Giant TCR

Starter

    Photo: Photograph by Shana Novak

If you are truly looking to start racing, and think it might stick, this bike can grow with you. As with the BMC, an aluminum bottom half stiffens the frame for better handling and efficiency, and a carbon-fiber top quiets road buzz. That mix, plus a trustworthy Shimano 105 build and Mavic wheels, delivers the lightest weight in this category. With the compact FSA crankset plugged into that aluminum spine, spinning up long climbs is a joy. "If you don't want to pay for a high-end race bike right now,"said one tester, "you could gradually upgrade this and get something pretty close."$1,725; 18.9lbs (56cm); giant-bicycles.com

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