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Leaving Giant after 10 years of loyalty - Hello Specialized Tarmac SL8!

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Leaving Giant after 10 years of loyalty - Hello Specialized Tarmac SL8!

Old 09-25-23, 06:35 AM
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eduskator
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Leaving Giant after 10 years of loyalty - Hello Specialized Tarmac SL8!

As title says, I have finally decided to cheat on Giant after 10 years of loyal relationship.

My 4 months old Giant Propel Pro has served well this season but I just didn't fell in love with it as much as I thought I would. Giant has disappointed me over the last years and I felt like it was time I tried something else. Why?

1) SRAM - my Propel is equipped with Force AXS and I've had nothing but issues so far with the front derailleur. The awkward hoods, short battery life (less than 500kms) and slow shifting (can't be adjusted) are also a big no-no to me.
2) Color options - most of the time none at all. TCRs and Propels have been (to me) not very good looking since 2-3 years. It would be nice for them to offer black + another exotic color or two every year.
3) Groupset options - most of the time none at all. Can't decide between Shimano and SRAM when you want a specific version (in Canada at least).

Now, for the interesting part, who's the new girlfriend?

I bought a 2024 SL8 Pro over the weekend on a whim. I found a bike shop a few hours away from where I live that's willing to swap parts between two SL8 Pros they have in stock to accommodate my preferences. Here are the specs:

2024 Specialized Tarmac SL8 Pro - Black
Groupset: R8170 (172.5mm crankset) with DA Rotors
Frame size: 58cm
Bars: 42cm
Stem: 100mm

Picture is for reference only as it's with the Force groupset. The stem will be slammed down as well.



Picking it up on Wednesday, right on time for my birthday! I am expecting it to weight around 7.3kg which is significantly lighter than my current Propel.

Can't wait to ride it

Last edited by eduskator; 09-25-23 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 09-25-23, 09:46 AM
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Sweet! Yeah, I had a team edition TCR a few years back, but Giant's bikes have been kinda boring for the last few years... And I agree that Shimano > SRAM when it comes to road bike groupsets, especially di2 vs AXS. Post pics when you get it!
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Old 09-25-23, 09:50 AM
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enjoy it !!!! you’re going to love 12 speed ultegra di2. and that frame is really great looking in person, for some reason the “speed sniffer” head tube looks wierd in pictures but good in person. aero and light, AND a great ride.
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Old 09-25-23, 10:43 AM
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Let us know how it goes! On my second TCR, a 2022 Pro, previous was a 2013 Advanced ISP. I love the bike and the ride, other than that I agree t's a little bit unexciting. I have 12 speed Ultegra Di2 on mine. Built it up from the frame.
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Old 09-25-23, 11:23 AM
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That looks fantastic! Giant for me seemed like a head vs. heart thing. Even though my first road bike was a Giant Contend SL Disc (which I bought on clearance for an absolute bargain) that took me on a lot of great rides, I never really loved it. How much is just brainwashing from brands with larger advertising budgets, I don't know. They certainly don't push the brand around here. I sold it last year to a friend as I was never riding it.

​​​​​​What really surprised me was when I was in Taiwan, where Giant's based, expecting to see road cyclists around on top tier Giant bikes. I even wondered if I would be able to buy one and bring it home for cheaper than buying one in the U.S. Instead I mostly saw road cyclists on Specialized and S-Works.
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Old 09-25-23, 11:28 AM
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I 100% agree on the "head vs heart" analogy RE: Giant. Great value bikes, good workhorse, or "workingman's" bike for that reason. Although it may not scratch the itch if you want something more with more lust.
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Old 09-25-23, 11:32 AM
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Nice Specialized, enjoy your bike
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Old 09-25-23, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mschwett
enjoy it !!!! you’re going to love 12 speed ultegra di2. and that frame is really great looking in person, for some reason the “speed sniffer” head tube looks wierd in pictures but good in person. aero and light, AND a great ride.
I think I will. Plus the bike shop owner told me that the black Pro frameset looked better than the black S-WORKS frameset. I didn't realize it, but they're not the same color!

I didn't like the speed sniffer at first, but I kind of like it now. Plus, it looks a lot better with the stem slammed down.

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Old 09-25-23, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Caliwild
Sweet! Yeah, I had a team edition TCR a few years back, but Giant's bikes have been kinda boring for the last few years... And I agree that Shimano > SRAM when it comes to road bike groupsets, especially di2 vs AXS. Post pics when you get it!
Yup, they're great bikes though! The team edition has a great color scheme. I have had 4 TCRs so far and my favorite one was my 2018 black, red and chrome Pro 0:


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Old 09-25-23, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by surak
That looks fantastic! Giant for me seemed like a head vs. heart thing. Even though my first road bike was a Giant Contend SL Disc (which I bought on clearance for an absolute bargain) that took me on a lot of great rides, I never really loved it. How much is just brainwashing from brands with larger advertising budgets, I don't know. They certainly don't push the brand around here. I sold it last year to a friend as I was never riding it.

​​​​​​What really surprised me was when I was in Taiwan, where Giant's based, expecting to see road cyclists around on top tier Giant bikes. I even wondered if I would be able to buy one and bring it home for cheaper than buying one in the U.S. Instead I mostly saw road cyclists on Specialized and S-Works.
Totally agree with you on that one! Giant offers the best bang for the buck for sure, but they're definitively not stylish bikes. May-be we'll get a surprise once they refresh the TCR. I was expecting it for 2024, but it seems like Giant is going to wait another year. The refreshed Defy is sweet.

Last edited by eduskator; 09-25-23 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 09-25-23, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
... 2) Color options - most of the time none at all. TCRs and Propels have been (to me) not very good looking since 2-3 years. It would be nice for them to offer black + another exotic color or two every year. ...

... Here are the specs:

2024 Specialized Tarmac SL8 Pro - Black
Nice bike for new bike day!

Did you complain about Giant offering bikes only in black then turn around to buy an SL8 Pro in black?
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Old 09-25-23, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Nice bike for new bike day!

Did you complain about Giant offering bikes only in black then turn around to buy an SL8 Pro in black?
Thanks! And no, I wrote it would be nice for Giant to offer their bikes in black and another color of their choice, which is not what they are doing.

To be honest, I would have bought a Propel again if it had been available in Ultegra DI2 and in black like this one below. The color for the 2024 Pro 0 here in Canada is *drum roll* sangria

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Old 09-25-23, 12:22 PM
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I'm not a fan of black bikes, but did see a SL8 in the "Fog" color, and sure thought it was a good looking bike. Nothing wrong with black, just not my thing.

Enjoy the ride!
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Old 09-25-23, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31
I'm not a fan of black bikes, but did see a SL8 in the "Fog" color, and sure thought it was a good looking bike. Nothing wrong with black, just not my thing.

Enjoy the ride!
Thanks! I've had many colors over the years, but black keeps on being ''my thing'' for cars, bikes and other vehicles for some reason. It's timeless.
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Old 09-25-23, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
Thanks! I've had many colors over the years, but black keeps on being ''my thing'' for cars, bikes and other vehicles for some reason. It's timeless.
I get it. I've always been a "white" guy, and have driven a lot of white cars (7 of my last 9). Now have a blue bike and a blue car. Go figure.

There were only three things that stopped me from getting that Fog SL8 - (i) I just bought an Emonda, (ii) it was one size too big, and (iii) the almost $14k price tag (full DA Di2). Well, four actually, my wife was standing right there. Sweet, sweet bike.
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Old 09-25-23, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31
I get it. I've always been a "white" guy, and have driven a lot of white cars (7 of my last 9). Now have a blue bike and a blue car. Go figure.

There were only three things that stopped me from getting that Fog SL8 - (i) I just bought an Emonda, (ii) it was one size too big, and (iii) the almost $14k price tag (full DA Di2). Well, four actually, my wife was standing right there. Sweet, sweet bike.
Yeah, I didn't even consider the S-Works because of the price tag (17k CND here in Canada right now versus 11.5k for the Pro). The S-Works is allegedly 540g lighter than the Pro (6.62kg vs 7.16kg) so I decided to ride with 1 bottle of water instead of two to compensate. I am expecting mine to be weighting just over 7.4kg with pedals and water bottle cages.
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Old 09-25-23, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
Yeah, I didn't even consider the S-Works because of the price tag (17k CND here in Canada right now versus 11.5k for the Pro). The S-Works is allegedly 540g lighter than the Pro (6.62kg vs 7.16kg) so I decided to ride with 1 bottle of water instead of two to compensate.
Two carbon bottle cages may even that out so you can carry two bottles when needed.
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Old 09-25-23, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
Yup, they're great bikes though! The team edition has a great color scheme. I have had 4 TCRs so far and my favorite one was my 2018 black, red and chrome Pro 0:
That's a sweet bike. This was mine...

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Old 09-26-23, 04:51 AM
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What a great looking bike! Love the color scheme.
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Old 09-26-23, 07:03 AM
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The SL8 SWorks frame is a thing of beauty. I have the pleasure...and indeed it is...of building one. I just started it yesterday. Wow ! it is one light frame. It will be clothed in Dura Ace Di2 12 speed. I installed the headset/fork,spacers, stem, handlebars, bottom bracket, crankset, pedals, seatpost and saddle yesterday. Waiting for the rest of the parts to come in. I used a basic Spesh stem just for fitment of the rider to the bike and a set of Roval C38's we have on hand from a bike we are selling.
When the rest of the parts arrive I will have to remove the crank/BB, etc. to install the wiring, battery, etc. This is just for fitment purposes to determine the correct stem length, etc.
Almost makes me want one to replace my Aethos, non SWorks, but I do love the ride of my Aethos and will somehow resist the urge to 'upgrade' lol.
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Old 09-26-23, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Kai Winters
The SL8 SWorks frame is a thing of beauty. I have the pleasure...and indeed it is...of building one. I just started it yesterday. Wow ! it is one light frame. It will be clothed in Dura Ace Di2 12 speed. I installed the headset/fork,spacers, stem, handlebars, bottom bracket, crankset, pedals, seatpost and saddle yesterday. Waiting for the rest of the parts to come in. I used a basic Spesh stem just for fitment of the rider to the bike and a set of Roval C38's we have on hand from a bike we are selling.
When the rest of the parts arrive I will have to remove the crank/BB, etc. to install the wiring, battery, etc. This is just for fitment purposes to determine the correct stem length, etc.
Almost makes me want one to replace my Aethos, non SWorks, but I do love the ride of my Aethos and will somehow resist the urge to 'upgrade' lol.
Wow! I would love to see some pictures once the build is completed! And indeed, in my opinion, the new Tarmac SL8 makes you want to upgrade whatever you have . I've never ridden one in fact, but I'm sure I will love it instantly.

The Aethos looks like a climbing beast.
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Old 09-26-23, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
Wow! I would love to see some pictures once the build is completed! And indeed, in my opinion, the new Tarmac SL8 makes you want to upgrade whatever you have . I've never ridden one in fact, but I'm sure I will love it instantly.

The Aethos looks like a climbing beast.




This is just a setup for basic customer fitment to get the correct stem length.
The wheels are from a different bike, the shifters are mine from an 11 speed system I used to use on my Aethos. The chain is just a basic 11 speed sram chain, again from my last setup. No derailleurs...waiting for them to arrive...same with the rest of the drivetrain/brakes. But good enough for a basic fit. It's going to be a real beauty when she's done.

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Old 09-27-23, 04:53 AM
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Beautiful! The black S-WORKS frameset is very different from mine in terms of color, I can now see it from your pictures!
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Old 09-27-23, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
As title says, I have finally decided to cheat on Giant after 10 years of loyal relationship.

My 4 months old Giant Propel Pro has served well this season but I just didn't fell in love with it as much as I thought I would. Giant has disappointed me over the last years and I felt like it was time I tried something else. Why?

1) SRAM - my Propel is equipped with Force AXS and I've had nothing but issues so far with the front derailleur. The awkward hoods, short battery life (less than 500kms) and slow shifting (can't be adjusted) are also a big no-no to me.
2) Color options - most of the time none at all. TCRs and Propels have been (to me) not very good looking since 2-3 years. It would be nice for them to offer black + another exotic color or two every year.
3) Groupset options - most of the time none at all. Can't decide between Shimano and SRAM when you want a specific version (in Canada at least).

Now, for the interesting part, who's the new girlfriend?

I bought a 2024 SL8 Pro over the weekend on a whim. I found a bike shop a few hours away from where I live that's willing to swap parts between two SL8 Pros they have in stock to accommodate my preferences. Here are the specs:

2024 Specialized Tarmac SL8 Pro - Black
Groupset: R8170 (172.5mm crankset) with DA Rotors
Frame size: 58cm
Bars: 42cm
Stem: 100mm

Picture is for reference only as it's with the Force groupset. The stem will be slammed down as well.



Picking it up on Wednesday, right on time for my birthday! I am expecting it to weight around 7.3kg which is significantly lighter than my current Propel.

Can't wait to ride it
Congrats on the new bike, it looks sweet! I don't understand the "Loyalty" thing though. Has Giant ever done anything for you? I own a Cannondale road bike, Trek gravel bike, and Canyon MTB. They're just bikes, and they all perform their task very well. Very happy with them all.
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Old 09-27-23, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
Beautiful! The black S-WORKS frameset is very different from mine in terms of color, I can now see it from your pictures!
it's not black, it's called moonshadow something or other...it's quite nice
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