Hyro: Giant TCX SLR (2014)

This is a bicycle made for cyclocross racing – shorthand for “taking a drop-bar bike off-road.” Popular in Europe in the fall and winter, cyclocross races are run on taped circuit courses with tight turns that go over many varied surfaces (grass, mud, sand) and obstacles (staircases, low planks), for a maximum of 60 minutes. The bikes are usually restricted to a 33 mm tire width and have frame geometry to suit.

At the time of his release/purchase in 2014, disc brakes were just barely starting to make their presence felt on road bikes, but going the cyclocross route was the only practical option if you really wanted them like I did. Hyro has since seen most of his kilometers on pavement, refitted as my idea of an all-conditions bicycle for commuting, randonneuring, or light touring – and predating the gravel bike craze by a good three years.

Why have I named this bike “Hyro”?

This is due to the white-on-black color scheme, which extended to the original saddle and bar tape on purchase. In the Philippines, we have a local knock-off version of the famous Nabisco Oreo chocolate-and-cream cookie. This local variant is called “Hi-Ro” and produced by Fibisco – hence the name.


//frame + fork

  • Size S, 50 cm seat tube, 53 cm top tube (52 cm effective), 13 cm head tube
  • Giant Aluxx SLR 6011A aluminum alloy tubing, internal cable routing, vertical quick-release dropouts
  • BB86 press-fit bottom bracket shell
  • Integrated headset cups, 44 mm head tube diameter
  • Integrated seatpost clamp plate, included rack adapter block
  • Composite fork, 1-1/8″ to 1-1/4″ tapered aluminum steerer tube, vertical quick-release dropouts
    • 400 mm axle-to-crown
    • 380 mm actual vertical clearance
    • 40 mm rake/offset
  • FSA drop-in headset
  • Post-Mount disc brake caliper hardpoints


  • Shimano CN-HG601 11-speed chain
  • Shimano 105 FC-R7000 road double crankset, 170 mm arms, 50/34T
    • Shimano SM-BB91-41B press-fit bottom bracket (BB86)
    • 4iiii Precision power meter x Shimano 105 FC-R7000 crank arm
  • Shimano ST-RS685 control levers (2×11), hydraulic brake + mechanical shift
  • Shimano 105 RD-R7000-GS rear derailleur
  • Shimano 105 FD-5801-F front derailleur
  • Shimano shift inner cables
  • Shimano SP41 shift cable housing
  • Shimano OT-RS900 shift outer casing

//rolling stock

  • Custom wheelset built by Gran Trail Cycles
    • H Plus Son The Hydra rims, 23 mm internal width, tubeless-ready
    • Novatec D791SB front hub, 6-bolt rotor fitment, 100 mm QR/TA
    • Novatec D792SB-11S rear hub, 6-bolt rotor fitment, 135 mm QR/TA
    • Novatec external cam quick-release skewers
    • Stainless steel spokes x 32 per wheel
    • SRAM Centerline brake rotors, 160 mm
    • Shimano 105 CS-HG700-11 cassette (11-34T)
  • American Classic Timekeeper tubeless-ready tires, folding bead, 700 x 28 mm (28-622)
  • Orange Seal Endurance sealant
  • Stan’s NoTubes tubeless Presta valves, 35 mm


  • Shimano BR-RS785 hydraulic disc brake calipers
  • Shimano J02A resin finned brake pads
  • Shimano BH59 hydraulic brake hoses


  • Selle SMP Drakon saddle, 135 mm width
  • Giant D-Fuse composite seatpost
  • Specialized short-reach drop handlebars, 400 mm width, 125 mm drop, 65 mm reach, compact bend
  • Redshift Sports ShockStop suspension stem, 90 mm, -6 degrees
  • Look X-Track XC pedals
  • Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT bike computer
  • KOM Cycling classic out-front mount for Wahoo devices + GoPro mount adapter


  • Topeak Burrito Pack saddle tool roll
  • Revelate Designs Mag-Tank top tube bag
  • Cygolite Hotrod 90 rear safety light
  • Portland Design Works “It’s A Water Bottle Cage” bottle cages
  • Lezyne Digital Micro Floor Drive HPG mini track pump with gauge
  • Cat Eye Volt 800 HL-EL471RC front light
  • SKS Bluemels 53 mm aluminum/plastic full-length fenders


Interested to see how Hyro has changed over the years? Follow the links below.

8 thoughts on “Hyro: Giant TCX SLR (2014)

  1. Hi Juan.

    After reading a lot (your articles included) I bought myself a 2017 Giant TCX SLR as a 5th bike.

    I use it for Audax rides on both gravel and tar. In my opinion the TCX is an awesome all rounder and should be the 1st bike that any serious beginner cyclist purchases.

    I wanted wider gravel tyres and was able to fit Fluid 29″ x 1.95″ Mountain Bike tyres without a problem on the standard SX-2 wheels.

    For road use I have purchased 700c x 32mm Armadillos that works well.

    I have also upgraded the FSA 36/46 crank to a Shimano 105 34/50 crank as this gives me a wider (climbing and sprinting) gearing range.

    Keep up the good work. I love reading your articles.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats on the purchase. The TCX has its flaws, but they’re pretty livable and none of them has been a deal breaker IMHO – at least not at the price point it sits in. The only real competitor I see it has is the Merida CX 500, but like the TCX it’s also a rather rare beast. I’m glad the blog was able to help you decide.

      Thanks for the fitment tip on the 29er knobbly tires.


  2. Hi I was wondering how you were able to mount the fenders only using the screws on the fork and chainstay… are they enough to hold the fenders in place?


  3. Hi, I have exactly the same frame as you 😀 Do you happen to know the recommended torque settings for the saddle rails clamp please? My saddle occasionally tilts backwards but I’m wary of over tightening the clamp. Thanks.


    1. The saddle rail clamp should have the torque spec printed on the right side plate. If it’s been worn away, the value is 15-18 Nm.

      I use metal railed saddles and keep mine torqued to 16 Nm for reference, but the saddle still can change angle if you exert a strong enough impulse on it.


      1. Thanks so much, that’s super helpful. There’s not even a hint of print on my side plate! I use my TCX for cross racing so the saddle is subjected to a reasonably high level of force and keeping within the upper torque setting will allow me to sleep comfortably at nights.


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