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The Tifosi Auriga Disc Chorus 12x Hydro is a fast-feeling aero bike, with a lovely looking frameset adorned with Campagnolo's smooth-shifting Chorus groupset. The wheels are a little on the entry-level side, though, and add a bit of weight.
Just one look at the Auriga Disc lets you know it is a bike with purpose. This latest model uses a new stem setup for directing the cables into the frame via the head tube, which gives the aero frame and fork a clean, fast look.
With large section tubing, it certainly doesn't look as though it is going to be a let down on the stiffness front either.
Thankfully it doesn't just look purposeful – this really is one quick bike.
The frame is tight. There are absolutely no issues with stiffness, that's for sure, whether you're cruising along a flat section of road or when getting out of the saddle and smashing the pedals as hard as you can.
The press-fit bottom bracket used allows for a wider shell, giving a larger surface area for the mating of chainstays, seat tube and down tube than otherwise. That will certainly be contributing to the stiffness.
It means the ride is on the firm side compared to some endurance style bikes, but Tifosi has kept it on the comfortable side of harsh.
It makes the Auriga Disc a fun bike to ride. It's got that buzziness, that eagerness that makes you want to ride it hard, and you are repaid when you do with speed and performance.
Nudging 1,800g the Scirocco wheelset isn't the lightest, which slightly takes the edge off acceleration and climbing prowess, but overall this is a bike you can race on, or just ride quickly around the lanes.
The frame profile brings a small aero boost, and above 20mph the Auriga zings along the road. Stick on a set of light, deep-section carbon wheels and the Tifosi's abilities will be fully unveiled.
With an all-up weight of 8.74kg on our scales, the Auriga still feels responsive. It's not fast off the mark as something a couple of kilos lighter, inevitably, but stopping and starting when travelling through town doesn't become a chore.
Geometry wise (I'll give you the numbers in the next section) the angles are pretty aggressive, and you get a low front end which adds to the racy feel of the bike. On the downhills or when powering along the road trying to get out the wind, the drop from saddle to stem gives you a low-slung aero position. You also get to lower your centre of gravity a bit too, which makes the Tifosi feel more planted and controllable.
The handling is quick, which makes the Auriga feel direct and easily controllable at speed. On my favourite test hill it handled the tricky off-camber chicane at the top with ease, and for the rest of the corners – fast and slow – the Tifosi took everything in its stride.
Stiff bikes can often be unsettled in corners by rough sections of road and things are no different here, but thanks to the frameset's great feedback and that quick handling, you can easily keep things under control.
The fork is well matched to the frame, with great stiffness for cornering hard or braking, but enough flex in other directions to smooth out the ride and keep the tyre in contact with the road.
This third generation of the Auriga comes with an ACR (Aerodynamic Cable Routing) stem from FSA, which takes the cables and hoses from the handlebar and funnels them directly into the head tube. This means that the frame and fork have no entrance holes to speak of, which makes them look very smooth and clean. The routing is smooth too, as the shifting still feels great at the lever.
The only holes here are the exits for the brake hoses and the front and rear mech cables.
The frame itself has some interesting designs, not just in the size of the tube profiles, but also the shaping, with swooshy lines all over the place to direct the airflow. The rear wheel is shrouded by the seat tube, you get an integrated seat clamp, and the fork tucks into head and top tube junction to keep the rest of the lines smooth. Tifosi says the design comes from CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and wind tunnel testing.
Other changes have been made to the chain and seat stays in a bid to improve comfort, and to up tyre clearance to 28mm.
The Auriga is constructed from Toray T800 carbon fibre, with the T700 grade in key areas to allow some flexibility, according to Tifosi. The overall quality is high, and I'm a big fan of the decals and the paintjob.
The frame comes in at a claimed 1,220g (Tifosi doesn't say which size) and 440g for the fork. There are five sizes available from XS to XL, with top tube lengths of 535mm to 595mm. That'll suit riders from 158cm to over 185cm tall.
The medium we have offers a 565mm top tube, a 520mm seat tube and a 130mm head tube; slightly shorter than you'd expect, because the lowest headset spacer is recessed flush with the top of the top tube.
The stack and reach figures are 549mm and 402.4mm respectively, which is a little stretched out compared to most road bikes in this size, but only by a couple of millimetres. The wheelbase is just 995.6mm, which is what keeps the Auriga feeling nimble and responsive.
If you are looking at a different size, you'll find a full geometry table on Tifosi's website.
According to Tifosi's website the Auriga Disc is available as a frameset or in this Campagnolo Chorus build. It comes with a 52/36t chainset that looks resplendent with its carbon fibre cranks, mated to an 11-34t 12-speed cassette for the kind of gears this style of bike requires. They give plenty of top end to push against, while giving a low enough gear for most on the climbs.
If you haven't used Campagnolo before, you should know the gear changes are carried out by way of the swing lever behind the brake (which is static), and a thumb operated button on the inside of the hood. The thumb lever is well positioned for use both from the hoods and the drops, and the chain can be moved multiple cogs at a time from either control.
I'm a big fan of the ergonomics of Campagnolo's brake lever. I find my hand rests naturally in the curve, allowing me to sit comfortably while always being ready to brake. The hoods are also a great shape for comfort, with these hydraulic offerings not being that much larger than the mechanical versions.
I'd say the shifting of Chorus is slightly heavier than Ultegra or 105 mechanical when new, but over the miles it beds in and gives a very precise change with a light movement. It's one that gives plenty of feedback even when you are just holding the lever or button down for those multiple shifts.
Campagnolo came late to the disc brake game, but it was worth the wait. The calipers are powerful and offer excellent modulation, just like other top-end hydraulic setups. The rotors and calipers also look cool...
Tifosi specs a 160mm rotor on the front and 140mm on the rear, which is ample for fast road use.
Away from the gearing and braking Tifosi has specced a Deda Zero2 handlebar with that FSA ACR stem. It's a pretty basic bar, but the positions it offers are good with a smooth transition to the hoods and shallow drops that you don't need the flexibility of a yoga teacher to use.
The seatpost is full carbon fibre and secured by way of an internal wedge system. It stayed secure during testing with no slippage.
The Selle Italia Model X saddle is a new one to me, but I got on well with the shape. I like a shorty saddle and this one, with its curved shape, is very supportive and comfortable too.
The Auriga Disc is fitted with a set of Campagnolo Sciroccos, which have a very distinctive spoking pattern of bunches of three. As I mentioned earlier, they aren't exactly light, but they are durable and will take plenty of abuse. The rim depth is kind of semi-aero at 33mm, and with an internal width of 19mm they work well with 25mm and 28mm tyres.
Lighter, more aero wheels really help the performance of the Tifosi, but the Sciroccos are still a decent place to start.
Tifosi specs the Auriga with IMPAC RacePac tyres, but our review model turned up with Schwalbe's Pro Ones, a much-appreciated upgrade. I haven't ridden on the IMPACs, but with a price around £15 and a thread per inch (tpi) count of just 24, I wouldn't hold out much hope of a high-performance tyre.
The Schwalbes, with their impressive grip and low rolling resistance, let you exploit the quick and precise handling of the Tifosi.
Priced at £3,499 the Auriga is cheaper than the £3,799 Cinelli Pressure Disc aero bike and feels like better value. That comes with an Ultegra mechanical groupset... well most of one anyway, plus an FSA chainset, a KMC chain and a 105 cassette. It's heavy too, at nearly 9kg.
Vitus' aero bike, the ZX 1 EVO CRS, is great. I reviewed it back in 2021 and absolutely loved it. The latest mechanical Ultegra build is £3,499.99, but you are getting a set of Reynolds AR58/AR62 DB deep section carbon wheels included. Quite the upgrade from the Sciroccos found on the Tifosi.
So, while there are some better value and lighter bikes on the market, the Tifosi Auriga is still a very good bike. The geometry is great, it's a proper race bike with quick handling and a nimble ride feel, and I really had a lot of fun on it whether out for longer rides or those short lunch hour blasts.
Quick-handling race machine with an aero advantage, but will benefit from a wheel upgrade
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Tifosi Auriga Disc Chorus 12x Hydro Bike
Size tested: M, 56.5cm
About the bike
List the components used to build up the bike.
Brakes: Flat Mount Disc Brakes
Cable Routing: Internal
Bottom Bracket: 86.5x41mm
Handlebar: Deda Zero2
Seatpost: Tifosi Carbon
Stem: FSA ACR (Internally Routed)
Saddle: Selle Italia Model X
Pedals: Flat pedals included
Drivetrain: 12 Speed Disc Brake
Shifters: Campagnolo Chorus 12x
Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Chorus 12x
Rear Derailleur: Campagnolo Chorus 12x
Brakes: Campagnolo Chorus 12x Disc
Rotors: Campagnolo AFS 160mm (front) / 140mm (rear)
Cassette: Campagnolo Chorus 12x 11/34
Chainset: Campagnolo Chorus 12x 36/52 Semi-Compact
Chain: Campagnolo Chorus 12x
Wheels: Campagnolo Scirocco Tubeless Ready Disc Brake BT12 AFS
Tyres: IMPAC RacePac 700x28c
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?
Tifosi says, "To further advance the Auriga's racing design Tifosi has been working with professional race teams to make the Auriga frameset faster than ever...
This, the third generation of multi race winning frame, has fully integrated internal cable routing, capable of running internally from shifter to derailleur. It is quick in the sprints but also comfortable enough for the challenging terrain of UK road racing."
I like the way the Tifosi behaves. The geometry makes it a fun bike to ride and it looks great with the internal cable routing.
Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options
This is the only build on offer, alongside a frameset priced at £1,099.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
The build quality and finish is high quality.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
The frame and fork use Toray T700 and T800 grade carbon fibre.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The geometry is aimed at those who like to ride fast, with relatively steep angles and a short wheelbase.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The reach is a little bit longer than most, but only by a few millimeters.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Considering how stiff the Tifosi is, the comfort levels are pretty good.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Stiffness is very good where it needs to be, such as around the bottom bracket and head tube.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Power delivery is good thanks to the stiffness of the frame and fork.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Quick.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The handling is fast which makes the Tifosi a point-and-shoot machine.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
I got on well with saddle. Its shorty design and curved shape make it comfortable for getting the power down.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
The carbon Chorus crankset is massively stiff regardless of how much power you are putting out.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
An upgrade to lighter wheels really unleashes the potential of the Tifosi.
Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
Campagnolo's Chorus is a great groupset with impressive shifting and braking power. You get a good spread of gears here too.
Wheels and tyres
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?
Not the lightest for a three-and-a-half grand bike, but reliable and give decent performance.
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?
Ours were of the best tyres on the market for performance, but not on the official spec list.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
A decent spec level for the money, and the FSA stem brings a clean look to the bike.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes
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?
It's better value to the similar Cinelli mentioned in the review, but there is some tough opposition from the likes of Vitus.
Use this box to explain your overall score
There are a few components that could do with a tweak, but the basis is a quality frameset paired with a very good groupset.
About the tester
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!