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Tough Road SLR1 Impressions

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Tough Road SLR1 Impressions

Old 08-17-16, 07:03 PM
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LHawes
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Tough Road SLR1 Impressions

Test road the SLR1 today and brought it home a couple hours ago. Just got back from a 5 mile ride and I wish I had a more objective review as to why I liked this bike and didn't care for the SLR2 but it just felt better. Maybe it was setup differently? Maybe it was the weather? The shifters? Can't say exactly but it just felt better.

The 2 x 10 gear set was an upgrade from the 3 x 9 on the SLR2 for sure and I got used the thumb push up/push down shifting (I am sure that's a bicycle term) right away and my concern about perhaps not having enough gears was gone rather quickly and the gearing for my daily ride is perfect. Lots of hills and a park I ride through with mostly smooth gravel and it rode really nicely with plenty of range in the gearing.

I've had a Giant Cypress comfort bike for almost 10 years and just started riding it again after 3 - 4 years off. Really liked it but had no idea what a better bike would feel like. Initially I was underwhelmed by both the SLR1 and -2 because that Cypress was indeed so comfortable but the more I rode today the more I could appreciate what most of you probably already know about better bikes.

It would really take off when pedaling hard and I could really feel the difference which I'm learning is what better bikes are all about.

The 29 x 2 tires were big but for me they were nice and big and rolled easily enough for me and my purposes. May look at some smaller tires but I'll keep these on for a while. The ride wasn't harsh but my experience is limited so YMMV of course.

The seat was terrible for my newbie arse so I put on my old (terrible) gel seat from the Cypress and that was better but am looking for a better seat that fits me better.

I replaced the grips with Giant's smaller 'Ergonesque' style grips and they were better than the stock round grips but will probably upgrade to Ergons in the near future.

After the 2 test rides, the SLR1 and -2 I wasn't expecting that much on a longer ride but I was thoroughly impressed. Those of you with more discerning bicycle experience may have an entirely different experience but I can't wait to dial this thing in and look forward to my next ride.

Last edited by LHawes; 08-17-16 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 08-17-16, 07:08 PM
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Congrats on joining the Toughroad family.
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Old 08-17-16, 07:10 PM
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Yeah Colonel, your help was invaluable. Thanks again.
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Old 08-17-16, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by LHawes View Post
Yeah Colonel, your help was invaluable. Thanks again.

Just thinking about your tyre situation, I guess if you had been actively riding for the last 10 years, you would have a pretty good feel for how well tyres you have had on, have worked for you.


Before I bought my Toughroad, in the previous 12+ months, I was riding a 1995 Trek 830, but only rode it a short trip to work and back and never took it on longer rides, as I was worried I would destroy my rear wheel, which I duly did.


In those 12+ months, I only had one flat tyre and I noticed it when I was getting ready to leave work one afternoon. Whilst it wasn't overly difficult to replace the inner tube and get back on the road to ride home, I found the whole experience so frustrating, that I vowed when I bought my next bike, I would put some tyres on it with very good flat resistance.


So other than the test ride I did on my Toughroad, I have only ridden it, with Schwalbe Marathon Mondial(Evo Folding version) tyres, and my stock tyres are just sitting idle in my spare bedroom, perhaps to be never used again.


Now I am very, very happy with my choice of tyre, but for all I know, I may have gone too far on the flat resistance front and would be even happier on the lighter, faster and still very good flat resistant Marathon Supremes.


So depending on how concerned you are about getting flat tyres, versus pure performance out of your tyres, versus mileage one is able to rack up on a tyre, you can choose to put on what ever you want, and maybe you would be happier to do that straight away, rather than wait till your current tyres wear out, as that could be a year or two from now, and that is a long time to put up with tyres that aren't doing it for you.


BTW, is your Toughroad SLR 1, a 2016 or 2017 model?
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Old 08-17-16, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Just thinking about your tyre situation, I guess if you had been actively riding for the last 10 years, you would have a pretty good feel for how well tyres you have had on, have worked for you.


Before I bought my Toughroad, in the previous 12+ months, I was riding a 1995 Trek 830, but only rode it a short trip to work and back and never took it on longer rides, as I was worried I would destroy my rear wheel, which I duly did.


In those 12+ months, I only had one flat tyre and I noticed it when I was getting ready to leave work one afternoon. Whilst it wasn't overly difficult to replace the inner tube and get back on the road to ride home, I found the whole experience so frustrating, that I vowed when I bought my next bike, I would put some tyres on it with very good flat resistance.


So other than the test ride I did on my Toughroad, I have only ridden it, with Schwalbe Marathon Mondial(Evo Folding version) tyres, and my stock tyres are just sitting idle in my spare bedroom, perhaps to be never used again.


Now I am very, very happy with my choice of tyre, but for all I know, I may have gone too far on the flat resistance front and would be even happier on the lighter, faster and still very good flat resistant Marathon Supremes.


So depending on how concerned you are about getting flat tyres, versus pure performance out of your tyres, versus mileage one is able to rack up on a tyre, you can choose to put on what ever you want, and maybe you would be happier to do that straight away, rather than wait till your current tyres wear out, as that could be a year or two from now, and that is a long time to put up with tyres that aren't doing it for you.


BTW, is your Toughroad SLR 1, a 2016 or 2017 model?
Not sure on the year so I will assume it's a 2016 (It's black/red not black blue so must be a 2016).

And the tires are fine for now and maybe due to my lack of experience with different tire types but I'll ride them for a while longer, and maybe till they wear out, as my riding isn't very technical nor demanding. Hey you know the drill, everything is fine until it isn't and then suddenly it's time to buy new gear. Of course it's known as GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) and once it strikes it's hard to deny!

Last edited by LHawes; 08-17-16 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 08-17-16, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by LHawes View Post
Not sure on the year so I will assume it's a 2016.

Dopey me.


I forgot that they changed colours between the 2016 & 2017 SLR 1's.


If your bike has the red striping it is 2016 & if it is blue striping, it is 2017.
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Old 08-17-16, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Dopey me.


I forgot that they changed colours between the 2016 & 2017 SLR 1's.


If your bike has the red striping it is 2016 & if it is blue striping, it is 2017.
Yeah and the 2017 is $100 cheaper
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Old 08-17-16, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by LHawes View Post
Yeah and the 2017 is $100 cheaper

I've detailed in this thread here what the changes appear to be and it is pretty trivial, Giant just made the 2017 Toughroad SLR 1 a more compelling buy.

Spec wise the differences seem on the 2017 SLR 1 appear to be :


Different saddle(Giant Contact Neutral) vs 2016's Giant Connect, forward
Different brakes(TRP Slate X2, hydraulic disc, 160mm) vs 2016's Shimano M396 & levers(Tektro Slate X2) vs 2016's Shimano M395
Different tyres(Giant Sycamore S) vs 2016's Maxxis Maxxlite 29x2.0"



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Old 08-17-16, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by LHawes View Post
The 29 x 2 tires were big but for me they were nice and big and rolled easily enough for me and my purposes. May look at some smaller tires but I'll keep these on for a while. The ride wasn't harsh but my experience is limited so YMMV of course.
What pressure are you running in the tires?
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Old 08-18-16, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by LHawes View Post
The seat was terrible for my newbie arse so I put on my old (terrible) gel seat from the Cypress and that was better but am looking for a better seat that fits me better.
You will be better off with a lightweight seat that fits your sit bones better. I would look at the seat offerings from Specialized. Their Power seat and Phenom seat are great.
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Old 08-18-16, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by coominya View Post
What pressure are you running in the tires?
Max. @65 lbs.
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Old 08-18-16, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
You will be better off with a lightweight seat that fits your sit bones better. I would look at the seat offerings from Specialized. Their Power seat and Phenom seat are great.
Thank you, I've got a Brooks B-17 on the way and will see if that will fit my bony butt. I'm checking your suggestions now.
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Old 08-18-16, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by LHawes View Post
Thank you, I've got a Brooks B-17 on the way and will see if that will fit my bony butt. I'm checking your suggestions now.
Take note of the different widths offered. Most bikes come stock with a 143mm wide saddle. I need a 155mm wide or greater for comfort.
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Old 08-18-16, 05:09 PM
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How much does the Toughroad SLR 1? How would that weight compare to the Anyroad or the Specialized Sirrus?
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Old 08-18-16, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueRCF View Post
How much does the Toughroad SLR 1? How would that weight compare to the Anyroad or the Specialized Sirrus?
My large Toughroad SLR 2 weighed 26lbs exactly in stock form.


The SLR 1(without racks) should be a bit lighter because of the crank and other components, but probably only a pound, so let's call it 25lbs.


The Toughroad is a much more rugged bike than the Sirrus in particular and the Anyroad, so one would expect it would weigh more.


Putting on my best guessing hat, I would say the Toughroad SLR 1 is perhaps 2lbs heavier than the Anyroad and 3 to 4 lbs heavier than the Sirrus(though again, I am assuming you are buying a mid range or better Sirrus).
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Old 08-18-16, 05:28 PM
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Thanks! Yeah, I think whatever I finally choose has to have at least Tiagra level or equivalent parts.

Is 25 pounds considered heavy or just average?
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Old 08-18-16, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueRCF View Post
Thanks! Yeah, I think whatever I finally choose has to have at least Tiagra level or equivalent parts.

Is 25 pounds considered heavy or just average?

It depends on what kind of bike we are talking about and your intended usage.


A Trek 7.4FX weighs 23lbs, doesn't have disc brakes and can't take tyres as wide as the Toughroad's can, I think it maxes out at about 42mm.


A Trek 8.4DS weighs 30lbs, still can't take tyres as wide as the Toughroad, I think it maxes out at about 47mm and it is far from clear if its frame is more robust or not than a Toughroad's.


One of the main reasons I bought my Toughroad was that I wanted to be able to put on 50 - 55mm tyres(I will likely also run 40mm tyres later on too) and very few bikes outside of dedicated mountain bikes allow for that, plus it is the only bike that isn't a fat bike, that is made by any of the big bike companies that allow you to realistically take on rough roads and not need a suspension fork.


If one is very rarely going to leave the road and only then to ride on forgiving surfaces and don't need bigger than 40mm tyres, then there are better choices than the Toughroad out there for sure.
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Old 08-19-16, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by LHawes View Post
Max. @65 lbs.
Too much. Try 50 on those tires. It will soak the bumps better allowing you to ride faster.
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Old 08-19-16, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Too much. Try 50 on those tires. It will soak the bumps better allowing you to ride faster.
I discovered they were actually at 45 lbs. I pumped them up to 65 to test your theory. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-19-16, 01:54 PM
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Congrats on the new ToughRoad!
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Old 08-19-16, 03:18 PM
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Yes on bumpy gravel roads a lower tire pressure would no doubt be better. I run the max 65 because I weigh 105kg and ride on relatively smooth roads and never in the wet.
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Old 08-19-16, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
Congrats on the new ToughRoad!
Thanks Doc, Really enjoying it.
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Old 08-19-16, 04:56 PM
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Ran the pressure up to 65 psi and was shocked how rough the ride was. So rough in fact I stopped to let some air out. I didn't have a guage and it turned out I got them down to 25 psi and the ride was awesome. Soft and plush and didn't seem that much slower but I really have no interest in fast and part of the reason I bought the Toughroad was because of the bigger tires and the promise of a softer ride. I pumped them back up to 40 psi and will try that on my next ride but I am out of the 65 psi club for now.

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Old 08-19-16, 06:12 PM
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Yeah 40 psi max for me, maybe a little less.
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Old 08-20-16, 02:05 AM
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Hmmmm. Those pressures at first glance appear low to me but my only experience has been on my MB with heavy Geax Kevlar tires and thick thorn-proof tubes, I have never run these light folding tires before. I'll drop mine to 55 and go out tomorrow and see if I can maintain a reasonable speed.
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