My initial thoughts
“So I had the pleasure of riding a Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc 2019 for a couple of days. Over the 4 days I covered over 200miles on the bike. With varying terrain and a variety of different rides, from long and steady rides to the cafe to flat out through and off with the local pros. The bike was ridden through most scenarios a vivid cyclist would go through. On initial thoughts I wasn’t completely sold, as a traditional roadie I believed that disc brakes belonged on bikes with fat tyres and suspension. I believed through axels were complicated and unnecessary. And what is a tubeless tyre? Has the world gone mad?! What’s wrong with rim brakes?
Well, I sure was amazed! After a few hours of tinkering about with the position on the bike I set off for our local Wednesday Group Ride. On the cards today was a 75 mile ride round the Yorkshire Dales out and around Skipton with 5 other riders. One of whom has ridden some of the biggest races in the world; from the Tour de France to The Paris Roubaix! He’s been up there in some of the biggest classics in the world and with his recent form it was going to be a tough day in the “chair”. Straight away I was impressed by how light and stiff the bike was: when you got out the saddle the bike would move with you. The disc brakes offered another level of confidence when cornering and riding on the wheel. The bike was stiff where it needed to be and I was confident when descending. Yet the bike wasn’t too stiff up front that it made it uncomfortable when going over rough terrain.
Really pushing it
However, it wasn’t until we started going hard that I really fell in love with the bike. Once up into the speeds you experience while racing, did the bike take off into its own. I was sat on another rider’s wheel while he did his efforts and in no way am I saying it was easy however, I was amazed at how much easier it was then it has been recently. When accelerating the bike just seemed to move. It felt as if there was no bit of the bike that was flexing and wasting energy. It was being pushed round tight technical lanes, steep little bergs and held up brilliantly well.
Despite what I’d put it through, I still didn’t feel like the bike had been properly tested yet. To give the bike a true test I’d have to take it on the toughest ride you can do in Yorkshire: the infamous Buckden Run. Buckden Run is an out and back ride that is a tonne in length (100 miles) from Leeds. On this you have Olympic champions, World champions, National champions, a handful of pros and a tonne of up and coming juniors. It’s served each generation of Pros from Yorkshire a lesson in how to suffer. Once you get to the half way point you turn around and head back on yourself and race from Buckden to Skipton. It’s 40/50 minutes in length of flat out riding. Straight away you’re doing speeds of 25-30mph. The bike as a “race” bike that has won the Giro was in its element. With the 40mm deep wheels and its lightweight frame set, the bike was shifting. With lots of short sharp climbs to deal with and constant accelerations the bike was performing exceptionally well. The last time I’d done Buckden Run I gave turns when I could and sat on for the last bit. Where as this week I wasn’t missing any! Part way through I looked around and realised that the only other two people doing turns were the U23 National champ and another Pro rider. I was astonished! Accelerating seemed effortless on the bike and climbing became an ease. It turned out it wasn’t just me who was shocked, as one of the riders came past me they asked “how are you going so well all of the sudden?!”. Well there was only one answer to that.
Overall I’ve been amazed by the bike: impressively light, stiff (where needed). The disc brakes have been eye opening, I can’t say I’m looking forward to going back to rim brakes to be honest. The overall construction of the bike is something to behold. I constantly received compliments all day on how nice the bike looked. It was heart breaking to hand it back. It really is no surprise to me now that the TCR wins BikeRadar’s Road Bike of the Year award, year in year out. I guess it’s time to start saving up!”