2009 TCR Advanced Rabobank vs 2009 TCR Advanced SL
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  1. #1
    campy 5311
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    2009 TCR Advanced Rabobank vs 2009 TCR Advanced SL

    I have a chance to purchase between an SL and a Rabobank edition advanced. I've ridden a built up SL on a long ride (bike shop let me test ride a demo) and really liked it, but thought it was still quite stiff. I'm looking for comfort, primarily. Both come at a very good price. My understanding is that the SL is about 20% stiffer and more compliant. I really like the Rabobank color scheme, and wonder if the advanced is going to be a little bit more comfy. I'm not sure if the SL will be too stiff. I don't want another super stiff bike. I have a few bikes, but all are basically aluminum; i.e., an '06 C'dale Six13, '04 Pinarello Prince SL, C'dale Saeco CAAD 7, and an '04 Specialized E5 Cipollini world champ edition. I don't want a noodle, but I also want something that I can ride on centuries that will be more comfortable than what I already have. BTW, I'm going to have to get rid of at least one of these bikes w/ complete build, so that's a bit of a decision as well. Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Well, if you want the Rabobank but like the SL frame better there is a TCR Advanced SL Rabobank bike. It is a lot more expensive, though. The Advanced is a great frame, but the SL is certainly lighter, stiffer, and obviously more beefed up all-around. I ride the SL ISP and it is super stiff but very comfortable. It is a great ride, but I'm thinking about selling it to get an Archon that can take more of a beating in races. Read up on it more and you will see that Giant put a lot of work into making it a light and very stiff bike that will also be among the most comfortable you could ride. Note that the Advanced Rabobank bike comes with an alloy steer tube instead of a full carbon fork. That is a significant weight difference. Other than that the components aren't bad.. full 105 with a giant seat, shimano cheaper end wheels, and pro alloy handlebar/stem. Either way, they are both great bikes. One is just more advanced for lack of a better term.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Fyi

    Was just on the Giant website, the 2009 Rabobank Advanced TCR3 comes equiper with Shimano 105, and a full carbon fork. The major difference between the frames is the type of carbon used, since they share frame molds, and of course the ISP option. What this amounts to is a marginal weight diference (probably in the realm of 100 -200 gms depending on frame size), and stiffness. Unless you really race at a semi-pro level, and feel a few seconds a lap will pad your winings I would pass on the SL. There really are very few people who can detect the diference and that's the bottom line. There is of course the psychological impact of riding a "better" frame, as well as the superficial $ factor. Hope this helped...cheers! (PS. what about a Canyon SLX ?)

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    TCR Advanced SL and TCR Advanced frames

    The two Giant's are a totally different shape in construction:-

    Take a look at my two, differences in the head-tube & top-tube junction, SL has 10mm height difference in down-tube, rear chain-stays - SL's are curved, seat/top-tube junction and rear brake cable routing.







    Last edited by steelisreal2; 07-08-2009 at 11:50 PM.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelisreal2
    The two Giant's are a totally different shape in construction:-

    Take a look at my two, differences in the head-tube & top-tube junction, SL has 10mm height difference in down-tube, rear chain-stays - SL's are curved, seat/top-tube junction and rear brake cable routing.







    Do you notice any differences in the 2 frames such as stiffness or comfort? I have an 08 TCR advanced which is a totally different frame design (and very pleased with it) and I'm considering the 2010 Advanced SL.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I'm also interested in what you have to say regarding comfort/stiffness since you own both of these bikes. I'm torn between the Advanced and SL. Looking at the tube size, it looks like the advanced might be stiffer but since it's T700 vs T800, i really don't know. Your insight would be greatly appreciated.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    As a proud owner of a Advanced TCR3 Rabobank Edition and having ridden an SL as well, can tell you that if you want comfort, go with the TCR3. I do both tours and race a little and I don't regret my decision. It is both stiff and comfortable (oxymoron) and for what you get for the money, you can't go wrong. The TCR3 does not come with a full carbon fork as stated earlier. However, it is still light enough. IMHO...buy the Rabobank Edition.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by arinowner
    As a proud owner of a Advanced TCR3 Rabobank Edition and having ridden an SL as well, can tell you that if you want comfort, go with the TCR3. I do both tours and race a little and I don't regret my decision. It is both stiff and comfortable (oxymoron) and for what you get for the money, you can't go wrong. The TCR3 does not come with a full carbon fork as stated earlier. However, it is still light enough. IMHO...buy the Rabobank Edition.
    Thanks for your input. The TCR 1 has the full carbon fork but i'm not sure what kind of difference it will make besides weight. My LBS says all the TCR Advanceds are all sold out though Do you have an idea on how much the Advanced frameset weighs compared to the SL? How much does your bike weigh?

  9. #9
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    I don't know what the bike weighs stock. I have almost completely disassembled the bike getting ready to change over to Sram components. I will take the frame tomorrow and have it weighed on some good scales at my LBS and let you know the result. It's a M/L so I expect it to be about 2 pounds. The M is advertized at under 2 lbs. As for the fork, It's a personal kinda thing if you ask me. I would love to have a full carbon fork for the weight savings however, there is some kind of security knowing that I have an aluminum steerer. The SL is going to be lighter but I don't think that the difference is really worth the extra price unless you race. There has got to be some reason that the Advances or sold out. Could it be that it is one of the best values out there??? I am partial to Giants anyway. I think that they are one if not the best mass produced carbon bikes made. Value wise, I think they are number 1. IMHO.......

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    update

    I had the frame weighed and it came out to 2.5 lbs. That's just the frame and seatpost clamp and bb cable guide. M/L size.

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