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Sizing advice about Giant TCR and Giant Defy

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Sizing advice about Giant TCR and Giant Defy

Old 07-06-20, 07:05 AM
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Sizing advice about Giant TCR and Giant Defy

Hello from Italy. I need an advice before buying a new bike. My current bike is a Canyon Roadlite, size L (58). The reach is 378 mm, the stack is 594 mm, the stem length is 130 mm and I don't have any spacer under it. 130 mm feels a bit too long, however 120 mm feels a bit too short. With 120 mm I have successfully completed rides of 200-250 km and over 5000 meters of elevation gain without any issue (back, neck, shoulders, etc.). The current setup is ok but I would prefer a bit more drop from the saddle to the handlebar (5 - 10 mm more).

Starting from this point, here are my options:
  • Giant Defy size ML: reach 381, stack 586. It should fit perfectly with a 120 mm stem.
  • Giant TCR size L: reach 402, stack 581. It should fit perfectly using a 100 mm stem and maybe a 5 mm spacer under the stem.
Notice that my height is 180 cm and my inseam is 90.3 cm. The size chart of Giant always suggests a ML size for people around 180 cm, but a TCR in size ML is way too low for me (stack 564) while a L is high enough and not too long (reach 393 for ML, 402 for L).

I also did some math to compute how long is each bike considering the geometry of the frame and the stem length (always assuming -6° stem angle):
  • current bike: 505.7 mm with 130mm stem (no spacers) and 495.9 mm with 120 mm stem (no spacers, 130 is a bit long and 120 is a bit short)
  • Defy size ML: 498,1 mm with 120 mm stem and no spacers (saddle to handlebar drop is 8 mm more than my current bike)
  • TCR taglia L: 500.2 mm with 100 mm stem and no spacers (saddle to handlebar drop is 13 mm more than my current bike)
What do you suggest?
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Old 07-06-20, 03:48 PM
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Just remember that they'll probably be put together at the shop that takes delivery. So my bike came with 30 mm worth of spacers under the stem. So that leaves quite a bit of adjustable stem height to play with till your are certain what you want. Just make sure whomever puts your bike together doesn't cut the stem to the lowest position thinking that's what everyone should have.

You seem to have it figured out though and probably the only other thing that might sway me or you to one bike or the other is what is the gearing on each? If you have to also change out that Ultegra or DuraAce derailleur, cassette and maybe some other things, then that might add to the overall cost quite a bit.

Defy looks like it can't get you quite as low on the bars, but not by much. I'd probably look at which has the most compatible gearing for your riding conditions and fitness level.

Last edited by Iride01; 07-06-20 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 07-06-20, 06:46 PM
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Hello to you in Italy, great to have international members. I am just a little shorter than you (1.78m), and I ride the Defy M/L with a stem size of 100mm. It recently got fitted after owning it for eight years, and the fitter removed some of the spacers, so I am a bit less upright. But the Giant Is probably number 3 in stack after the Domane and Roubaix.

At your height, the M/L is a great choice. Did you try the L? For me, I felt a bit stretched out, but it may be closer for you, depending on your inseam.

I recently purchased a Bianchi Infinito CV size 57 frame, which has a reach of 386mm and stack of 583. It Is a bit more aggressive fit, but still an endurance bike. It also fits me great with a 100mm stem and is a wonderful bike.

The Canyon Endurace has similar frame dimensions as well to the Bianchi.

Cheers,

William
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Old 07-07-20, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Just remember that they'll probably be put together at the shop that takes delivery. So my bike came with 30 mm worth of spacers under the stem. So that leaves quite a bit of adjustable stem height to play with till your are certain what you want. Just make sure whomever puts your bike together doesn't cut the stem to the lowest position thinking that's what everyone should have.

You seem to have it figured out though and probably the only other thing that might sway me or you to one bike or the other is what is the gearing on each? If you have to also change out that Ultegra or DuraAce derailleur, cassette and maybe some other things, then that might add to the overall cost quite a bit.

Defy looks like it can't get you quite as low on the bars, but not by much. I'd probably look at which has the most compatible gearing for your riding conditions and fitness level.

In general at the shop they do not cut the steering tube until the customer explicitly asks them to cut it, so most of the customers are provided with a very basic fit at the bike shop and they leave with quite a lot of spacers under the stem (up to 40 mm). Then they can try different positions removing the spacers and finally they can go back to the shop asking to cut the steerer tube when they have found the correct position. However, with the Defy I think that I can remove all the spacers because it is 8 mm lower than my current bike and currently I feel like I can go for sure 5-10 mm lower. The TCR is probably a bit too low but a 5 mm spacer should be enough.


In terms of components I will buy the 105 version for sure. I do not need Dura-Ace components or Di2 technology because they are too expensive. Ultegra is great but I prefer to save the money to buy better wheels (such as Fulcrum Racing Zero DB). In terms of gears I already purchased a sub-compact crankset (a Miche Graff 46/30) which is great for the kind of riding I do (many many climbs with average gradient close to or higher than 10%), so I will immediately install that crankset on the new bike. The cassette is not a big deal since I always stick to 105 components so the cost is not really high.


Originally Posted by wthensler
Hello to you in Italy, great to have international members. I am just a little shorter than you (1.78m), and I ride the Defy M/L with a stem size of 100mm. It recently got fitted after owning it for eight years, and the fitter removed some of the spacers, so I am a bit less upright. But the Giant Is probably number 3 in stack after the Domane and Roubaix.


At your height, the M/L is a great choice. Did you try the L? For me, I felt a bit stretched out, but it may be closer for you, depending on your inseam.


I recently purchased a Bianchi Infinito CV size 57 frame, which has a reach of 386mm and stack of 583. It Is a bit more aggressive fit, but still an endurance bike. It also fits me great with a 100mm stem and is a wonderful bike.


The Canyon Endurace has similar frame dimensions as well to the Bianchi.


Cheers,


William

A 100 mm stem is definetly too short for me, with a 120 mm on my Canyon bike (reach 378) I was almost touching with the knees against the handlebar when climbing out of the saddle. The size ML is ok for the Defy, it is not for the TCR because it would be too low (I would need at least 20 mm of spacers) so I checked the geometry of the TCR in size L and it is only a bit longer (reach 402 vs 393 for ML) but it is 15 mm taller (stack 581 vs 564 for ML). So I thought that I could simply use a shorter stem (100 mm) instead of the 110 mm stem that I would use on a size ML; moreover, the size L also has a longer seat tube which is great since my saddle height (with respect to the bottom bracket) is 79.5 cm.


I guess the best thing to do is to find a shop that has all 3 bikes in stock (impossible at the moment since the Defy 2021 has not been announced yet and the TCR 2021 is not available) to compare them. Regarding the Bianchi, I don't know why but I don't like their bikes. The only Bianchi bikes I like are the ones from the 40s and 50s (like Fausto Coppi's Bianchi) and modern bikes like the Specialissima, but only with top components from italian manufacturers (like Campagnolo Super Record and Campagnolo Bora Two wheels).
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Old 07-07-20, 08:31 AM
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Either will be a great bike and you have the fit part figured out. Provided there aren't any undisclosed annoyances with fit on your current bike other than wanting more drop from saddle to handlebars.

Shimano 105 is a great performing groupset. Every bit as good as Ultegra in every respect except weight. But if you aren't competing to be first over the line, then there are many other places to make up for the 200 grams (7 ounces) or so difference between Ultegra and 105 components.

One thing that caught me by surprise recently was between the 56 cm 58 cm Specialized Tarmacs, there is a jump in crank length. 172.5 to 175 mm. And looking at Giant Defy's and TCR's I see that even among the same model there are different chainwheel sizes and cassette sizes depending on what tier level you are buying.

If you need to get more things to make your decision harder, then take a look at Cannondale's SuperSix EVO's and Specialized's Tarmac's. <grin> Those two along with the Giant TCR were the bikes at the top of my list for a new bike earlier this year. Though mainly because they are the brands the LBS's normally keep in stock here. There are plenty of other brands as decent or better.
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