This year I've decided to dabble into Cyclocross, nothing overly serious just train and get accustomed to the in's and outs of Cross riding and maybe compete next year. I'm the kind of person that likes to fully understand my equipment and how to use it before moving on to the next level. I just took delivery of a 2016 Giant TCX SLR 2 cross bike from Sean at Brookfield Bicycle in Brookfield Connecticut (Great store, fantastic people). Giant only makes 3 models of cross bikes for the US market, 2 carbon and 1 alloy, interestingly they don't make any entry level cross bikes as all the bikes are equipped pretty well. I'm a big fan of Carbon but this time I decided to go with the Aluminum model to keep the costs reasonable. Giant uses the ALUXX SLR for the frame which is their lightest state of the art alloy, fork is carbon and the steerer is the overdrive tapered headset. The frame also has asymmetrical chainstays to add stiffness. Cables are internally routed which is a great feature on a cross bike. Seatpost is carbon and is referred to as D-Fuse whereas the back is flat so they can build some flex into the seatpost, it's also easy to align your seat strait due to the shape of the post. Nice system.
Shifting is Shimano 105 11 speed, 11 x 28 cassette, Crank is FSA Omega 36/46. The disc brakes are TRP Spyre-C, Mechanical disc not hydraulic. The TRP's are considered one of the best in cable disc brakes as both pads move together to contact the rotor where some other systems one pad moves and actually bends the rotor to make contact with the secondary pad. They do feel quite responsive though not quite as crisp as hydraulics. Tires are Maxxis Mud Wrestler 700x33, a pretty good all-around cross tire. The wheelset is Giant's SX-2 which is on the heavy side and anytime you purchase a cross bike under 3000 dollars you generally get heavier OEM wheels. In all fairness I had a set of Giant SX wheels on a 29er mountain bike and while heavy they really took a beating and held up well. But still the first upgrade will be a tubeless lightweight wheel system. With a lighter wheel upgrade this is a real quality package and should be pretty competitive.
Then, hopefully next week my main course should arrive, 2016 Giant TCR Advanced SL 2 road bike. Full review to follow.
|Nice paint layout for 2016|
|Bar tape is very thick and padded|
|FSA Omega crank with 36/46 chainrings|
|D-Fuse seat post. D shaped and flat in the back so flex can be|
built in. Nice clamping system also.
|Frame has internal cable routing, neatly done. Makes cleaning mud|
on a cross machine easier.
|TRP Spyre-C cable disc is considered one of the better cable disc|
systems on the market
|Maxxis Mud Wrestler, good all around tire. Giant puts a marker|
on their wheelsets to find the valve hole a little quicker,
SX -2 Wheelset is a little heavy but pretty durable, Upgrade
will be a tubless carbon system.