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review

Quintana Roo SRfive 2021

7
£4,649.95

VERDICT:

7
10
Smooth-riding aero bike that delivers on speed and stiffness, while the handling will benefit the non-racers
Noticeable aero advantages out on the road
Good tyre clearance
Smooth integrated looks
Lots of colour options
FSA groupset not as quick or precise as other brands
Weight: 
8,330g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Quintana Roo SRfive is all about speed. Quintana Roo's new road bike has an aero frameset paired with fully integrated cabling, deep-section wheels and wind-cheating components; it's a very quick bike with oodles of stiffness for those out-of-the-saddle efforts. The handling may be a little tame for aggressive riders, but otherwise its impeccable manners will make for an enjoyable ride.

Ride

Neutral is how I'd describe pretty much everything about the Quintana Roo – from the handling and its responsiveness through to the ride comfort. If you want a smooth, uninterrupted ride then you are going to get on very well with the QR.

> Find your nearest dealer here

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It's not the most cosseting ride I've ever known, but comfort levels are decent. I did some rides of around three hours on it and never got off feeling like I had been beaten around.

The amount of stiffness is also well determined, with the large down tube, bottom bracket area and oversized chainstays keeping the lower half of the frame in check when you are giving it the beans. The fork handles steering and braking loads fine as well.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - riding 2.jpg

I didn't find the frame and fork to transfer a huge amount of information from road to rider; it's all a little muted for my liking. You can still feel what is going on generally, but I wasn't getting those tiny little inputs like when the tyres start to break traction under hard cornering or braking. It often felt that the information was just a little delayed.

For a lot of riders this will be just fine – ideal, even. Not everybody wants a heightened level of information coming at them the whole time. Personally, I like a bike to give me just a little bit more.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - riding 3.jpg

Cyclists often talk of engagement with their bike, and while that can mean different things, I think of it as the level of involvement between bike and rider. Some bikes feel more a part of you than others. If you want a razor-sharp, fast-steering machine that delivers pin-point accuracy at speed, you might feel the SRfive is a little subdued.

Descending my favourite technical hills, the SRfive showed itself to be very capable and it feels quite planted. Shifting your body weight makes the bike change direction quickly and you can really let it go, guiding it through the shallow bends and minimising the amount of braking required.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - riding 5.jpg

A couple of corners on one of my favourite test hills are technical. The first is a steep chicane, the second half of which is majorly off-camber and if you don't nail it quite right it will pitch you off towards the bank and the awaiting barbed-wire fence sitting atop.

I've come close a few times, and as I entered the bends on the SRfive I just wasn't sure it was going to get me round at my usual speed, so I used the brakes to scrub off a bit of speed.

It's not that I didn't think the handling was up to it, I think it's a combination of the neutrality and that missing feedback that just reduced my confidence.

If you're not a do-or-die kind of a descender then you'll find travelling downhill on the SRfive a pleasurable experience. There is no twitchiness to the steering, and at sensible speeds this bike is very well behaved.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - riding 4.jpg

At 8.33kg the SRfive isn't a superlight bike, but thanks to the levels of stiffness it's a capable climber, whether you're in the saddle or out of it.

> Lightweight vs aero

On the whole, while the ride is just a little bit subdued compared to many race bikes at this price point, the SRfive is a fun bike for travelling quickly over both short and long distances, whether for fitness or racing.

Frame and fork

Quintana Roo says that the SRfive uses premium composite materials in its construction, which are overlaid into panels and moulded into frames.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - UCI sticker.jpg

A stock frame has a claimed weight of 1,175g and that includes things like the bottle cage bolts, derailleur hanger and inserts. Like the full build, it's not the lightest out there, but it's no heavyweight either. It is an aero bike, after all, which is always going to add a few grams over a slender-tubed climbing bike.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - seat tube junction.jpg

Quintana Roo has been big in the triathlon market for a very long time, so the company has a proven record when it comes to making bikes aerodynamic. Details like the triangular, oversize down tube and the sculpted seat tube that curves around the rear wheel all help it cut through the wind.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - down tube.jpg

The large-section tubes also give those impressive levels of stiffness I've already mentioned.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - frame detail.jpg

When it comes to the bottom bracket area, Quintana Roo has gone for a T47 which is commonly used by Specialized and Trek. It's basically a threaded version of a PF30 (press fit) bottom bracket, so you are getting the benefits of a larger internal shell diameter along with the great weatherproofing of a threaded system. This larger shell allows for huge chainstays for getting the power down.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - bottom bracket.jpg

Like a lot of the latest bikes we are seeing, the SRfive has completely integrated cables and hoses, directed in through the ACR cockpit before exiting the frame or fork where they are needed. It's a neat solution that gives a really clean look.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - head tube.jpg

For a race bike, tyre clearance is pretty good at 32mm, and you are getting the usual 12mm thru-axle configuration and flat mounts for the brake callipers.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - clearance.jpg

Five sizes are available in a huge amount of colour options, and the quality is very good. I tested the medium size which has a 550mm top tube, 155mm head tube and 490mm seat tube.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive.jpg

The head angle is quite relaxed for a bike of this style at 72 degrees, while the seat angle is 73.5 degrees. A relatively short wheelbase of 997mm keeps the SRfive feeling nippy. All of this gives a stack of 565mm and a reach of 380mm, all pretty routine.

Groupset

The SRfive is available in a huge choice of builds at various prices, but ours is based around FSA's K-Force WE electronic groupset.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - front mech.jpg

I first reviewed this groupset back in 2018 and to be honest, I wasn't overly impressed. It's not a bad groupset, it's just nowhere near as refined as the likes of Shimano's Di2 groups or SRAM's eTap AXS setups.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - drivetrain.jpg

The FSA levers use a kind of rocker switch for changing gears and it takes a while to get used to as your finger position needs to be very precise. Also, the shifting speed is a bit slower than the latest Dura-Ace Di2 (which I was using alongside during testing) – only by a few milliseconds, but it's enough for you to wonder whether the shift has registered or not.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - bar and lever.jpg
2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - lever.jpg

That aside, the chain skips smoothly across the cassette and chainrings without any real grumble.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - cassette.jpg

Stiffness through the carbon cranks is very good, and should the need arise, the two mechs are easy to adjust and set up.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - crank.jpg

Gearing is a 52/36-tooth up front paired with an 11-28t cassette: typical ratios for this kind of bike, suiting its fast-paced riding style.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - rear mech.jpg

The FSA hydraulic brakes have plenty of power and easy-to-use modulation for controlling braking on long descents or in the wet.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - rear dsic brake.jpg
2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - front disc brake.jpg

Finishing kit

For the cockpit, this model has an FSA Energy Compact handlebar and Vision NS ACR stem, both with integrated cable routing.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - stem.jpg

The handlebar gives plenty of hand position options and I found it very comfortable to use.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - bars.jpg

Sitting atop the SRfive aero seatpost is a BBB Phalanx saddle. Its slender profile is suited to crouching down in the drops or riding hard on the hoods. I got on with it well.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - saddle.jpg

Wheels and tyres

Vision supplies the wheelset with its Team 35 Comp SL Disc. The tubeless-ready alloy rim is 35mm deep, which gives a little bit of an aero advantage, and they roll well.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - tyre.jpg

They are handbuilt using aero spokes, and I had no issues with trueness or reliability throughout the test period.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - front hub.jpg

Even though the SRfive can take 32mm tyres, our model came with 28mm Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performances which are a good compromise between speed and comfort.

2021 Quintana Roo SRFive - rim.jpg

I like the Fusion tyres. There is plenty of grip on offer, they roll smoothly, and even though the local farmers have been butchering the hedgerows, I haven't had any issues with punctures or anything.

Value

For this build, the SRfive comes in at £4,649.95.

At the tail end of 2020 I reviewed the Orro Venturi STC with SRAM Force eTap AXS, which is also an aero road bike, just like the Quintana Roo. It also has the same hidden cable routing, and the geometry is very similar. I'd say its ride is a little more involving than the SRfive, though.

It costs £4,599.99 which is a bit cheaper, and that also includes a set of 40mm deep-section carbon wheels which is a big upgrade over the 35mm alloy rims found on the Quintana Roo. The Orro also has a carbon handlebar.

> 25 of the best and fastest 2021 aero road bikes 

The Wilier Cento10 SL is a new aero bike that has a similar ride to the Orro. It, too, gets a carbon wheelset, but the Ultegra Di2 version or the Force eTap AXS costs £5,290.

Conclusion

Overall, although the SRfive didn't captivate me in the way that some bikes do (that Orro, for instance), it's still a fast and fun bike, a smooth-riding, neutral-handling option that can be used to race or just ride hard on. Value-wise, it is up against some tough opposition, but it's not exactly overpriced.

Verdict

Smooth-riding aero bike that delivers on speed and stiffness, while the handling will benefit the non-racers

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Quintana Roo SRfive

Size tested: Medium

About the bike

List the components used to build up the bike.

Handlebar FSA Energy ACR Compact Internal Routing (XS/S: 40cm, M/L: 42cm, XL: 44cm)

Stem Vision NS ACR Stem Integrated Routing (XS/S: 90mm, M/L: 100mm, XL: 110mm)

Wheelset Vision Team 35 Comp SL Disc

Tyres Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance 700 x 28C

Crank Set FSA K-Force Light WE (XS/S: 170mm, M/L: 172.5mm, XL: 175mm)

Brakes FSA K-Force WE Hydraulic Disc

Rotors FSA K-Force WE

Front Derailleur FSA K-Force WE

Rear Derailleur FSA K-Force WE

Freewheel FSA K-Force WE 11-28T

Saddle BBB Phalanx

Seat Post QR SRfive Aero Carbon

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?

Quintana Roo says, "A new definition of performance designed for those ready to attack – the Quintana Roo SRfive aero road bike was borne from a desire to go fast. Through the development process, we created a bike, like our PRseries triathlon bikes, that provides class-leading aerodynamics and simplicity our competition doesn't provide. Further defining QR's performance heritage is the SR's amazing power transfer and acceleration, while delivering ride quality and stable handling second to none.

"Engineering a new race bike is not new territory for the team at Quintana Roo. After more than 30 years, we continue to design and deliver bikes that are easy to buy direct to your doorstep from our website, bikes with elegant, clean lines which allow athletes to achieve peak performance. From our fully adjustable cockpit to massive tire clearance capacity, the SRfive solves many aero road bike problems. It is a beautiful balance of aerodynamics, stiffness and ride quality, with style and performance to take you further, faster.

"The SRfive debuts not at a halo with "trickle down" technology over time, but with a complete range of builds, beginning with a cost-conscious Shimano 105 build. You can't find a better dollar-for-speed aero road bike."

It's a bike that is easy to ride fast and the easy to live with handling will flatter those who don't want the sharpness or twitchiness of a full race machine.

Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options

Quintana Roo says that the SRfive is available in a range of builds from Shimano 105 upwards, although the UK distributor only shows this FSA-equipped model in an array of colours.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

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

The paint quality is very good, as is the build quality.

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

Both the SRfive's frame and fork are made from full carbon fibre.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

The geometry is a little more relaxed than a full race bike, something more akin to an endurance road bike, especially at the front end. A full geometry table is available on Quintana Roo's website.

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

The stack and reach measurements that I mention in the review don't really throw up any surprises.

Riding the bike

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

Ride comfort is pretty good. It's a stiff bike but doesn't show any harshness.

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

The SRfive offers impressive stiffness levels, especially around the bottom bracket area.

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

Overall the SRfive feels relatively efficient. Some aero wheels would exploit the benefits of the aero frame and fork.

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

No.

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

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

The handling is balanced and very easy to live with thanks to a lack of twitchiness. Fast descenders might find it a little too neutral on technical descents.

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

I got on well with the saddle.

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

FSA's carbon crankset offers loads of stiffness.

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

Lighter, more aero wheels would benefit the frameset.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
7/10

The drivetrain

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

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

Overall performance is pretty good, but the shifters could do with a bit of refinement when it comes to feel and speed.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for value:
 
6/10

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

Decent quality wheels that bring a little aero advantage while being tough and durable.

Rate the tyres for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for value:
 
6/10

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

Well suited to the bike, offering plenty of grip at speed and good levels of rolling resistance.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
6/10

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

Some good finishing kit here. The stem and handlebar hide all of the cabling to give a smooth look, and the shallow drop of the bar enables plenty of hand positions.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? I'm not sure, there is some tough opposition at this price.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The Orro Venturi is cheaper by about 50 quid, but comes with a SRAM eTap Force AXS groupset and deep-section carbon fibre wheels. The Wilier Cento10 SL is more expensive, but also comes with an eTap group and carbon wheels.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
6/10

Use this box to explain your overall score

I'm giving the SRfive a good/7 overall. Its neutral handling makes it a very easy machine to ride, and it offers a noticeable aero advantage, but it's up against some strong competition. It's not the most exciting bike I've ever ridden – but that might suit you perfectly.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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