Giant may insist that its new carbon fibre cyclo-cross frameset prototypes are still works in progress but their highly finished appearance suggests that production models may not be all that far off.
Several design elements are borrowed from the road-going TCR Advanced SL, including the OverDrive tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" front end, the MegaDrive oversized rectangular-section down tube, a press-fit bottom bracket, and the integrated seat mast. However, the 'cross bike's steerer tube and fork crown look to be aluminium instead of carbon fibre and the integrated seat mast is shallower front-to-back for increased rider comfort.
Rear end compliance is clearly a high priority too. From the flattened top tube – which also makes for easier shouldering – to the only modestly oversized chain stays, and the downwardly offset twin seat stays that Giant says adds to the seatmast flex.
Cable routing is fully internal
There's presumably an internal guide that helps redirect the cable down around the seat cluster
Cable routing is fully internal in order to maintain shifting and braking performance in adverse conditions. The derailleur lines enter right at the head tube and exit down at the bottom bracket through an opening in the down tube – similar to how it's done on the Trinity Advanced SL aero bike – while the rear brake line enters the top tube as usual but is then redirected by an internal guide and exits perfectly centred at the rear of the seat tube.
Based on team rider Adam Craig's prototype, the derailleur ports are sized for Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 system too, and there's also a dedicated battery mount underneath the non-driveside chain stay.
Giant says there are just five prototypes currently in the testing phase. Weights, stiffnesses and ride qualities differ significantly between them as engineers experiment with lay-up schedules and fibre types. As such, Giant would offer neither target weight or price figures nor a projected release date though it's probable that the new bike will be lighter, more responsive and more comfortable than the current TCX. As for availability, we'd say that next 'cross season seems like a reasonable guess.
For all of BikeRadar's Interbike coverage, click here.
You can follow BikeRadar on Twitter at twitter.com/bikeradar.