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Bike at Bedtime: Giant TCR Advanced 1+ Disc

Check out a new limited edition road bike that you won't find in the shops

The Giant TCR Advanced 1+ Disc is a new limited edition model that has just appeared as an online exclusive priced £2,999.

You probably know that the TCR range has had a major update for 2021. In short, Giant has made its lightweight race bikes more aerodynamically efficient than ever before, improved the stiffness-to-weight ratio, and increased the tyre clearance (up to 32mm).

Giant launches 2021 TCR Advanced – the “fastest TCR ever” 

Giant divides the range into three levels, of which the TCR Advanced is the most accessible. The medium level is the TCR Advanced Pro and the top level is the TCR Advanced SL.

Read our review of the Giant TCR Advanced SL 0

We have been super-impressed by the new bikes to the extent that we made the Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc (now £4,199) the Bike of the Year 2020/21. It really is an excellent bike – zippy and efficient while offering well-balanced handling, and the components are high quality too.

We’ve not reviewed any of the TCR Advanced (without a suffix) models yet, but a lot of the tech from the higher end bikes is carried over, including the aero tube shaping.

The TCR Advanced shares an Advanced-Grade Composite frame with the TCR Advanced Pro, it’s just that the Pro version uses an OverDrive 2 headset system (with a 1 1/4in upper bearing and 1 1/2in lower bearing) whereas the TCR Advanced uses an OverDrive system (with a 1 1/8in upper bearing and a 1 1/4in lower bearing). The TCR Advance Pro obviously has a fork steerer with a larger diameter to work with the OverDrive2 bearings, the idea being to add front end stiffness, but everything else is the same.

Giant was originally offering three TCR Advanced Disc models for 2021: the TCR Advanced 3 Disc (Shimano Tiagra groupset, £2,099), TCR Advanced 2 Disc (Shimano 105 groupset, £2,299), and TCR Advanced 1 Disc (Shimano Ultegra groupset, £2,599).

2021 Giant SLR 2 42 Disc wheel - 1

Now this TCR Advanced 1+ has arrived, priced £2,999, also featuring a Shimano Ultegra groupset. The difference is in the wheels. Whereas the TCR Advanced 1 Disc has Giant’s PR-2 Disc wheelset, the TCR Advanced 1+ has Giant’s SLR-2 42 Carbon Disc WheelSystem (above). These are closely related to the Giant SLR-1 42 Carbon Disc wheels that were fitted to the TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc that we reviewed

If you think that own brand wheels are inferior quality, specced simply to save a few quid, think again. The wheelsets that Giant (and its Cadex brand) have been producing over the past few years are excellent.

As the name suggests, the SLR 2 42 Disc Carbon wheels are made with carbon rims that are 42mm deep front and rear. They’re hookless and use Giant’s tubeless system, with rim tape and valves included. The 23mm outer width/ 19.4mm inner width is designed to provide plenty of support for wider tyres.

The hubs aren’t as good as those of the SLR 1 42 Disc Carbons, and they’re built up with Sapim Sprint spokes rather than lighter Sapim CX-Rays, but the wheelset still comes in at a claimed weight of 1,545g. Bought separately, SLR 2 42 Disc Carbon wheels would cost you £379.99 (front) and £449.99 (rear) – a total of £829.98. Compared with the TCR Advanced 1, the TCR Advanced 1+ comes with a huge wheels upgrade for an extra £400.

The TCR Advanced 1+ Disc is available via click and collect only because Giant felt this was the fairest way to offer a limited edition model.

You buy it via Giant’s website and then collect it – fully assembled – from a Giant retailer. Buying through the website, you could take advantage of Giant’s finance options (36 months at 0% interest on this model).

2021 Liv Avail Advanced 1 Tropical Edition - 1

It’s also worth noting the Liv Avail Advanced 1 Tropical Edition (above) – Liv being Giant’s women’s brand – is also available via click and collect only.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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