BIKE TEST: QUINTANA ROO SRSIX

It’s no secret that aero gains make a huge difference and aerodynamics has always been at the top of the Quintana Roo priority list. From inception to current priority, QR has a long history in the triathlon world. This isn’t changing, but with the SR (Super Road) series they launched in 2020, they have brought their extensive research and developments to the drop-bar market.

Compared to traditional bike brands, Quintana’s legacy for cutting through the wind and water gives them an outside perspective as they enter the aero-road game. What makes a bike fast is not influenced by road bike market trends, but instead a fresh perspective since most of their bikes have been designed to go fast but comfortable for a long day of racing.

THE FRAME

Quintana Roo has more than 30 years of experience, making fast aero-enhanced bikes, but the SRsix is a completely different endeavor and, luckily, it hits all the marks for a modern road bike. Aero is obviously at the top of the list with the tube shaping and integrated FSA ACR system that allows the cables, wires and housing to be completely hidden. The frameset is disc brake-specific and has plenty of room for the new age of larger tires with space to fit up to 32mm of rubber. 

We first tested the SRfive last year (RBA, April ’21), and while the bikes look very similar under the custom paint, the SRsix hides a higher-modulus carbon and refined layup. The frameset is 175 grams lighter, and the fork is 70 grams lighter, thanks to the added refinements and material differences. The fork is also slightly slimmer and has less frontal surface. On top of reducing weight (the SRfive weighed 18.60 pounds), the SRsix improves compliance while simultaneously increasing pedaling stiffness to improve both comfort and performance.

Hidden brake hoses are routed internally through the headset, stem and handlebar thanks to the FSA ACR system.

The overall geometry of the SRsix and SRfive are the same, and our size medium has a 99.7cm wheelbase with 41.5cm-long chainstays. The 56.5cm stack and 38cm reach are a bit less aggressive than what you might get from other brands’ “race” bikes. The 72-degree head tube angle and 15.5cm length made setting up the cockpit “low” an almost perfect balance between drop position and on the hoods position. 

QR has chosen the T47 threaded bottom bracket standard, and we are big fans. It leaves room for many different crank options while minimizing the chances of creaking and other bottom bracket issues. The bottom bracket is also pretty low with a 72mm drop on the steep 73.5-degree seat tube. There is a proprietary aero seatpost that uses a wedge-style clamp from the top.

Quintana Roo claims a size-medium frame weight of 995 grams, including all of the factory bits, like derailleur hangers, bottle bolts and paint. This is on the light side for an aero frame, and compared to the 1200-gram Cannondale SystemSix and the 1280-gram Giant Propel disc, it is impressive. At a claimed 915 grams, the Canyon Aeroad is one of the few that beats it on the scale.

The new Shimano Ultegra 12-speed drivetrain with semi-wireless shifting is a major upgrade and offers great range for climbing and descending.

THE PARTS

By being consumer-direct, QR can offer some compelling features across their entire line. For the SRsix, this is most evident in the fact that you can completely customize the look with paint and graphics. The SRsix has over 40 unique offerings that are only available on this higher-tier SR model, and all paint is done in-house at their Tennessee facility. This means that from order to delivery takes less than three weeks. 

Among the upgrades include a fully integrated Vision Metron one-piece carbon cockpit. QR works exclusively with Shimano and offers a few variations of Ultegra or Dura-Ace drivetrains. For our build we went with the all-new Shimano Ultegra R8100 drivetrain. This 12-speed offering uses the new semi-wireless Di-2. We have the 52/36t crank paired with an 11-30t cassette for a great balance no matter where we ride.

We also opted for a wheel upgrade to the Hed Vanquish RC4 Performance carbon wheels. They are just over a $1000 upgrade from the alloy Shimano offering, but in our opinion worth every penny. The wheels are 40mm deep and have a 21mm internal rim width. A set of 25mm Continental Ultra Sport tires come stock and are not tubeless-ready like the wheels.

THE RIDE

If you read our SRfive review, then you already know that we enjoyed the bike. The SRsix is no different. One of the biggest takeaways was how comfortable the SRsix is in the ProLogo saddle. There is an amplified rigidity from the SRsix fork that delivers a bit more road feel than we got on the SRfive. Overall, it is still much more well-rounded than most aero bikes.

The SRsix sits slightly more upright than many of the bikes we test in this category, but we didn’t see this as a negative. Instead, it allowed us to set the cockpit a bit lower with less headset spacers and still maintain a great balance for either the drop or hood position. It also makes it look more “pro” with a nearly slammed stem, and we all know how important that is!

 

The ride quality is the bike’s real highlight, and no matter if we went on a long ride, short ride or on-the-rivet ride, the SRsix is a do-it-all bike. Shimano’s Ultegra 12-speed was spot-on as we would expect, and the addition of the 30t to the cassette means that steep climbing is not an issue with the mid-compact crank but still not as ideal as the SRAM 12-speed offering with a 35t crank and 33t cog.

Higher speeds is definitely where the SRsix shines brightest, and it doesn’t matter if it’s in a straight line or on a twisty descent. The handling is predictable and feels stable. It is, however, still race-oriented and is quick to respond to rider input. For those that want a hyper-responsive almost old-school feel, this is not the bike. This is a modern race bike that prioritizes overall performance.

THE VERDICT

Overall, the SRsix is a lot of bike for the money. With Shimano 12-speed Ultegra, Hed wheel upgrade, and custom paint and graphics at just over $6500, the bike rates high on the good ol’ cost/benefit analysis. QR will also have it delivered straight to your door, built, tuned and ready to ride. How about that for service? Quintana Roo also offers the SRsix as a frameset, and it will set you back about $3300, and still offers the same customizable graphics and paint. 

For us we wish the tires were tubeless-ready, but QR has assured us that if a customer wants something different, they can normally accommodate changes. Even with 25mm tires and tubes, we ran around 70–75 psi because of the wide 21mm internal rim width. This further enhances performance and comfort for a category that has historically been rough.

So, the real question is, do we think the SRsix is worth the added cost over the SRfive? The answer isn’t so simple, but for those looking for the most performance, it’s a simple yes. Add the fact that there are more color options, and you drop under the 1000-gram frame weight, and it makes even more sense. For those that aren’t looking for that slight performance gain or just simply want to save the dollars, the SRfive is still a great option that offers the same handling characteristics and geometry.

PUNCH LINES

Lighter, stiffer and more compliant

Customized and delivered to your front door.

Ask for different tires

STATS

Price: $6644

Weight: 17.37 pounds

Sizes: XS, S, M (tested), L, XL 

www.quintanarootri.com

 

The Gear

Helmet: Giro Eclipse Spherical     

Jersey: Eliel Del Dios

Bib: Eliel Del Dios                         

Shoes: Northwave Revolution 3            

Socks: Smartwool              

Glasses: Oakley Sutro      

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