Once upon a time, I was a roadie. My first speed-steed was an electric-blue, Italian-made Detto, and I had loads of fun with it. I raced regularly on it, too — mostly around Penang island where I used to live.
Steel was real then. I remember my housemate Tom Smith who rode a custom-built Reynolds 531 bike. Very light, very fast and super responsive, and it cost an arm and a leg (two legs if I counted in RM instead of pound sterling).
Since getting my Surly Long Haul Trucker, I’ve been doing a fair bit of road riding … so much so that the roadie that was buried deep inside in me began to resurface. So I did what any sane bicycle enthusiast would do…I succumbed to it.
I had been eyeing the full-carbon 2009 Giant TCR Advanced 3, and research seemed to point to this as the best-bang-for-the-ringgit ride (I am kinda partial to Giant bikes). So I bought it.
The TCR Advanced 3 is a monocoque full-carbon wonder; compact, light and more importantly, stiffer even than last year’s TCR, especially the bottom bracket.
Nice bike … but one decal too many, if you ask me. If I had my way, I’d also drop the double strip of yellow on the top tube.
The oversized steerer — stiff, responsive and makes the bike go wherever it’s pointed without any hesitation.
Not as neat as the integrated seat-post of Team Rabobank’s team-issue TCR Advanced SL, but it’ll do.
Star Wars Battle Droid?
The fork soaks up most bumps very nicely, thank you.
The whopper of a bottom bracket — stiff and totally torque-y, especially when off-saddle.
Big BB = big down-tube.
The stock hoops that came with the bike were Xero Lites — not exactly a snappy set of wheels, so I swapped them with a pair of DuraAce 7850 carbon composite clinchers instead.
1380 is what both wheels weigh in gms. The braking section of the rim is full aluminum but the inner section is aluminum (a mere 0.5mm thick) mated with carbon fibre. This wheel is a delight to ride.
Carbon cages, obviously 🙂
You can’t go wrong with DuraAce hubs. This one is titanium, and surprisingly, it runs on cup-and-cone bearings instead of sealed ones — kinda old school but I like it cos it’s totally serviceable. I can’t believe how easily and smoothly the wheel spins with just a mere nudge.