Tag Archives: Force

Tale of Two Giants

It is done. I finally have the two Giant TCR Advanced frames built up. This all started back in September and is ending here in February. Now I’ll have another choice to make whenever I decide to go for a ride — do I ride white, or do I ride black?

Back when I joined the POA Cycling Team, I sold my Specialized Tarmac Pro and my first road bike, a Specialized Allez Elite, in order to get the team bike – a black 2009 TCR Advanced with Force components. It was a great bike and I was glad I made the switch.  However, the problem it created was that I only had one bike.

2009 Giant TCR Advanced

2009 Giant TCR Advanced

Now, for most people that isn’t a problem. What I found for me was that I often ran into situations where I would have the bike in the shop for a tune-up or to have something fixed that I had broken, and I would be bike-less. I came to regret getting rid of both of those bikes.

That was never more the case than in September 2009 when I was taken out in a race. The black Giant was cracked on the top tube. I had no bike at all.

Thankfully, Giant sent me a replacement frame. To make things nicer, it was a 2010 Giant TCR Advanced. I was able to build it up with 2010 SRAM Force components. It was the bike I used to ride the relay from Greenville to Austin in October.

2010 Giant TCR Advanced

2010 Giant TCR Advanced

When Giant sent me the new frame, they did not request me to return the old one. At first I didn’t know what to do with it. Then a friend of mine told me that he had a frame fixed with Calfee Design. I looked into it and found that for a little over $300 I could get the black frame fixed.

So, I sent it off and received it about the time we placed the team order for 2010 SRAM parts for the team. It is way too good of a deal to pass up and I decided to snag some Red components. The plan was to move the Force group to the black TCR Advanced and put the Red group on the white TCR Advanced.

FINALLY, after months it all came together. Then I couldn’t decide which bike to use as my primary bike! That is important because my one Quarq CinQo powermeter is in the crank – a SRAM S900. The number 1 bike would need to have that crank.

After a bit of deliberation, I decided to go with my original plans. I get differing reactions from people regarding the look of the two bikes. Some like the white. Some like the black. I think I like the both.

Maybe I’ll be able to find a way to get power on the black bike and I’ll be able to switch between the two of them more often. I could ride the one that best fits the mood of the day! More importantly, I’ll have a bike to ride whether one is in the shop or not.

Now… if the snow would just clear from the roads so I could ride one of them…

Ebony and ivory

Ebony and ivory

SRAM Red, White, and Black

What do I do now? Before Christmas I ordered some components as part of my POA Cycling Team deal with SRAM. I’m certain John, at Sunshine Cycle Shop, grew weary of me asking when the order would arrive. Well, I’ll pester him no longer. The order arrived yesterday.

Now I’m left with a quandary. Which frame do I put the components on? The white Giant or the black one?

2009 (black) and 2010 (white) TCR Advanced frames

2009 (black) and 2010 (white) TCR Advanced frames

My original intention was to move the ’09 Force group from the white bike to the black bike and then build up the white one with the ’10 Red group. With that in mind I ordered a new Force crank so I could keep my SRAM S900 with the Quarq CinQo on the white bike.

That would have full Red on the white bike except for the crank and full Force on the black bike. It all made perfect sense until some friends told me I should consider racing the black frame with the Force group and leave the white frame and the Red for the cookie rides. The idea makes sense.

Let’s face it, there really isn’t that much of a difference in the components. Yes, the Red is lighter with a slightly different construction, but when it comes to someone at my skill level it really doesn’t make that much difference. I hate to say it, but it really comes down to what looks good.

That is the problem. Since I only have one Quarq CinQo and I am training this year, I have to keep the powermeter crank on the bike that I plan to race. Unless I plan to mix the Force crank with the remaining Red group, I have to keep the Red stuff with the S900.

I’m leaning heavily toward my original plan – build the white Giant up with the Red group and the CinQo. The black bike would then be all Force. If looks count for anything, that is definitely the way to go.

2010 Giant TCR Advanced

2010 Giant TCR Advanced

Then again… if I race the white Giant, I will be the only POA rider on a white bike — all the other Giant frames on the team are black. Also, the black frame is the repaired frame and keeping the white frame out of the racing action would keep it safer. Who cares if the black frame gets nicked?

2009 Giant TCR Advanced

2009 Giant TCR Advanced

Then again… you only live once and that white frame is really sweet. With the Red group on it, that white Giant is going to stand out… though I have to admit the black frame just looks more menacing.

Silly, isn’t it?

Help!!!! I can’t make up my mind!