Ordered my new “Marmotte” bike!

Well I did it, I ordered the black and blazing orange TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc bike. It had been steadily on my mind since my previous posts (here and here) and I got pushed into action by two positive reviews that were published online. I didn’t particularly need the positive reviews – though they are heartening – but we’ve all known items that have gotten good reviews and are suddenly sold out. For me, needing the smallest frame size that is often produced in limited quantities, that was a potential concern, so I pulled the trigger.

Here are the reviews.

First, BikeRadar’s “senior road tech writer” Matt Allen published a video review of the TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc on 11/10 (subsequently re-posted on Cycling News), praising it as a likely harbinger of “the bike of the future.”

He calls it a “full-on race bike” twice in the first 45 seconds, and that it feels like it wants to be ridden hard.

All music to my ears!

Carbon wheels and tubeless tires will be a first for me, but the rims can carry standard clinchers with tubes as well, so I can switch them out if they don’t suit me. He also calls it a “climber’s bike”, which is obviously the ideal for the alpine gran fondo for which I’m buying it. Amazingly (to me), he says he generally dislikes black frames but this one with the “flouro orange looks really cool.” AAAGH! Who are these people?

And then on 11/14 CyclingTips (a great Aussie cycling website) posted a written review. The article claims that the extra-small TCR Advanced Pro frame is not available for this model, but that is fortunately not the case, at least not for the American market, as I have in fact placed my order for an XS.

Since I know nothing about tubeless tires, it’s interesting to note that the writer finds the Giant-supplied tires to be stiff and uncomfortable, and he replaced them with Schwalbe Ones, which he claims produced a big improvement. I’ll keep that in mind as I get to know the bike.

This review also notes several times that the extra weight of discs and Di2 impacts the performance “slightly”, but my main concern is when descending for 30 minutes (or longer!), I want the added control of disc brakes and to avoid flats or blowouts due to heat buildup from rim brakes. For riding long, fast, switchback-filled descents in the Alps, the tradeoff seems worth it.

Both reviews call out the shifters as being a first-generation model that will likely see significant improvement sooner than later with a newer version. I’m sure they will be fine for the time being, but perhaps an upgrade will be available in a year or two?

I do have a couple changes already planned and ordered based on my personal needs: narrower bars, a full compact 50-34 with 165mm cranks (the XS TCR, being for “men”, has 170mm cranks) plus an 11-32 cassette and a medium-cage Di2 derailleur to handle it. On my Alpe d’Huez/Col de Sarenne ride in September, my guide Joe said that the first time he came to the Alps he figured a 28 tooth cog would be big enough, and quickly found that it wasn’t. And he’s a much stronger, more willowy climber than me. Plus the bike I rented had an 11- 32 and oh man, was I glad I had it!

Anyway, a TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc in bright orange and black is on the way! I’m excited! Stay tuned!


Go to next post: “First impressions of the new TCR Advanced Pro One disc

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