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Getting a new bike is always fun, especially when you get your first truly nice bike and is a huge upgrade from your last. My Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 was the upgrade that took me from an Aluminium Cross bike, and riding it felt like I was gliding across the road.

Spec

For $3800 SGD (£2172), I got a carbon frame, a Shimano Ultegra groupset, and a pair of wheels thrown in that I’m pretty sure cost more than the frame (thank you bike shop). These were a pair of semi-aero Eastons that are worth a grand alone (winning!).

The groupset is Shimano’s Ultegra and it comes with an 11-28 cassette. When I got the bike however, I changed it to an 11-32 and got a longer rear derailleur fitted. I wanted this bike to be much more climbing friendly, and I’m really glad I made this switch.

 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1

It also came with 23mm Giant P-SLR1 tyres, which I kept on for about 4 months. I was warned by my boyfriend that I might want to get 25mms, but only after crashing coming down a wet hill did I realise 23mm was just a tad too narrow for me.

Although I can fit 25mms on, I was a bit disappointed that 28mm wouldn’t fit. Although not a necessity, knowing that I could put thicker, more comfy tires on in wet climates or bumpy terrains would make it a bit more friendly to ride.

 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1
My TCR at the top of Doi Pui

 

The gears change so smoothly, and since getting it about 10 months ago I’ve only had them tuned twice. I’m 5ft7 and a female (duh), but got a Medium and I find the frame size to be great. The reach isn’t too long, and I find it much more compact than my Giant Defy frame which is also a Medium.

The bike is amazing value for money, and investing in it was the best thing I could have done for my cycling. The only issues when I bought it were the saddle and the bar tape. The saddle is a generic Giant saddle, and it’s about as comfortable as straddling a fence. If you’re a guy you’ll probably just about manage with it, but if you’re a woman, no chance. It’s so narrow there’s no way they put this on and thought even for a second about a woman’s anatomy, and that bugged me a little.

 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1
A saddle as female friendly as Donald Trump

The bar tape was also a little thin, but I feel like that’s really digging for issues.

Riding this bike after riding a £700 bike is unbelievable. It’s so light and nimble, and responds instantly to your body. Climbing becomes a million times more enjoyable, and you really look forward to getting back on it.

Getting such a delicate bike after riding a tank like my cross bike was a slight issue of mine. However, even after crashing on the Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 the carbon is still going strong. A tiny scratch on the frame is all I have to show for it!

 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1

There’s no denying that this is a stunning bike. The amount of compliments I’ve received is amazing, and it’s a bike that makes me count down the days to summer. There’s no way I’ll be riding a carbon bike with carbon rim wheels in a Yorkshire winter! 

I honestly can’t imagine myself buying a bike to replace this any time soon. I love the way it rides, the way it looks, and how it performs. If you’re looking for a quality racing bike that won’t leave you completely penniless, the Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 is for you.

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