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Noob questions: welding, component upgrading, Giant OCR1(3 posts)

Noob questions: welding, component upgrading, Giant OCR1fbg111
Jul 26, 2002 8:26 AM
Hi all, I've just joined my local tri-club and bought my first road bike, a Giant OCR1. However, I still have a lot to learn, particularly about the bike I chose, so I have a few questions. First, I notice the tube joint welding on the OCR1 is rougher than that of the TCR series. Why is that? Are different metals used, or is that just due to saving $$ on construction costs? Does that affect the bike's performance in any other way besides aerodynamics?

Second, the TCR series rear wheel is further forward due to the faring in the seat tube. What does shorter wheelbase do for a bike?

re: Noob questions: welding, component upgrading, Giant OCR1GMS
Jul 26, 2002 1:45 PM
The TCR is made of different aluminum than the OCR. That said, that has nothing to do with the welds. Smooth welds look nicer, but are the same or worse than rough welds, strength-wise. It just means they ground the weld down after they did it.

The TCR is a racing bike. It has aggressive geometry (head lower than butt geometry) and a shorter wheelbase. The shorter wheelbase makes steering more responsive (or twitchier). For racers, all of this is good. For people who like riding long distances, it may not matter. To some, it may be annoying or difficult to deal with.

The TCR has a double in front instead of a triple. You cannot change this. A triple will not physically fit on a TCR frame. Again, this is fine for some people and a problem for others. If are riding a long distance and want to climb a hill at less than 8 miles an hour or so, a double will be tricky.

The TCR frame is a better frame in that it is lighter and stiffer. That said, the OCR frame is light and stiff, too. The more significant difference is that the TCR doesn't transmit as much shock to you, due to the frame, carbon seatpost, and stem. Still, if you want a smooth ride rather than a quick one, a TCR isn't exactly at the top of the list. A steel bike would be.

As for the OCR, it has more relaxed geometry. This means it is generally more comfortable since your head is above your butt, and is consequently less aero. The steering is also less twitchy (or responsive, if you want to use the positive word for it) because of the longer wheelbase, but it is by no means a touring bike (doesn't turn like a bus). It is more of a sport racing bike.

The OCR's frame is quite light and quite stiff. It does direct vibrations from the road to your butt more than most bikes do, but that bothers some people more than others. It is a nice frame, really.

A more significant change in ride quality would be in wheels. The TCR 2 comes with the same wheels as the OCR1. An OCR1 with better wheels would more than make up from the frame, particularly because wheels are dynamic weight and a frame is static weight. That said, I wouldn't go upgrading the wheels on your OCR1. They are fine wheels. You would not race with them because they are a tad heavy, but there is nothing at all wrong with them and they will ride nicely.

So, the bikes are different. Sure, the TCR is generally described as "better" than the OCR because it is faster. And it is. That doesn't mean that it has the attributes that you are looking for in a bike.

I think the OCR1 is just about the best bike for someone who has no idea what they want. It is the most adjustable bike on the market that I know of (the TCR does not have an adjustable stem). You can really experience the effects of having your handlebars forward vs. back, high vs. low, etc. Same with the seat.

Anyway, you should know I ride an OCR1 and I enjoy it.

Thanks for the excellent response Greg. nmfbg111
Jul 29, 2002 6:40 PM