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  1. #1
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    what bike would you get? 2012 Giant TCR composite 1 or 2010 Specialized Tarmac Expert

    Trying to pick out a new to me bike to upgrade from my 2005 specialized roubaix one I'm riding now for a B-day gift. Both bikes are around $1300 and both are in VERY good condition.

    I like my specialized now so was looking at that, but found a giant for around the same price. I've never ridden the giant, but the tarmac seems to ride a bit more aggressive and faster than my roubaix.

    Anyone have any opinions on one over the other?

    Both have shimano ultegra, but the giant has 105 breaks.

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    On relatively brief test rides, I had a definite preference for the tarmac over the roubaix (both '14 versions). The '12 versions likely have similar if not identical geometry, so the tarmac is going to be a bit more responsive and quicker to turn than the roubaix. Both are similar in comfort.

    You should either arrange for a test ride or at the very least closely inspect the geometry of the giant. I haven't test ridden a TCR. Giant's carbon frames are VERY comfortable. Perhaps a touch more comfortable than specialized frames, IMO. My test rides are with the defy models so I can't speak to the TCR's ride comfort in particular.

    Hopefully, you'll have a chance to test ride both and base your decision on actual ride experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
    I've never ridden the giant, but the tarmac seems to ride a bit more aggressive and faster than my roubaix.
    How is it faster?
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    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    As long as you asked which one I would get the answer is, neither. You need to buy the one you feel is the best overall.
    Treks, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930,92-970, 95-930, 96-1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
    How is it faster?
    It seemed more responsive than the roubaix. I'm sure most of that was in my mind, but the roubaix also forced me to sit up a little more and didn't feel comfortable if I had my hands on the bottom part of the bars. The tarmac seems to be more comfortable in that area. I haven't been able to find a 2012 giant to test ride so hopefully the owner will allow me to do a few miles before I decide to pull the trigger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
    It seemed more responsive than the roubaix. I'm sure most of that was in my mind, but the roubaix also forced me to sit up a little more and didn't feel comfortable if I had my hands on the bottom part of the bars. The tarmac seems to be more comfortable in that area. I haven't been able to find a 2012 giant to test ride so hopefully the owner will allow me to do a few miles before I decide to pull the trigger.
    The angles on the tarmac are probably a little steeper, and the overall geometry is going to be tilted towards quicker responsiveness.

    The TCR if I recall correctly, is the racier line, while the defy, again, if I recall correctly, is an endurance or comfort line.

    As you have already noted, the test ride/s will get thing sorted rather quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie101 View Post
    The angles on the tarmac are probably a little steeper, and the overall geometry is going to be tilted towards quicker responsiveness.

    The TCR if I recall correctly, is the racier line, while the defy, again, if I recall correctly, is an endurance or comfort line.

    As you have already noted, the test ride/s will get thing sorted rather quickly.
    Ok so names aside and years aside and groupset, the most important part is the fit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
    Ok so names aside and years aside and groupset, the most important part is the fit?
    I believe on this forum fit will always be the #1 answer to any which bike I should buy question.

    While Tarmac is usually noted as the benchmark for stiffness, the TCR is stiffer. Giant I think would logically have more knowledge in what makes a bike performs more than any other company, Specialized, Cannondale, Cervelo, Trek, whatever. Also the current racing bikes we see are because of Giant, the compact/semi-compact geometry is a Giant thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
    I believe on this forum fit will always be the #1 answer to any which bike I should buy question.
    Ok since both are similar and if both fit good what would be the 2nd answer

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    Quote Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
    Ok since both are similar and if both fit good what would be the 2nd answer
    Don't know.

    A compact race bike is a compact race bike. They are all the same. Tarmac SL4 or BMC Race Machine? Same thing. It's compact geometry with tapered headttube, oversized downtube, oversized bottom bracket, stiff chainstay, thing seatstay and shaped fork for comfort etc. Despite what these brands say about aero, and stiffness and comfort, they aren't doing something that their competitors aren't doing. It's all BS.

    So whatever feels good to you.
    Last edited by zymphad; 11-19-14 at 05:21 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
    Don't know.

    A compact race bike is a compact race bike. They are all the same. Tarmac SL4 or BMC Race Machine? Same thing. It's compact geometry with tapered headttube, oversized downtube, oversized bottom bracket, stiff chainstay, thing seatstay and shaped fork for comfort etc. Despite what these brands say about aero, and stiffness and comfort, they aren't doing something that their competitors aren't doing. It's all BS.

    So whatever feels good to you.
    That's what I thought. I'll probably go with the Giant as the groupset is a little newer and it's a 2012. I will however give up the flashy stickers and paint job in the process though.

  12. #12
    Senior Member IcySmooth52's Avatar
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    I would go with the Tarmac because it actually has a more modern frame despite the year. (The mold)
    '15 Lapierre Xelius 200 "Layla" - '13 Marin Palisades Trail SE 29er "Matilda" - '11 Trek T1 "Voskhod"

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    Quote Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
    Ok so names aside and years aside and groupset, the most important part is the fit?
    The top brands are so close in quality, and very often in geometry, it often comes down to two factors:

    -the category of bike (endurance vs race)

    -proper sizing

    I can generally ride either a 52 or 54 or the equivalent (S or M in giant's sizing). As long as the TT is between 53 and 55 cm, and the standover under 31," I can consider the bike. A TT longer or shorter, or a standover over 31" is pretty much out of consideration.

    Within those parameters, it becomes a judgement call as to whether I want something "racier" and quicker steering (smaller) or a bit more stable (larger).

    Test ride both and you'll get a really good idea of which bike you prefer. Or perhaps you'll buy both.

  14. #14
    Senior Member IcySmooth52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie101 View Post
    The top brands are so close in quality, and very often in geometry,
    Specalized & Giant have the same parent company.
    '15 Lapierre Xelius 200 "Layla" - '13 Marin Palisades Trail SE 29er "Matilda" - '11 Trek T1 "Voskhod"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie101 View Post
    The top brands are so close in quality, and very often in geometry, it often comes down to two factors:

    -the category of bike (endurance vs race)

    -proper sizing

    I can generally ride either a 52 or 54 or the equivalent (S or M in giant's sizing). As long as the TT is between 53 and 55 cm, and the standover under 31," I can consider the bike. A TT longer or shorter, or a standover over 31" is pretty much out of consideration.

    Within those parameters, it becomes a judgement call as to whether I want something "racier" and quicker steering (smaller) or a bit more stable (larger).

    Test ride both and you'll get a really good idea of which bike you prefer. Or perhaps you'll buy both.
    Well the whole search came about when I was going to have a local shop do a quick fit and he quickly realized the 58 I'm ridding now is far too big for my long legs and short torso. He said he could make a 56 work, but a 54 is optimal. I'm going to see if I can find the e-mail that shows all my measurements he took, but based on those numbers could I cross reference the geometry of both bikes to determine what one would fit best or is it just a matter of ridding them both and trying to make a decision on how I feel?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
    Well the whole search came about when I was going to have a local shop do a quick fit and he quickly realized the 58 I'm ridding now is far too big for my long legs and short torso. He said he could make a 56 work, but a 54 is optimal. I'm going to see if I can find the e-mail that shows all my measurements he took, but based on those numbers could I cross reference the geometry of both bikes to determine what one would fit best or is it just a matter of ridding them both and trying to make a decision on how I feel?
    Absolutely check on the geometry of both bikes prior to purchase. The test ride will be the most informative factor, of course. Be sure the seat height is set properly, and enjoy the test rides.

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