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Tifosi Auriga Disc review

27 Apr 2022
Verdict:

Third time’s the charm for the Tifosi Auriga

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Adjustability • Perceived speed and stiffness • Value
Against 
Weight • Comfort • Faces stiff competition

The Tifosi Auriga Disc is the third iteration of British brand Tifosi’s aero race bike. This revision adds disc brakes and the frameset has been given a drastic shape change in an attempt to make it more aerodynamic.

The Italian brand-dominant spec list of Campagnolo and Deda is unusual and nicely chosen, being both functionally solid and good looking.

The Tifosi Auriga’s biggest win is in its adjustability. It uses FSA’s ACR headset system for a neat front end that remains modifiable, so an efficient body position is easy to achieve.

The finishing components combined with frameset result in a bike that represents reasonable value at £3,499.

It cedes in weight and comfort in comparison to its main competitors but feels on par in the speed and stiffness stakes.



Tifosi Auriga Disc development

That this is the third generation of Auriga Disc says something about quite how far Tifosi has developed in recent years.

The British brand has been around over 20 years but for much of that time produced steel and aluminium workhorses. They were suitable for use through the worst of the British winter, but were often relegated to the garage when summer rolled around and the fancy bikes came out to play.

The Auriga Disc is the latest in an increasingly long line of designs that prove that Tifosi is now more than capable of producing those fancy bikes too.

This revision of the model takes things up in the aero stakes.

‘The feedback we got from our sponsored riders was that we’d pegged the aerodynamic styling back too far in the previous Auriga in the search for a more balanced set of attributes,’ says Josh Lambert of Chickencyclekit, Tifosi’s UK distributor.

Lambert claims that advances in composite manufacturing, plus moves towards disc brakes, bigger tyre clearances and internal cable routing, allowed Tifosi to amp up the aero attributes again without negatively impacting things like comfort and handling.

Tifosi Auriga Disc frameset

The Auriga Disc’s frameset certainly looks every bit the aero bike. Its curvaceously bulky form prompts comparisons with several exceptional bikes in the race genre.

Its head tube junction has a sniff of Trek Madone about it, mixed in with a sprinkle of Pinarello Dogma F. The seat tube and associated junctions remind me slightly of Cube's Litening.

In theory the Auriga shouldn’t cede much in aerodynamics terms to any of those bikes. It has spent time in a wind tunnel, but Lambert says the frameset shaping is more the result of extensive CFD development and real-world prototype testing.

‘We were more concerned with how it rode, and are familiar the fundaments of aero design, so there wasn’t a whole lot the wind tunnel could help us with in that respect,’ he says.

Tifosi says the frame is made using Toray’s T700 and T800 fibres. Toray offers more premium variations, but that doesn’t preclude the Auriga from any one performance characteristic. It would just mean, for example, that Tifosi may need to use more material to achieve similar stiffness levels.

It is a consequence illustrated by the Auriga’s 1,220g claimed frame weight, which is a couple of hundred grams off the lightest in the genre.

It could be argued that in a design focused on aerodynamic efficiency some extra weight is insignificant though, and it does seem that Tifosi has got the important things right in the Auriga, considering its remit.

Tifosi Auriga Disc build

Thanks to the incorporation of FSA’s ACR headset cable routing system, combined with Deda’s compatible Zero2 bars, the bike gets a clean front end but crucially retains a good degree of adjustability.

Achieving a sustainable, efficient body position vastly outweighs the effect of a slightly sleeker fully integrated bar and stem combo that's impossible to alter.

Lambert says there are alternative headset top covers in development to allow for different integration systems too, making the Auriga particularly modifiable.

The Campagnolo Chorus Disc groupset isn’t seen specced often, despite being a viable competitor to Shimano’s Ultegra Disc groupset.

With Shimano’s overhaul of its Dura-Ace and Ultegra groupsets in 2021, Chorus is potentially more of an attractive option now than ever, because it doesn’t have a readily available direct equivalent in Shimano’s range.

It allows bike’s specced with it to sit at a lower price than those that the new Ultegra Di2 R8100, but still offers 12-speed mechanical gearing.

Chorus weighed against its higher-tier Record and Super Record brethren is similar in premise to Shimano’s Ultegra versus Dura-Ace. It offers much the same functionality but is just a little heavier.

The Tifosi Auriga Disc’s 52/36 crankset and 11-34 gearing is an excellent option – if offers enough at the top end for all but the fastest sprints but the 36/34 bottom gear is low enough to get up most hills easily.

As the Chorus groupset is 12-speed, it can offer that range with comparatively close gear steps in between too.

The Auriga Disc also goes Italian for its wheelset too, using Campagnolo’s Scirocco Disc wheels.

While I can’t argue with the wheelset’s solid all-round performance, they feel a little underwhelming in comparison to the rest of the spec list.

Their 17mm internal rim width is narrow by modern standards – a wider rim would support the Auriga’s 28mm Schwalbe One TLE tyres better – and the wheelset is heavy too at a claimed 1,755g.

The Scirocco Disc wheels suit nicely as a winter training wheel but an upgrade in this area at some point would undoubtedly pep up the Auriga’s performance.

Tifosi Auriga Disc geometry and sizing

Cast an eye over the Auriga’s geometry chart and it would be a struggle to find a more normal set of numbers. For example, on my size large, parallel 73° head and seat tube angles sit in a wheelbase just shy of a meter.

This isn’t a point I raise negatively though. Tifosi has stuck to a tried-and-true racy geometry that means the bike feels nimbler than its appearance would suggest.

That said, the geometry figures that pertain more towards fit than handling are a little less conventional. The reach is long for a given size.

This had the effect of stretching me out more than normal. That bodes well in terms of being able to create an efficient body position, but the adjustable front end meant that the extra reach didn’t have to come expense of a comfortable fit overall.

Riding the Tifosi Auriga Disc

The ability to create a sustainable position was just as well because the bike is otherwise transmits road vibrations fairly directly.

The Auriga uses a PF86 bottom bracket, meaning the tubes that make up the junction can all be very wide. The ACR headset system necessitates wide bearings and therefore a wide headtube too.

The hefty down tube ties those two areas together and means that despite the bike’s 8.44kg weight, it accelerates eagerly because the whole thing feels so rigid.

However, the Auriga was found out on longer and steeper climbs, where it felt a little sluggish, and over rougher tarmac, where its bulky seat tube and post didn’t offer much flex.

Tifosi Auriga Disc verdict

Despite it ceding a little in weight and comfort, in the aggressive side of its ride characteristics – attributes like perceived speed and stiffness – the Tifosi Auriga Disc feels like it can hold its ground around the best.

When you factor in its competitive price and distinctive looks too, the bike begins to make quite the handsome case for itself.

Pick of the kit

Bont Cycling Vaypor S shoes

The only meaningful change to the Bont Vaypor S shoes since their release back in 2015 has been a fairly recent one, a switch to Boa’s latest Li2 dials from its now-superseded IP1 design.

Elsewise the shoes are the same, and from what I can tell, for good reason. Their bathtub-esque unidirectional carbon fibre sole is unwaveringly stiff but thanks to the shoes’ heat-mouldability at home I’ve been able to achieve a really comfortable fit.

The flap of upper that extends over and across the top of the foot does a good job of securing my foot down and back into the shoe, so that when I sprinted, I didn’t experience any unwanted movement.

Tifosi Auriga Disc alternatives

Canyon’s Aeroad CF SL 7 Disc

Canyon’s Aeroad CF SL 7 Disc’s £3,299 price undercuts the Auriga’s, gets you deep section Reynolds carbon wheels and is 500g lighter too, but the Auriga’s Campagnolo Chorus groupset adds an extra bit of functionality and style over the Aeroad’s Shimano 105

Vitus ZX-1 EVO CR Rival AXS

The Vitus ZX-1 EVO CR Rival AXS also makes use of FSA’s ACR headset system to present a sleek and adjustable front end. Its price is a chunk higher with the latest increase for 2022, but that gets you wireless SRAM Rival eTap AXS gearing and 300g less weight overall.

Tifosi Auriga Disc spec

Brand Tifosi
Price £3,499
Frame Auriga Disc
Fork Auriga Disc
Weight 8.4kg (Large)
Sizes available S, M, L, XL
Headset FSA ACR
Levers Campagnolo Chorus Disc
Brake Campagnolo Chorus Disc
Rear derailleur Campagnolo Chorus
Front derailleur Campagnolo
Crankset Campagnolo Chorus
Bottom bracket Campagnolo Ultra Torque BB86
Cassette Campagnolo Chorus
Chain Campagnolo Chorus
Wheels Campagnolo Scirocco Disc
Tyres Schwalbe One TLE 28mm
Bars Deda Zero2
Stem FSA ACR
Seatpost Tifosi Carbon
Saddle Selle Italia Model X

Products reviewed by Cyclist are independently selected and tested by our editorial team. Cyclist may earn an affiliate commission if you make a purchase through a retailer link. Read our reviews policy.

Price: 
£3,499

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