Reviewed: BH Quartz
Lab data: 19.6/20 (0.41mm head tube deflection; .23mm BB deflection)
Pedaling response: 13.5/15
This is an endurance bike for people who don’t think they want an endurance bike. The carbon frame, with its 406-millimeter chain stays and massive bottom bracket, makes for a platform that can sprint and climb like a pure race bike.
The Quartz was dominant in our lab tests. Its composite score (combining bottom bracket and head tube deflection numbers) blew away the other road bikes in our buyer’s guide. Only Specialized’s race-proven Tarmac came close, 0.1mm behind. On rough pavement, the Quartz feels a bit harsh, a result of that stiff construction, so don’t expect this to be a cobblestone crusher. This is probably exaggerated by Mavic’s 25-millimeter Yksion Elite tires, mounted to Mavic’s traditionally narrow Ksyrium Disc wheels, which underwhelmed our testers.
On the downhills, the Shimano flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes encourage aggressive descending, which is bolstered by the stiff frame and asymmetrical fork that make it easy to hold a line in high-speed turns. We wouldn’t want to test the Quartz’s mettle in a crit, however, as its 72-degree head tube angle lends itself more to fast sweepers and steadiness at speed.
Along with those Shimano brakes, we were pleased (as always) with the Di2 shifting. The full-compact crankset, coupled with a wide-range cassette, makes this a weapon of choice for a gran fondo with endless climbing. Just don’t expect a butter-smooth ride like some endurance bikes can provide.
Component highlights: Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain with 50/34 crankset and Shimano 105 11-28 cassette; Shimano RS805 flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes; Mavic Ksyrium Disc WTS wheels
Weight: 17.4 pounds (size 54cm)