Giant Bicycles have released details of their upcoming 2011 cyclo-cross range, and it looks to have been well worth the wait. The comprehensive line-up includes a top-end carbon racer, all-new alloy bikes and even a women's-specific model.
TCX Advanced SL ready for the World Cup circuit
Highlighting the new range is the production version of the carbon fibre TCX Advanced SL 'crosser Giant first showed us at Cross Vegas last autumn.
Several design elements were borrowed from the company's superb road-going TCR range, including the OverDrive tapered 1-1/8 to 1-1/4in front end, MegaDrive rectangular-section oversized down tube and 86mm-wide PowerCore bottom bracket shell with press-fit bearing cups.
Giant use their premier T-800 carbon fibre material for the bike. Based on our tests of similarly structured Giant road rigs, we anticipate a confidently stout front end and excellent pedalling efficiency.
TCX Advanced SL
Giant also incorporate a fully integrated seatmast in the TCX Advanced SL, but in the case of the ’cross bike, it's tuned more for comfort than rigidity, promising a smoother ride over rough ground. Likewise, though several frame concepts are carried over from the road line, the 'cross frame's tubing is generally built with smaller diameters in order to reduce rider fatigue and provide better traction.
'Cross-specific details abound, including a more level top tube with a flattened underside, a specific all-carbon fork, internal cable routing to protect from mud and debris (including a rear brake line that exits straight out the back of the seat tube), a "mud shedding frame design" and dedicated geometry.
Compared to the old aluminium TCX, Giant say the new 1,133g TCX Advanced SL frame (medium, painted with hardware) is 18 percent lighter and offers 10 percent additional front triangle stiffness. The complete bike – equipped with a mix of Shimano Dura-Ace, FSA and Giant components – has a claimed weight of 15.65lb and will cost US$6,700.
All-new alloy models for privateer racers
Giant have also revamped their standard TCX 'cross range with an all-new chassis that uses the same OverDrive, MegaDrive and PowerCore features as on the TCX Advanced SL but in the company's much more affordable Aluxx SL butted and shaped aluminium tubes.
The fork trades in the Advanced SL's full-carbon construction for a mix of carbon fibre legs and an alloy steerer, and cable routing is moved to a more conventional setup on the outside of the top tube.
The standard TCX frame will still have a flattened top tube underside like its more expensive stablemate for less painful shouldering, and will also share the same geometry.
Frame weight climbs to 1,400g, but Giant claim it is still two percent lighter than last year's version while also being five percent stiffer at the bottom bracket. The TCX 0 complete bike has a claimed weight of 18.5lb.
Prices for the TCX alloy bikes are as follows: $2,350 for TCX 0; $1,650 for TCX 1; $970 for TCX3.
A new women's version, too
In a first that we're aware, Giant will also introduce a women's-specific alloy 'cross bike called the TCXW. Overall features and construction techniques are shared with the standard TCX but with a modified geometry for better fit and handling, based on input from factory team rider Kelli Emmett.
Bar positioning is a little more upright via a lengthened head tube, the top tubes have been shortened to match women's typically shorter torsos, and standover clearance has gone up as well. Emmett says she also recommended raising the bottom bracket a tad to make it easier to pedal through corners.
Giant will offer the TCXW as a single model equipped with SRAM Rival. Retail price is quoted at $1,650. All models will be available from 1 August 2010.