New Giant TCR - Their Ultimate Race Machine

New Giant TCR - Their Ultimate Race Machine

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Photos: Sean Armenta

Giant's latest iteration of their ultimate road cycling race machine, the TCR, is here. Now in its 10th iteration and its 27th year, the TCR has been a mainstay of their lineup and the pro peloton for some time now, and that doesn't look to be changing any time soon. The new TCR is here, and with it, a host of innovative improvements, making it the fastest all-around race bike Giant have ever produced.

TCR stands for Total Compact Road: a truly innovative concept in geometry at the time of the first TCR back in 1997. It was a technology-led approach that resulted in a lighter, stiffer frame, with improved power transfer and efficiency. The new TCR follows the same technology-led approach, but with 20 years of innovation and improvement backing it.

Giant TCR 2025

Generation X

The latest generation of the TCR is Giant's most highly optimised race bike - the lightest, most efficient, and most aero TCR they've ever produced. To make this possible, Giant have developed their own unique carbon manufacturing processes. But while they focussed heavily on speed and efficiency, they also focussed on rider comfort and compliance. More integrated cabling improve aesthetics and aerodynamics, while keeping things as simple and easy to maintain as possible. 


The frameset, wheels, cockpit, and other vital components are all integrated to work seamlessly together. The biggest improvement is at the front end of the bike, where the down tube, head tube, and cockpit have been redesigned for better aerodynamics and a sleeker look, while still being easy to adjust and maintain.

Giant reshaped and slimmed down the head tube for better aerodynamics in the crucial frontal area of the bike. The fork, crafted with their top-grade Advanced SL composite, sports a new crown and leg design developed alongside the frameset's down tube. The frameset itself boasts new tubing shapes to enhance airflow, saving a cool 2.28W over the previous frameset, and 4.19W over a full bike.

The fork now features a new D-shaped steerer tube along with compatible spacers, which not only enhance aerodynamics but also enable internal routing of brake and shifter cables through the handlebars, stem, and frame/fork. This creates a sleeker profile by keeping cables hidden from the wind, while also simplifying the setup compared to many modern road bikes with fully internal routing.

Giant TCR 2025

Stiffness and Efficiency

For road enthusiasts and racers focused on performance, power-to-weight ratio reigns supreme. To achieve a lighter and stiffer TCR, Giant developed proprietary composite materials using premium carbon fiber in their own facility. This approach has resulted in the flagship TCR Advanced SL frameset being one of the lightest in its class while boasting enhanced pedaling stiffness compared to its predecessor. With reduced weight and increased stiffness, the new TCR delivers superior efficiency on the road.

When designing the precise tubing shapes, diameters, and layup of the Advanced SL-Grade Composite material for the frame and fork, Giant engineers honed in on two critical areas of stiffness: frame stiffness, which dictates overall torsional flex, and pedaling stiffness, which measures lateral flex around the bottom bracket under load.

The bulk of stiffness enhancements stem from modifications to the head tube, down tube, and bottom bracket area. However, prioritizing stiffness alone doesn't automatically translate to increased speed. For the well-rounded performance that defines the TCR, compliance and control are equally crucial.

To meet these performance objectives, the TCR Advanced SL incorporates several cutting-edge production techniques: 
- lighter weight carbon material and resin
- one-piece molding technology
- CNT resin technology
- Thinline painting technology
- Cold-blade cutting technology

Combining all of the above technologies allowed Giant engineers to make the bike both lighter, stronger, stiffer, resulting in an overall more efficient bike. 

Giant TCR 2025

The TCR by Numbers

All of the above of course sounds impressive, but it's meaningless without numbers, so let's try to make some sense of what that all means.


Giant's frameset weight includes frame, fork, paint, seatpost/clamp, front and rear derailleur hangers, steerer expander wedge, headset, topcap and spacers. The new TCR Advanced SL frameset weighs in at 690g - that's 75g less than the previous bike. The Advanced Pro and Advanced frames come in at 800g, only 35g more than the previous range-topping bike.

Stiffness & Efficiency:

The new TCR Advanced SL is both stiffer and more efficient than the older model. The new bike improves transmission stiffness by .53% compared to the 2021 model, improving the stiffness to weight ratio by 3.38%. 

Giant TCR 2025

Models and Spec

The 10th Generation of TCR comes in three different frame levels - Advanced Pro SL, Advanced Pro, and Advanced. The Advanced Pro SL is the lightest, stiffest bike with all of the manufacturing improvements. Advanced models used a modified monocoque construction method rather than the one-piece molding, and also forego the CNT resin, Thinline paint, and cold-blade cutting, as well as using. slightly heavier/lower quality carbon weave, resulting in a slightly less stiff and light bike, but still greatly improved over the previous version.

The top-tier Advanced SL bike is their lightest, highest spec offering with the integrated seatpost and is available in a Dura Ace and an Ultegra 12sp model called the SL 0 DA, and SL 1. Both bikes use the same frameset and Contact SLR cockpit, but the Dura Ace model gets Shimano's top level groupset and Cadex  MAX 40 wheels, while the SL1 uses Shimano's Ultegra groupset and a Giant SLR 0 40 wheelset.

The Advanced Pro is the middle spec frame with non-integrated seatpost and is available in five spec levels all of which come with a power meter, the top being the Advanced pro 0 AXS, coming with SRAM Force AXS groupset, an SLR 0 40 carbon wheelset, and contact SLR cockpit. The Advanced Pro 0 Di2 uses the same wheels and cockpit but a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset. The Advanced Pro 1 AXS gets an SLR 1 40 carbon wheelset and SRAM Rival AXS groupset, while using an aluminum Contact SL cockpit, while the Advanced Pro 1 Di2 model uses a Shimano 105 Di2 groupset. 

The TCR advanced comes in 4 spec levels, the Advanced 0 AXS using a SRAM Force groupset and SLR 2 36 carbon wheelset. The Advanced 0 PC uses the same wheels but is specced with a Shimano 105 Di2 groupset. The Advanced 1 PC uses that same 105 Di2 groupset but gets an aluminum P-R2 wheelset. Finally, the Advanced 2 KOM gets a 105 12sp mechanical groupset and the aluminum P-R2 wheels.

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