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Verdict: 
Light, sporty and well designed for travel. A serious investment but probably worth it if you travel a lot
Weight: 
8,210g
Contact: 
www.qoroz.com
Qoroz Travel Won
7 10

Historically, the approach to travelling with a bike has always been either a case of semi-dismantling your pride and joy and packaging it up in a bike bag or box, then leaving it nervously to the vagaries of airport baggage handling, or taking a folder instead - enter, the Qoroz Travel Won. The Qoroz Travel Won was designed by ingenious types to try and address that issue, to make a bike that's genuinely good to ride and suitable for travelling with as well.

Weighing 8.21kg, it's a fairly light bike, which given that it's designed to be sporty and also taken as luggage on a plane is pretty important. The titanium frame comes with SS couplings to allow for it to be dismantled for transportation, either in a bag (£170) or a hard aluminium Rimowa suitcase, available for £400. The hard suitcase weighs 5kg.

Out on the road, the first thing I noticed was the road buzz. Given it's a titanium frame fitted with carbon forks, both known for reducing buzz, this was a somewhat disappointing surprise, and slightly baffling. However, a chat with the guys at Qoroz revealed that this was probably due to the gauge of the tubing, which was off-the-peg, and usually used on larger framed bikes. For a small frame and a lighter rider, it was therefore over stiff, hence the road buzz - that wouldn't be the case on a Travel Won you'd buy. The forks fitted were also those usually fitted on the Race Won, again very stiff for a small frame.

For ride quality, the Travel Won was pretty responsive and sporting, with a good turn of speed on the flat. It wasn't quite as eager as I'd expected however, particularly on hills, where it felt a little on the unwieldy side with a fair degree of flex at the front. Likewise, on descents it wasn't as surefooted and confidence inspiring as it could have been. It did corner well, although there was some toe overlap to be aware of on tight turns.

I personally didn't find the Prologo saddle to be at all comfortable, but that's always personal preference anyway. It certainly didn't feel appreciably different from a 'normal' road bike, and rode with as much assurance and power transfer as a bike without SS couplings. There was no loosening off of the SS couplings during any of the test rides, and the spanner (provided) isn't hideously heavy or large to carry along on rides just for peace of mind.

Qoroz specialize in bike fit, customization and ergonomics. The Travel Won is designed to be a bike built up to the buyer's own specifications and requirements and then set up to fit them absolutely, including tweaking of tube gauge, geometry and components where necessary. The idea is to have an utterly happy rider.

Packing and unpacking the bike is relatively straightforward, although does require a certain amount of confidence in dismantling bikes. In that respect, it's pretty similar to the process of packing a 'normal' bike into a bike bag. Wheels need to be removed, SS couplings undone, forks removed, brakes removed and bars turned in order for the bike to fit into the case. It wasn't an entirely trivial process, but with confidence and practice took around 30 minutes to either disassemble or reassemble. Not a bad time at all. In the Rimowa case, it fitted neatly and securely, and there was little concern about the safety of the bike in transit. The case is sized such that it's not going to be outsize luggage, and it's easy enough to transport, with sturdy wheels and two handles.

There's no denying that the Travel Won is a great concept. A full-size decently performing road machine that can be carried around the world on business trips or holidays without the fuss of normal bike carriage. BUT, and it's quite a big but, there's little or no room for clothing and extras within the bike case itself, once the bike is in there, and many airlines, even on long-haul routes, only allow one piece of hold baggage within the cost of the ticket. So, this is always going to be an additional piece of luggage, on top of clothing and other sundries (unless you're a hand luggage tote packer anyway) thereby costing extra. However, it is ideally suited to train travel, and in particular it addresses the frustrating issue of many continental fast trains – such as the TGV- that state that bikes have to be dismantled and packed for travel. If you're heading to the South of France, this is spot on.

This is a very pretty bike to look at, and the understated titanium frame is nicely contrasted with some seriously bling blue accents with a blue Prologo Scratch Pro saddle, the bar tape and custom components, such as the matching blue Chris King head set. The white SRAM Apex groupset on the build I tested also lifted the looks of the bike into the realms of quite special. It's a bike that certainly looks the part.

It's an extremely well designed bike, with clean lines and offers a reliably sporting and enjoyable ride, but unless you're going to make it your only bike, or travel frequently, this is a pricy solution to a quite specific and slightly limited problem.

Verdict

Light, sporty and well designed for travel. A serious investment but probably worth it if you travel a lot.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Qoroz Travel Won

Size tested: 51cm

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Frame- Qoroz Titanium

Fork- Qoroz Carbon

SRAM Apex

Custom Cable adjusters

SS Couplers

Chris King headset

gT50 Carbon Tubular Wheels

Prologo Scratch Pro Saddle

Fizik Bar tape

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Aimed to be a full size, full performance road bike for people who want to travel with their bike.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Extremely well finished. Beautifully engineered and exceptional workmanship.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

High quality titanium frame matched with a carbon fork also made by Qoroz

SS couplings.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

The small frame I trialled was neither too upright and sporting, nor too laid back. It's designed with long distances and sportives in mind and it shows.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

Compared similarly with other bikes of this size. No issues with height and reach.

Qoroz are very hot on a well tailored fit for every customer.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Not the most comfortable ride, due in part to road buzz issues, but sporty and pacy, if a bit unwieldy on hills and not quite as responsive as expected.

Road buzz most likely due to tube gauge being wrong for the size of the frame/weight of rider.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Frame felt pretty stiff (even with SS couplings) but some flex at front end when climbing.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Not bad power transfer, but not quite as good as it felt like it should be.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

Yes, some toe overlap. Not a massive problem other than on very tight corners.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Neutral steering.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

Handled well on the flat, but a bit skittish on climbs. Cornered well.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

Saddle, although a very personal choice anyway, was not right for me.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

Perhaps a stiffer bottom bracket might have helped the responsiveness and the bike's climbing ability.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
6/10

Felt like the bike promised more power on first pedal strokes, than it actually delivered.

Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
6/10

Not bad, but again, not as aggressive as it felt like it could be.

Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
6/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
7/10

Pretty stable on the flat at speed.

Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10

Stable and steady at low speeds.

Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
7/10

Cornered quite reliably and smoothly.

Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
5/10

Some ungainliness on descending.

Rate the bike for climbing:
 
5/10

Some flex and power loss when climbing.

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
9/10

Smooth and efficient.

Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
7/10

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
7/10

Wheels performed pretty well.

Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
8/10

Very light.

Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?

Wheels and tyres worked very well in a variety of conditions, including very wet.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
7/10

Braking not as reassuringly effective as desired.

Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
7/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

Bars and levers well set-up and sized for smaller riders. Bike spec was set up to my height and sex (partially remotely rather than full in-person custom set-up).

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes.

Would you consider buying the bike? Possibly if I were to get a very well paid job that required frequent overseas travel.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes. See above.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
5/10

Anything further to say about the bike in conclusion?

Extremely high quality build, good components and nicely designed, just lacking a certain je ne sais quoi considering the price. Also a very slightly limited market in my opinion.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,

 

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

5 comments

Avatar
Polocini [20 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Apologies as this is pretty shameless but I posted up one of these for sale on the forum a few weeks ago.

http://road.cc/content/forum/72192-fs-qoroz-travel-won-and-box-free-bike

It's a great bike which unfortunately I'm not going to get to use. Qoroz were a pleasure to deal with and they gave me some mudguards and bottle cages as well.

The great thing about these bikes is the amount of money you will save on baggage fees and it's also a doodle to travel on the eurostar.

Cheers
AL

Avatar
monty dog [457 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Are you sure this is a genuine S+S coupling frame?

Avatar
Polocini [20 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

It's got ss couplers so er, yes?

AL

Avatar
monty dog [457 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

There are genuine couplings made by S&S Machine and Chinese copies - folks who know travel bikes know there's a difference.

Avatar
SkeletonCyclist [1 post] 3 years ago
0 likes

I’ve owned a Travel Won for over 18 months and done over 2000 miles. My bike is a large frame and has the Travel Road Won forks (not the race won from the review). I am 1.88m and 68kg. When not travelling, I ride a Scott Addict with an ISP. My experience differs from the reviewer in a few areas.

I don’t experience any of the road buzz reported so I assume this is due to the larger frame and correct matching forks but it could also be because I have never ridden the Qoroz on UK roads, mostly in the US where they are in much better condition. Also I don’t get any toe overlap and think it descends really well, both of which must also be due to the larger frame size.

It does feel to flex when out of the saddle on climbs but I think this is due to the curved seat stays which are there for comfort/suspension. I run the brakes with tight clearance and don’t get any wheel rub.

The lower SS coupling occasionally comes a bit loose, but this is only when I do 2-3 rides in a row and forget to just give it an extra tweak before setting off. I do always carry a spare tool and can sort this when out on the road. You have to be a bit careful with the tool as the metal is quite soft and you can start to round it off if you don’t treat it with respect. I’ve also found that when the lower coupling gets wet, dust and grit can get into the thread and when it dries out can creak. I just undo it and wipe it out with a towel then it’s sorted.

I’m quite surprised by the comment about fitting kit into the case. There are plenty of areas to pack kit. I take 4 complete outfits, shoes, extras like arm, knee and leg warmers, coats, thermals, waterproofs, extra base layer etc I even get a track pump, water bottles, tools and other non cycling clothes in. The only thing I can’t get in is a helmet. Fully loaded it still only weights about 25kg.

In general I think it is a fair review, it’s not intended to be a full-on race bike but makes a great training, sportive, distance bike for doing long rides. It gets lots of attention from the locals and is great for starting up conversations, but it also gets lots of attention at customs, especially in the US which is where the TSA locks come in. On virtually every trip back from the US there is a note from the TSA saying they have opened and searched it. I’ve learnt not to put energy power sachets in it as they have been speared and tested for drugs.

I always enjoy riding the bike and even look forward to it, but when I get back to UK I leave it in the case and ride my other bikes to save continually assembling and disassembling it. It is definitely worth it if you travel a lot like I do.