Qoroz Race Won £2500

Titanium mastery

BikeRadar score 4.5/5

The Qoroz is living proof of titanium’s versatility as an all-purpose building material and is the result of a side venture by Aberlink Ltd, UK makers of co-ordinate measuring machines. Company founder Marcus Eales decided a few years back that his Litespeed might be improved upon and set about upgrading it himself.

Several years on, the range has been fleshed out while an elite squad races this very frame in Premier Calendar events, supporting a process of continuous development that feeds directly back into the design. Consider it a work in progress that’s always at the cutting-edge.

The Race Won helps you ride with the pack and then leave it behind. With a compact design and low-profile frame stance, it should appeal to any cyclist with racing and time-trialling DNA.

Ride & handling: Nice sense of balance and control that manages to both inspire confidence and reassure in the heat of battle

Initially, the low front end and compact stance combine with a steep seat angle to put you over the front wheel a bit more than expected. Old-school roadies might find this pretty radical but as more time was spent in the saddle, it became clear that the Race Won was built with one goal in mind: winning races by going faster. Severe bursts of acceleration on hills and sprints produce little flex.

Scything through the wind with a ride that’s rigid without being harsh, the bike handles irregular or worn, grainy asphalt surfaces well, with just the right amount of feedback. Superb Qoroz-badged carbon deep-dish 50mm tubulars bring a considerable turn of speed. Out on the evening circuit training sessions and chaingang rides, the par-for-the course howling crosswinds increased the concentration required to follow wheels closely, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a shallower front rim.

Frame: Highly engineered and targeted concept executed with impeccable craftsmanship

Chainstays and seatstays are braced by substantial tubular bridges, while dropouts are stout machined titanium. Tube shapes are manipulated extensively. At the Race Won's core are a bi-axially ovalised down tube and seat tube, with large weld areas at the bottom bracket. A relaxed head angle and a bit more trail than usual create predictable behaviour, with a bit of torsional and lateral flex coming in from the straight-bladed carbon fork at higher speeds.

The Qoroz is characterised by some interesting features, most notably a unique internal seatpost clamping mechanism that eliminates the risk of frame failure at the seat collar slot. The latter’s now been displaced to the seatpost itself and allows about 10cm of adjustment. There's a number plate boss under the front of the top tube, along with a chain hanger at the rear, which can prove helpful during wheel changes. Meanwhile, a welded-on front derailleur mount is an obvious solution to the heavily aero seat tube section.

Equipment: Powerful brakes, comfortable wheels and exotic Qoroz finishing kit is impressive

Besides SRAM’s battle-hardened Rival group – which represents the Third Way, and is a good way to go – finishing kit on our test bike was enhanced by a beautiful welded titanium stem with an attractive set of very effective carbon aero handlebars, while the metallic blue Prologo saddle proved comfy despite its synthetic appearance. A further sprinkling of blue anodised highlights as added aesthetic enhancements really make this machine look purposeful.

It certainly turns heads cruising down the high street after a hard training session. When it comes to the wheels, we'd prefer a a shallower profile rim for the front, but that doesn’t take away from how surprisingly comfortable they are for such deep section, aero wheels.

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