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My 1st Road Bike: TCR Carbon or TCR Alloy?

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My 1st Road Bike: TCR Carbon or TCR Alloy?

Old 11-21-19, 10:45 PM
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diverge52rider
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My 1st Road Bike: TCR Carbon or TCR Alloy?

Hey everybody, I set my sights on buying a TCR for group rides. I can get a 2017 TCR Advanced Pro 1 for just under $2000 U.S. or a TCR SLR 2 (aluminium, with 105) for half that price. Based on extensive Googling, the SLR alloy frame is very well made, as good or even better than the CAADs. My plan was to test ride both bikes and go with the cheaper one if it felt similar enough to the carbon. However, after reading about the SLR's somewhat unremarkable PR-2 wheels I realized upgrading to something better down the road (i.e. Ksyrium Elite) brings the price of it almost on par with the carbon version.

So...should I just get the Advanced Pro 1 that already comes with the excellent SLR 1 wheels? Am I fine with the PR-2s until I know what the hell I'm doing? Or do I buy the alloy bike and slap some Chinese carbon deep sections on them?

I feel like the TCR Pro is more bike than I'll ever need but it seems silly to spend the same amount of money and get less bike. Comments and suggestions appreciated! 1
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Old 11-21-19, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by diverge52rider View Post
Hey everybody, I set my sights on buying a TCR for group rides. I can get a 2017 TCR Advanced Pro 1 for just under $2000 U.S. or a TCR SLR 2 (aluminium, with 105) for half that price. Based on extensive Googling, the SLR alloy frame is very well made, as good or even better than the CAADs. My plan was to test ride both bikes and go with the cheaper one if it felt similar enough to the carbon. However, after reading about the SLR's somewhat unremarkable PR-2 wheels I realized upgrading to something better down the road (i.e. Ksyrium Elite) brings the price of it almost on par with the carbon version.

So...should I just get the Advanced Pro 1 that already comes with the excellent SLR 1 wheels? Am I fine with the PR-2s until I know what the hell I'm doing? Or do I buy the alloy bike and slap some Chinese carbon deep sections on them?

I feel like the TCR Pro is more bike than I'll ever need but it seems silly to spend the same amount of money and get less bike. Comments and suggestions appreciated! 1
TCR AP1 with SLR wheels.. Do it once, do it right.
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Old 11-21-19, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by diverge52rider View Post

I feel like the TCR Pro is more bike than I'll ever need but it seems silly to spend the same amount of money and get less bike. Comments and suggestions appreciated! 1
Get the better bike with the better wheels.
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Old 11-22-19, 03:05 AM
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The Advanced Pro 1 is definitely the better bike from where I am sitting, too. That said, have you thought at all about whether you might want disc brakes? There are some bikes out there not terribly far from the price of this Advanced Pro 1 that have disc brakes and the "new" 105 R7000, which is just awesome, in my opinion. Not sure where you are located, but if it is wet much of the year, disc brakes can be a godsend. Also, just since you briefly mentioned the Chinese carbon wheel thing, I would urge caution there when using rim brakes on carbon clinchers. Even if the wheels have a basalt or graphene brake line, it can still easily heat up on a big descent, sometimes causing permanent damage to the rim and some other times, unfortunately, causing disaster. So, buyer beware. I am extremely conservative and old-fashioned, I know, but I personally believe these carbon fiber wheels are most safely used with disc brakes.

In any case, I do think now is the time for you to make a decision about disc brakes, up or down. They are quite affordable these days and some of the 105 disc bikes out now are, in my opinion, just steals. The performance level you can get for, say, $2500 now is just off the freaking charts. With pricing where it is right now, you may be able to find a killer deal. Just a thought. Something for you to maybe consider. Whatever you do, wishing you all the best with your new ride.
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Old 11-22-19, 03:22 AM
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You will definitely want the better wheels .... so why not buy the better bike which already comes with them? When you amortize the cost out over how many miles over how many years, the difference disappears. The joy of the ride remains.

There is no such thing as "too much bike." Most people don't train as athletes to their maximum level, so they are likely never getting 199 percent of what their bikes could do anyway .... and given open vs. closed roads, and random pavement conditions vs. having a team check the route many times in advance ... riding all-out for more than very brief stretches would likely have severe negative consequences.

If we applied the same thinking to our cars, we would all drive Ford Fiestas or something.

The question is, which bike is going to provide the most enjoyment of every moment during every ride----and the marginally smoother ride and much better wheels of the CF TCR will do that. Life is not about calculating costs ... it is about experience. The better bike will give you better experiences. it will improve your life.

The Al TCR is a great ride .... and wheels equivalent to the SLRs will make it much better ... for the same money. But still, probably not quite as good as the CF version. Buy the better bike for the same money.
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Old 11-22-19, 10:58 AM
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pay up now. experience love and guilty feelings for years. "I regret spending extra and reaching for the cooler bike," said no one ever.
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Old 11-22-19, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
When you amortize the cost out over how many miles over how many years, the difference disappears. The joy of the ride remains.
This is quote-worthy IMHO. Im going to spin that joy of the ride concept to my wife since Im due for a few upgrades.
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Old 11-22-19, 02:01 PM
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Whut? No one's advocating I train harder and save my money?

All good advice. I come from kayaking background so I know the allure of N+1 (if your wife thinks bikes are a waste of space, trying storing 3 sea kayaks in the garage). My original plan was to get a 2nd wheelset for my gravel bike and be happy riding in the intermediate group, before realizing how much fiddling around this would likely end up being. Then I saw the SLR (nice durable alloy frame & last chance to buy one here) for not a whole lot more than a good pair of wheels ... which ultimately, and inevitably leads to the same conclusion we all have: Maybe I should get a new carbon bike.

Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
That said, have you thought at all about whether you might want disc brakes? There are some bikes out there not terribly far from the price of this Advanced Pro 1 that have disc brakes and the "new" 105 R7000, which is just awesome, in my opinion.
Good points. I'll be sure to test ride a disc as well.

Last edited by diverge52rider; 11-22-19 at 02:11 PM. Reason: mistake
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Old 11-22-19, 05:17 PM
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Is the 105 groupset on the SLR the latest version (7000) or an earlier model?
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Old 11-22-19, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
Is the 105 groupset on the SLR the latest version (7000) or an earlier model?
The previous version of the 105 (5800). Both TCR frames are the newest generation.
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Old 11-22-19, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post

If we applied the same thinking to our cars, we would all drive Ford Fiestas or something.
.
I actually drive a Ford Fiesta ST and it is one of my all-time favorite cars. And, I've owned Audi, BMW, Corvette, Lotus and a whole lot more.
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Old 11-22-19, 05:38 PM
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If given the choice of a CF or AL frame I am inclined to take the AL because for the same money I will get better components and wheels.
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Old 11-22-19, 10:05 PM
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Dean V
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I actually drive a Ford Fiesta ST and it is one of my all-time favorite cars. And, I've owned Audi, BMW, Corvette, Lotus and a whole lot more.
I had a Fiesta ST (2017) for a while. They are a fun little car.
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Old 11-22-19, 10:08 PM
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If you are happy with the wheel set on the Advanced Pro, I would get that.
I actually do have a TCR SLR though and do like it. But mine has a Sram Red groupset and better wheels than stock.
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Old 12-10-19, 08:21 PM
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Thanks for everyone's 2...here's what I ended up with


Fresh from the test ride.



Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to ride the aluminium SLR (it was in another city 1.5 hours away). The Advanced Pro 1 just felt right after the test ride and the LBS slashed the price for Black Friday week too.

The bike feels fast, smooth, and comfortable -- with lots of speed left untapped.

Now I just have to wait until the plows and salt trucks are gone from the road...

Last edited by diverge52rider; 12-11-19 at 12:18 AM. Reason: edit
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Old 12-10-19, 08:43 PM
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Sweet ride! I own a TCR as well, and like others have said, I've never regretted spending more for the better bike. Safe riding!
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