Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc review

Disc version of our 2018 bike of the year winner

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £2,999
Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc

Our review

Giant continues its consistency for high-scoring race rigs
Pros: Fast, flickable, frugal and fantastic
Cons: Long, low, racy position won’t suit everyone, and needs a 160mm rotor up front on bigger sizes

We’ve always been fans of the TCR’s no-nonsense approach and racy outlook – 10 years ago it took the Bike of the Year crown, a feat it repeated in 2018 in its rim-braked guise.

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  • The Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2019. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women’s bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub page.

This model uses Giant’s second-tier Pro chassis, compared to the SL version with its integrated seatpost. The Pro chassis shares the same design and construction as the top bike, it’s just a little heavier because it uses a standard (albeit) carbon seatpost and integrated seat clamp.

It’s still a very clever chassis combining a full carbon fork with Giant’s signature oversized ‘overdrive’ head tube and headset design.

The firm’s Advanced tech means each frame is built comprising a front triangle that’s assembled and molded as one continuous piece and then joined to the rear end. Giant claims this method allows it to reduce an external layer to reduce weight, while having no effect on overall strength or ride quality.

This large test bike has a 1,007mm wheelbase, parallel 73-degree angles, a stack of 581mm and a reach of 402mm, putting it squarely in the racing camp when it comes to ride position.

The tight 405mm chainstay rear end helps give the TCR a nice snap to its handling and that’s balanced with a wonderful sense of urgency when you stamp on the pedals.

Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc kit

The TCR is firm, but it’s damn fast too, and the excellent SLR1 deep-section carbon wheels, set up with plush 25c tubeless GAVIA AC1 tyres, deliver a simply superb ride.

Giant’s own wheels have come on in leaps and bounds. The SLR1 is a 1580g pairing that combines 42mm deep tubeless-ready rims with DT Swiss-built smooth-running hubs. These wheels alone would set you back £1,000 and add a heap of value to the Pro 1.

The TCR is a master on fast descents

So the TCR has a great chassis and an excellent wheel and tyre combo but the icing on the cake is the brilliant Shimano Ultegra disc groupset, which gives snappy shifts across a wide 11-30 cassette that itself creates a well-balanced range when matched to the 52/36 chainset.

It delivers a big top-end gear and a light 36/30 gear that’ll ensure you stay spinning even on seriously steep gradients.

Ultegra brakes offer great power for superb control. The SLR1 wheels are flex-free laterally, which all adds up to a wonderfully direct feel.

Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc ride impressions

The TCR is a master on fast descents. The positive, connected feel of the steering means pitch-perfect lines through corners, enabling you to nail the apex and maintain your line and speed. The only niggle I have is Giant’s insistence on fitting 140mm front disc rotors on its large bikes.

Mostly they work fine, but on longer descents the 140 retains too much heat and becomes vocal; a 160mm would completely cure this, so let’s have big brakes on big bikes please.

The bike is finished with a great cockpit from Giant’s own Contact SL range, a stiff stem and a great ovalized-profile compact drop bar.

The bar’s teardrop-shaped tops offer a great handhold for prolonged climbs and the transition between tops and hoods gives bags of clearance when riding in the drops. Eventually you might want to switch in a carbon bar but this SL combo is some great quality alloy.

Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc overall

The TCR Advanced Pro 1 is a stunner. It’s light, lively and has great comfort levels for a race bike. It’s brilliant on value too: full Ultegra, quality carbon wheels set up tubeless, and a great chassis.

It’s specs such as these that can only be matched by a few direct-to-market brands and Giant should be congratulated for keeping value high when we are seeing most bike specs being squeezed. I’d have no qualms in recommending the Pro 1 to both budding racers and endurance riders as this TCR does everything so damn well.

Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc specifications

  • Sizes (*tested): S, M, M/L, L*, XL
  • Weight: 8.08kg
  • Frame: Advanced carbon
  • Fork: Advanced carbon
  • Chainset: Shimano Ultegra, 52/36
  • Bottom bracket: Shimano PressFit
  • Cassette: Shimano Ultegra, 11-30
  • Chain: KMC
  • Derailleurs: Shimano Ultegra
  • Shifters: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheelset: Giant SLR1 carbon tubeless
  • Tyres: Gavia AC1 Tubeless
  • Stem: Contact SL
  • Bar: Contact SL
  • Saddle: Giant Contact SL (forward)
  • Seatpost: TCR Carbon aero
  • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra

Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc geometry

  • Seat angle: 73 degrees
  • Head angle: 73 degrees
  • Chainstay: 40.5cm
  • Seat tube: 52.5cm
  • Top tube: 58cm
  • Head tube: 18.8cm
  • Fork offset: 4.5cm
  • Trail: 5.7cm
  • Bottom bracket drop: 6.5cm
  • Wheelbase: 1,007mm
  • Stack: 58.1cm
  • Reach: 40.2cm
  • Price: £2,999 / AU$4,499
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BikeRadar would like to thank Stolen Goat, Lazer, Northwave and Effetto Mariposa for their help and support during our Bike of the Year test.