Giant TCR Advanced W Review

Updated May 31, 2013
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Giant TCR Advanced W
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With many of the same features as the men's TCR models but designed specifically for competitive female road riders, the award-winning Giant TCR Advanced W is built to be comfortable on fast outings. With a stiff, precise ride and a more upright position, this bike will appeal to racers who want a more affordable hand-crafted carbon frame, responsive wheels and SRAM's Force components.

Performance

Great for smaller riders. The TCR utilizes a top tube that slopes down toward the seat stays, which reduces the overall size of the front and rear triangles and creates a compact frame. The lighter frame still sports good lateral rigidity, reviewers say, allowing the bike to accelerate quicker, corner tighter and handle better.

ProsVery smooth ride, Good handling, Great for new ridersConsLimited stem choices, Only three sizes

Bicycling Magazine calls it "a 15-pound package that proved fast and fun on a variety of rides. The handling is sensitive and quick, and a sudden sneeze threw me off my line, but the bike's overall stability let me recover quickly."

BikeRadar.com's James Huang reviews the 2012 men's TCR Advanced when it was first unveiled, describing it as "a solid handler" with a stiffness "on par with much more expensive machines." He believes its weight and front-end rigidity are among the best available.

In its 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, Outside magazine likes the Giant's in-house wheels and calls it "responsive verging on brutal," adding that "it's best for short, hard racing."

Comfort

"Smooth and resilient." If you want a bike that's both designed and built for women, the Giant TCR Advanced W may be worth a look for those who like to ride hard and long. Bicycling Magazine names it a 2012 Editors' Choice, calling it "competitive and comfortable on fast group rides" with the addition of a Fizik Donna women's saddle, narrower handlebar and shorter stem.

BikeRadar.com describes the 2012 TCR Advanced's ride as "smooth and resilient, with a lively overtone," saying it "glides along with outstanding vibration damping that still manages to let the thin-walled tubes communicate some personality to the rider."

Matt Wikstrom at Cycling Tips reviews the matching men's TCR Advanced O. He says it's like "riding on glass," but diverges with other expert sources concerning stiffness. He finds it "springy and inefficient" and "lacking the rigidity that some racers prefer."

Durability

Tough and lightweight. The TCR frame is manufactured with Giant's Advanced Grade Composite that consists of T-700 carbon fiber, while Giant's OverDrive 2 technology -- an oversized 1.25-inch headtube and steerer -- makes for a stiffer front end. Huang says the tapered steerers squelch unwanted fork flex and the men's version's oversized frame tubes provide "a rock-solid feel, eradicating any hint of twist or bending when you torque on the bars." He likes the bike's sturdy and firm feel.

Customer Service

No direct line. Giant doesn't have a consumer help line. Instead, the company directs customers to contact a local Giant retailer and, if necessary, the retailer will contact Giant. Giant Bicycle guarantees the frame and rigid fork for as long as the original purchaser owns the bicycle. Paint finish and all other original components, plus all Giant brand repair parts, replacement parts and accessories, have a one-year warranty.

Our Sources

1. BikeRadar.com

Giant TCR Advanced – First Ride Review, James Huang, July 2, 2011

This is a pre-release review of the 2012 men's version of the Giant TCR Advanced, which Huang says "definitely delivers the goods where it counts."

2. Bicycling Magazine

2012 Editors' Choice Women's Road Bikes: Giant TCR Advanced W, Editors of Bicycling Magazine, June 2012

Editors' reviews are brief and the bikes aren't rated. Testers say the Advanced W is the lightest bike of the test group, and felt the fastest and most efficient.

3. Bicycling Magazine

Bike Reviews: Giant TCR Advanced W, Christine Bucher, March 2012

The Bicycling Magazine staff tests a lot of bikes, but the short reviews contain little criticism and lack ratings. Bucher says the TCR Advanced W isn't completely designed for women, but it's still a great choice for many serious riders.

4. Cycling Tips

Giant TCR Advanced 0 Review, Matt Wikstrom, Nov. 12, 2012

Wikstrom tests road bikes and rates them on a 10-point scale based on performance, presentation, value and handling. This review is for the men's TCR Advanced 0, which is comparable except for its higher-priced electronic shifting, which he calls a bike to "woo enthusiasts or racers on a tight budget."

5. Outside

The 7 Best Road Bikes of Summer 2012: Giant TCR Advanced, Aaron Gulley, June 1, 2012

Gulley tests and reviews the TCR Advanced along with six other high-end road bicycles. Each is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 based on handling and responsiveness, and the TCR receives a 3.5 and 5, respectively. He likes that the bike is "made for short, hard racing."