The Giant TCR SL1 disc is a very good 'all round' race bike. It feels as quick, handles as well, climbs as well and looks as good as all the other big guns at the top table. That includes Sworks Tarmac, Pinarello F10, Supersix Hi Mod, Trek Emonda SLR. No 'Giant TCR' doesn't have the kudos or the wow factor of some of the afore mentioned big hitters. But as per Giant's marketing spiel...
"PURE ROAD PERFORMANCE FOR EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE. CLIMB, CORNER AND DESCEND WITH UNBEATABLE EFFICIENCY AND CONTROL. BREAK AWAY ON THE CLIMB OR ON A FAST, TECHNICAL DESCENT. THE TCR ADVANCED SL DISC IS DESIGNED TO EXCEL IN EVERY ASPECT OF ROAD RACING."
When I arrived at the store, and from a distance saw this black lithe stealthy beauty leaning against the wall. "Whats that ?" "A Giant ? Your kidding me !"
So yes a quick spin into the Surrey Hills confirmed the spiel was spot on - a superb, fast and fun ride, that is absolutely on par with those big hitters. The frame is light and stiff and the SLR wheels spin like a dream.
The big difference is the price. Allowing for the Ultegra vs Dura Ace difference (a sub £1k upgrade in our workshop), the Tarmac at RRP is £9750 the TCR is £5499. Yes a Tarmac or F10 are the cool kids on the block but that's a lot of pocket change to spend on other ways to look cool.