Last issue, the Swiss-designed Erox graced our ‘First Look’ pages; this month, we put it straight into the test programme against the Merida. Our bike came with standard forks, unlike the brake-behind BB version shown on the website, but it’s still suitably aero-looking. It also manages to be a surprisingly comfortable, cultured ride.
Call us cynics but we weren’t expecting much more than competent speed, reasonable handling and bearable comfort. That’s the current benchmark for most carbon bikes – but the Erox is above average on every count.
Its overall ride quality shines through right from the first set-up spin. The deep rims means it takes a few strokes to get up to speed, but then, with a warble from the Sapim CX ray spokes, the Quarra goes into overdrive. With a relatively low weight for an aero bike, it fairly leaps down the road as soon as you press the pedals. It’s got a fine appetite for climbing, too, surprising us with how big a gear it could hold up short, steep climbs, and it’s very well-mannered in handling terms.
The real golden arrow in the Quarra’s weaponry, however, is its smoothness. Once you’re settled into the Missile bars, you totally relax. Any jarring or kick from rough surfaces is muted, even on the worst roads, and this easy comfort and relaxed speed never diminished however far we took it.
A convex head tube reduces the frontal section, with the top and down tubes conjoining to form a big fin section behind it, keeping airflow smooth. The stout top tube and teardrop down tube both flare again at the far end to meld into the seat tube.
While there’s a skinny round tube at the base for conventional clamp-on mech compatibility, there are all sorts of wheel-hugging fin shapes moulded into the top end. Even the replaceable seat collar is carbon fibre, and separate bolt receivers mean overtightening won’t write off your entire frame.
Teardrop to round taper seatstays sprout from the trailing edge of the seat cluster fin, while big triangular multi-section chainstays take the power from the big bottom-bracket block to the back wheel.
It’s vertical slots in the alloy dropouts, though, so you can’t close the rather generous gap between
tyre and frame.
As for extras, the Ultra Speed 800 wheels have titanium axles inside their red hubs to keep weight competitive, and ride as well as top-class tub rims. The brakes use a power-assist cam to deliver impressive power and control that rivals dual pivot brakes, while the superb Dura Ace groupset is smooth and slick, and the Pro Missile cockpit certainly puts you in a predatory mood.
There seems to have been a new tri bike along every minute in recent months, but few have impressed us as much as the Erox. It’s light, fast and power-proof enough to launch a serious assault on your PB, but it’s also remarkably comfortable and easy to ride on long-haul legs.
Frame Erox full carbon aero
Forks Specialized FACT carbon-legged
Groupset Shimano Dura Ace; Erox CNC Power brakes
Wheels Erox Ultra Speed 800 wheels; Continental Tempo 22 tubular tyres
Cockpit Pro Missile Combo bar with straight extensions
Seating Erox seatpost; Erox Paper saddle
Weight 7.72kg (17.02lb) without pedals
Sizes S, M, L
Contact : Errox 01908 607267 www.eroxuk.co.uk