The Giant TCX first broke cover back in 2003 in the form of an all-aluminium race-bred CX frameset with road-bike-inspired geometry. At the time, it pushed the boundaries in terms of cyclo-cross bike design boasting a disc-brake-ready frame and fork option. This was however short-lived as the following year's UCI regulations put paid to disc brakes and rim brakes would rule for the next several years.
As the years went by, however, Giant continued to move the goalposts as far as technology and innovation went - feats which included building the first women's-specific cyclo-cross bike as well as registering the first win at World Cup level on discs (prototype TCX), not to mention a slew of elite-level national championships.
It's no surprise then that we've included the TCX in our best cyclo-cross bikes buyer's guide.
New technology, new aesthetic
The new Giant TCX is no different from its forebears in terms of geometry - there's very little difference here. The new model, however, has been re-imagined for 2021 by way of a new proprietary manufacturing process called 'Modified Monocoque Construction' whereby the front triangle is moulded as one continuous piece. These measures have culminated in a 260g weight saving over its predecessor without comprising the torsional and lateral stiffness.
Visually it adheres to Giant's contemporary blueprint with subtle colour cues and internal cable routing rounding off what looks to be a very clean design. Cyclo-cross-specific tubing has ensured the frame provides a stellar mix of performance and pliancy while a smoothed off top tube should help when it comes to shouldering or carrying the bike when obstacles become unrideable.
Giant claims the oversized, 86.5mm wide bottom bracket and asymmetric chainstay design will provide a stable and appreciably stiff platform from which to pedal and produce power. The frame and fork have been fashioned to play nicely with flat-mount disc-brakes and both ends accommodate the now-de-rigueur 12mm thru-axle standard with respective widths of 100mm/142mm front/rear. All TCX Advanced Pro models come standard with lightweight composite WheelSystems (SLR1 and SLR2) and tubeless tyres (up to 45mm).
An invisible relocated seatpost clamp has not only improved ride compliance but also made it possible to use a 30.9mm rounded seatpost as well as dropper post, granted an internal adaptor is fitted. All TCX Advanced Pro models come with a new D-Fuse SLR seatpost that provides 20 per cent more flex than the existing D-Fuse SL post.
- Cyclo-cross vs gravel bikes: understanding the differences
The Giant TCX Advanced Pro lineup will comprise four distinct models available in 1x configurations only. This includes the range-topping TCX Advanced Pro 0 which gets Giant's in-house SLR 1 carbon road bike wheels and SRAM's Force eTap AXS groupset - it's the only electronically actuated bike in the range.
The TCX Advanced Pro 1 sits just below it complete with SLR 2 carbon wheels and Shimano's GRX gravel groupset while the TCX Advanced Pro 2 and Advanced Pro make do with the same SLR 2 carbon wheelset but ditch GRX for SRAM's mechanical Apex groupset.
Pricing is yet to be confirmed.
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Aaron is Cyclingnews' tech editor. Born and raised in South Africa he completed his BA honours at the University of Cape Town before embarking on a career in journalism. As the former gear and digital editor of Bicycling magazine and associate editor of TopCar, he's been writing about bikes and anything with wheels for the past 16 years. A competitive racer and Stravaholic, he’s twice ridden the Cape Epic and completed the Haute Route Alps. When not riding, racing or testing bicycles in and around the UK's Surrey Hills where he now lives, he's writing about them for Cyclingnews and Bike Perfect.
Rides: Cannondale SuperSlice Disc Di2 TT, Cannondale Supersix Evo Dura-Ace Rim, Cannondale Supersix Evo Ultegra Di2 Disc, Trek Procaliber 9.9 MTB
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