Quintana Roo's Seduza remains a potent buy for 2011, maybe even more so as other manufacturers increase set attention to tri bikes higher in price.
The Seduza is a $2000 bike and, for an all-carbon frame this remains a great value. This is especially the case when you consider the groupkit, which is pretty nice. This complete bike features a Shimano Ultegra rear derailleur, and a 105 chain, cassette and front derailleur. The crank is an FSA Gossamer Compact (more companies should spec 110mm bolt pattern cranks OE like QR does), and the wheels are Shimano's RS20—nothing to brag about but they're not going to fold up underneath you either.
This frame has been around a few years, and the molds get "reworked" from one year to the next. The seat angle has gotten progressively steeper, the seat stays have drifted from a monostay design to a more standard twin-stay motif, and the head tube has grown in size.
That head tube change, let's focus on that for a moment. There's a chart below that shows how this bike is going to fit in 2011 with these new reworked head tube heights. Note that Trek designed its Speed Concept frameset to fit right in the middle of the size range, as expressed by all the bikes in the market. The "old" Seduza geometry—excluding the 650c smallest size—overlays the Speed Concept geometry almost exactly.
Why would QR abandon geometry that was pretty mainstream for a taller geometry? "We’ve listened to dealers asking for taller head tubes to improve their bike fitting needs," says QR.
Retailers and manufacturers are in a sort of marriage and, like spouses, each listens to the other, each respects the other's right to talk, honor is shown to each opinion, and sometimes one spouse is just plain right and it's best if the other spouse acquiesces when it's clear that's the case.
But sometimes you have to stand your ground, do you not? (I write this only because my wife is not a regular Slowtwitch reader.)
Sometimes a manufacturer can listen to its dealers too much. In this case, QR has adopted a new geometry that seems "outlier" in theme. That said, there is a good excuse for QR to adopt this taller, narrower geometry: The Seduza is spec'd with Visiontech aerobars, which are quite low profile. If QR sticks to specifying low-profile aerobars, the new head tubes are fine.
Note that the smallest size in this bike is indeed low, but is fairly long. It's by no means the longest of the 650c bikes—Kestrel's Airfoil Pro is, in its smallest size, lower than the Seduza by more than a centimeter yet longer by two centimeters. Just, this underscores the fact that the next size up—the smallest of the Seduza's 700c-wheeled sizes, is actually a pretty narrow bike. If you ride this bike steep, you might find it a bit tight in the cockpit.
Let me help you make sense of this. QR's smallest size bike—that 46cm built around 650c wheels—is a tiny sucker, and if you're little, and you ride steep, and aggressive, this is a neat little bike at a great price.
If you're just a little taller, and you'll ride the next size up, or taller yet and you'll ride any of the other Seduza sizes, the Seduza is not built around steep geometry per se. If you ride your tri bike at 80 degrees of seat angle, the Seduza is not designed for that. And because of that, QR's decision to raise the head tubes in height makes a bit of sense.
It's just that I think most riders nowadays are choosing to ride steeper than the Seduza's length accommodates. If you think you might like to ride at a 79° or 80° seat angle, best to look more at Felt or Cervelo. If you think 76° or 77° is more your style, then this Seduza is designed more for your style of riding.