Engineered, designed and developed to be the most well-rounded high-performance road racing bike in the world, the 2016 TCR range features new composite frame technologies and advanced manufacturing techniques to offer competitive road riders every advantage for all-around road racing performance.
The TCR platform has long been the bike of choice for Giant’s elite pro road racers, supplying several generations of riders with unrivaled all-around performance in the most demanding conditions and terrain. The reengineered TCR was developed and tested over the past year with the leading general classification riders on the Team Giant-Alpecin squad.
“From the start of this project, we focused on some key performance factors,” said Erik Klemm, Global On-Road Lead Designer for Giant. “We wanted to achieve the best stiffness-to-weight ratio of any competitor bikes, while maintaining TCR’s legendary handling characteristics and improving the overall ride quality. In the end, it was our superior engineering and manufacturing capabilities that allowed us to achieve those goals.”
The flagship series of the new range is the TCR Advanced SL. The handcrafted frameset, made with Giant’s premium Advanced SL-grade composite, offers the greatest stiffness-to-weight ratio in its class. Every tube shape, junction and layup technique was strategically re-engineered to reduce weight without sacrificing stiffness.
The new frameset is 12 percent lighter than the previous generation. The toptube, seattube, integrated seatpost and seatstays feature minimalistic profiles, while the PowerCore bottom bracket has each been refined to maintain the stiffness and efficiency that the TCR range is known for. New for 2016 is the Variant Integrated Seatpost design, which allowed Giant engineers to balance compliance and efficiency for a superior race-tuned ride quality.
Compact Road Design, a Giant innovation that changed the landscape of performance road bikes when it was first launched in 1997, helps give the new TCR Advanced SL the agile, responsive handling that Giant pro racers demand. And an all-new Advanced SL-grade composite fork shaves 30 grams of weight while at the same time boosting stiffness and better positioning the lower headset bearing for an optimal transfer of force from the OverDrive 2 steerer tube to the MegaDrive downtube.
The TCR Advanced Pro series is built around a handcrafted Advanced-grade composite frameset including a full composite fork and OverDrive 2 steerer tube. This series features the new Variant seatpost (non-integrated) for a race-tuned feel, and many of the same core frame technologies as the TCR Advanced SL series including MegaDrive, PowerCore and all-new internal cable routing. Finally, the TCR Advanced series features the same Advanced-grade composite frame as the TCR Advanced Pro, but with a composite fork and hybrid OverDrive steerer tube.
Along with the new TCR range, Giant also unveiled a new line of its high-performance WheelSystems featuring a number of unique innovations targeting efficiency, control and durability. Similar to the TCR bike range, the new WheelSystems have been engineered and developed to provide the ultimate stiffness-to-weight ratio for all-around road performance.
The WheelSystems play an integral role in the TCR’s total race bike performance, and to understand exactly how the frameset and WheelSystem complement each other, Giant engineers developed a new test that factors in frameset and wheelset stiffness to yield a combined pedaling stiffness-to-weight ratio result. The combination of the TCR Advanced SL and SLR 0 WheelSystem scored the highest combined stiffness-to-weight ratio among key competitors.
The most notable technology in the new WheelSystems is called Dynamic Balanced Lacing (DBL), which employs innovative spoke tensioning to optimize wheel stiffness and strength when the wheel is in its dynamic state. DBL wheels place more leverage on the “pulling” spokes, less on the “pushing” spokes. When the wheel is static, the opposing spokes have different levels of tension. When a rider applies pedaling force, spoke tension balances out to produce a stiffer, more efficient wheel.
DBL technology can be found on a number of new high-performance Giant WheelSystems including the SLR 0, which has been proven through testing to offer best-in-class transmission stiffness-to-weight ratios. Beyond DBL, new Giant WheelSystems also include proven Optimized Anchor Point technology, which boosts lateral wheel stiffness, and cutting-edge composite manufacturing techniques to deliver superior strength, durability and braking performance.
Giant also revealed a new lineup of performance saddles with an innovative new solution to achieving the perfect fit. Designed using Giant’s Dynamic Cycling Fit—an overarching design philosophy that focuses on creating gear that functions best while in motion—the new saddles, including the Contact SLR and Contact SL, are each available in three different shapes based on the unique angle and conditions of a rider’s pelvis while riding.
A saddle selection process and evaluation, which can be carried out by Giant retailers, measures and analyzes the individual saddle fit needs of a cyclist while pedaling. The results of that evaluation, which vary according to physiology and riding style, determine whether the rider’s “Pelvic Contact Condition” is Forward, Neutral or Upright. From there, the perfect saddle can be chosen.
Another innovative technology in Giant’s performance saddle is called Particle Flow Technology, which uses free-flowing particles in two separate pockets to reduce pressure points by more than 20 percent. And all Contact SLR and Contact SL saddles feature pressure relief channels, Microfiber Comfort Wrap and abrasion-resistant panels.
From framesets and WheelSystems to saddles and other innovative new component selections, each bike in the new TCR range has been designed from the ground up to create the total race bike experience for all levels of performance-minded road riders.