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Yoeleo R12 Long-Term Test

Yoeleo R12 Long-Term Test

Now that I have put a full season on my Yoeleo R12, it is a good time to share my experience with the bike. I have logged over 10k kilometers on this machine this year in training and racing.

First, I will talk about ride quality. I have owned many road bikes over the years (Felt AR, Scott Foil, Trek Emonda, Focus Izalco and Cannondale Supersix), and this bike rides like the best of them! As a larger rider (6’2, >170lbs) I can have issues with frame flex, particularly at the bottom bracket. The R12 is absolutely solid in this regard, where it felt like every watt pushed was getting to the wheels. However, the bike wasn’t too stiff that it was uncomfortable. There was just enough flex in the handlebars and seat stays to take away road chatter. Also, this frame was made for clearance of up to 32c tires. I took advantage of this and made the move to 28c tires, and I don’t think I would go back to anything narrower on my road bike. The ride is much smoother, and it inspires confidence for when you want to tackle that random gravel road when you are at the furthest point from home.

Next up is the frame geometry. I would say the geometry is inline with what the other major brands are doing for their road frames. It is in the sweet spot between a granfondo style geometry, and a classic race machine. That means that you can set the frame up to be either one of those bike styles depending on your stem choice and how many spacers you go with under the stem. The frame has a large space in the middle in case you wanted to add a frame bag with your 32mm tires to go explore paths unknown.

Disc brakes are here to stay whether you like it or not. Due to the component shortage, I decided to build my frame up with an old mechanical groupset that I had. In order to make the switch to disc, I am running the TRP HY/RD brakes with 140mm XTR rotors. So far, the braking performance has been excellent in all conditions with no brake rub issues. One issue is that the flat mount TRP brake has a weird cable entry, so the housing has to bend quite a bit for the rear brake. I just don’t think that TRP updated the design for the flat mount brake, and just copied and pasted the post mount design. If I were to redo the build, I might opt for the Juin GT brakes and then I would have to go to 160mm rotors since that is the smallest size they support.

Wheels! I have ridden a few different high-end wheels over the years (Zipp 404, Hed Jet, Easton EC90, Novatec, Mavic R-Sys, and custom built Gigantex rims on White Industry Hubs), and the Yoeleo C50 hold their own. At roughly 1550 grams, they aren’t the lightest wheels, but are far from the heaviest. I’d say that puts them close to the industry standard for 50mm rim depth. Perhaps what makes this number impressive is that there are no nipple holes on the inside surface of the rim, making tubeless setup a breeze (and no need for rim tape!). Additionally, you are getting the DT Swiss 350 hubs, which are bombproof and super easy to service. If you wanted to shave some weight, you can easily upgrade to the 240 hubs. I didn’t notice any flex issues with the wheels. This could just be due to the fact that the wheels are ‘overbuilt’ to support disc brake forces, compared to the low-spoke count rim brake variants. I did have one spoke come loose part way through the season, but the wheel never went out of true. I simply tightened back up to spec, and they have been spinning smooth and straight!

Weird quirks with the frame:

  • It felt like the frame was designed around electronic groupsets. The hole for the front derailleur cable by the bottom bracket isn’t super well designed to hold the cable housing in place. That being said, I have been running the frame for a year and haven’t had any issues with front shifts.
  • You need some sort of shim between the headset bearing and the cap that is included with the H9 handlebar. Otherwise the outer portion of the top cap bottoms out on the frame instead of the bearing, so the bars won’t spin.
  • Getting 4 cable housings through the H9 bar is a tedious process, especially getting them around the tight bend at the stem. It would likely be an easier process with hydraulic lines. Even easier if you run electronic so there is more room! The first two housing lines were easy, but the last one was brutal…

Overall, I love this bike! I don’t think you will get a noticeable improvement with spending more money on other brand frames and wheels. I would prefer to spend that money things you WILL notice, such as on better components, nicer riding kit (that isn’t see-through…), riding trips, and coffee!

Specs:

Frame: 56cm Yoeleo R12

Wheels: Yoeleo C50 Pro Wheelset

Brakes: TRP HY/RD Mechanical disc

Discs: 140mm XTR

Groupset: Sram Red Mechanical

Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 11-30t

Crankset: FSA K-Force, 172.5mm length with semi compact 52-36t

Handlebar and stem: Yoelo H9 integrated. 110 mm stem, 38 cm wide.

Saddle: Pro Stealth 155mm

Pedals: Favero Assioma Duo

Handlebar tape: Arundel Rubber Gecko Bar Tape

 

Christopher Rowley

Yoeleo Test Team p/b 4MIND Rider

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

https://www.instagram.com/chris_rowley18/

https://www.strava.com/athletes/300770?oq=christopher

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