays...........

  9. #9
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    Wonder (assuming you could source a set) if the 'Fouriers' brakes used on the Belkin bikes are any improvement?

  10. #10
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    I had contacted Fouriers just before i saw you message. They have gotten back to me quickly with a release date of October.

    I'm waiting for their reply to the following two.

    1. does your data support better braking power between your unit and the Giant original unit.
    2. What are the weight difference between the two.

  11. #11
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    Interesting. I am on a SL Advanced currently, but it's racking up the miles as my race/training/cruiser bike. I have been wanting a race frame and since I already have a few Giants, maybe this is the way to go. Most of the races in my district are crits or flatish road races, so it might be a good fit.

    Bike looks amazing btw.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1lee View Post
    Overall this bike is hands down so much better then the TCR SL.
    Is it really?

  13. #13
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    In the TdF, Belkin's riders were offered a choice of Propel or TCR. The majority went for the TCR.
    If the Pros didn't have to keep sponsors happy and got to choose what actually fits/works, then a lot of the hyped up new stuff wouldn't be used and companies would go bust, so next year Giant sponsored riders will have to ride the Propel.

    Wiggo rode last year's Olympic TT on a no-name frame. In the Tour of Britain TT he was on a Pinarello. What will he use at the Worlds?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by albert owen View Post
    In the TdF, Belkin's riders were offered a choice of Propel or TCR. The majority went for the TCR.
    If the Pros didn't have to keep sponsors happy and got to choose what actually fits/works, then a lot of the hyped up new stuff wouldn't be used and companies would go bust, so next year Giant sponsored riders will have to ride the Propel.

    Wiggo rode last year's Olympic TT on a no-name frame. In the Tour of Britain TT he was on a Pinarello. What will he use at the Worlds?
    The ttt and tt are team based but why is the road race country based?
    Last edited by r1lee; 09-22-2013 at 10:55 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Italianrider76 View Post
    Is it really?
    Not in my opinion. The difference in comfort / feel is mostly due to the ISP. The higher TCR models with ISP's feel similar. If you would like your TCR SL3 to feel similar (better actually) just install 25mm Michelin Pro4 Race's.

    The Propel may be a superior event bike where speed is more important than handling, but other than that the TCR is a better choice. The brakes are a deal breaker for me in any case. I rode the Propel for only a few miles and really wasn't comfotable with the lack of braking ability. Demo before leaping...

  16. #16
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    Yeah I don't really like where Giant is going with the new aero concept. I saw a few Propels the other day at the local Giant concept store and didn't really dig the look at all. Having said that I haven't ridden one so I could be missing something but yeah, I'm not in a hurry to get one.

  17. #17
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    beautiful bike and nice review.

    my LBS and race team sponsor is holding a Propel1 with SRAM red for me that I will demo this week; nice to know about the brakes although I'm mostly sold on the bike already.

    to each his own; I definitely think the "aero" concept is overhyped and overstated, but like it or not it is the wave of the future and the future is now

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1lee View Post
    The brakes to this bike is its Achilles heel. They just suck.. they suck so much that I have to consider what my ride is going to before I decide to take the bike. I can't describe how badly they suck. If Dura Ace 9000 brakes are a 10, My old Ultegra an 8, I would have to give these a 3 or a 4. They do not inspire confidence, they are just outright scary. When on a fast descent, I have to brake early cause I feel the brakes are just going to disintegrate off the bike, or the force of the braking will just rip it out of bolts holding it down.
    as another data point......on my 20 mile test ride, with stock brake pads and aluminum rims - braking seemed perfectly normal to me; in fact, better than braking with most of the carbon rims and carbon-specific pads I have used (including SwissStop yellow)

    maybe your experience is related to your rims and pads, not so much the calipers or design?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmitro View Post
    beautiful bike and nice review.

    my LBS and race team sponsor is holding a Propel1 with SRAM red for me that I will demo this week; nice to know about the brakes although I'm mostly sold on the bike already.

    to each his own; I definitely think the "aero" concept is overhyped and overstated, but like it or not it is the wave of the future and the future is now
    I wanted red on my propel also, but I didn't like that frame color. I was trying to trade my da9000 with the sram 22 on my TCR. But my buddy wanted the sram.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmitro View Post
    as another data point......on my 20 mile test ride, with stock brake pads and aluminum rims - braking seemed perfectly normal to me; in fact, better than braking with most of the carbon rims and carbon-specific pads I have used (including SwissStop yellow)

    maybe your experience is related to your rims and pads, not so much the calipers or design?
    Well the 2014 come standard with carbon clinchers. The 2013 come with the pslr1 aero, so maybe the brakes work better.

  20. #20
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    Any updates? I just got my Propel and looking to do a brake upgrade ASAP.

    Sidebar - anyone figure out how to mount their garmin to the Giant SLR bar/stem combo?

  21. #21
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    Just found them on Fourier ebay store. Any thoughts on best way to get feedback on how they work without pulling the trigger and hoping for the best ($325)?

  22. #22
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    Edited; see above

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by swsimmons View Post
    Any updates? I just got my Propel and looking to do a brake upgrade ASAP.

    Sidebar - anyone figure out how to mount their garmin to the Giant SLR bar/stem combo?
    I now have zipp 303 carbon clinchers with Swiss stop yellow pads on my propel. The brakes work fine with either aluminum or carbon rims; as long as the pads are correct AND the brakes are set up correctly, the brakes are more than adequate. There is no reason to "upgrade" them

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by swsimmons View Post
    Any updates? I just got my Propel and looking to do a brake upgrade ASAP.

    Sidebar - anyone figure out how to mount their garmin to the Giant SLR bar/stem combo?
    I have my garmin attached to the handlebars instead of the stem. But as close to the stem as possible.

    Also if you decide to upgrade to the slr integrated stem/bar, there's a computer mount for it.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1lee View Post
    I have my garmin attached to the handlebars instead of the stem. But as close to the stem as possible.

    Also if you decide to upgrade to the slr integrated stem/bar, there's a computer mount for it.
    Can you share purchase info details on the Garmin mount for bar/stem combo? I am intersted in the mount as I have mine on the handlebar and would rather it sit lower, and centered out front.
    Thanks,
    Steve

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