Giant 2021 TCR - 9th generation frame is lighter, stiffer and more aerodynamic
A legend reborn. The bike that has been at the leading edge of road racing innovation for more than three decades is redesigned to be even lighter, stiffer and more aerodynamic. It’s the ultimate all-rounder for the performance obsessed.
- 765g claimed weight for TCR Advanced SL Disc frame
- Best-in-class stiffness-to-weight ratio
- ‘Truncated ellipse’ tube profiles to improve aerodynamics
- 34 seconds faster than the previous bike over a distance of 40km at 200 watts
- Tyre clearance increased to 32mm on disc frames
- Advanced Pro Disc and Advanced Disc frames also updated
- TCR Advanced SL Disc only compatible with electronic groupsets
The past, present and future of road racing innovation
When the first TCR arrived in the pro peloton more than 20 years ago, it was surrounded by controversy. It looked unlike anything else in professional road racing at the time, and rival teams were left wondering if the Giant-sponsored Team ONCE had an unfair advantage. Officials from cycling’s world governing body were called upon to determine if the bike was legal.
Look around the pro peloton today, and it’s hard to find a bike that hasn’t followed in the footsteps of the original TCR
But that was just the start for TCR. Since that first-generation aluminium model, this bike has constantly evolved. Giant engineers and athletes have worked together creating new innovations to keep it ahead of the pack. Over the past 23 years, we have made multiple advances in material engineering and introduced new design concepts to continually make it lighter, stiffer and more compliant. And every new generation proved itself on the road, carrying some of cycling’s top pro racers to wins at the highest level including multiple stage wins at the Tour de France, two Giro d’Italia overall victories (2009, 2017) and dozens of major classics, WorldTour races and national championships.
That brings us to the 9th generation TCR
Continuing a tradition that began more than 20 years ago, the flagship model of the new range, the TCR Advanced SL, is the result of a team effort involving Giant engineers and product developers, leading aerodynamics experts, and some of today’s top professional racers including Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet along with other CCC Team riders and technical staff.
Evolution of the TCR
Since it debuted as a controversial aluminium-framed race bike with compact geometry and a radical new look compared to all other race bikes in the late 1990s, the TCR has continually pushed the limits of performance with every new generation. It has been a staple in the pro peloton since 1998, earning wins at major races around the world for more than two decades.
|1997||The first production TCR makes its debut. It is available in three frame sizes (S, M, L) and has an angle-adjustable quill stem available in three different lengths (105mm, 120mm, 135mm).|
|1998||The Spanish Team ONCE debuts the new TCR at the Tour de France. Giant produces a complete Team ONCE replica bike for consumers with a Campagnolo Record gruppo.|
|2000||Team ONCE replica bike features a 1-inch threadless headset.|
|2002||The first full-composite TCR makes its debut at the Tour de France.|
|2003||The first commercial TCR Composite bikes are available.|
|2004||The 3rd generation TCR debuts at the Tour de France with the T-Mobile squad, which goes on to win the team classification atthe Tour for three straight years (2004-2006).|
|2005||The first TCR with an integrated seatpost (ISP) is commercially available in five sizes.|
|2006||4th generation TCR makes its debut with the T-Mobile team, featuring a larger (stiffer) rear seatstay/brake yoke.|
|2008||The 5th generation TCR Advanced SL is introduced to consumers. It features a number of breakthrough technologies including a PressFit bottom bracket and integrated cable routing. Team Columbia-Highroad rider Mark Cavendish wins four stages on it at the Tour de France.|
|2009||Team Rabobank rider Denis Menchov wins the Giro d’Italia on his TCR Advanced SL.|
|2012||The 6th generation TCR debuts at the Tour de France with Team Rabobank.|
|2015||The 7th generation TCR debuts at the Tour de France with Team Giant-Alpecin.|
|2016||The 8th generation TCR, the first with integrated disc brakes, is introduced to consumers.|
|2017||Team Sunweb rider Tom Dumoulin wins the Giro d’Italia general classification; the team also wins both the points classification and the mountains classification at the Tour de France.|
|2019||Prototype testing of the 9th generation TCR Advanced SL begins with CCC Team pro racers.|
Key Performance Factors
Ultimately the new TCR Advanced SL had one critical goal that would determine its success: it had to produce measurable performance gains for the pros who race it day in and day out. Our team of engineers, product designers, aerodynamic experts and pro athletes worked together to research, develop and test new ways to achieve the near-impossible task of creating a TCR that was more efficient and aerodynamic while retaining the precise handling and control of the bike that came before it.
A high stiffness-to-weight ratio is a hallmark of the TCR. To retain this critical advantage, the 2021 TCR Advanced SL features new cutting-edge composite materials, reengineered tubing shapes and advanced robotic layup techniques. The result is a livelier ride quality, explosive acceleration and improved climbing efficiency with up to 26.3 percent greater frame/fork stiffness than key competitor bikes*. *2019 Trek Emonda SLR Disc.
The new TCR takes a major leap forward in its aero performance. This is where its most quantifiable gains, compared to the previous generation, can be found. Every tube shape was analysed, engineered and tested to create an overall structure with significantly lower drag at a wider range of yaw angles. The result is a TCR that’s faster than ever, especially in sprints and solo efforts.
From updated disc-brake integration to all-new composite WheelSystems that offer greater stability in crosswinds to user-friendly tubeless tyre setups, the new TCR delivers greater control in a wide variety of road riding conditions. A new composite fork boasts 35 percent greater torsional stiffness over key competitor bikes* for unrivalled steering precision and added frame/fork clearance allows higher volume tyres up to 32mm** for a smoother, faster ride on all types of road surfaces. *2019 Cervelo R5 Disc **dependent on brand
Stiffness-to weight comparison
Giants testing determined how much the complete frameset flexed torsionally under load. Each frame was locked at the rear dropouts with lateral force applied to the fork. More frame stiffness means better cornering and response to rider input on the road. The TCR Advanced SL Disc provides up to 26.3 percent greater transmission stiffness than some of its competitors.
|Giant TCR Advanced SL Disc||Specialized S-Works Tarmac Disc||Trek Emonda SLR Disc||Cervélo R5 Disc|
|Transmission stiffness (lateral fork and frame pedalling)||149.8 (N/mm)||135 (N/mm)||110.4 (N/mm)||124.9 (N/mm)|
|Frameset weight (complete and painted)||1.27 kg||1.37 kg||1.25 kg||1.59 kg|
|Stiffness to weight ratio||118||98 (-16% less efficient)||88.3 (-25% less efficient)||79 (-33% less efficient)|
Year to Year weight comparison of TCR
|Weight (g)||2020||2021||Difference (g)|
|Total weight saving||-140.43|
Compared to the outgoing TCR Advanced SL Disc frameset, the all-new version saves 140 grams through its state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques and advanced materials usage. Furthermore, comparing its weight against key competitors, the new TCR Advanced SL Disc is lighter than the current Specialized S-Works Tarmac Disc (105 grams) and the Cervelo R5 Disc (322 grams). The significantly less stiff and less aerodynamic Trek Emonda SLR Disc is slightly lighter (17 grams).
|Weight (g)||Giant TCR Advanced SL Disc||Specialized S-Works Tarmac Disc||Trek Emonda SLR Disc||Cervélo R5 Disc|
|Total Weight Savings||105||-17||322|
TCR Advanced Disc Series
Reengineered with updated aerodynamic tube shaping in the headtube, downtube and fork, plus added clearance for larger diameter tyres (up to 32mm), the new TCR Advanced Disc delivers outstanding on-the-road efficiency. The Variant seatpost adds just enough compliance to give it a balanced, race-tuned feel on the road. And with its integrated discbrake technology, including flat mounts and 12mm front and rear thruaxles, it’s an all-weather, all-conditions race machine to keep you at the front of the pack.
TCR Advanced Pro Disc Series
The all-new TCR Advanced Pro Disc gives you the lightweight performance to score the KOM plus the confidence to push your limits on technical descents. This podium-seeking all-rounder is reengineered with an Advanced-grade composite frame that boasts an outstanding stiff-to-weight ratio, along with new aerodynamic tube shaping in the headtube, downtube and fork. It also features added frame and fork clearance for larger diameter tyres up to 32mm, making it a versatile race machine for all types of road conditions. With its proven Compact Road geometry, OverDrive 2 front end, flat-mount disc-brake integration and smooth-riding Variant seatpost, this is a race-tuned performer that excels in all aspects of road riding.
TCR Advanced SL Disc Series
Updated and improved in all aspects of road racing performance, the new TCR Advanced SL Disc achieves a previously unobtainable stiffness-to-weight ratio for faster climbing and sprinting, plus new aerodynamic gains for all-round efficiency. It’s the choice of CCC Team WorldTour racers like Greg Van Avermaet on challenging road courses that demand uncompromised performance in the pursuit of victory. New aerodynamic tube shaping on the headtube, downtube and fork makes it a killer on breakaways, sprints and solo chase efforts. The new TCR Advanced SL Disc also builds on its proven climbing capabilities, boasting the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio ever seen in a TCR. Additional key updates include added clearance in the frame and fork to fit larger diameter tyres up to 32mm, the latest integrated WheelSystem technology, and a new aero-engineered Contact SLR composite handlebar to make it even faster against the wind.