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giant composite vs alum.(6 posts)

giant composite vs alum.Frith
Oct 17, 2002 6:38 AM
If I like the way an Alum. 2002 TCR 0 rides and fits but feel that it leaves a little to be desired as far as comfort. Would it be stupid to assume that the 2003 TCR composite would be exactly what I'm looking for and buy it sight unseen? Or should I wait until I have a chance to ride it? (could be a while.)
re: giant composite vs alum.bob_vanderhaus
Oct 17, 2002 7:04 AM
When fitted correctly, the tcr AL is a very comfortable bike. I have put 10,000 on two of them in the past year in training and racing and have no issues with comfort. What I can say is that they are cheap frames. I didn't have this opinion when I first got them, but for me it has been a problem. The first frames rear triangle was out of alignment from the factory, and the second bike had headset and seatpost problems. Because these bikes have the integrated headset, they have to be machined very precisely
inorder to operate correctly. In this case, I can't keep the headset tight, it takes tightening about every 200 miles or so to keep it from getting loose. The Seatpost screw threads also just dissintigrated in the bottom hole
of the seatpost holder. The screw was fine, but the threads, which looked like they were just a spring, fell apart, and so now I have a bolt going all the way through both holes and it looks kind of goofy. My point of all this, is that I really like the bikes and really wanted to ignore the built in Taiwan label, but after lots of miles I have realized that you really have to watch for quality control issues. The carbon may have less problems because of the manufacturing differences, but I would be careful to order any giant product uninspected.
re: giant composite vs alum.Beaver
Oct 17, 2002 7:04 AM
I own a 2002 TCR1 and a 2003 TCR Carbon Composite 0 and the difference in comfort for me is like night and day. The road buzz is all gone with the carbon frame.

A test ride should be in order before you purchase it, even though the carbon and aluminum frame measurements and angles are exactly the same. You have to decide if it's right for you.

If you can afford it, I would recommend the composite frame. If not, the TCR 0 is still a great ride. Once I get my chain fixed and get over this cold, my TCR 1 will become my weekday bike and the Comp 0 will be my weekend bike.
I read somewhereMcAndrus
Oct 17, 2002 7:32 AM
During the Vuelta, I read that ONCE road the composite Giants on the flatter stages and the aluminum ones in the mountains. The article said they thought the aluminum ones were a littler lighter.

If you have both a TCR (as do I) and a composite, can you tell a weight difference? Or is, perhaps the TCR a little stiffer in the rear triangle and a better climing machine?
I read somewhereBeaver
Oct 17, 2002 8:54 AM
I weighed my Composite 0 at the shop when I picked it up and it was 15.5 lbs with Speedplay x2s, full Dura Ace and Kysrium SSC SLs. Since then, I've changed the saddle to Selle Italia Flight, tires to Conti GP 3000s and added Tacx Tao water bottle cages. It's probably about 15.75 or so now. My TCR 1 weighs approx. 17.5 lbs with full Ultegra and Dura Ace 24 hole hubs on Mavic rims. I could probably get it lighter, but not that much. I'd have to put on carbon wheels to get it as light as my Composite 0.

I read an interview with the ONCE team mechanic in Cycle Sport or Procycling that Beloki and another teammate(Galdeano?) had "special" TCRs for the Tour. And when pressed for more information, the mechanic declined to answer, he just said that they were lighter. I did see pictures of Beloki riding his TCR in the first Pyrenees mountain stage, but not in the Alps stages nor on Ventoux. You can see the photos at cyclingnews.com. The difference between his TCR and the Composite is that his TCR has last year's color scheme and graphics. Didn't hear about it at the Vuelta.

Personally, I think the rear triangle on the carbon is just as stiff as the aluminum. I haven't noticed any difference climbing in or out of the saddle at all..and I have to climb a 6% grade everytime I come home. I will say that my average speed is .4 mph faster on the composite.
re: giant composite vs alum.aliensporebomb
Oct 18, 2002 5:32 AM
I bought a TCR2 in July. Have ridden upwards of 700 miles
on it since then. No manufacturing problems, no problems
with alignment or loose headsets. It may not be perfect
like a Seven but you can tell that the quality is better
than 'cheap'. Manufacturing problems can occur so yes,
definetely inspect what you're going to buy before you do.

That being said, I find it very comfortable to ride. It's
fast yet is quite pleasant to do long rides on. I'm very
glad that I got it since it is a huge leap above my old
road bike.

If I could afford the carbon I'd get one but that's the
kind of thing that gets wives freaking. As it is I'm
happy I got the aluminum TCR.

The neat thing is, now I can upgrade at my leisure but the
bike as is really surprised me.. They weighed it in at
just over 18 pounds (with reflectors). My guess is that
with the right wheels and Dura Ace and a new seat and
pedals you'd have a 15-17 lb bike depending on what you
spec it out with.