This article originally appears on Triathlete.com. You can also read the article here.
Price: Starting at $8,500 ($9,800 as tested)
Tested Build: Ultegra Di2 components, HED Vanquish 6 GP wheelset
Weight: 21 lbs. (size 54)
Basics: A lighter, stiffer version of the PRsix Disc with included integrated hydration and a ready-to-race build
Pros: Well-balanced frameset with an absolutely perfect build, no upgrades needed
Cons: Lack of lower-end build options makes this a premium-only affair
Though much remains the same on the new version of the well-liked PRsix Disc, a few small touches and a few bigger ones make this a worthwhile upgrade if you’re in the market for a high-end race-ready bike.
For Quintana Roo, the devil is in the details, and there’s a lot to love: a totally prebuilt setup if you order direct, a painted-in-the-USA frameset, a fantastic spec at any build level, and way more. It’s been a couple years since QR released the PRsix Disc, and in that time, they’ve made some very thoughtful triathlete-focused upgrades without changing anything that would make this an unrecognizable bike.
Before we get into the bike itself, it’s super important to note that Quintana Roo has done something pretty much no bike company has figured out yet—how to direct ship a customer his or her bike. While they’re certainly not the only company to sell direct to consumers, they’re the only ones doing it right.
The box arrives with a bike that can literally be assembled in less than an hour, and the only skills you need to possess is figuring out how to put on the wheels, tighten the seatpost, plug in the Di2 battery, and clip on the hydration and storage box. You need all of three tools if you include putting on your pedals.
From there, with the excellent built-in hydration (we’ll get to that more below), you could literally race this bike in the same morning you receive it—you don’t even have to turn and tighten the handlebars.
The big reason for this customer service magic is that all bikes are painted, assembled, and checked right in Tennessee, so you get a lot of big benefits without any of the unpredictable hassle.
Oh yes, the colors. Quintana Roo gives you 11 color choices and many more decal options in combinations that are actually fun, exciting, and modern looking. You can even get the storage box custom painted for an upcharge.
The paint quality itself is also far above what you’ll find on other bikes, as you’ll come to appreciate the fact that these bikes are—as we mentioned before—handpainted in Tennessee. I’m pretty sure you could call or email QR and ask them the name of the painter who did it, and they might even connect you so you can thank them. And while Quintana Roo doesn’t make a big fuss about it, it’s no surprise that they can fully custom paint a bike for you as well.
While we’ll get to the frame and the ride quality in a minute, one of the big highlights of this bike is the component build. Not just the fact that it has Ultegra Di2, like so many other bikes in this price range, but the fact that the non-drive parts are super well chosen.
Most notably, Quintana Roo has collaborated with Profile to “integrate” their HSF/Aeria front hydration system (which includes the hydration bottle, a computer mount, a special stem, and their Aeria Ultimate Wing Carbon aerobars). This may not seem like a big deal on paper, but the partnership has effectively created a superbike front end with a non-proprietary stem/bar/hydration system. So you can get replacement parts and upgrades and other things from a component company, not the bike brand. Trust me on this one, this is a huge boon as things get lost/broken/whetever’d all the time.
The ready-to-race build also comes with built-in top tube storage that is simple but sturdy (not some sketchy 3D-printed-looking thing) and behind-the-seat storage with enough space for a full flat kit and crowned with a little built-in blinking light.
When all is said and done, this is a very nice riding, middle-of-the-road setup in terms of stiffness/comfort/handling. No, it won’t slice-and-dice corners like an Argon, but you can absolutely set into the handlebars on windy descents and not overly clench your…arms. It powers well over hills, no doubt aided by the fact that this upgraded version of the PRsix is 11% stiffer and 10% lighter—according to QR—than the last iteration.
Though it is lighter, don’t think this is an absolute featherweight: The 54 I tested (with Ultegra Di2 and upgraded HED Vanquish wheels for a real race-day build) weighed in at 21 pounds exactly, with hydration and rear storage completely removed. For perspective, a new P5 in the same size with a Dura-Ace build and DT Swiss ARC 1100 wheels comes in at 19lbs. 1oz. with all hydration removed. Yes, it’s a more high-end build, but not two pounds worth, probably about one by my calculations.
That said, it may not be as spritely as the new P5, but it’s also noticeably more comfortable. In other words, this is a bike that takes absolutely no getting used to, in terms of position or handling, will still excite on climbs and when pedaling out of corners, and is comfy enough for even the longest rides. Sometimes “middle-of-the-road” is actually a good thing, especially in tri.
While there’s not much to dislike on this bike—the build, the frame, the delivery, and the colors are all basically without equal—things could be a little more accessible.
First off, I would love to see the “democratization” of this bike via a lower price point. Knowing full well this is a disc-only bike (there aren’t any brake bosses for rim brakes on this frame), I think if Quintana Roo offered this frame with an Ultegra mechanical build and TRP hydraulic disc brakes for like $6,500 (or less), it would be a total category killer. Obviously I don’t know if that’s possible, but I’m bummed that only triathletes willing to spend over $8,000 will get a shot on this bike when Ultegra Di2 is the lowest package offered.
If we’re being super picky, the only spec that raised an eyebrow on this otherwise picture-perfect build was the odd choice of Continental Ultrasport 3 Race rubber—a super super budget tire for a bike that is decidedly not that. This would be the first thing I’d change if I actually wanted to test out my “race it the morning I received it” challenge.
I really do like this bike. As someone who has probably assembled and tested more tri bikes than almost anyone else, this is one I’d put near the top of my “if I had $10,000 to spend on a bike” list. It’s a dependable bike with predictable handling, parts I know I can work on/replace, and it’s actually a bike that gets me fired up to go out and ride.
More often than not, even at this price range, a few of those boxes get checked, but not all. I really would love to see this bike and a mechanical version of this build (please leave the hydration though!) for a lower price point, and it’s very possible that that’s coming soon. Otherwise, this is an exciting upgrade to a bike I already loved, from a brand that actually gets triathletes from purchase to race day.
You’d have to look long and hard to find a more complete—and uniquely triathlon—bike-buying experience.
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