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Quintana Roo Fit Series

Slowtwitch, December 2009

 

The Seduza, the original Fit-Series frame design from Quintana Roo, has the big five: all-carbon frame, reasonably narrow minor diameters in its major tubes, telescoping aero seat tube and post, rear wheel cut-out, rear-entry set-screw adjusted rear dropouts.

It sells complete for $1999 and I can't think of its equal in the marketplace (save one) based on the return on your invested peso. The Felt B16 (for 2010) is this bike's match in the sub-$2000 category, but, that's it. Nothing else compares, feature to feature.

To give you an idea of this bike's pedigree, it started its life in 2005 as the Lucero, and a complete bike at that time would've cost you more than double the price you'll pay today. The Lucero still exists, and the Seduza always was a slightly downscaled version of a frame that popped out of the same mold (expensive carbon instead of ridiculously expensive carbon).

In 2006 the Seduza sold complete at $3000 and it was a spankin' deal then. In the intervening years, this model has crept down in price as other, newer models debuted above it. But today's version is actually an upgrade over the original. The molds have been tweaked, steepening the former 76 seat angles to 78, a bit of weight has been hogged out, and the lines smoothed for a slippery profile. A new seat post debuted in 2009 as well, and this running change has "run" its course through 2009, I presume, so all the 2010 bikes have this new seat post.

You might think at this price, and because there is a frame of this substance on the bike, that the parts must be on a par with those found on bikes sold at Walmart. Surprisingly, no. The derailleurs are Shimano 105 (front) and Ultegra (rear). Cassette and chain are both 105. The crank is an FSA Omega compact, and this shows the careful product management of the Seduza: most triathletes ought to be on 110mm bolt pattern cranks, with 50x34 chainrings. Instead of making you upgrade the crank at the point of sale, QR puts the crank on the Seduza as original equipment.

If you don't want the compact cranks on your Seduza, no problem, your retailer will be happy to swap them out at no charge, because he's got dozens or hundreds of 130mm bolt pattern cranks he's taken off other companies' ill-spec'd bikes; your LBS would love to absorb your more salable cranks into his inventory, replacing them with the boat anchors you're choosing to "upgrade" your Seduza with.

The aerobars are VisionTech clip-ons, wheels are functional Alex 220 and tires are Conti Ultra Race.

The bike is made in four sizes, properly graded, and each size tends to fit a person of average proportion who wants to ride in a 77 to 79 degree relative seat angle.

About that new seat post: this allows riders who want to ride a bit steeper to easily get to that spot. To see what that post will look like check QR's CD0.1. As noted, this was a running change during the 2009 season, and did not show up in stores until last May and June. Do not buy an "older" 2009 Seduza. Insist on the new seat post. Your retailer will rightly state that there is no difference between the 2009 and 2010 models in any way: parts, frame, geometry, or cosmetics. He's right, excepting this seat post. This new post is the "change you can believe in."

Finally, the smallest size, 48cm, is built with 650c wheels and is a great choice for those 5'6" or shorter. It has a "stack" of 45.3cm and a "reach" of 39.4cm, making it very low in front for those who just can't find a bike small enough, yet it's also quite compact in length. This frame mold is made with a 78 seat angle, and I can't think of a better overall value for a woman who wants to move to a fast bike that fits very well, while nicely slotting into a reasonable price range.

In the spirit of full disclosure, and for those who don't know, I founded this company in 1987 and built it up through 1995, when I sold it to Saucony. I then managed it until 1999, when I left and started Slowtwitch. The company (currently and for most of this decade under the same umbrella ownership as Merlin and Litespeed) has had good and bad starts in the interim years, and we've tried to be faithful scribes when chronicling that process for our readers. We've been critical where the critique was warranted, which it often was. Very frankly, specific to its tri bike line, QR is just about all the way back. From the bottom (Tequilo) to the top (CD0.1) this bike line is muscular.

Unfortunately, a lot of retailers have experienced the fits and starts we've seen over most of this decade, and retailers tend toward a posture of once-burned-twice-shy. So, you might not find these bikes on showroom floors as often as you should find them, and that's too bad. But do not be deterred. If you think a Seduza is your bike, just keep looking until you find it. Make sure it's a 2010, or at a minimum a 2009 with the new post.