A direct descendent of the bikes ridden by professional cycling teams, the Giant TCR Composite 1 is an excellent entry-level carbon road bike that has won over cyclists with its aggressive performance characteristics and smooth ride. The Composite frame comes in six sizes and is stocked with Shimano Ultegra components.
Poised for speed. Reviewers say the Giant TCR Composite 1 is an excellent value, and it receives a number of recommendations for riders looking to upgrade to their first carbon frame. It has an aggressive frame geometry that's essentially the same as the TCR Advanced.
Editors at Road Bike Action Magazine say "the TCR Composite rides like a race bike should… its compact geometry, sloping top tube and short head tube allowed us to easily contort into a low, aerodynamic position. The stiff frame begets punchy acceleration, and its nimble steering will have you weaving through to the front of the group ride."
Users posting comments at BikeRadar.com say, "It's fast, but it's not quick;" cruising speed is impressive, but getting there may be another story. They add that the TCR Composite 1's "heavyish" rim and tire combination "makes climbing harder than on many of its rivals." Other riders have similar issues with the wheels, saying they swap out the stock wheelset.
Jarring ride on rough roads. Road Bike Action Magazine says that although the TCR Composite 1 offers "a smooth ride," it can be slightly jarring over rough terrain; "the overall stiffness yields some discomfort during longer rides," editors write. Other reviewers agree, but smooth roads are a different story.
Some give. The Giant has a sturdy frame, but BikeRadar.com user reviews say it feels a bit "softer" in acceleration and turns, and when riding on harder roads.
Road Bike Action Magazine reports that Giant's "Compact Road" geometry is designed to increase lateral rigidity by sloping the top tube down toward the seat stays and utilizing a tapered headtube that extends toward the rear of the frame. Combined, these features stiffen and strengthen the frame while allowing some give for small vibrations.
No help line. For customer concerns, Giant directs you to your local Giant retailer who can then contact the manufacturer. The warranty covers the frame and fork for as long as the original purchaser owns the bicycle. Paint finish and original components, and all Giant brand repair parts, replacement parts and accessories, are protected for one year.
BikeRadar.com gives the Giant TCR Composite 1 3.5 stars out of 5 in a detailed 2011 review. Testers say the frame is solid and offers excellent handling, but they dislike the heavy wheels. We only consider this report for features that don't change with the current model.
Review: Giant TCR Composite 1 Review, Editors of BikeRadar.com, March 1, 2011
Editors compile featured user reviews from around the Internet, including the Giant website. The TCR Composite gets 4.79 stars out of 5 from more than 50 owners.
Review: Giant TCR Composite 1 Road Bike, Contributors to RoadBikeReview.com, As of June 2013
3. Bicycling Magazine
The TCR Composite earns a recommendation in Bicycling Magazine's 2011 buyer's guide. Editors call it "one of the best performance-driven, value-oriented road bikes." We use older reviews only for features that are still relevant on the current model.
Review: Bike Reviews: Giant TCR Composite, Editors of Bicycling Magazine, April 2011
4. Road Bike Action
Editors don't rate the Giant TCR Composite, but do give it a positive review overall. The carbon frame gets high marks and the bike's value is called hard to beat. However, editors point out that the ride can be harsh on rough roads.
Review: Bike Tests: Giant TCR Composite, Editors of Road Bike Action Magazine, April 28, 2011