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Racing frame and wheelset question(8 posts)

Racing frame and wheelset questionJon in CT
Oct 5, 2002 5:59 PM
I just won a new bike (Giant TCR 2: compact AL frame w/ Shim. 105) from in the Fantasy Cycling competition for the Vuelta. I was thinking about selling it and upgrading my current rig (Fuji Team Issue w/ Ultegra) but some of the guys I race with think I'll like the compact frame better than what I'm riding now.

My question is this: does anyone out there know anything about Giant's alluminum or carbon TCR frames and how they work for big (6'1" & 185 lbs) sprinters vs. classic geometry frames?

The frame I'm on now is Scandium with carbon seat stays and fork. I like the ride a lot (smooth and great through corners), but the BB feels a little flexy when I'm out of the saddle.

Also, I'm considering a wheel upgrade. I use old Mavic Cosmic Pros for TTs (and have won a couple crits and primes on them) but mostly I ride Open Pros with Ultegra hubs. What do you guys think would be a good wheel for me considering I'm a "crit guy"? Not surprisingly, I'm looking for something stiff that spins up quickly and has a decent aero profile (the perfect wheel...right?).

Something else to consider before you answer: I'm working on dropping about 10 lbs and will be training more for TTs and climbing in the off season; I'm tired of being a "one trick pony" (currently my sprint wins races and primes, my TT is respectable but my know...freakin' sucks). I like the crits...but man, I would LOVE to win a couple RRs.

Jon in CT
re: Racing frame and wheelset questionREPO42
Oct 6, 2002 9:11 PM
From what I hear the TCR series is supposed to be an awesome Crit. bike. I recently purchased the TCR Zero. Love it to death. Light weight, very repsonsive. The carbon fork and seatpost give it plush feel so you get beat down on a training ride. Its pretty stiff though, I am not a big rider 160lb race weight. Doesn't flex on steep out of the saddle climbs. As far as wheelset up is concerned. The mavic opens are an all around decent rim for the grit of crits. maybe you should use a dura ace hubset though. There is a line of wheelset "velomax" that are supposed to be stiff and light... The review section has them listed as a high rated wheelset... for the dollar value though Mavic Cosmos are supposed to be outstanding... hope this helps...
re: Racing frame and wheelset questionJon in CT
Oct 7, 2002 4:47 AM
Thanks for the reply.

I'm going to see if I can talk the Giant rep into hooking me up with the new TCR Team carbon long as it's not a "flexy" bike...otherwise I'll probably ask for the Al TCR frame and see if he'll throw in a good wheelset (Ksyriums?) instead of sending me the complete bike with 105.
no point in getting another Al TCR!weiwentg
Oct 7, 2002 7:39 AM
all Al TCRs within the same model year are identical save for the paint. as I said on the general board, I would probably sell off the stock wheelset, and share the Ultegra/OPs during crits. that way you don't have to risk expensive componentry in a crit; I assure you the TCR handles criteriums excellently. I doubt that any model of TCR will be flexy.
should you wish to get a TCR carbon instead, that would be a different story.
re: Racing frame and wheelset questionMcAndrus
Oct 7, 2002 5:04 AM
I got a TCR One frame just for critting about six weeks ago and have ridden it in two crits. I used Campagnolo bits and pieces for the components. I think it's an excellent frame for the purpose. The rear triangle is nice and tight and the bike responds very, very well in accelerations.

It steers a little twitchy at slow speeds but once you get it up over 22mph or so it rides very smoothly and corners well.

I'm 5'11" and 155 lbs and have a large frame, but then I have very long legs with a 35" inseam. The large frame fits me very well with a 110 stem.
great infoJon in CT
Oct 7, 2002 9:22 AM
Sounds like the compact frame will suit me well. The only thing I'm concerned about is rear wheel skip through corners. When I was rdidng my stiff AL frame ("01 Fuji Team), if the corner was at all bumpy, my back end would tend to kick out. When I went up to the Fuji Team Issue (Scandium and carbon), I had no more problems through corners...but I noticed less "snap" in sprints (could be in my head, though).

Should I even think about trying for the carbon frame considering my size and the fact that my sprint is my best weapon in a race?
Wish I could answer thatMcAndrus
Oct 7, 2002 11:16 AM
There have been a couple of posts recently from folks who've ridden the new TCR carbons. I don't think any of them specifically addressed sprinting though.

I read somewhere that ONCE would ride the new carbons on the flats in the Vuelta and the aluminum bikes in the mountains - because the aluminum ones were lighter. The comment, though, made no reference to sprinting abilities of the carbon frame.

Personally I don't know of any rear wheel skipping problems. I've never noticed it doing that.
TCR CarbonSherpa23
Oct 10, 2002 7:49 AM
I have gone for a spin on the TCR Carbon and the carbon frame is pretty flexy and the fork is VERY VERY flexy. They are wicked light though, and there is no truth to the rumour about the alu frames being lighter. I wouldn't risk it. And, this is my (somewhat educated) opinion, but I have never ridden a compact frame that was stiffer than the comparable and corresponding traditional frame and, in fact, I have always have had trouble with the seatpost flexing on compact frames unless they are the oversized 31.8 seatposts (PARLEE is doing that on its compact frame). BTW, I would not say that the alu TCRs are all that stiff so there should not be a problem with the rear wheel skipping unless you have a terrible pedal stroke (hey, it happens).