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This is the YOELEO R12 review. R12 is an all-rounder road bike frameset that belongs to one of the most popular Chinese road bike frames.
Artur, the author of this build, kindly shared his build and riding experience with R12.
You learn what to expect from the build process, and of course, we talk about his riding experience with R12.
YOELEO also offers complete road bikes. Feel free to also check out my YOELEO R12 complete road bike review.
I’ve been riding road bikes for three years. This is my first road bike build (I built an MTB before). It was very important for me to make it perfect because it was a gift for my father. The idea was to build a perfect bike that won’t cost a fortune.
I’m not a very big fan of races, but I like to ride bikes. I like to do projects, build something, and I love the look of new modern bikes. I wanted to create something and make it a gift. I’m sure it will not be the last build this year.
YOELEO R12 Disc Build Summary
YOELEO has several frames in its offer. Their R12 is an all-rounder road bike. It has relaxed geometry designed to be comfortable and versatile.
R12 can accommodate up to 32mm tires, so you can also use it for light gravel riding.
It is available in 7 sizes and comes in various colors. Unfortunately, for rim brakes fans, it is available for disc brakes only.
Below is the summary of Artur’s build specs.
Artur’s YOELEO R12 Build Main Features
- Official Frameset Weight (size 54): 1025g (frame), 395g (fork)
- Build weight (with Garmin Vector 3 pedals [+320g]): 8.3 kg (frame size 54cm)
- Wheels: CSC 50mm Novatec HUB D791SB-CL + freehub XDR
- Groupset: SRAM Force eTap AXS 2×12, Cassette 10-33T, Crank 48/35 175mm arms
- Handlebar: YOELEO H9 420 x 90mm
- Saddle: Selle Italia Elite
- Tires: Continental Grand Prix 5000 25”
YOELEO R12 Pros & Cons
Here are the pros and cons of the R12.
YOELEO R12 Frameset Pros
- Available in 7 sizes (43, 47, 50, 52, 54, 56, and 59 cm)
- Available in multiple colors, you can also submit your unique design
- You can choose the handlebar size (width & stem length)
- Fully integrated cable routing
- Tire clearance for up to 32mm tires
- Unmatched price-value ratio
- Two plug-in through-axles are included
- Affordable price
YOELEO R12 Frameset Cons
- Available for disc brakes only
- Basic colors palette unless you want to pay extra for custom paint
- Way too long bike computer mount
- No information regarding max torque [nm] for handlebar mount bolts and stem
- No bar tape limit marker on the handlebar
YOELEO R12 Disc Build Process in Detail
Let’s talk about the build process from order to the finished build now.
What convinced you to go for YOELEO R12? Why did you choose R12 and not the R9, R11, or R21 frameset?
I decided to buy R12 for the following reasons:
- Fully integrated cables
- Disc brakes (thru-axle)
- Modern look
- Series of videos on YouTube (CyclingMilan)
- The popularity of this frame
Could you describe the order process? Did everything go smoothly?
The order process was seamless, and if you order in the early morning (Central European Time), there is always someone who can help on YOELEO’s FB page or website chat.
I received a matte black frame without decals. However, I ordered pearly white with the YOELEO logo. There also was no handlebar in the package (they came two weeks later with customs of $40, we agreed I get a refund for it with the future order). So after making a complaint, they apologized and offered me a $50 refund if I accepted the order as it was. I disagreed.
After a few emails, we agreed to get a refund for the painting (I had to order a custom painting here in Poland with High Five Styling). I also got a discount for a future order.
The first impressions were not as expected, but sh*t happens. We are people, and people make mistakes.
All packages came directly from China.
How long did the delivery take? Did you order from yoeleobike.com or yoeleoeurope.com?
I ordered from yoeleobike.com on the 19th of May. The frameset arrived on the 23rd of July, and the handlebar on the 7th of August.
Did you receive any damaged parts?
No. Everything was well-packed and secured.
How did it go with the build of the bike itself?
Building a bike may sound complicated, but it is not rocket science. Packing includes manuals, and there are plenty of videos on youtube, so even newbies can do it.
I didn’t get stuck during the build due to poor product design or manufacturing defects.
Artur’s Riding Experience with R12
How do you rate the stiffness of R12 compared to your previous road bike(s)? How responsive is it?
It is way more responsive than my current bike Giant Propel 0 Advanced (2016). It is also a bit stiffer than Giant, but the difference is not as significant as its responsiveness. This combination makes R12 more comfortable. My father confirms this as well. He finds the R12 more comfortable than his previous bike built on the Time RXRS frame.
How does it handle cross-winds? Does it maintain speed easily?
The frame is quite aero, so it cuts the air smoothly. You can’t feel any vibrations, or whatsoever. It holds its line in crosswinds pretty ok.
What about descending?
I haven’t noticed any problems or something super special while descending (my previous bike was an aero bike, so I can’t compare it with a lightweight climbing bike, for example).
The R12 gains speed pretty quickly. I did not notice any significant difference to Propel.
Cornering is precise, and I feel confident when exiting. My father said that it feels better, and you can feel that you are moving faster. However, it can be due to the fact of 50mm wheels instead of 28mm.
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?
One of the main benefits of R12 is that it can accommodate up to 32mm tires. Currently, the bike is equipped with 25mm tires. I am thinking about using 28mm tires that are more comfortable and suitable for our rough roads.
Naturally, carbon frames are better at absorbing vibrations than aluminum frames, so you don’t feel “destroyed” after 100km. Compared to Propel, it is more comfortable.
I would rate the comfort 7 out of 10, Propel with 5.
What is your overall feeling about riding YOELEO R12?
You just want to ride it. When I ride with my father, I feel he has some extra watts compared to his old bike. The bike looks advanced and pro. But the most important thing for me is seeing a constant smile on his face. He really enjoys riding it.
YOELEO R12 Alternatives
If you are interested in YOELEO framesets, you have several options (R6, R9, R11, R12, R21). I’ve explained their differences in-depth in my YOELEO road bike frames article, so I recommend reading it.
You can learn more about these and other Chinese carbon frames in my other article.
YOELEO Carbon Products FAQ
Artur, would you recommend buying this or other frames from YOELEO? If so, why?
Yes, I would recommend it. However, they have to focus on better customer care and avoid making such obvious mistakes as in my example. Especially during the internet era, when satisfied customers do not always share their experiences, and the dissatisfied ones tell the whole world.
In general, YOELEO can match the top brands for a fraction of their price. I think it is a perfect choice for amateurs and advanced riders, and there is no need to waste money on a decal on a frame.
What are the overall costs of your build?
3500 EUR (approx. 4120 USD)
Thank you for all your time and all your answers, Artur!
Did you like this review? If so, feel free to share it with your friends or leave your feedback in the comments below.
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