Giant TCX Advanced Pro 2 first ride review

A smooth ride for the cyclocross season

Captained by the newly crowned U23 World Champion Joris Nieuwenhuis, the Giant TCX Advanced Pro 2 softens the blows in the hour-of-power with a very kind front end and an overall spec and price point that warrants a second look from any competitive CX rider.

2018 Giant TCX Advanced Pro 2 spec overview

  • Frame: Advanced-grade composite (flat mount; 12x142)
  • Fork: Advanced-grade composite (flat mount; 12x100)
  • Drivetrain: SRAM Rival 1
  • Botom bracket: PF86-92 (GXP)
  • Wheels: Giant PX-2 Disc
  • Tires: Maxxis Mud Wrestler 33mm
  • Saddle: Giant Contact SL Neutral
  • Size Options: XS, S, M, ML, L, XL
  • Weight (size ML): 20.19 lbs / 9.19 kg

Smooth as glass

A standout aspect of the TCX is its overwhelmingly smooth ride. A quick bit of soft-pedaling on the test track presented an unbalanced ride character, with the front being way more comfortable than the rear, but the design strategy comes alive at full speed when the rear end starts to glide across chatter and bumps — after all, it’s a race bike.

The comfort is complemented with good stiffness from the bottom bracket, making the TCX an exciting prospect for the upcoming “Best CX Bikes of 2017” we're testing for.

The complete package?

Giant opted for a full coverage chain guide for its 1x CX bikes
Giant opted for a full coverage chain guide for its 1x CX bikes

With such a high-performance frameset, there are a few complementary features from the product manager to help create a quality bike from front-to-back.

Giant specs a full-coverage chain guide to keep the drivetrain in check. It’s got adjustments in all directions for chainring changes, and of course can be removed if you’re confident in narrow-wide tech.

The TCX comes with Giant’s proprietary “D” shaped seatpost, termed “D-Fuse”. The practice of flattening a seatpost in the back isn’t new, but that’s fine because it’s proven compliance technology.

A carbon seatpost (alloy head) is neatly tucked into an elegantly designed and hidden seatpost clamp
A carbon seatpost (alloy head) is neatly tucked into an elegantly designed and hidden seatpost clamp

Giant seems to focus on the TCX as a dedicated race bike in the tire clearance area. Some brands have really got confused between CX and multi-strada bikes, but fortunately Giant has not.

The TCX will provide plenty of clearance for 33mm tires in muddy conditions. For those that just have to have it, I’m guessing the TCX can manage up to a 40mm tire.

Those 33mm Schwalbe X-One tires have plenty of room to breathe up front
Those 33mm Schwalbe X-One tires have plenty of room to breathe up front

Cable routing is a tad more traditional than some of the bikes in the test mix, but it gets the job done. For the bottom bracket routing, full nylon sleeves protect the rear derailleur cable from debris.

Combined, the huge bottom bracket and externally positioned rear derailleur hanger contribute to a race-focused commitment to speed. This should make for a stiff rear end, with plenty of acceleration to boot.

The rear derailleur hanger is positioned on the outside of the frame (much like the Cannondale SuperX)
The rear derailleur hanger is positioned on the outside of the frame (much like the Cannondale SuperX)

Last but not least, one of my favorite things about the TCX is the 140mm rotor spec on the front end. Cyclocross demands a lot of speed-scrub braking and for me (72kgs – 1.82m) 160mm rotors are overkill. So far, it’s the only bike in the test collection to go this route.

12mm, position-adjustable thru-axles paired with a 140mm rotor makes for an excellent CX setup
12mm, position-adjustable thru-axles paired with a 140mm rotor makes for an excellent CX setup

Pricing and availability

The 2018 Giant TCX Advanced Pro 2, and other CX models, are currently available from Giant retailers worldwide, priced at £2,299 / $2,575 / AU$3,499.

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