Giant vs Specialized Value


I am a little baffled by this comparison, so I wanted to see if I am missing something here. I just ordered a Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 disc. I compared with other major brands before deciding and I noticed that the offering from Specialized that is most similar is exceedingly more expensive.

  1. Giant TCR Adv Pro 1 disc 4200 CAD
  2. Specialized Tarmac disc expert 6200 CAD, 4750 USD.

I am in Canada so I used both currencies. I do not see the Giant model on the USA site but the model up (Pro 0) is 5250 USD.

Both bikes have identical drive-trains and brakes. Similar cockpit and tires. Wheels are both house brand, mid depth carbon tubeless disc. Frames are similar, I hear good stuff about the FACT 10 carbon but I can’t imagine the frames are much different.

The Specialized is $2000 more in Canada, that is 48%! call it 50%. Even the Pro 0 in the US is only $500 more or 10% than the Specialized and it has di2 and a power meter, those upgrades far exceed $500.

They are both good bikes (I hope since I am buying the Giant) but why such a premium for the Specialized? Am I missing something? Is the frame that much better? Picture yourself walking in a shop and seeing these 2 options side by side. Could you reason out spending 50% more on a very similar product?

Disclaimer: I do not work for, sell or have shares in either company. I even still own a Specialized mtb hardtail I bought in high school.

The Giant is 4,499$
Specialized is 4,750$

Giant bikes are excellent and provide the best value to the consumer.

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Do you have a link to the Giant in the US? I only see the Pro 0 and frame set on the website.


I see the confusion, that is the Australian site. Hence the Au in the domain.

Is the Tarmac frame superior? Probably not. More than likely it’s just a different pricing strategy by Specialized. Pro Tour teams have been on Giant frames for years. I have no experience racing or riding either of the bikes you have mentioned, but have never heard negatively about either.

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I went through the same debate a couple years ago. I had rented a Tarmac Expert (rim brake) on 2 occasions from a shop close to my parent’s house and it was a great bike to ride, but a shop near me had a TCR Advanced Pro 1 (rim brake) on sale for $2400 USD! I love the look of the Tarmac, but the TCR was just as responsive and right in my price range.

If I had the budget to buy either, I’d still go for the TCR and with the difference buy an aero helmet, skinsuit, and potentially second set of wheels that will together give more of a performance gain bike vs bike.

Agree there is a price/value difference for some brands - I think Trek/Specialized almost always seem to be higher than Giant/Canyon, though at times it varies more by model and configuration.

In your example - in the US a Tarmac Disc Pro is $6,700 while a Giant TCR Advanced SL1 is $5,775. Both Udi2, both carbon wheels (specialized may be higher range). Giant is their top Carbon and comes with a PM. Tarmac is mid-range carbon. So the Giant is likely the much better deal.

When I bought by Endurace, I cross-shopped with the Tarmac, which for the same price had 105 vs. Ultegra, basic paint, not as good wheels, and some other things important to me.

I also think their newer design Diverge is way overpriced (and I am an older Diverge model owner) while in comparison, their Crux is a screaming deal.

PS - I know Canyon has a different biz model, but it doesn’t change that I was cross shopping them.

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