What have we got here, then? The TCR 1 Compact is an aluminium offering from the Giant lineup that comes in at £1,175. Okay, over a grand is hardly cheap, but with a Shimano 105 groupset fitted it’s immediately looking interesting.
We had Giant’s carbon TCR Advanced 2 (£2,250) in a while ago and we absolutely loved it. Very fast, lively and smooth, it really impressed us out on the road. We’re hoping that its stable-mate puts in a similar level of performance for the cash.
The TCR 1 Compact shares virtually the same geometry as the TCR Advanced 2. The frame angles are fairly typical road bike fare, and the reach and front-end height are about middling too. This bike hasn’t been sportive-ified with a longer head tube or anything like that.
As usual with Giant, you get a sloping top tube, and chances are you’re familiar with the reasons behind that. Smaller frame triangles equal less lateral flex, lower weight and higher speed, so the argument goes. Plus, you get a lower standover height for any given size, which some people prefer.
The TCR 1 is made from what Giant call their Aluxx aluminium that’s been shaped every which way. The thickset down tube, for example, is almost square-section while the top tube is… complicated. Shield-shaped? Kind of. Triangular-ish? Whatever; we’ll worry about that when we come to writing our review. For now, the frame is a lot like the shape of the TCR Advanced 2, but made from aluminium rather than carbon.
The fork is similar to the Advanced 2’s too: skinny, straight and carbon-legged, although there’s an alloy steerer tucked away inside the head tube whereas the more expensive model gets an all-carbon option.
As we said up top, the groupset is 105, the third tier in the Shimano hierarchy and arguably the best value. It’s certainly a decent level of kit on a £1,175 bike. The Advanced 2 that we keep gibbering on about, for example, also comes with 105 and that’s getting on for twice the price… although, of course, you get a carbon frame there, and some other tasty components.
There are a couple of exceptions to the 105 rule. The compact chainset, for instance, is Shimano R600 while the brake callipers are price-saving Tektro R540s. Most of the other components are Giant’s own, including the wheels and the saddle.
What else can we tell you before we slip on the Lycra and hit the road? Ah yes, the weight… The road.cc Scales of Justice say 8.8kg, or 19.4lb (without pedals). And that’s yer lot. We’ll let you know how we get on in a couple of weeks.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.