Tifosi Auriga Disc Bike Review

Tifosi Auriga Disc Bike.

First impression

The snappy, even punchy response of the Auriga hasn’t dulled since we rode one back in the summer of 2017, with the compact frame dimensions certainly marking this out as a racer. Once our heart rate had leveled out, it soon becomes clear that Tifosi’s boasts of a comfortable ride aren’t unfounded. Could this be the perfect Jekyll and Hyde road bike?

On the road

Comfort isn’t usually a given with aero road bikes. The last of the breed that we could truly say bucked the trend was last year’s Bianchi Aria, but you can now add the Tifosi Auriga to the list. Pulling this trick off depends very much on not relying on the rider’s flexibility in order to make rapid progress, and the Tifosi’s comfortable reach, tipped saddle and high headtube make for a coordinated attack on rider fatigue. If you have the flexibility to get lower on the bike, the headset spacers are there for you to do so. We haven’t ridden a bike this fast for this long with this little fatigue for quite sometime.

Despite a less than unified approach to groupset components, the FSA chainset marries well with Miche’s 12-29 cassette and is operated with trademark efficiency by Shimano’s 105-level shifters. Level roads are dispatched in the big ring, and sometimes in the 12-tooth cog at the rear (although we have to admit the tailwind had a part to play in that kind of behavior).

Otherwise, even climbing isn’t a chore, with the smallest ratio of 34-29 easily hauling us up challenging local climbs. The stiffness of the overall package, but especially the frame, flatters the Auriga’s 9 kg+ weight. Fit some lighter race wheels and it would be even more of a delight to ride.

Handling

Speaking of the Vision wheels, they do behave well considering their budget price tag. The profile isn’t deep or slab-sided enough to be unduly affected by crosswinds, and they spin up quick enough for most. They’re aided very much by the Schwalbe Durano Plus rubber wrapped around their circumference, though.

These 25c race tires would cost you 59$ each over the counter of your local bike shop, and their grip and puncture resistance are particularly commendable. We barely had time to consider it an issue before barreling into a switchback, but rest assured these tires will take you around most turns at close to knee-down lean angles. The update to the bike this year, meanwhile – namely its disc brakes – benefits it greatly.

While the last Auriga we rode was equipped with direct-mount Miche caliper brakes, the Shimano disc stoppers on this version retain the bite of the Miches, but add a level of finesse rarely found with caliper brakes. Yes, discs make for heavier bikes, but now they’re nothing new on road bikes the refinement of their design and actuation is making for safe-stopping race bikes. This is one such bike, and it comes highly recommended.

Frameset of Tifosi Auriga Disc Bike.

Frameset

The high-modulus Toray carbon-fiber frame of the Auriga has benefited from Computational Fluid Dynamics in its design. However, Tifosi is quick to tell us that, ‘it’s aerodynamic in real world situations, not just a wind tunnel.’ The hugely oversized downtube is shaped around the fork tops for aero efficiency, while the seat tube follows the line of the rear wheel. The seatstays project from the seat tube a good five inches below its junction with the sloping toptube, creating a rear frame triangle that is- dare we say it? -almost Giant-esque in its design.

Splayed box-section chainstays, meanwhile, meet the curved seatstays at the rear thru-axle, with the aerofoil profiled forks also fixed to the front wheel by the same closure method. The internal cabling is neatly routed, right down to the outer of the front brake disc, which runs through and neatly exits the inside of the left-hand fork leg. The bike’s racy nature is partially reflected in its 72.5° head angle. Fun fact: the word ‘Auriga’ is spelt out on the toptube in Morse Code…

Groupset

On the face of it, the Tifosi’s groupset is a little mix-and-match in its nature. A 50/34 compact FSA Omega chainset works alongside a 12-29 Miche cassette, while the front and rear derailleurs are Shimano105 equipment. The braking is taken care of by Shimano’s 105-level R7000 hydraulic system, which houses its fluid in its elongated brake hoods. The performance of the brakes themselves really shines in this package.

Finishing kit

Both the alloy handlebars and stem are provided by Deda’s Zero range, with the compact bars measuring 420 mm in diameter; the stem projecting 100 mm from the steerer. In all, this set-up provides a comfortable riding position for our size M frame with its 388 mm reach.

The seatpost of the Auriga is Tifosi’s own aero-profile carbon item, which is adjusted via a nut recessed in the upper section of the toptube/seat tube junction. Usefully, it’s angled slightly, allowing the rider to tweak the seat height with a shorter multi tool-style Allen key without clanking the shorter length against the carbon mast. Its Prologo Kappa RS saddle is a firm favorite.

Wheels

Vision’s alloy 30 TL Disc wheels feature a 30mm aero section profile. Although very much an affordable option for this build, we can’t knock them. They spin up quickly enough (they’re not race-ready, but equally they’re durable), and we didn’t notice their weight penalty markedly.

Their fitment allows Tifosi to get the price of this build a penny under 3,000$, and for some, that’ll make them sit up and take notice. Schwalbe’s Durano Plus tires are fitted to our test bike ;their 25c diameter is at the limit of what Tifosi claims to be the clearance limit of the frame. We found them to offer more than ample grip for springtime conditions, and to absorb enough of the smaller hits from poor-quality tarmac on the back roads.

Specs

Frame: T700/800 carbon frame and forks

Groupset: Shimano 105

Brakes: Shimano 105 R7000 hydraulic discs

Chainset: FSA Omega, 50/34

Cassette: Miche Primato,12-29

Bars: DedaZero, alloy

Stem: DedaZero, alloy

Saddle: Prologo Kappa RS

Seatpost: Carbon, aero profile

Wheels: Vision Team 30 TL Disc

Tires: Schwalbe Durano Plus, 700×25

Geometry

Size tested: MChainstays (C): 421 mm
Weight: 9.2kgHead angle (HA): 72.5°
Top tube (TT): 550 mmSeat angle (SA): 73.6°
Seat tube (ST): 495 mmWheelbase (WB): 987 mm
Stacks (S): 551 mmBB drop (BB): 68 mm
Reach (R): 388 mm 

Rating: 8.9/10

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