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…
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.
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
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.
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.