Winspace is regarded by many as the dominant Chinese cycling brand. The brand has gone from relative obscurity to being well known throughout the cycling community.
Winspace marketing has targeted many YouTubers with a focus on technical and objective criteria over subjective reviews from historically popular cycling media publications.
The T1500 is the flagship aero road bike from Winspace. It has the usual specifications that come with almost every aero road bike; stiff, aero and uncompromising. The standout specification is without a doubt the price. The frameset with a full aerodynamic handlebar and seatpost cost around $2000. This significantly undercuts their competition. You can see the initial thoughts of this frame here
The bike came as a bare frame and was equipped with Shimano Di2 with a combination of Dura Ace, Ultegra and 105. The front shifters, front mech, cassette and chain were Dura Ace items. The brakes and rear mech were Ultegra and the crankset was Shimano 105. The choice of 105 for the crankset was due to numerous Shimano crankset failures on their bonded cranks.
The bike was the rim brake version of the T1500. It uses direct mount brakes on the front fork. The rear brake is positioned on the chain stays, below and behind the bottom bracket.
The bike was equipped with Winspace LUN Hyper 65’s. The frame has a comparatively large gap between the downtube and the back of the front wheel. The use of a deep wheel mitigates the aerodynamic loss associated with this. The loss is small but gaps (which cause pressure leakage) have bigger effects at lower speeds.
The handlebars were factory supplied and integrate well with the bike. The bar has an integrated GPS mount which is compatible with Garmin and Wahoo units. It is possible to use any standard stem and handlebar with the frame. The finishing kit includes spacers and headset adaptors for both setups.
Ride quality is a subjective measure and compared to other bikes, this frame feels stiff. The most noticeable element of the ride is the steering. The frame has a long top tube in comparison to western brands and this results in the use of a short(er) stem. The shorter stem makes the handling much more direct and instant.
The handlebars are of a very similar design found on many OEM bikes. They work without any issues, provide little in the way of damping, they are so stiff, the damping characteristic is nullified. This may not be to everyone’s taste. It is possible to use a standard stem and handlebar if required – the steerer is a standard tube diameter and the fitting kit includes parts for a standard stem.
The seatpost and seat use a ritchey style WCS system. It works without any issues.
Fitting a DUB or 30mm Crankset into this bike is ill-advised. The Winspace bottom bracket has full retention all of the way around the circumference, it does not “flap”, which results in a very stiff bottom bracket. The hole tolerance of 0.05mm is likely beyond the limit of 6706 bearings (or derivatives) and hence fitting DUB or 30mm axles is highly likely to cause degraded bottom bracket life. A post on this is here
The mounting position of the rear brake on this particular example may foul power meters or cadence sensors. The brakes used in this build were Shimano Ultegra, this is highlighted in the video below.
The bike is difficult to fault. The rear brake is irritating from a service perspective and the geometry may not be to everyone’s liking but in terms of build quality and value for money, it represents an excellent purchase.
The T1500 is a well engineered bike. Internally, the bike shows little evidence of voids and has good geometrical tolerance.
Aerodynamically, the bike is not the pinnacle of absolute performance, the gain from frames is comparatively small compared to handlebars and wheels. In this test scenario, the gap between the front wheel and the downtube aerodynamic loss was mitigated with the use of 65mm deep wheels. This is something that anyone using an XL frame should consider. At the smaller sizes, this does not represent such a problem.
All in all, the Winspace T1500 is a great road bike for those wanting a fast bike at an affordable price.