The TCX Advanced Pro 1 ticks all the boxes on my cyclocross grocery list. And it has already found a home under pro riders in the highest echelons of the sport, yet it costs about as much as a mid-level road bike. This seems to be the sweet spot in cyclocross, affording you everything you need to make a real run at the podium while maintaining some semblance of a budget for things like food and shelter. Fortunately, I like the way the TCX rides almost as much as I like dinner and the roof over my head.
That’s because it complements my strengths (short, explosive sprints) and accommodates my weaknesses (just about everything else … har har). The size M/L I tested has somewhat long geometry numbers (1031mm wheelbase, 429mm chain stays, 61mm bottom bracket drop, 569mm stack, and 386mm reach), which contribute to its stability during all-out sprints. Pushing the TCX Advanced Pro 1 up a false-flat on the backside of Valmont Bike Park felt intuitive and stable even while torquing hard and leaning the bike over. The Giant encourages pedal-mashing, and it keeps you on an even keel as you do so.
You’ll be able to get over the front end and explode forward without the rear wheel skipping all over the place. Stability is the name of the game here. It’s not the most nimble for tape-to-tape cornering, but everywhere else the TCX is a rocket. The long wheelbase, trail, and chain stays that contribute to that stable feel also limit the TCX slightly in the tightest turns, though it’s far from being a sluggish steerer. If your bike-handling skills are up to snuff, you won’t notice too much fight here.
Quick line changes on fast descents were a breeze, while serpentine twists through the trees required a bit more input. That may be due to the 61-millimeter bottom bracket drop. For comparison, that’s 8mm higher than the BB on a 56cm Specialized Crux. Cyclocross geometry is all about compromise — though Giant’s geo might not feel snappy, a taller bottom bracket will let you pedal through steep off-camber or deep mud ruts without striking your pedals.
It’s an common adage: practice makes perfect. But it’s difficult to prepare for races when the actual route takes place halfway across the world. Or if your schedule doesn’t give you appropriate time to hit the course.
Whatever the reason, indoor smart trainers (like the KICKR ) have helped riders access unique training plans that can dynamically recreate courses and conditions in high detail. In conjunction with Best Bike Split, for example, riders can access a complex physics engine that takes into consideration power data, course info, and race day conditions to carve a perfect plan of attack.
For triathletes, this is crucial training; Getting as close to real conditions in your workouts can shave off valuable time when rubber hits the road on race day. When each second counts, you can’t afford to throw away training time to incomplete sessions.
So are you looking to maximize your training time for a race? Reach a new PR? Take on your first triathlon? Recreating these routes for your training is simple; just grab your KICKR, start up the Best Bike Split program, and follow the steps below.
How to Set Up Best Bike Split on Your KICKR
Step 1: Create a race course within Best Bike Split. Most Ironman courses are already included (just a simple search for them should pull them up) or you can build your own custom route.
Step 2: Choose a race plan based on your FTP to provide an optimum bike split OR plug in a target time and BBS will load a plan based on those specific targets.
Note : Once you have your race plan, you’ll notice it looks a bit like a cue sheet; there is target wattage or speed to hold for X Miles information available.
Step 3: After you save your race plan, navigate to your ELEMNT and authorize BBS. It will sync your course down in the “Routes List.”
Step 4: Now get on your KICKR. There are 2 ways to utilize this new race plan.
If you want your ELEMNT to control it in simulation mode, just select the route and it will augment the KICKR based on grade simulation (insane KICKR CLIMB session, anyone?). You’ll also have your target power/speed to hold just like you will have to do on the road.
If you want to see the BBS race plan while you train, just select the BBS custom screen on your ELEMNT for live updates on your progress and targets.
Bonus Tip : If you want to practice being held to that wattage, you can export your data as a variety of files and then attempt it on Trainer Road or put it in the Zwift Workout builder.
Giant Bicycles has introduced an all-new range of Reign enduro bikes featuring updated Maestro suspension technology and refined frame geometry. Aimed at competitive enduro racers, big-mountain adventurers, and anyone who loves to tackle aggressive trails, the new Reign comes to market with pro off-road performance in its DNA.
Engineered, designed and developed with valuable input from Giant Factory Off-Road Team riders, the new Reign incorporates several new technologies and frame features that have been put to the test on the most demanding trails and enduro races around the world. Josh Carlson, who scored a top-10 ranking in last year’s Enduro World Series, rode multiple prototype versions, testing the Reign’s improved suspension capabilities at race events and on his local trails in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The updated Maestro rear suspension features 160mm of smooth travel and some key improvements to shock performance and the overall handling of the bike.
A new trunnion mount allows for a longer shock stroke and a lower leverage ratio, which improves small-bump compliance and pedaling efficiency. The trunnion mount also allows for more insertion depth for longer dropper posts. And a new Advanced Forged Composite upper rocker arm increases frame stiffness, adds strength and reduces overall weight.
Every model in the new Reign range features new frame geometry including an aggressive 65-degree headtube angle and 73-degree seattube angle, engineered for 160mm of suspension travel front and rear. Developed and refined over time, the new geometry boosts overall control without sacrificing agility or climbing efficiency. And it’s all optimized for 27.5 wheels, which strike the perfect balance of lightweight agility, acceleration and control that’s needed to tackle aggressive terrain.
The 2018 Reign range includes two series. The Reign Advanced series is built on a lightweight, super-stiff Advanced-grade composite mainframe with an ALUXX SL aluminum rear swingarm. The Reign series features a full ALUXX SL aluminum frame. This series also includes a Reign SX model with an added 10 millimeters of front suspension travel and a special build kit that places more emphasis on technical all-mountain descents.
All the new Reign models are engineered and handcrafted by Giant, the only major bicycle brand that controls the entire frame-making process every step of the way. In addition, all models in the 2018 Reign range are engineered with Boost hub spacing for stiffer wheel performance, added tire clearance, and improved handling on the trail.
For flat-out speed and confidence on rough and rowdy enduro terrain, this is the fastest, most capable range of Reign bikes yet.
For more information, including a video and all the technical details on the entire new Reign range, click here.
Giant has introduced a new addition to its legendary collection of Anthem cross-country bikes, the all-new Anthem 29 range . Designed for competitive XC riders and racers, and featuring all-new 29er-specific geometry with key updates to its Maestro Suspension system, the Anthem 29 range consists of three different series ranging from a superlight full-composite frame race bike to a new ALUXX SL aluminum frame series.
Engineered, designed and developed with valuable input from Giant pro riders, the new Anthem 29 range is aimed at providing XC riders with the ultimate in speed and efficiency on technical terrain. The flagship Anthem Advanced Pro 29 series features a full-composite mainframe and rear triangle, and is the lightest 29er full-suspension frame ever produced by Giant. Each of the new models in the 2018 Anthem 29 range is engineered with 90mm of rear suspension travel and 100mm up front.
Every model in the new Anthem 29 range has a 69-degree headtube angle and 73.5-degree seattube angle. The updated Maestro Suspension system includes a new trunnion mount shock,which produces a lower shock leverage ratio for improved pedaling and braking efficiency. The rear suspension is further bolstered by its new Advanced Forged Composite upper rocker arm, which is lighter, stiffer and stronger than the aluminum version.
Models in the Anthem 29 range are engineered with Boost hub spacing for stiffer wheel performance, added tire clearance, and improved handling on the trail. And they all feature Giant Tubeless System technology, which means every bike is delivered with Giant WheelSystems and tubeless ready tires, making it easier than ever to enjoy the benefits of added traction, smoother trail control, and a reduced risk of flat tires.
Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Carl Decker has been racing the Anthem platform since it was first introduced in 2005. He has experienced the evolution of a bike that started out as a World Cup XC weapon with 26-inch wheels and sharp-handling race geometry. The first 29er version of the Anthem debuted in 2010, and later a 27.5 version—aimed at more aggressive XC/trail riding with added suspension and slacker geometry—was introduced in 2014.
This all-new Anthem 29 range marks a strong commitment to the bike’s original DNA: uncompromising XC speed, efficiency and control.