Cross Purposes

I also keeps up Art

I also keeps up Art

In the weeks I’ve had it, I’ve become a fan of the Giant TCX cross bike. At first glance, it might look like a road bike. Then you notice the little deviations from the norm that make it special.

  • Of course, there are the canitlever brakes. I’m not sure about them, they could stop faster, and the front one stutters badly in combination with the straight fork. I’ll have to cant the pads in more.
  • The bottom bracket is higher. While originally meant for better clearance in the face of off-road obstacles, it also helps not to avoid ground contact while pedalling through a corner.
  • The original Kenda tires were replaced with 32mm Vittoria semislicks. These roll a lot better on the road and work as well on dry ground. Their side knobs provide enough bite for off-camber ground.
  • Giant used butted and (hydro- ?) formed aluminum tubes for the TCX. They’re not beer can thin in the middle, but close. The orientation of the biggest diameters is cleverly executed so that this light and large frame feels right under my ample weight. Between stiff and springy, I’d characterize it. The welding leaves nothing to be desired, you don’t acually see welds, they’re beautifully radiussed.
  • Apart from it’s unfortunate interaction with the front cantilever brake, the fork is fine, too, flexing over it’s whole, straight length.
  • Nothing to complain in the component department. Shimano 105 levers and derailleurs just work. The wheels sport Giant brand high-profile rims that have stayed true bombing down mixed gravel and talus roads.
  • As you can see in the lead photo, one othe component I’ve replaced is the saddle. Brooks leather saddles don’t need my endorsement, but in this case their inherent give contributes to the silky ride of this bike.
  • In use, it allows a certain recklessness in riding and choosing your way. A point of the compass and GO! Take whatever road, path or piste goes that way.
    And that’s what I mean by freedom!

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