Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 review

The latest race bike from Giant claims to offer class-leading aerodynamics, weight and stiffness. We take a look at how that translates to real-world riding

Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 2021
(Image: © Josh Croxton)

Cyclingnews Verdict

The Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 is incredibly light, stunningly stiff and it holds flatland speed well, it's an out and out super bike


  • +

    Weight (sub 7kg, size large)

  • +

    It holds speed over flat and rolling ground well

  • +

    Power transfer is similar to a dedicated aero bike


  • -

    Handling confidence takes time to build

  • -

    The integrated seatpost makes flying with the TCR difficult, but not impossible

  • -

    No Shimano builds available at Advanced SL level

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

When Giant launched the latest iteration of its TCR, it did so amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Of course, at a time where over half the world is in various forms of lockdown, the usual bike launch tactic had to be completely redesigned from the ground up. 

On first impressions, the same is unlikely to be said for the new TCR itself. The 2021 TCR is definitely a case of evolution, not revolution, and the TCR genes are clear for all to see. However, on closer inspection, it becomes clear that Giant has left no stone unturned in its bid to make the 9th generation of the Total Compact Road not only the best TCR, but the best road bike money can buy - £9,499 ($11,000 / AU$13,999 / €10,199) to be precise. 

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Giant's performance testing results, at a glance
BikeAverage Drag (40kph)WeightTransmission Stiffness
TCR Advanced SL Disc247.5 watts1266g149.8 (N/mm)
S-Works Tarmac Disc248 watts1371g135 (N/mm)
Emonda SLR Disc261.4 watts1249g110.4 (N/mm)
Cervelo R5247.9 watts1588g124.9 (N/mm)
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Stack and reach comparison
Bike (L / 58cm)StackReach
Giant TCR Advanced SL581mm402mm
Specialized S-Works Tarmac591mm (10mm higher)402mm (same)
Trek Emonda SLR H2596mm (15mm higher)391mm (11mm shorter)
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi Mod594mm (13mm higher)395mm (7mm shorter)
Cervelo R5596mm (15mm higher)399mm (3mm shorter)
Canyon Ultimate CF SLX592mm (11mm higher)399mm (10mm shorter)
Scott Addict RC588mm (7mm higher)400mm (2mm shorter)

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