Skimping out – how a few cheap components can spoil an experience

28 Sep

My Giant TCR Advanced W came with some nice spec; an Ultegra groupset (except for the 105 cassette and chain), and some nice hoops to roll on. I am overall very happy with the bike except for a couple of things.

It came with white tape which was not only a disadvantage due to it’s colour, but it seemed to be dirtphillic (ie dirt loving). It may have been my fault – I may have got sunscreen on there (that stuff just gets everywhere – I spent ages trying to clean it off my frame), and that may have caused everything to stick to it. Anyway it looked disgusting. The white tape on my Schwinn has an overall grey colour but the TCR tape was far worse in appearance – you could see exactly what hand positions I favoured.

The tyres, while they were good rollers, cut up easily. They were Michelin Pro Light Service Course, which I am guessing are a slightly beefier tyre than their race rubber. The rear one got a cut in it which was about half the width of the tyre itself. I got punctures every ride in the rear until I decided to run a slightly lower pressure and went down to 90psi. Since I’m now around 60kgs, the lowish pressure wasn’t an issue, and stopped the punctures, but that cut was nagging at me. The last thing any cyclist wants is a rapid tyre deflation whilst going a little faster than usual down a hill.

I had a good look, and aside from the big cut, there were a lot of holes which looked like they were developing a little bulge around them, so I decided at 1,893 kilometres that it was time to replace the rear just to be safe. Of course while changing the bar tape I had chosen to embark on a brave new colour scheme, and chose red tape, so I bought red Schwalbe Duranos to put on the bike. Black was out of stock, OK? Anyway I decided to change front and back tyres and keep the front one as a spare. The front has various holes in it but it was no where near as cut up as the rear.

Now I figure I’ve got another 3,000ks before I put a new chain on, and at that time I think I might have to replace the seat as well. It is already looking shabby – the brand name on the side has worn off, and the white parts are looking decidedly grey. The padding seems to be losing it’s spring as well. I guess I’ll replace the bar tape again by then as well – we shall see how this new red BBB tape stands up.

The main question, which I probably have 6 months to consider, is, will I put a Brooks on it?


Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Reviews


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4 responses to “Skimping out – how a few cheap components can spoil an experience

  1. aushiker

    September 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I think you should get a Brooks saddle now 🙂 Maybe not a B17 but. I would consider a Team Professional Pro or one of the racing styles. The B17 is more for a relaxed riding setup in my experience.

    • perthcyclist

      October 2, 2012 at 10:16 am

      maybe a Swallow Ti, I like the look of them…. has to wait a little while though

  2. nursefrugal

    October 2, 2012 at 5:57 am

    The bummer is the white tape……That’s why it’s so hard for me to buy any kind of white clothing: It’s so easy to get it dirty ;( Can you change the tape color, ie, swapping it out?

    • perthcyclist

      October 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

      Already swapped it, the bottom photo is the result of new tape and new tyres – 500ks and the red tape is starting to show a bit of dirt though, I think next time I’ll just get black


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