2014 Culprit ROADi alloy racing disc brake road bike with Shimano 105 and hydraulic disc brakes

Thus far, Culprit’s alloy bicycle have been limited to junior sized rides for kids, leaving the higher end (and very good) carbon fiber models like the Croz Blade and Arrow One for us grown folk. Problem was, they were more expensive, which made adoption a bit slow for the newer brand without North American distribution.

Now, though, founder Josh Colp’s new Roadi alloy racing road bike not only provides a killer bike complete with disc brakes, but it makes a compelling dollars-to-grams argument for giving the brand a shot. The ROADi uses a universal race geometry with a triple butted, hydroformed frame and very, very good spec for the $1,575 USD asking price. Things like Reynolds Stratus Pro wheels, the new 11-speed Shimano 105 and TRP HYRD calipers (even a multitool and jersey). Plus, it’s pretty light…

2014 Culprit ROADi alloy racing disc brake road bike with Shimano 105 and hydraulic disc brakes

The bikes shown here, which illustrate the three color options available, are built with the current 105, not the all-new 11-speed group recently introduced. The ROADi will start shipping in the Fall, at which time the new 105 will be available and is what you’ll get…and you’ll get the black version, which looks kick ass.

The frame is triple butted 6061 alloy with Kamm Tail downtube shaping for better aerodynamics without giving up crosswind stability. The rear end uses asymmetric seat- and chainstays, putting reinforcement where the disc brake forces go and improve power transfer while maintaining rider comfort…something aided by the available carbon/titanium flex post shown. Smooth welding on top of all the tube shaping gives it a very carbon-like appearance.

2014 Culprit ROADi alloy racing disc brake road bike with Shimano 105 and hydraulic disc brakes

Other specs and features:

  • Internal routing for both mechanical and electronic drivetrains with slick head tube entry ports
  • Full carbon aero fork with internal cable/hose routing, sized for 160mm rotors
  • PressFit BB86
  • Six sizes will be available
  • Claimed frame weight is just 1,310g painted with hardware
  • Complete bike as shown has a claimed weight of 17.95lb (8.14kg) for a 56 ETT
  • Ritchey WCS Streem II handlebar
  • Ritchey WCS 220 stem
  • Prologo Nago Evo TS saddle
  • Maxxis Mamushi 700×25 tires
  • Token Omega A1 headset
  • TRP HYRD hybrid mechanical/hydraulic brake calipers (160mm front/140mm rear rotors)
  • Culprit Softer Ride composite flex seatpost

2014 Culprit ROADi alloy racing disc brake road bike with Shimano 105 and hydraulic disc brakes

The geometry is called Contact Point History (CPH) and was developed by New Zealand bike fit tech and custom frame designer Craig Baldwin. It averages thousands of bike fits over years of work to make it work out of the box for the majority of riders. That should make it easier to get slightly out-of-the-norm fits comfortable and fast, too. And it builds in a very good compromise (seemingly without compromise) by using a slightly taller head tube and sloping geometry: For racers, just set it up with no spacers and/or a negative rise stem. For those that want a bit more upright position, add a couple spacers and an appropriate stem angle. Either way, it’s more likely to look natural than a slammed head tube with a ton of spacers.

2014 Culprit ROADi alloy racing disc brake road bike with Shimano 105 and hydraulic disc brakes

About that pricing: The only catch is that it’s retail before shipping from Taiwan, where Culprit is HQ’d. Josh says shipping and duties will likely run around $400-$450, putting the delivered price around $2,000-ish. How does that stack up in the U.S. market? For comparison, the Specialized Allez Race C2 gets a mostly 105 parts mix with R561 brakes and FSA Gossamer crankset, alloy cockpit and Axis 2.0 wheels for $1,700. The next level Allez jumps to $2,400 for mostly Ultegra, but both are still spec’d with rim brakes. The Culprit ROADi is, at least for now, a bit more future proof and will have the new 105.

Two future builds that aren’t quite finalized will use Shimano Ultegra and Ultegra Di2, both with full hydraulic disc brakes.



  1. Interesting new marketing strategy that doesn’t seem well thought out. Seems like his expensive bikes aren’t selling so now he wants to hit the entry level rider. I do not see that customer willing to order from a no name brand they have to wait for when you can go to a bike shop and get an alloy bike like the specialized mentioned for less. That consumer wants to be able to touch and feel a bike instead of crossing your fingers and hoping your no name Taiwanese obnoxiously branded bike arrives and suits you well.

  2. @tom 25cs apparently…

    I would definitely go for a black groupset on that too, the mass of silver chainset sticks out like a sore thumb!

  3. The great thing about disc brakes is that there is more tire clearance because a fatter tire will not hit the underside of a traditional rim brake caliper design since their is no rim brake.

    The stupid thing about this bike design is that they have decided to narrow the fork and seatstays so that you can only run 25mm tires. Dumb, really dumb. All they would have had to have done is widen (not narrow), the fork and rear stays and you could then run 28mm and possibly 30+mm tires with no change in fork length of chainstay length, i.e. basically no change in bike geometry.

    Bad design on the frame clearance for this disc brake bike. Now, watch them try to spin it and claim that they meant to do the design like that, and that the narrow forks and stays are stiffer and more aero.

  4. I don’t understand why they would use TRP HYRD calipers.

    TRP HYRD is a cable actuated hydraulic disc brake where the reservoir is located in the caliper.

    The new 11-speed Shimano 105 includes hydraulic levers (albeit non-series, I understand) which would enable Culprit to use proper hydraulic calipers (ie, the reservoir is in the lever).

  5. Frank #1 – The challenge with a small brand like Culprit is that he can only make so many bikes at a time, there isn’t the budget to run hundreds of fully built bikes in each trim level and ship all that inventory to the USA and have to pay for warehousing until it’s ordered. I spoke to Josh about exactly this, and yes being able to touch/feel a bike before purchase is important, but people mail order all the time sight unseen. It’s simply another option for someone looking to ride something different. And we celebrate that folks like Josh are willing to put themselves out there personally and financially to do something they believe in…which is why we cover so many small, independent brands like his.

    Ajax – the bike already has aero properties (fork, tubing shapes). That said, and without all the reference materials in front of me, my understanding is that the more you can move the tubes and fork legs away from the wheels, the less turbulence there is. I was just talking with the Mavic guys about this recently, but that’s another story.

    Frank #2 – The new 105 can be used with the non-series (Ultegra level) hydraulic levers, but that would be a more expensive combo. The 105 bike shown is meant to hit a certain price point, and the Ultegra models mentioned would cover the hydro option.

What do you think?