IB13: BH Adds New Quartz Endurance Road Bike, Budget Aero RC Triathlon Bike & Women’s Ultralight
The new BH Quartz is the first real endurance-oriented road bike from the Spanish brand, slotting in well above the lower level Prisma road bikes.
It uses a taller head tube and slightly shorter top tube to put the rider in a more comfortable, upright position. The chainstays are also much longer than their G6 and Ultralight race bikes will ever be…up around 408mm. That’s still relatively short compared to other brands’ endurance road bikes, but this is meant to be a performance endurance bike. The carbon layup is geared around muting the road surface beneath you, complemented by a 27.2 seatpost. Compared to the Prisma, the seatstays are thinner and flatter, but not as dramatic as some other “fondo” bikes we’ve seen.
There’s both a men’s and women’s version, plus a new budget-friendly triathlon bike (that doesn’t skimp on features) and a women’s version of their amazing Ultralight road bike…
The shaped, deep head tube should keep things properly stiff.
Frame weight for a size Medium is right at 1,000g. They say it’ll add or drop roughly 20-40g per frame size.
Three models will be offered, SRAM Force 22 ($3,999), Shimano Ultegra ($2,999) and Shimano 105 ($2,399).
The women’s Quartz goes all the way down to a 44cm frame size with a 50.2 ETT. Other than sizing options and colors, they share the frame with the men’s version. Spec is swapped out to parts, widths and sizes that are more female friendly, too. They’ll be offered only in the Force 22 (shown) and 105 builds at the same prices as the men’s.
Aero RC brings about 90% of the tech from the high end Aero but at a price point the beginner triathlete can afford. Starting at just $2,899 but gets a modified carbon frame. The front end loses the integrated stem/steerer interface, but allows for a taller stack and shorter reach by using standard spacers and stems (at least, it does so without looking out of place).
It, like all of their bikes, use the same cable chips to switch between mechanical or electronic drivetrains. That really helps keep the upgrade potential high. And they, like many brands, are betting most triathletes are going to be picky about their aero wheels and will already have a set on hand. They could spec deeper alloy wheels, but that would make the bike feel heavy (and add rotational mass), which would turn off folks on the shop floor. And anything nicer would immediatly drive the price over $3K.
The other downgrade for the RC model is the lack of integrated brakes. This one gets standard calipers with no mounts for anything else, but it’ll still allow you to fit the Magura or SRAM hydraulic rim brakes.
It mimics the design cues of the upper end frames, but hasn’t made its way into the wind tunnel on its own. Compared to the standard Aero $4,999 frameset only pricing, the Aero RC is a bargain.
The women’s Ultralight comes down to a 44cm frame (XXS in their parlance) with a 50.5 ETT. Just as with the Quartz, it shares the frames with the men’s version but changes the touch points. That means frame weights of just 860g for a Medium, with the same 40g change per frame size…to a point since chainstay lengths and some other parts don’t really change on the smaller sizes. The smallest frame will be in the 760-ish grams.
There’s no specific “women’s” layup, but they do use size specific layups to work with the anticipated rider weights. So the smaller frames will be tuned to smaller riders.
The 2014 Ultralight bikes run from just $2,999 (Shimano 105) up to $5,299 (Ultegra Di2), all with RC-level frames. The premium Ultralight is $3,999 for the frame and $10,599 for the complete SRAM Red 22 bike.
All of these bikes are BB386EVO, and US National Sales Manager Dan Barnes says there won’t be any new road bikes moving forward that don’t have BB386EVO. Carry over models like the Prisma are still BB30, for now.