The Auriga has been the bike of choice for the Spirit Tifosi team and the bike is now in its third generation of development with the team arriving with this disc-specific, race-ready, carbon chassis.
The Auriga hits all the current trends for frame design with its Kammtail-profiled tubeset. Up front, the head tube is deep and aerofoil-profiled and into this and the down tube the fork crown is keyed in with sculpted airflow lines that condition the air around the head tube.
At the back, the seatstays are set very low on the seat tube. The benefit is two-fold: the smaller shape is more aerodynamic and the unsupported seat-tube should allow for more flex, which adds to comfort.
The Auriga has a pretty deep seat-tube and a thick aero seatpost so give isn’t quite as great as on the latest slimmer designs such as Cannondale’s new EVO, Specialized’s Tarmac or older designs like Giant’s TCR.
The aero-tuned chassis of the Auriga does mean it’s quite weighty, with the frame tipping the scales at 1.22kg.
On the road, the Auriga feels punchy and positive in the way in which it responds to steering inputs. That’s down to a steep, 73.3-degree head angle and 73-degree seat wrapped around a short wheelbase that’s just 2mm over a metre.
The low front end (592mm stack on my XL test bike) and long reach of 399mm also add to the competitive nature inherent in the Auriga.
It’s been developed through a race season that includes the tight combative racing of the UK’s Tour series city-centre criteriums, and you can feel that in the way in which the bike responds. The rapid, punchy feel of the steering response is enhanced by a firm ride, the assured stiffness giving you the impression of a quick bike, and on short, tight corners and traffic-light sprints it’s impressive.
Equipment levels on the bike are decent. The Ultegra groupset uses the well-thought out, all-round 50/34 11/30 combo, but Tifosi has deviated from the full group by using steel Tektro rotors on the brakes (which did give me a few vocal reminders when stopping quickly) and an FSA Gossamer chainset, which performed every inch as well as the Ultegra unit it replaces.
The Deda cockpit is as good as ever. Deda’s drop shape is one of the best around ergonomically, offering plenty of room in a shallow drop.
Out back, the deep aero post is held firm by the integrated seatclamp but the post offers little in the way of flex, adding to the firm feel of the Auriga’s ride. It’s thankfully topped with an excellent saddle in the form of ProLogo’s steel-railed Kappa RS.
On longer rides the firmness can be a little wearing compared to some of the smoother bikes that were also on test, such as the floaty steel of the Genesis Equilibrium Disc or the flyweight of the Ribble Endurance SL R .
The big 28mm Schwalbe tyres should take the edge off the firm ride but the Durano DDs just seem to be the wrong choice for a swift handling bike like this.
DD stands for double defence, which means the usual race-guard belt you find on Schwalbe tyres is joined by a second level of protection from a fabric backing to the sidewall. Schwalbe recommends the tyre for e-road/race bikes, so it’s a 300g+ tyre and you can feel it.
The Auriga is dulled on rolling terrain and on the climbs it’s like pedalling through treacle slowly. When the road turns downwards you get a taste of what this Auriga could be: it handles sweetly, is quick to turn and exciting, and though these Durano tyres are a bit lifeless, the grip is still impressive.
Sadly, in this guise it’s like having Usain Bolt sprint the 200m in Dr Marten safety boots: quick but held back from being fully unleashed.
Tifosi Auriga Disc 2019 geometry
- Seat angle: 73 degrees
- Head angle: 71.5 degrees
- Chainstay: 41.5cm
- Seat tube: 52cm
- Top tube: 58cm
- Fork offset: 4.2cm
- Trail: 6.9cm
- Bottom bracket height: 27.3cm
- Wheelbase: 1,013mm
- Stack: 59.2cm
- Reach: 39.9cm
|Available sizes||XS, S, M, L, XL|
|Tyres||Schwalbe Durano DD 28mm|
|Stem||Deda Elementi Zero 100mm|
|Shifter||Shimano Ultegra R8000|
|Seatpost||Tifosi carbon aero|
|Saddle||Prologo Kappa RS|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Ultegra R8000|
|Handlebar||Deda Elementi Zero 44c|
|Bottom bracket||FSA BB86 PF|
|Front derailleur||Shimano Ultegra R8000|
|Frame||Toray UD 500 & 700 carbon|
|Cranks||FSA Gossamer Pro (50/34)|
|Cassette||Shimano 105 11-30|
|Brakes||Shimano Ultegra with Tektro rotors (160mm/140mm)|
|Wheels||Vision Team 30|