We review the Quintana Roo CD0.1 Ironman triathlon bike
Quintana Roo was the original triathlon-specific bike brand, pioneering features such as super-steep seat angles for post-run riding. It’s still pushing the boundaries now, with bikes like the single-sided rear-end Project Illicito, and the CD0.1 is loaded with impressive features for its price too.
FRAME AND FORK
For a start, the name refers to its drag coefficient during wind-tunnel testing. It’s not just a blade-thin straight-line machine though. The short, beak-front-ended head tube certainly means a very low ride position if you want it. The hourglass profile extends back through the extended down tube/top tube web to decrease turbulence too. Rear brake and gear cables vanish vertically into the frame behind the stem, and the top tube tapers back into a flat oval.
The full-carbon fork not only uses a rear-mounted U-brake, but also gets a scooped front and wide bow-legged stance to reduce the effect of forward airflow from the wheel, and separate spoke and fork leg drag. It’s the down tube that’ll make you really double-take when you look down though. The bulged drive side and flat offside of the SHIFT design are deliberately asymmetrical to push most of the airflow round the cleaner non-transmission side of the bike.
The bulged, oversize BB30 bottom bracket also helps to shroud the chainstay-mounted rear U-brake. Deep chainstays then taper away to rear-facing, hidden adjuster dropouts for perfect alignment into the deep wheel-hugger seat tube. Both chainstays and ultra-narrow seatstays have been reprofiled to work with wider toroidal profile rims too. Finally, the aero seatpost uses a slotted head and sliding clamp to allow a seat angle set-up of between 81 and 74 degrees. The end result of all the profiling – and particularly the amount of internal control routing using full cable outer sheaths – is a relatively heavy frame, but it’s certainly wind slippery.
A recent £500 price drop by Evans certainly makes it a good deal for a mostly Shimano Ultegra (chain and cassette are 105) bike, and it performs flawlessly from a transmission point of view. The RS30 wheels are a definite low point in the spec though. They’re certainly strong and reliable, but the hefty weight is obvious every time you try and pick the pace up or kick the bike out of a corner.
As neat and aero as they are, the Tektro 822 brakes with their internal cable routing are definitely on the spongy and delayed-response side. This can get hairy on busier or more technical road sections, reducing overall speed. The sprung-loaded arm rests of the Vision extensions add comfort, and the curved arms are secure too. You can make the long narrow diameter cowhorns flex a lot if you’re really leathering the bike up a climb or out of a corner.
The ISM Adamo ‘camel toe’ saddle is a definite Marmite item too. We know some top time-trialists who love the reduced perineum pressure they promise, but several of our testers found the forked front far too wide.
While the saddle won’t agree with everyone, we certainly can’t fault the CD0.1’s typically composed Quintana Roo ride. Even with the spacers switched to get the stem low on the already low head tube, we never felt like we were stretched on a rack. The arm rest and extension curve settle arms in securely for confident extension use on rolling roads. The ability to nudge the saddle far forward also lets you open your pelvis right up to minimise lung and gut crush when you’re down in a deep tuck. In short, whatever position you’re after, you’ll be able to find it easily and comfortably on the CD0.1
The handling is equally friendly. There’s a bit of tracking splay between front and rear wheels when pushed hard on account of the short head tube and thin top tube, but there’s no sudden snap or stumble at speed. It was perfectly happy controlling a pair of deeper section wheels when we dropped them in for comparison.
While power transfer from the broad armed, fat axled BB30 cranks and deep chainstays is good, comfort levels are high too. Even on rougher back roads we could stay relaxed in our tuck, without fretting about every lump or hole knocking us off line or out of rhythm.
The forks are smooth up front and the frame is quiet in wind and rattle terms, which all adds to a calm character. Even with lighter, more responsive wheels in, its front-to-rear twist, soft brakes and a relatively high frame weight means it’s best suited to long, steady-state efforts rather than short sprints or tight technical courses, with lots of acceleration and deceleration.
+ Immediately comfortable, friendly fit and ride characteristics
+ Advanced clean aerodynamics make for a very efficient cruiser
– Frame twist, weight and soft brakes make it a no go for short/hilly courses
– Deserves better wheels and the saddle is a love or hate choice