The best part of having a bike shop is the opportunity to test ride the new bikes and get a feel for what is new. The first thing that stands out on the TCR Advanced is the look. Graphics are sharp with a strong black, red and white color scheme. The finish is not quite gloss and not quite matte. With Giant's sloping top tube frame configuration the bike looks fast just sitting still.
Once you throw a leg over this bike and start pedaling it is clear that while it sits at a mid-range price of $3,000 this is no entry level bike. The response is quick and there is no flex in the bottom bracket when I stood and applied the power. Climbing is smooth and easy and feels as if it is much lighter than the 17 lbs it weighed in at out of the box. What really stands out on this bike is the handling and the way it descends. I would put the handling right up with much more expensive machines I have ridden and actually felt really comfortable leaning into turns as the bike did not waver at all from the line I pointed it in. Giant's Overdrive 2 steerer tube design clearly works as claimed.
On a high speed descent there is not a hint of wobble or vibration. I had to do a double check on the my speed because I could not believe I was going that fast as it felt too smooth. I really would like to take this up mount Lemmon to get a better feel and really see what it can do.
The 11 speed Ultegra group set was silky smooth with comfortable hand positions. Shifting was almost effortless and precise. At this price point it is hard to argue that it is worth spending more to get the DA group unless weight is an absolute must.
Overall impressions are that this is one smooth ride! It feels like much more than a $2,400 package and anyone looking for a race bike or weekend warrior is going to be happy with the overall package. If you are in the market for a new bike this is worth a look, and then a second one.