Giant Unleashes All-New and ‘Fastest Ever’ TCR

The 9th generation TCR is here and it looks to be even more efficient.

A staple in the pro peloton the TCR has been earning wins at major races since 1998. The new model, the 9th generation, is the result of a team effort involving product development teams from Giant, leading aerodynamics experts and some of today’s top professional racers.

Giant began the project by setting a nearly impossible goal: Make it even more efficient by squeezing more speed out of every pedal stroke. To accomplish that, Giant says their team analyzed every aspect of the bike and incorporated new raw materials and manufacturing processes into the line – even the paint was created by Giant, to minimize weight. The major breakthrough with the new TCR is that it is significantly more aerodynamic than the previous generation and retains its best-in-class stiffness-to-weight ratio. Giant made use of four new production processes to achieve this.

CUTTING-EDGE COMPOSITE MATERIAL

The new raw carbon material is woven in Giant’s own composite factory to produce an even lighter, stiffer frameset than the previous generation. This material also uses Carbon Nanotube Technology resin to improve impact resistance.

2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.
2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.

LASER CUTTING

Whereas previous generations of TCR frames relied on machine-stamped composite swatches, new laser technology is now used to produce ultra-precise cuts. This translates into smaller, more exacting swatches, which results in lighter overall weight of the finished structure.

ADVANCED ROBOTIC LAYUP ASSEMBLY

Giant Manufacturing invested in a new robotic assembly process for the critically weight conscious areas of the frame and fork. With ultra-precise placement of 150 smaller, individual composite swatches, they achieved a lighter frame and fork.

2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.
2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.

FINISHING TECH

With a new paint process (on the TCR Advanced SL 0 Disc) Giant uses a minimum quantity of paint to save up to 50 grams compared to a traditional seven-layer paint application. In addition, a proprietary 3M adhesive protector is used to reinforce the integrated seatpost.

While weight and stiffness play an integral role in overall performance, Giant says minimizing aerodynamic drag remains the single greatest opportunity for real-world gains. The engineering team combined Computational Fluid Dynamics and wind-tunnel testing to create shapes that function as a complete system for optimal aerodynamic performance. Central to this process is the belief that any product must perform as well on the road as it does in the wind tunnel.

2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.
The team refined the entire system including frame, fork, cockpit and WheelSystem at the GST wind tunnel in Immenstaad, Germany.

TRUNCATED ELLIPSE TUBING

To engineer the new TCR Advanced SL frameset, the team created new airfoil sections using truncated ellipse tubing to consistently produce lower drag coefficients at a wider range of yaw angles compared to traditional “teardrop” tubing. They designed the aerodynamic flow around both the downtube and seattube with standard water bottles on the bikes.

2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.
2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.

COMPONENT INTEGRATION

The location of traditional calipers – either in front or behind the fork crown – creates “dirty” air. Opening up the fork crown area by placing the disc-brake calipers down at the hub means that the air hitting the caliper has already been disrupted by the leading edge of the wheel. This effect is further enhanced by the TCR’s new symmetric fork that helps smooth out airflow over the caliper.

Testing at a 40 kph wind speed, with yaw angles ranging from -15 to +15 degrees, the combined system of bike and rider was sculpted and fine-tuned. In terms of geometry, the bike has a mildy steeper seattube and more BB drop. The stack height, head tube angle and fork offsets are unaltered. The smaller sizes in the range have slightly longer wheelbases and reach which will no doubt improve stability at speed as well as rider fit.

Geometry of the 2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.

The frame and fork clearance have also been increased on all the models. Riders can now choose high-volume tires – up to 32mm on disc brake options – for better cornering grip, rolling efficiency and handling on rougher roads. The TCR is offered in both grades of Giant’s composite material: the Advanced SL and the Advanced. Beyond the frame and fork, Giant also created a new “aero-influenced” Contact SLR handlebar with modified cable routing for a smarter balance between aerodynamics, rider ergonomics and user-friendly maintenance.

Giant says despite adding significant shaping to improve aerodynamics, the 2021 TCR Advanced SL Disc frameset remains the category leader in stiffness-to-weight ratio. In terms of weight, the complete frame and fork of the Advanced SL Disc model is 140 grams lighter than the outgoing frameset.

DISC BRAKE RANGE

2021 TCR ADVANCED SL DISC

2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.

2021 TCR ADVANCED PRO DISC

2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.

2021 TCR ADVANCED DISC

2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.

RIM BRAKE RANGE

2021 TCR ADVANCED PRO

2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.

2021 TCR ADVANCED

2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.
2021 Giant TCR carbon fiber road bicycle.

Local availability and pricing is yet to be confirmed. Learn more: giant-bicycles.com

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