Giant TCR Composite compared to more expensive carbon?
Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    43

    Giant TCR Composite compared to more expensive carbon?

    Can anyone give me some guidance comparing the TCR Composite to some of the higher-end all-carbon frames? I am looking for a comfortable race bike-I want something with some snap and handling, but I am getting beat up on my CAAD7 on longer rides (we have bad chip-seal roads around here). I think I will keep the CAAD7 as a crit/race bike for shorter races, and use the new frame for training/long stage races w/bad roads.

    I rode the TCR Composite 1 the other day and was very impressed-very, very smooth, still with some snap. It felt not quite as powerful as the Cannondale Six13 (my original choice) but much, much smoother. The Cannondale, OTOH, was an awesome, bat-out-of-hell bike, but wasn't a whole lot more forgiving than the CAAD7. It felt much more aluminum than carbon-great race bike, but probably not my 1st choice for bad roads.

    I was planning on spending up to $3,000 on a nice carbon frame (the Fondriest Magister caught my eye) but I was really surprised to see the Giant ride that well for only $2600 (including Ksyrium Elite's and Ultegra). I had also been considering carbon frames from Orbea, Basso, Look. I rode a Trek OCLV and hated it-felt like someone had carved the frame out of a block of wood.

    Anyways, how does the TCR stack up against the higher-priced competition? Will I get a higher-quality ride by spending more money on the $2-3K frames? Or is the Giant pretty hard to beat?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    168
    I wish I could compare, but I went from an Aluminum bike to the TCR, and I must admit I like this bike a lot. For me, lively performance combined w/ comfort for long rides is important, and the TCR offers this. Here is a review that is favorable. The most recent issue of Asphalt had a nice review as well. Every review I have read states you get a lot for your $$$. Just make sure the bike fits well, as a compact frame with 4 sizes can mean compromises for some in fit.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?...cr_composite_1

  3. #3

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    14

    Specialized

    I ride the TCR and have really liked it. If the geometry and sizing fits, wear it. I ride with a friend who just got the new Specialized carbon frame (Roubaix). It comes similarly equipped (FSA carbon cranks). The frame has inserts that are suppose to dampen vibration. It also has more traditional geometry. If you are looking for a smooth ride, it may be worth checking out. I haven't ridden the bike (too big) but my friend really likes it.

  4. #4
    Get me to In&Out
    Reputation: spookyload's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,775
    I will second the Specialized statement, but go for the Tarmac, not the roubaix. The new Tarmac is a hot rod, and it is all carbon. Supposed to be the cats meow for comfort.
    Cyclists really need to learn a little Rule #5.

  5. #5

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    596
    Wow,what happen with the Six13? It was such a great bike. I really like the Giant,alot for your money. Cervelo R2.5 carbon is very,very nice.
    Just Ride
    03 Fuji Marseille

  6. #6
    Tig
    Tig is offline
    Clear Lake, TX
    Reputation: Tig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    3,265

    TCR Comp is an excellent choice

    I've had an OCLV 5200 in the past, which I agree with you on the wooden feeling. Comfortable, but too isolated... like trying to sleep on a water bed vs. a regular bed. I'd love to have a C-40, Fondriest, Calfee, BMC, or one of the many other high end carbon frames, but the TCR is so good, I can be happy for a fraction of the price. This frame is where Giant's large capitol and mass production whips up on the smaller manufacturers when it comes to quality for the price. The actual real world differences between the Giant and the others is much less than most are willing to admit. I can't blame them since they paid more for just the frame set than a Giant owner paid for a whole bike at full retail. I love some of the features and designs of the other carbon bikes, but can't justify the price difference.

    This is where the old saying, "you get what you pay for" doesn't apply. The TCR Comp is worth more than the price paid when it comes to what you get. The URL to my review on the Giant TCR Comp 2 (I bought only the frame set and moved my parts) is below. I didn't hold back on criticizing a few cable guide design problems I found while building up the bike.

    http://www.roadbikereview.com/2004+R...4_5668crx.aspx
    "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
    -Isaac Asimov

  7. #7
    MTBR Super Mod'
    Reputation: Trevor!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    272
    I have not had an opportunity to ride the other all carbon options out there, just my TCR composite 1. Whilst I have nothing to offer on the differences, one interesting thing I have noted is the good comments bike shop owners give of the TCR who don't sell that bike. I have been into non giant bike shops and the owners have said that the frames ride just as good as the other brands out there.

  8. #8

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    43
    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead1
    Wow,what happen with the Six13? It was such a great bike. I really like the Giant,alot for your money. Cervelo R2.5 carbon is very,very nice.
    Thanks for all of the input so far.

    I really like the Six13, but it rides too much like a CAAD7 (pretty rough over real bad roads) that I can't justify buying it. Awesome bike though, probably the best acceleration I have have ever felt. I had really narrowed it down to the Fondriest Magister until I rode the Giant TCR Comp.-I haven't had a chance to ride the Magister, but I have always been most impressed with Fondriest, moreso than any other manufacturer. But, I loved the Giant, and could have the frame for about 1/2 the price of the Fondriest. I don't mind spending the extra $ on the Fondriest if it is indeed better, but no need to waste money on it either, if the Giant really is comparable. A nice carbon bike this cheap-it almost sounds fishy, like if the Giant is this good, then I will be blown away by higher-end carbon like the Fondriest.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    1,625

    availability?

    i would be curious to know how long you will have to wait to get a giant? have you checked? there are probably thousands of newbies watching the tour this week saying "i want a race bike. hey, there's that german dude on a giant. i want one."

    same with the trek madone. anyone know the wait time?

    checked w/ an lbs for a six13. this lbs is one of cannondale's first shops on the e. coast so they get stellar treatment--and they will need at least five weeks to get a six13. did you know the six13s are only available as complete bikes?

    thx for your comments on the six13's ride quality, tho. i was considering one until i read your posts.
    Riding to break the cycle of breast cancer in the Young Survival Coalition Tour de Pink--3 days, 200 miles.
    www.ysctourdepink.org

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2,078
    Ihave a TCR Comp. and after a recent crash looked into replacing the bike at the insurance company's cost. There was and is nothing wrong with the frame but as of two weeks ago there was NO availability of a TCR 1 Composite from Giant Canada until early next year. Lots of TCR 2's but that's not what I wanted.

    I have put thousands of km on my TCR this year and have found it to be a stiff and lively bike. Money aside this will stand up against anything out there, I rode the Kuota Kredo recently and found no appreciable difference in performance. Any carbon bike can be designed to the ride characteristics desired. (Although why TREK designed their 5XXX bike frames to have ride feel of a piece of wood is beyond me.) I have found that the TCR is a great all around performer, I use it for both my weekly crits and road races.

    So in answer to your question, compared to more expensive carbon the TCR Composite stacks up well.

  11. #11

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    531
    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz
    Ihave a TCR Comp. and after a recent crash looked into replacing the bike at the insurance company's cost. There was and is nothing wrong with the frame but as of two weeks ago there was NO availability of a TCR 1 Composite from Giant Canada until early next year. Lots of TCR 2's but that's not what I wanted.

    I have put thousands of km on my TCR this year and have found it to be a stiff and lively bike. Money aside this will stand up against anything out there, I rode the Kuota Kredo recently and found no appreciable difference in performance. Any carbon bike can be designed to the ride characteristics desired. (Although why TREK designed their 5XXX bike frames to have ride feel of a piece of wood is beyond me.) I have found that the TCR is a great all around performer, I use it for both my weekly crits and road races.

    So in answer to your question, compared to more expensive carbon the TCR Composite stacks up well.
    All TCR comps has the exact same frame; except colors and the TCR comp 2 has a carbon fork with alloy steerer, like 100-200 grams heavier?

  12. #12

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    53

    Tcr 2

    I love my TCR 2.

    Handles great. Light, snappy. Cheap. $1999 built with Kyserium wheels!

    I bought it off the shop floor!

    This is my first carbon bike so I can't comment on more expensive bikes.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: RemmingtonShowdown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    114
    I too suffered a crash on my TCR 1 comp. I spoke to Giant and low and behold because there are no TCR 1's left they would give me the 2004 TCR team (gold/silver) at the same cost lest the 15% discount. And get this; there's a Giant warehouse in Chicago which means I could go there and pick out my frame and have Giant put it all together!! The ability for giant to mass produce the TCR makes it extremely cost effective and thus possible to crank them out. As far as I've heard there is no shortage of TCR's in the states. Did you know that Giant Industries produces something like 75% of all the bicycles out there. I read it in some online bike magazine but can't for the life of me remember the link so...with a grain of salt. Point is; I wonder what else comes out of the Giant factory in China and then gets an Itallian sticker on it...

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    68
    I am a big fan of the TCR1 as well. Bought mine before my lbs had it in stock. I did ride the 5200 and liked the comnpact geometry better. Wasn't aware they were getting scarce, my LBS has one in stock right now.

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Old_school_nik's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    660

    Is there any difference betweent he 2003 and 2004 frame?

    I know they have something new coming out end of this year next but is there any difference between the 2003 TCR composite and the 2004 composite? Thanks for the help.

    -Nik
    Where to find the best desserts in New York?
    www.dessertbuzz.com

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,148
    Quote Originally Posted by Old_school_nik
    I know they have something new coming out end of this year next but is there any difference between the 2003 TCR composite and the 2004 composite? Thanks for the help.

    -Nik
    Nothing of consequence. The '04's have clear coating over the decals and are glossy looking. The 03's are more of a flat look. The decals on the 03's were either red or blue. The 04's have gold which is also nice. Structurally, same bike.

    Here's mine:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    Alien Musician
    Reputation: aliensporebomb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    4,537

    Talking Oh yeah.....

    Quote Originally Posted by DASS
    I love my TCR 2.

    Handles great. Light, snappy. Cheap. $1999 built with Kyserium wheels!

    I bought it off the shop floor!

    This is my first carbon bike so I can't comment on more expensive bikes.
    That's pretty sharp! I like it!

  18. #18

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    936

    What do you mean "higher end?"

    Giant is on of the largest manufacturers of carbon fiber frames. So, they can do as it as well, if not better, better than anyone AND for less money.
    In fact many carbon frames . .So called "high end" are made in Asia under, and sold under a different name. .ie Wilier's carbon frame is a SCOTT, which is made in Asia. .

    Giant's Carbon frames are second to none.

  19. #19
    I love my Fondriest
    Reputation: Kiwi Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    75

    Fondriest Magister

    Hi,

    I recently got a Fondriest Carbon Magister; my previous bike (still have it) is a Giant TCR 2 (aluminium).
    The Magister is the only carbon bike I have ridden, sorry that I can't do a direct comparison.
    I would have to say that from the reviews of the Giant, it would be hard to beat, and I suppose unless you have a feeling in you "I want Italian bike!!!" then it would be more sensible to go with the Giant. However, are you looking at frameset only, or wanting a complete bike with Shimano or Campag? I know that here in NZ, the Giant frameset by itself is only NZ$500 less than the Magister frameset, which in NZ comes with Top Carbon forks.
    I was originally looking at the Giant with a Centaur build, but the Magister, being on special built up with Chorus was only slightly more, so I chose the Magister.
    How does it ride? Better than my TCR 2, in fact, pretty comfortable, but I'm no expert on ride quality and NZ roads are not brilliant either.
    Flex? I'm not strong enough.
    Looks? The Magister has an amazing 3D look to it when you look at the carbon weave in certain sunlight.
    Do you like massive slope on the TT? The Magister has a 2cm drop where as the Giant has the true compact geometry.
    Handling? Well I have no self-confidence in my cornering ability - both handle well enough for me and are stable in cross winds also.
    Other differences in frame construction: The Giant is monocoque where as the Magister is 1 piece main triangle, with the rear stays glued on. The chain stays look really interesting on the Magister and the fork (Top Carbon) looks cool compared to the Giant.

    All up if you really deep down want the Italian bike (and it IS made in Italy), get it. If you want to show off, get the Magister. If you're going to build the bike up from the frame set up (presuming Giant's pricing is similarly constructed in the US as is here down under), get the Magister.
    However, if you want some cash, you intend to build up with Shimano Ultegra/Dura Ace or like the compact geometry better, then go Giant (although If you do like the compact geometry you could look at the slightly cheaper Fondriest Domino).

    It's up to you, but if you are always going to want an Italian bike, why not get one now?
    Last edited by Kiwi Rider; 07-12-2004 at 04:28 PM.
    Kiwi Rider
    _______________________________
    Auckland, New Zealand



  20. #20

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    43
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi Rider
    Hi,

    I recently got a Fondriest Carbon Magister; my previous bike (still have it) is a Giant TCR 2 (aluminium).
    The Magister is the only carbon bike I have ridden, sorry that I can't do a direct comparison.
    I would have to say that from the reviews of the Giant, it would be hard to beat, and I suppose unless you have a feeling in you "I want Italian bike!!!" then it would be more sensible to go with the Giant. However, are you looking at frameset only, or wanting a complete bike with Shimano or Campag? I know that here in NZ, the Giant frameset by itself is only NZ$500 less than the Magister frameset, which in NZ comes with Top Carbon forks.
    I was originally looking at the Giant with a Centaur build, but the Magister, being on special built up with Chorus was only slightly more, so I chose the Magister.
    How does it ride? Better than my TCR 2, in fact, pretty comfortable, but I'm no expert on ride quality and NZ roads are not brilliant either.
    Flex? I'm not strong enough.
    Looks? The Magister has an amazing 3D look to it when you look at the carbon weave in certain sunlight.
    Do you like massive slope on the TT? The Magister has a 2cm drop where as the Giant has the true compact geometry.
    Handling? Well I have no self-confidence in my cornering ability - both handle well enough for me and are stable in cross winds also.
    Other differences in frame construction: The Giant is monocoque where as the Magister is 1 piece main triangle, with the rear stays glued on. The chain stays look really interesting on the Magister and the fork (Top Carbon) looks cool compared to the Giant.

    All up if you really deep down want the Italian bike (and it IS made in Italy), get it. If you want to show off, get the Magister. If you're going to build the bike up from the frame set up (presuming Giant's pricing is similarly constructed in the US as is here down under), get the Magister.
    However, if you want some cash, you intend to build up with Shimano Ultegra/Dura Ace or like the compact geometry better, then go Giant (although If you do like the compact geometry you could look at the slightly cheaper Fondriest Domino).

    It's up to you, but if you are always going to want an Italian bike, why not get one now?
    Thanks Kiwi. You are one of the only riders of the Magister on the board, so some input is nice. I guess it is a moot point-the TCR's are out of stock (we checked today). I will end up paying about $1000 more for the Magister frameset than the TCR (if I could get it). I like the handling of the Fondriest Carb Level (Will at Fondriest Direct says that the Magister handles very similiarly to the Carb Level-quick, aggressive, but not crit-like, but much smoother ride-stiffer at the BB than the Carb Level). When I test-rode the TCR, if definitely didn't feel as "power-on-demand" as the Carb Level, but way smoother. Handling was a little quicker-nothing I couldn't get used to. I am not really that much about asthetics-I actually prefer a not-so-flashy bike, therefore I don't take too much criticism if I can't keep up.

    Are you racing the Magister? Do you worry about crashing the frame and ruining it? It isn't one of the lighter carbon frames on the market-I wonder if that will translate into a longer lifetime for it? Some of these super-light carbon bikes seem to be throw-away framesets.

  21. #21
    I love my Fondriest
    Reputation: Kiwi Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    75
    Yes, I do race the Magister, but I'm thinking of when I have crits, later in the season, I will use the Giant. So I do worry about wrecking it, and I would rather not think of the consequences if I had to replace it following a crash in a road race. I have insurance, but it doesn't cover racing.
    I don't know how the weight would affect the lifetime honestly, as there are different quality levels of carbon - according to Fondriest anyway - that would mean different strengths, weaknesses, weights, comfort etc. The TF 1 uses Formula 1 level carbon for example, which I suppose would be lighter and give better strength than a cheaper type of carbon. If you look at www.fondriestbici.com it explains it more.
    I would think that both Giant and Fondriest use similar quality carbons. Giant claims they use 'aerospace standard T-700 fibers' (reading off 2004 Australasia catalogue), Fondriest use for both the Lex and Magister 'Hex Ply IM/2978 RC 42 K25 AW200 T4', if this means anything to you (it doesn't to me).
    For the same size, the Magister is 140g heavier than the TF1 according to thier website, I don't know what size they weighed, I'm only getting this info off their website.

    Good luck,

    Kiwi Rider

  22. #22
    I love my Fondriest
    Reputation: Kiwi Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    75

    A pic

    Here's a (scanned) picture of the Magister.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Kiwi Rider
    _______________________________
    Auckland, New Zealand



  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: toronto-rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    238

    What size and color do you whant.

    Are you looking for just the frame, I know where to get any frame size or color. Let me know.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-11-2005, 08:15 PM
  2. Giant TCR 2 Composite
    By deastin in forum Giant
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-28-2004, 05:47 PM
  3. What size bb on Giant TCR Composite?
    By LowCel in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-16-2004, 10:55 AM
  4. Giant TCR Composite - between sizes or obvious?
    By 10kman in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 03-25-2004, 09:32 AM
  5. Seat Post Binder Torque for Giant TCR Carbon Frame??
    By KATZRKOL in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-09-2004, 11:45 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.