In this article, I’ll guide you through a comparison between the Giant TCR Advanced and Orbea Orca; both popular road bikes among cyclists.
I’ll walk through the Giant TCR Advanced and Orbea Orca models lineup, their specifications, and retail pricing (USD). I’ll explain the carbon fiber technology used (Giant Advanced Composite vs Orbea Monocoque (TorayCa) Carbon), and unique frameset features for each bike.
The goal is to help you get a better understanding before you make your final purchasing decision.
|Giant TCR Advanced||Orbea Orca|
|Type of bike||All-rounder||Lightweight, all-rounder|
|Frame material||Advanced-SL carbon|
|OMX (T1100) carbon|
OMR (T800) carbon
|Frame sizes||XS, S, M, ML, L, XL||47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 60|
|Groupset||Shimano, SRAM (12-speed)||Shimano, SRAM (12-speed)|
|Brakes||Hydraulic disc||Hydraulic disc|
|Price (USD)||$6,500 to $12,200||$3,599 to $11,599|
Giant TCR Advanced
The top-tiered Giant TCR Advanced SL uses the super light Advanced-SL carbon, has an integrated seat post, and is specced with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200) or SRAM Force eTap AXS. The Giant TCR Advanced Pro sits in the mid-range, uses a lower-grade carbon fiber (Advanced carbon), and is slightly heavier.
The framesets are available in the Advanced SL and Advanced Pro versions for those looking to custom-build their bikes.
|Model||Frame material||Groupset||Wheelset||Retail price (USD)|
|Giant TCR Advanced SL 0||Advanced SL carbon||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)||CADEX 36||$12,200|
|Giant TCR Advanced SL 1||Advanced SL carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||Giant SLR 1 36||$9,200|
|Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0 AR||Advanced carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||Giant SLR 1 36||$6,700|
|Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0||Advanced carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||Giant SLR 1 36||$6,500|
Giant TCR Advanced vs others
The latest Orbea Orca was launched in mid-July 2023, during the last week of the Tour de France.
Compared to its predecessor, the 2024 Orbea Orca is a lot lighter (832g previously vs 750g for a size 53 frame). This is achieved using a traditional-looking, round tube frame without the dropped seat stays seen on the majority of road bikes today. At 6.7kg for the top-of-the-line M11eLTD PWR model with SRAM Red AXS, it’s among the lightest, disc brake road bikes available today, alongside the likes of Cannondale Supersix Evo LAB71 and Cervelo R5.
Like many other Orbea models, the Orbea Orca offers a lot of customization options for the riders, thanks to the MyO configurator. There are 11 models available with either Shimano or SRAM electronic shifting groupsets. The models with PWR indicate it comes with a power meter, the LTD models use the highest grade OMX carbon.
|Model||Frame material||Groupset||Wheelset||Retail price (USD)|
|Orbea Orca M11eLTD PWR||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||SRAM Red eTap AXS||Oquo RP35LTD (carbon)||$11,599|
|Orbea Orca M10iLTD PWR||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)||Oquo RP35LTD (carbon)||$11,599|
|Orbea Orca M21eLTD PWR||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||Oquo RP35LTD (carbon)||$7,999|
|Orbea Orca M20iLTD||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||Oquo RP45LTD (carbon)||$6,999|
|Orbea Orca M31eLTD||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||SRAM Rival eTap AXS||Oquo RP45LTD (carbon)||$5,999|
|Orbea Orca M31iLTD PWR||OMX (Toray T1100) carbon||Shimano 105 Di2 (R7100)||Oquo RP45LTD (carbon)||$5,999|
|Orbea Orca M21eTEAM PWR||OMR (Toray T800) carbon||SRAM Force eTap AXS||Oquo RP35TEAM (carbon)||$6,899|
|Orbea Orca M21iTEAM||OMR (Toray T800) carbon||Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)||Oquo RP35TEAM (carbon)||$5,999|
|Orbea Orca M31eTEAM||OMR (Toray T800) carbon||SRAM Rival eTap AXS||Oquo RP35PRO (alloy)||$4,699|
|Orbea Orca M35i||OMR (Toray T800) carbon||Shimano 105 Di2 (R7100)||Oquo RP35TEAM (carbon)||$4,599|
|Orbea Orca M30i||OMR (Toray T800) carbon||Shimano 105 Di2 (R7100)||Oquo RP35PRO (alloy)||$3,599|
Orbea Orca vs others
Giant vs Orbea carbon fiber
Giant Advanced Composite Carbon
Giant’s Advanced Composite Carbon is a proprietary carbon fiber technology used in constructing bicycle frames. It’s a high-quality composite material with carbon fibers embedded in a resin matrix.
Using Advanced Composite Carbon, Giant can design frames with specific performance characteristics tailored to different riding disciplines. The material offers excellent vibration-damping properties, enhancing comfort and reducing fatigue on long rides. It also provides efficient power transfer, enabling riders to maximize their pedaling efficiency and accelerate easily.
The Giant Advanced Composite Carbon is available in standard and SL (Super Light) versions.
- Advanced SL represents the pinnacle of Giant’s carbon fiber engineering and construction. Advanced SL frames undergo additional optimization, utilizing a higher grade of carbon fiber and meticulous layup techniques. It’s found in Giant’s top-of-the-line bikes.
- Advanced is a step down from the top-tier Advanced SL carbon fiber, but it still offers an impressive balance of performance and value for money.
Orbea Monocoque (TorayCa) Carbon
Orbea uses carbon fiber from TorayCa in their bikes. It’s one of the handful of bike manufacturers that uses a monocoque carbon fiber construction, resulting in a lighter and stiffer frameset. The two most prominent types of carbon used in Orbea’s bike frames are OMX (T1100K) and OMR (T800) carbon.
- OMX (Orbea Monocoque X) carbon is Orbea’s top-grade carbon fiber, with the ultimate blend of stiffness, lightness, and strength. Monocoque refers to a type of construction technique where the external skin supports the structural load, which, when applied to bike frames, results in a balance of strength and weight. Due to its high manufacturing cost, OMX carbon is typically reserved for Orbea’s top-tier models.
- OMR (Orbea Monocoque Race) is the standard carbon composite used by Orbea. While OMR doesn’t match the absolute performance capabilities of OMX, it offers a fantastic performance-to-value ratio. This makes it a great choice for riders looking for top-notch performance without the premium price tag of the top-grade OMX carbon.
Frameset technologies and innovations
Giant TCR Advanced and Orbea Orca framesets incorporate advanced technologies to enhance their bikes’ performance and ride characteristics.
Here’s an overview of the technologies used in each bike model.
Giant TCR Advanced
|Advanced Composite Technology||Utilizes Giant’s High Performance Grade raw carbon material and Modified Monocoque Construction technique to create a custom frame material. This carbon composite offers a high stiffness-to-weight ratio, balancing lightweight performance and strength.|
|OverDrive 2||Features advanced steerer tube technology with oversized headset bearings and a tapered steerer tube (1 1/2″ lower, 1 1/4″ upper). |
This design optimizes the front-end steering performance, resulting in superior steering stiffness, enhanced control, and precise handling.
|Compact Road Design||Originating with the professional Team ONCE in the 1990s, Compact Road Design revolutionized high-performance road bikes.|
It involves a downward-sloping top tube, creating smaller front and rear triangles for a lighter, stiffer bike. The design also enables riders of all sizes to find a perfect fit and maintain optimal power transfer.
|PowerCore||Incorporates a massively oversized bottom bracket/chainstay area with a fully integrated 86mm wide bottom bracket design (92mm wide for off-road bikes). |
The asymmetrical chainstays provide additional stiffness on the drive side and stability on the non-drive side, ensuring efficient power transfer and precise handling.
|Monocoque Carbon Construction||Monocoque carbon construction is a process that uses the most advanced carbon technology to create the most sophisticated bike frames possible. Monocoque means that the frame is made of a single piece of carbon fiber, rather than multiple pieces joined together. This ensures that the frame is lighter, stiffer, and stronger, as there are no weak points or excess material. |
Orbea has two grades of carbon fibers; OMX (Orbea Monocoque X-Light) and OMR (Orbea Monocoque Race). Orbea also uses a bladder molding technique with EPS (expanded polystyrene) forms and PU (polyurethane) inserts to prevent wrinkles and gaps in the carbon layers, which can compromise the quality and durability of the frame.
|ICR Plus||This stands for Internal Cable Routing, which is a system that routes all the cables neatly through the bar, stem, and headset for a clean look and improved aerodynamics. ICR also makes it easier to maintain and service the bike compare to other bike brands’ solutions.|
|Powerspine||Powerspine is a frame design technology that enhances the stiffness and power transmission of the bike. The Powerspine is the lower spine of the frame that handles the large majority of torsional and lateral loads. This means that the frame is stiff in the right places, which results in direct power transfer to the rear wheel and more efficient pedaling. |
The Powerspine also contributes to the lightness and aerodynamics of the Orca, as it eliminates unnecessary material and reduces drag.