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TCR Composite review(18 posts)

TCR Composite review5ive
Oct 2, 2002 10:40 AM
Seems to me like there are quite a few people considering purchasing this frameset on this board. So here's my quick review. Hope this helps...

My TCR Composite frameset (in Team ONCE team graphics) replaced 2001 Pinarello Prince which had some mis-alignment problems. I've stripped the Prince and transferred all the parts over. It's built up with Campy 10sp, Deda Bar, ITM stem, FSA Team Carbon cranks, Thomson post, SLR saddle, Nucleons + Veloflex tires, and Speedplay X1's. The whole bike (size M) comes in at hair under 16lbs. Before it was built up, the frame+fork+headset was around 3lbs.

IMO, the frame is beautiful. Nude finish with white+grey+yellow ONCE graphics are kinda stealthy and mean looking. FWIW, the FSA carbon crankset goes very nice with already "Darth Bike" image of this frame. The graphics are definately stickers and I don't think the frame is coated with clearcoat, so I hope it won't come off easily.

The new fork does not appear to be as aero as the previous one, but it it quite light and stiff for my 145lbs body. The headtube and BB junctions are beefy. In fact, the cable to the F.Derailleur is routed through the chainstay+BB junction. The seat stays are wishboned, and the seattube has a little cut out to bring the rear in tight as possible. The integrated Headset is FSA brand but I can't tell what specific model it is. The framset comes with in-line barrel adjusters for cables and seatpost clamp.

Riding impressions... I've had 5 rides so far (around 250 miles). The ride is quite nice. It's quick and jumps very well on command. It climbs nicely but I'm sure that has to do with it's light weight more than anything. On descents, it does require bit more concentration than I used to need on my Prince, but it's not that bad. So far, the biggest improvement over my Prince is the way this thing corners. It just carves. It heads into a turn, takes my input, and just holds that curve so perfectly until it comes out of that turn. I thought, if anything, the compact geometry will be more sketchy in corners but I was way way off. Another thing I've noticed is that, despite being carbon, the comfort improvement over my Prince was marginal at best. I've ridden Trek OCLV's and TCR Composites are definately not as comfortable in my opinion. Either my Prince was more comfortable than I gave it credit for, or this Giant does sub-par job at providing a comfortable ride. No matter... I wasn't interested in comfort. I do however wanted a stiff platform for sprints and this bike provides it. Pinarello Prince feels like a missile when you jump to accelerate. There is zero flex. TCR Composite doesn't exactly feel like that. It's not flexy or sluggish by any means, but it just feels...different. Overall, I think it's a great frameset to train and race on.

Hope this helps. Ask away if anyone has questions.
Thanks, nice review.j-son
Oct 2, 2002 11:36 AM
I found it interesting to read your comparison of a fairly lustful and high $$ frame (your Prince) to a relatively inexpensive in comparison Giant.

Nice job.
I think I'm in lust.fracisco
Oct 2, 2002 12:38 PM
At lunch, I saw the TCR Composite 1 at a bike shop that a friend works at. Good looking bike, and what I think is a great bang for the buck, too. I think I'll be going for a spin on one later in the Winter to see if it's the next right bike for me.
re: TCR Composite reviewaliensporebomb
Oct 2, 2002 12:47 PM
Nice review!

I like the "Darth Bike" bit - for Halloween you could go
for a ride with a Vader mask on, heh.

I find that the aluminum TCRs corner on rails too, it
has allowed me to be more daring.

There's a local parking lot that recently had fresh
asphalt put on it. My wife jokingly calls it
"The velodrome" since it's large enough to do
laps on.

Anyway, I can corner more aggressively on the TCR than
on anything else I've ridden thus far.

Glad you like it, and thanks for the review.
re: TCR Composite reviewLactate Junkie
Oct 2, 2002 2:34 PM
I have to agree completely. Just got mine a week ago, size large, Dura Ace and assorted other bits and pieces, weight in with Ksyrium SL clinchers at just under 16. Couple of other changes and a set of Zipp 303's and I am under 14#, unreal. The ride is perfect, although the BB is a hair lower than my last bike so I got a bit of a thrill a couple of times through a 180 during our weekly world championships. Even the size large is plenty stiff. I do agree, it is not what I would call compliant, although that could have a bunch to do with the wheels, on bumpy pavement it does bounce around some, but nothing unmanagible.

All in all it is a bargin. IMHO Hard to justify any other bike for racing given retail on the frame and fork is $1400and the frame and fork together come in at about 2.75 pounds. Giant has hit a home run, now if they would only change their name to Giantello.
re: TCR Composite reviewNatchez
Oct 2, 2002 3:12 PM
I was wondering what is the geometry on the Large? I am 5'11 but have long legs and a shorter torso. I have always felt when I have looked a TCRs that the Med was to small I(I would have lots of drop or lots of spacers) and the Large is to big (to short a stem). Whats your experience. I love the TCR composite!!

re: TCR Composite reviewkinger
Oct 2, 2002 4:00 PM
From my test rides I actually feel better on a medium with a longer stem and I'm 6'1" with a 34" inseam. I think some folks would be turned off by the long seatpost but I'm a MTB'er so that seems natural to me.
re: TCR Composite reviewkai-ming
Oct 2, 2002 11:13 PM
A long carbon seatpost, for example Easton CT2, will improve comfort.
re: TCR Composite reviewfbg111
Oct 2, 2002 4:07 PM
I have a 2002 TCR2, and am 5'11" with 34" inseam. Assuming Giant's compact frame geometry is the same across models, go with a medium. I went with the longest seatpost, and my legs fit perfectly with that. With the stock stem length (not sure what the default is exactly), I'm slightly stretched out on it except when I get really low on the drops. Then it's perfect. As for the saddle-stem drop, I like mine low and took all the spacers out. But in case you're not aware, you can flip the stem upside down so it gives you some extra height. Aliensporebomb did that with his TCR2. Here's the pic from Giant's site (bottom two images):

Looks like the TCR Composite has the same flippable stem:

re: TCR Composite reviewaliensporebomb
Oct 3, 2002 10:51 AM
Yep. When I first tried the bike I did a 20+ minute
test ride at the bike shop and it was nearly perfect
but I felt just a bit stretched out.

Then the day I decided to buy I did another test ride
and had them flip the stem before I got there.

Flipping the stem solved the stretched out problem.

Here I am, 600+ miles later happy as a pig in, well, you know.

Maybe I'll go for a carbon version someday but I want to
ride this one into the ground first.

Maybe someday I'll do something like this (full Dura Ace
and Ksyriums on some guy's TCR2 that was on ebay...)
Anyway, the
Got a large myselfMcAndrus
Oct 2, 2002 5:10 PM
I'm 5'11" with a 35" inseam. I have a large TCR with a 110 stem. It fits just fine. For what it's worth on my Bianchis and my Giant CFR I have a 61cm c-t seat tube.
re: TCR Composite reviewJohnG
Oct 3, 2002 6:53 AM
Err on the side of a small frame. The larger frame will force you into a short stem and the bike will be VERY squirrely. Been there done that.

I'm 5'8" and went from a medium to a small.

re: TCR Composite reviewkinger
Oct 2, 2002 2:59 PM
Anyone seen these bikes or frames sold anywhere online?
re: Yes...Leak
Oct 2, 2002 8:38 PM the UK and Australia...I haven't even seen them in stores here in Northern Cal. Anyone know where I can get a small frameset or complete bike (prefer the TCR Composite Zero, but am not that picky)?


re: What size bottom bracket?Leak
Oct 2, 2002 8:45 PM
Can you tell me what size bottom bracket shell it has (68mm?) and whether it's English threaded?


68mm English5ive
Oct 3, 2002 8:33 AM
I'm running FSA Ultimate Ti ISIS due to my Campy 10sp setup with FSA Carbon Team cranks. It's English treading, 68mm and the axel length of 108mm.
68mm EnglishLeak
Oct 3, 2002 4:09 PM

Xl trc composite flexy? also I compare cadd 7 & fuji projoker sl
Oct 15, 2002 8:18 PM
I am 6'4" and the large is just too small for me. luckilly giant now offers the xl which I will be ordering in a couple of days(trc composite-1). I also rode the new cannondale R1000 w/ cadd 7 frame and the Fuji profesional. The giant is stiffer than the cannondale and about as comfortable. the fuji is such a great deal, but the frame is too flexy for a big guy like me. I think I will upgrade the seatpost on the giant to a Easton ct2 right away as I didn't realy like the giant one(construction looks iffy and can't extend it very far at all. Anybody out thier riding a Xl trc composite frame now? is it flexy? My last road bike was a older oclv treck 60cm and I loved that for stifness and comfort.