Austin Tri-Cyclist Blog

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Quintana Roo - History and Technology


The Redstone at ATC-360
Quintana Roo was founded in 1987 by Dan Empfield, also founder of and the popular F.I.S.T tri bike fitting system. Quintana Roo's first product was the first triathlon specific wet suit, and two years later in 1989 they followed it up with the first triathlon-specific bike. The frame was designed around steeper seat tube angles, which facilitated the use of aero bars and low, aerodynamic time-trial positions. For the first time, athletes could ride a bike that would handle properly when ridden with time trial bars, and they wouldn't need custom seat posts to get their saddle forward enough. This basic geometry has become the time trial and triathlon bike standard.

Over the years Quintana Roo has introduced dozens of innovative ideas and bikes, including the outlandish 1999 Redstone pictured above, which has a deep rear wheel fairing attached to the seat tube. At one time, QR produced titanium bikes with carbon-fiber, aerodynamic forks, such as the Aerial. They also popularized the use of 650C wheels on smaller frame sizes to allow for appropriate geometry to support low positions and proper handling. Today, Quintana Roo produces carbon fiber bikes and continues to offer unique technology and ideas.

Bike Tech

The current flagship technology featured on all of Quintana Roo's mid- and high-level bikes is SHIFT. Bikes are not entirely symmetrical; on the right side the crankset and derailleurs add a significant amount of drag. SHIFT uses a non-symmetrical downtube shape to divert air to the non-drive side of the bike, which reduces drag because less air comes in contact with the components. This technology is featured on the CD0.1, the Illicito, and the new PR6.

The Illicito expands on the SHIFT technology by eliminating the non-drive side seat stay. This has been done in the past on a few super bikes like the Lotus, but QR claims that since they are diverting 80% of the airflow to the non-drive side of the bike, eliminating that seat stay is of extra benefit. Stiffness does suffer some as a result, but it's a small price to pay for extreme aerodynamics!

The newest QR bike, the PR6, takes a different approach, maintaining the usual degree of stiffness with seat stays on both sides, but using a highly asymmetric chain stay design to further optimize the SHIFT technology. This along with other features like an integrated fork and dropped down tube make it QR's most aerodynamic offering.

The CD0.1

The highlight of the QR lineup, and the bike most of us can actually afford, is the CD0.1. The bike starts at $2,800 for the CD.01 Rival and goes as high as $5,500 for the Di2 model with aerodynamic crankset and better aerobars. Every model can be upgraded to the "race" version, which comes with an aerodynamic Reynolds Strike wheelset for an additional $1,100.

The CD0.1 features the aforementioned SHIFT technology, along with a behind-the-fork front brake and hidden rear brake under the bottom bracket. The current CD0.1 has improved the performance and ease of use of the rear brake, and it now accommodates wide race wheels more easily as well. All models include frames with high modulus carbon fiber construction and BB30 bottom brackets.

QR provides a tech sheet with more details on technical features of the CD0.1. Included is the wind tunnel data shown below, indicating competitive aerodynamic performance, and highlighting the effect of the SHIFT technology.

QR bikes are in stock and available to test ride at ATC stores now. A free F.I.S.T certified fit is included with purchase!

Entry Level Bikes

Quintana Roo also has a line of less expensive bikes, the Kilo, Dulce, Seduza, and Lucero Lite.  All are carbon fiber aerodynamic bikes based on the same frame shape.  The Kilo starts at $1,900 and it goes up from there with better components and lighter weight frame materials to the Lucero Lite at $2,900.  Other companies have set their entry level prices as high as $3,000, so it is great to see that Quintana Roo offers a no excuses, excellent bike for under $2000.


  1. Nice! Hot bikes from QR. :)

  2. I for one LOVE my CD0.1 (2012) Was my first "real Triathlon bike" for my first 70.3 & IM and has been a rocketship as I've grown as an athlete. I see no need to get a newer bike even as I approach podium worthy finishing times at 70.3 & IM distance races.