I took delivery of the Giant TCR Comp 2 I was telling y'all about the other week. It is a sweet, sweet ride, to say it in brief. Today was the break in ride, 50 miles of rolling terrain in Southern Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Mmmmm... what a nice bike. Some impressions:
- The new Ultegra gruppo - shifters, derailers, rear cog - is pretty much indistinguishable from the Dura Ace gruppo, at least to my ham hands. Click, snick, go.
- The TCR Comp (carbon) frame just eats up road vibration and those square edged bumps that are brutal on an aluminum frame. This makes riding less fatiguing. I spend more time just pedaling, and lest time with a stiff, achy back and increasingly sore shoulders. Even though the geometry is pure road race, the fit is comfortable, and the lack of jarring bumps makes this more comfortable than my old "sport road geometry" road bike.
- The frame is unbelievably compliant over bumps, but unbelievably stiff and efficient when climbing and accellerating. It has a lively feel on the pedals - it jumps when you stomp on the pedals.
- I was trying to go slow today - zone 1 / low zone 2. I averaged 18 MPH in rolling terrain, even though I spent a half hour teetering on the edge of bonk-land. (I got so disoriented, I had to stop and ask for directions two miles from my house... yeah, should have brought the Clif bar...). This is spectacular, about 1.5 MPH faster than my normal speed for a similar low key fun ride over the same time. Can't wait to *try* to go fast.
- I'm running with Velocity Fusion wheels, built up 36 spoke, cross 4, on Ultegra hubs. They aren't light, but shoud be pretty durable and pretty low drag when I'm up to speed, as they are semi-aero. I'll let you know how they hold up over time. I'm saving the Mavic Aksium's for next season, for race wheels.
- The bike carves lines in the turns. It is an absolute stiletto in the corners, and descends like a dream, very agile. It is very nimble and responsive, with a short wheelbase. I wouldn't take my hands off the bars during a fast descent, but it's not squirrelly at all, in spite of its agility.
- Weaknesses? I haven't found any yet. I'm not a good enough rider to take this bike to its limits. It's a better piece of equipment than I am.
- Best of all, It Shore is Purty...