Introduction

This page collates all things to do with the Giant SCR 1 2008.5 road bike. It serves as something of a review, and as a place to capture its specification for future reference. I intend to maintain the content of this page as I get to know the bike.

The Old Bike

It may help to qualify my notes below if I describe where I was before getting this new bike. I’m inevitably comparing my old bike to my new one, so it’ll help to know what it is. I built it myself a long time ago, and on a student budget. Some basic specs are below. See also a previous post where I mentioned the old bike.

  • Cro-Molly lightweight steel frame
  • Shimano 105 chainset
  • Mavic aloy rims and hubs
  • Altex calliper brakes
  • Various remaining pars cannibalised from the previous bike

Disclaimer

This page is offered in good faith and in the hope that it’s of some use to you. I reserve the right to be ‘wrong’ and these are just my opinions any way, so watch it. I have no affiliation to any bike manufacturer nor bicycle seller.

Specification

SIZES 42, 46.5, 50, 55.5, 58.5cm
FRAME ALUXX aluminium, Fluid Formed, Compact Road Design
FORK T700 carbon composite, aluminium steerer
SHOCK N/A
HANDLEBAR GIANT A5 aluminium
STEM GIANT A3 aluminium ahead
SEAT POST GIANT C5 carbon composite
SADDLE Selle Royal Viper
PEDALS N/A
SHIFTERS Shimano 105 20 speed STI
FRONT MECH Shimano 105
REAR MECH Shimano 105
BRAKES Shimano BR600
BRAKE LEVER Shimano 105 STI
CASSETTE SRAM PG1070 11-28
CHAIN Shimano 105
CRANKS FSA Gossamer EXO 34/50
BOTTOM BRACKET FSA Mega EXO
RIMS GIANT IOU 333
HUBS GIANT IOU 333
SPOKES DT competition
TYRES Kenda 700x26mm

Comfort

The SCR 1 frame is of the modern compact form, where the top tube slopes down from front to back. Taking this into account, the frame size of my new bike is directly equivalent to my old bike. Despite this the former stands about an inch longer in total length. Another difference is the extra forward reach of the handlebar stem. The handlebars and hoods are also larger in every dimension compared to my old ones. All of these differences afford a level of comfort that I’d been lead to expect from the manufacturer’s description, but the proof of the pudding is, as they say, in the eating.

First impressions are always of note. In my case, I was immediately aware that this bike was, well there’s no other way to put it: comfortable. I was aware of the more forward position, closer to the front wheel, and the reach forward to the bars was somehow just right.

The handlebars, and hoods in particular, are noticeably comfy and the shape of the bars offer several more hand positions than the old ones. I used to spend nearly all my cycling time with my hands down on the drops. While this is preferred with respect to wind resistance, it’s also more of a strain on my back and neck. But I find gripping the hoods more appealing than before and now I switch between the hoods and drops far more often.

Handling

The new riding position was a little disconcerting at first. My centre of balance has moved forward from where I’ve grown accustomed. Combined with the reduced total weight of the bike, and particularly the wheels, gives me the tendency to over steer when leaning into a tight turn. This is just a matter of re-learning the bike’s dynamics I’m sure.

The carbon front forks don’t take every bump out of the tarmac, but they definitely make a noticeable difference. The punishment on my wrists is much reduced and they no longer ache after a ride. Steering at speed is also confident and responsive.

Braking

I suspect that the combination of the light weight of the bike and the more powerful Shimano 105 callipers are contriving to challenge my braking skill. I have a tendency now to lock the rear wheel when braking on a straight and I sometimes cause slippage when cornering. My braking technique needs amendment, perhaps with more emphasis on braking with the front wheel.

Each rim has a small tell-tale notch to indicate when braking has worn it away so much that it’s time to replace it. That’s a good idea but, when braking hard, I can feel the notch as it passes under the block, causing vibration. This is, if nothing else, a bit distracting.

Aesthetics

I’d be lying if I told you that my choice wasn’t swayed by the looks of this model. I have a thing for yellow, when it comes to bikes. The yellow and black finish contrast each other pleasingly and work well with the mid grey on the forks. I feel like I look like I know what I’m doing when I’m riding this bike. Unlike my old bike, it’s a bike that I expect people to notice and go “ooh” at.

It has to be said, however, that the nice, bright yellow of the rear forks is particularly good at highlighting the black gunge that the rear brake pads dribble onto it in wet conditions. I’m already being obsessive about cleaning my new bike and this isn’t helping!