SEKA Exceed RDC Review: Is It Worth It?

SEKA Exceed RDC review

CyclistsHub is supported by its readers. We may receive a commission if you buy products using our links (learn more).

The SEKA Exceed RDC is among the most expensive Chinese road bike frames, raising the question: Is it worth it, especially compared to Western brands?

It definitely caused a stir in the premium road bike frame market with its seemingly high-quality and luxurious appearance.

Besides a few sponsored videos, there isn’t much information about Exceed available.

So, I contacted one of its owners to ask a few questions about his shopping and riding experiences to learn more.

He agreed. You will learn what to expect and be aware of when buying this frame.

Let’s dive in!

About Daniele

I am a 42-year-old man from Switzerland who got back into bike riding regularly two years ago after receiving a speeding ticket and having my driver’s license suspended for three months. It turned out to be one of the best things that has happened to me recently.

Nowadays, I spend over six hours per week training on my bike. My primary focus is mountain biking, but I also use road bikes for basic training and indoor trainers. Over the years, I have ridden bikes from many different brands, such as Specialized, BMC, Cannondale, Scott, Evil, Orbea, Santa Cruz, Antidote, Nukeproof, Canyon, YT, and even Chinese brands like Tideace, ICAN, and SEKA.

Currently, I own four MTBs (Antidote Carbonjack 29, Evil The Following, Tideace FM-829, Bird Forge) and two road bikes (SEKA Exceed RDC and ICAN A22). In September, I will participate in my first amateur bike race, the Iron Bike Race, in Einsiedeln, Switzerland. It is a 50 km race with an 1800m vertical climb for XC riders. I plan on riding a Chinese self-built Tideace FM-829.

Additionally, I have started working on my own bikes by servicing, building, and rebuilding them. This has almost become a part-time job for me. I purchase new parts from bike shops and various people and use them to build bikes that I can sell or give to myself, my family, and my friends. In the past two years, I have built over 30 bikes!

I have also conducted extensive research on reputable Chinese carbon bike brands and have assembled bikes using such frames regularly. I have discovered that Chinese frames are often better made than those from Western brands. Therefore, I have gained much knowledge about how a bike works and performs in a short time.

SEKA Exceed RDC Build Summary

Daniele built a bike with the following specifications and components:

Daniele’s SEKA Exceed RDC Build Main Features

  • Official Frameset Weight (size M): 775g (frame), 365g (fork)
  • Build weight: 6.725 kg (frame size L), 6.965 kg with Dura-Ace pedals
  • Wheels: Elite Wheels Drive 50mm Disc – despite the rim depth, they are very light at exactly 1300g for the pair (w/o valves and tape)
  • Groupset: Full Sram Red AXS 2×12 groupset, with Sram Force 12 speed 10-28 cassette (wanted a black cassette) and KCNC x12 chain (same reason), Ceramicspeed T47 bottom bracket. By mounting an SRAM Red cassette, I could shave off another 70g
  • Handlebar: SEKA Exceed RDC handlebar (400×110), 330g
  • Saddle: Berk Lupina 3K Saddle
  • Tires: Continental GP5000 28×700c

The frameset’s official weight is for the naked carbon frame alone, without any hardware, in size M.

However, my frame is a painted pearl white/black/gold frame in size L. With all the mounting hardware included, its weight is precisely 1000g. The uncut fork weighs 400g, and the uncut seatpost weighs 115g.

Therefore, it is a lightweight bike that can be compared to the best aero frames out there in terms of weight.

Danielle's SEKA Exceed RDC build on a staircase.
Danielle’s SEKA Exceed RDC build

SEKA Exceed RDC Pros & Cons

SEKA Exceed RDC Frameset Pros

  • Available in 5 sizes (XS-XL)
  • Available in multiple colors (excellent finish quality)
  • Very light construction (in the RDC variant), the Standard frameset is still pretty lightweight
  • You can choose the handlebar size (width & stem length)
  • Fully integrated cable routing
  • UCI approved
  • Well and cleanly built (based on the pictures of the internals)

SEKA Exceed RDC Frameset Cons

  • Available for disc brakes only
  • Long delivery time
  • Questionable support?

SEKA Exceed RDC Order and Build Process in Detail

In this section, we will take a closer look at Daniele’s bike build. You will learn why Daniele opted for the SEKA Exceed RDC and if he faced any difficulties while building his new machine, among other things.

Daniele, what made you decide to choose the SEKA Exceed RDC over cheaper Chinese or more expensive Western alternatives?

Frames from reputable Chinese bike brands like YOELEO, Winspace, ICAN, and Tideace are often similar in quality to Western brands, usually low to middle-tier ones or even better.

In contrast, I’ve had poor experiences building bikes from Canyon and BMC due to issues like poor carbon layup, misaligned bottom brackets, unclean frame details, and poor paint jobs. Comparable quality Chinese frames usually cost a third of the price or even less.

My first road bike was a 2019 BMC Roadmachine. I bought an ICAN Aero 22 frame to build and sell but discovered that it was lighter and better made than my BMC, so I sold my BMC and kept the ICAN.

However, I still wanted a higher quality and lighter bike. I looked at top-of-the-line frames like the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 and Pinarello Dogma F, but their prices were too high.

While researching the Factor Ostro VAM frameset, I found a boutique Chinese frameset called the SEKA Exceed RDC, rumored to come from the same factory as the Factor framesets.

The similarities between the two frames were striking, and the SEKA ticked all my boxes for an all-rounder aero frame with a somewhat relaxed geometry, including price, lightness, quality construction, and paint job. So, I bought the SEKA.

After receiving and inspecting the frame with a camera, I suspect the rumors are true, and the Factor and SEKA frames are made in the same factory. The main difference is that SEKA frames cost less than half the price of Factor frames.

Could you describe the order process? Did everything go smoothly?

The official channel to purchase a SEKA Frameset in the US and Europe is through the Cycling100 website. You pay a deposit of 500€ and then the remaining balance (1500€ plus shipping 100€ to Switzerland) once your frame is ready, which usually takes 10 to 12 weeks.

However, Cycling100 has slow communication and reaction times when contacted by email.

In my case, I paid the deposit on June 1, 2022, but was asked to pay the balance on October 20, which is longer than 12 weeks. I wanted to pay with PayPal, but their account was locked up due to many canceled orders and refunds. Eventually, I paid with a credit card on November 1.

Another issue arose when they told me that my chosen handlebar size (100x400mm) was out of stock, and I had to choose a different size or wait another 3-4 weeks. I changed the size to 110x400mm to receive the frameset immediately. They shipped it using UPS on November 8, and I received it just three days later.

SEKA Exceed RDC integrated stem + handlebar detail.
SEKA Exceed RDC 110x400mm handlebar

I expected to pay customs, but Cycling100 declared a very low value ($300), which caused problems with customs. I had to show them the payment receipt to release the frameset.

Are you satisfied with SEKA’s customer support?

I’m not really satisfied with SEKA’s customer support. When I first emailed them to ask about the BB width a few days after placing the order, it took them two days to respond to a simple question. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common problem with them.

When I had an issue with PayPal, they didn’t respond on time, so I had to email SEKA directly. They promptly reacted and probably prompted Cycling100 to inform me about the PayPal issue.

There was also the problem with the handlebar and the very low value declared to customs, which raises concerns about after-purchase assistance and warranty issues in general.

How was the unboxing experience?

The SEKA frameset was securely packaged in an elegant black box with gold lettering. Along with the frameset, you receive a comprehensive set of accessories to properly build your bike, including everything needed to set up Shimano electronic groupsets.

Additionally, a cycling computer mount is included with adapters for Garmin, Wahoo, and other brands.

SEKA Exceed RDC frame, handlebar, and fork in the box.
SEKA Exceed RDC frame, fork, handlebar, and the accessories in the box

What about the build itself? Did you experience any issues? E.g., with internal cable routing, etc.?

The first thing I did was use an endoscope to look inside the frame. I was impressed by how clean it was and the overall quality of the build. There were no visible defects in the carbon layup, and it was one of the cleanest frames I have ever seen on the inside.

You can tell by touching the frame that there is not much room for error, as it is very thin. For example, you can notice a flex by compressing the flat part of the top tube. I do not think that the frame’s durability is impacted, but I would not want to crash a frame like this. However, that’s the price you pay for extremely low weight.

Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the build itself, but everything went smoothly. The frame is well-refined, and everything is aligned correctly. Even the rear hanger did not need any straightening, and the bottom bracket was easy to screw in.

With SRAM electronic groupsets, there is little cable routing to be done. Still, I did not experience any difficulties, even with the integrated headset and handlebars cable routing. The provided headset and spacers are easy to align correctly, and the bars were smooth inside, so I had no issues with brake cable routing.

The only minor gripe is with the saddle clamp design (micro-adjust side clamps with rubber retainer in the middle). It’s lightweight, but I’m not its biggest fan.

SEKA Exceed RDC seatpost detail.
SEKA Exceed RDC seatpost

The frameset does not come with a manual, so you must know what to do when building the bike.

Daniele’s Riding Experience with SEKA Exceed RDC

How do you rate the stiffness of SEKA Exceed RDC and the wheels compared to your previous road bikes? How responsive is it?

I want to emphasize that I am not an expert in road bikes. For me, they are mainly a training tool for mountain biking fitness. However, I have ridden several brands, including a 2019 BMC Roadmachine, a Scott Addict RC, and ICAN Aero A22. I also briefly tested a Specialized Tarmac SL7 and a Cannondale SystemSix.

Secondly, I finished building the SEKA Exceed RDC in late December when the outside temperatures in Switzerland were low, and there was salt on the roads. I do not ride a premium bike on salty roads, so these are my first impressions after just one 50 km ride. I will update my thoughts after I have ridden the bike for a few hundred kilometers when the temperatures rise again.

The geometry of the SEKA Exceed RDC is marketed as an all-rounder aero race bike. However, in my opinion, the geometry and stiffness do not exactly reflect the qualities of a “pure race bike.”

SEKA Exceed RDC vs. Specialized SL7 geometry compared using the tool.
SEKA Exceed RDC vs. Specialized SL7 geometry | Source:

I would describe the SEKA Exceed RDC as an everyday man’s race bike. It is for the amateur rider who does not want to have their back broken after every medium to long ride. This is due to the somewhat relaxed geometry of the bike compared to pure race bikes like the Cannondale SystemSix or even the Specialized Tarmac SL7.

On the Exceed, you sit slightly more upright than on the SystemSix, Addict RC, or SL7. That is not to say that you cannot race the SEKA Exceed RDC; it is up to the challenge, but I do not think that is the bike’s main characteristic.

Additionally, the bike is certainly stiff but not overly rigid, nor does it transfer a lot of vibration from the road to the rider. For example, SystemSix is the exact opposite, which is not to my taste.

Thanks mostly to its lightweight and light wheels, the SEKA Exceed RDC is responsive to pedal input and accelerates surprisingly quickly. This, coupled with the bike’s above-average agility, makes it perfect for short sprints.

On the other hand, the bike has a slightly nervous feel, but that is the price you pay for lightness and responsiveness. Coming from the MTB world, this is not an issue for me. However, I do not think it is the best bike for a fairly new rider who does not have much experience with handling at high speeds.

How it handles cross-winds with your current wheelset? Does it maintain speed easily, or do you feel it slows down?

Crosswind stability is good on the SEKA Exceed RDC with the Elitewheels DRIVE wheelset, which is lightweight and 50mm deep. Despite my weight of 83kg, I do not struggle with crosswinds, even when riding with deeper wheelsets.

However, the bike is not built for maintaining high speeds on flat roads, especially with the Elitewheels DRIVE wheelset, as noted in Peter’s Elitewheels DRIVE review. If you need wheels that maintain speed better, you should choose a heavier wheelset like the Lún HYPER or DTSwiss ARC 1100.

Considering the Swiss mountain terrain I usually ride, the SEKA Exceed RDC is perfect for its climbing performance. The bike’s aero performance and wheelset allow for sustained efforts on the flats, but maintaining speed is not the bike’s main strength. If I were to ride long, flat roads in the future, I would consider a wheelset with a deeper profile and heavier weight for that specific task.

How quickly it gains speed when descending?

The bike is fast when descending, but you need to know what you’re doing. My build is exceptionally light for an aero frameset, weighing under 7kg, and it can feel nervous and amplify every rider’s input.

However, if you can handle it, it’s incredibly sharp in the corners. On my first ride, I set a new personal record for the main descent.

Do you feel any wobbling at high speeds or when sitting in a draft?

As previously mentioned, the bike has a lively and high-strung personality, but it remains stable as long as you’re not bouncing on the saddle when pedaling with force.

Since I haven’t had the opportunity to participate in a group ride with the bike yet, I cannot provide any insight regarding its drafting abilities at this time.

SEKA Exceed RDC - view from the front.
SEKA Exceed RDC – view from the front

How comfortable is it on a scale from 1 to 10? Does it absorb road vibrations? Does the riding comfort change on a rough tarmac?

Compared to other aero road bikes I’ve owned or tested, I can confidently say that the SEKA Exceed RDC is the most comfortable, with a rating of 9 out of 10.

The only point I deducted is due to its still relatively stiff frame. While you can still feel road bumps and vibrations on rough tarmac, it is much more comfortable than the Cannondale SystemSix and even the Specialized Tarmac SL7.

In terms of handling rough tarmac and vibrations, it has more in common with the Scott Addict RC, but the more relaxed riding position makes it slightly more comfortable than the Scott as well.

However, it is not as comfortable as an Endurance frame with aluminum rims, but that’s to be expected.

What is your overall feeling about riding this bike? What do others say about it?

The SEKA Exceed RDC is impressive for its quick acceleration and excellent climbing abilities. It performs exceptionally well on steep gradients, even with its aero frame and 50mm wheels.

Although I haven’t ridden with friends on endurance bikes yet, I anticipate keeping up with their climbing speed on this bike without difficulty.

The lightweight construction and wheels make this bike a true all-rounder, making me a faster rider in all conditions.

While it may not be the fastest or stiffest race bike, it is undoubtedly the most capable in all riding situations I have ever experienced, making it perfect for the terrain I ride on.

In addition to its performance, the SEKA Exceed RDC also boasts a unique and eye-catching design. People are used to seeing beautiful bikes from mainstream brands like Specialized and Scott, but SEKA stands out and attracts attention. It’s so special to me that I even hung it as a work of art on my wall at home. Haha.

SEKA Exceed RDC down tube detail.
SEKA Exceed RDC down tube

SEKA Exceed RDC Alternatives

The SEKA Exceed RDC is an aero road bike similar to the Factor OSTRO VAM. If you have brand preferences, you might want to consider alternatives like the Giant Propel, Canyon Aeroad, Merida Reacto, and others.

Chinese alternatives include YOELEO R12 or Winspace T1500. You can also visit the best Chinese road bike frames for more inspiration.



Do you recommend buying SEKA Exceed RDC? 

The SEKA Exceed RDC is worth considering if you’re looking for an all-around aero frame that won’t cause discomfort on every ride. It’s a great option for casual riders who want something special without breaking the bank for the same quality as the best premium bikes out there.

While you can get the same quality of construction and finish as the best brands at a fraction of the price, the downside is that you need patience. The buying process can be frustrating, mainly due to the worldwide distributor Cycling100.

But if you can wait and know how to assemble the bike, it’s just a matter of waiting for the frame to arrive at your doorstep. It may be a long wait, but the reward is worth it.

What do you like the most about it?

I like the looks, the climbing qualities, and the quick reaction to the rider’s input.

What are the overall costs of your build?

You may be surprised, but it’s not that expensive.

Considering that you would have to pay over 12,000€ (~13,000USD) for a 7kg aero frame with a light carbon wheelset and top-of-the-line electronic groupset, you may be able to stay within the limit of 10,000€ with brands like Merida or Ribble.

With that said, this is the breakdown of the costs of my build.

  • Frame with handlebars, import fees, and shipping included: EUR 2270
  • SRAM Red AXS Upgrade kit: EUR 1760
  • SRAM Red Crankset: EUR 460
  • CeramicSpeed T47 bottom bracket: EUR 200
  • KCNC 12x Chain and SRAM Force cassette: EUR 230
  • Dura Ace pedals: EUR 90
  • Elite Wheels Drive 50d: EUR 1000
  • Continental GP 5000 tires: EUR 80
  • Berk Lupina Saddle: EUR 300
  • Elite Leggero Carbon bottle cages: EUR 60
  • Various import fees and shipping (for the parts): around EUR 300
  • Assembly: Free (4 hours of my time)
  • TOTAL COST: 6750€

Certainly, I purchased some of the parts I listed above at discounted prices online (such as during Black Friday deals), but these are the actual costs of my build.

The outcome is that I am now the proud owner of a premium aero bike that is top-of-the-line, all for half the cost of mainstream bike brands in the Western world.

Danielle, thank you so much for your time! May the bike make you happy.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top