Believe it or not, the BH G7 Disc is the original aero road bike. Introduced at Eurobike in 2015, the G7 Disc offers aero advantages over the G6 while maintaining the same geometry and adding the supreme braking of discs. As expected, the G7 Disc is first and foremost a race bike, so don’t plan on sitting up and enjoying the scenery — this one is made for speed.
BH G7 Disc Ultegra Features:
- G7 carbon frame built for disc brakes
- Thru-axles: 12x100mm front and 12x142mm rear
- Aero-optimized tube shapes
- BB386 bottom bracket
- Internally-routed cables with electronic accommodations
- Complete Shimano Ultegra kit (52/36t chainrings and 11-28t cassette)
- 140mm rotors (can fit 160mm if desired)
- Semi-integrated aero seatpost with extended seat mast
- Easton EC70 Aero handlebars (42cm)
- Easton EC70 SL stem (100mm)
- DT Swiss R23 DB Spline tubeless-ready wheels
- Weight: 16.9 lbs (medium, actual)
- MSRP: $4799
The G7 is the original aero disc bike
Betting on the eventual disc brake standards in 2014/2015 would have been a crapshoot. It was during that timeframe that the G7 Disc started coming to life. Fast-forward to 2017 and BH is stoked that their aero disc bike doesn’t look like a half-baked mishap. We’re talking flat mount disc brakes and 12mm thru axles for the win.
Certainly, axle and brake standards aren’t all that the G7 Disc has going for it — there’s a whole lot more to this package and I’ve had a good time racking up the miles.
Fit can be a tricky mistress across manufacturers and frame sizes. And, throwing an extended seat mast into the mix just makes things that much more difficult. My ideal frame size is a 55cm, but most of the time I end up with a 56cm. However, sometimes I do ride a 54cm. With the G7 Disc, the size Medium is right on with 30mm spacers and gets me the right reach and drop. To some, slamming the stem is tempting, but my bike fitter will say otherwise. Overall, I’m quite pleased and ultra-comfortable on this race-bred geometry.
In the USA, the G7 Disc Ultegra kit is quite an outstanding package. We’re talking full Shimano Ultegra with Easton EC70 carbon stem and aero bars and a respectable pair of DT Swiss R23 DB Spline tubeless-ready hoops. At $4799, this is a good value but is rubbing shoulders with some stiff competition in the aero disc space.
Giving it the full treatment
The stock setup is, as mentioned, quite impressive. After dialing in my fit, the next adventure was to re-wrap the bar tape as it seems that the BH assembly line workers like to wrap the tape around the hoods a few extra times, thus creating quite an awkward bump. A minor inconvenience, but something that should be remedied as I had to do the same with the BH Quartz Disc Ultegra last year.
While re-wrapping the bars, I became further impressed with the selection of components and Easton’s EC70 Aero bars in particular. This carbon cockpit has me calling out other manufacturers for what are typically stiff, round aluminum bars even at this price point. However BH is doing it, I’m tipping my hat to them and asking others to follow suit because it obviously can and should be done.
At the outset, the G7 Disc Ultegra came with a set of Michelin Pro 4 25mm tires mounted to a set of DT Swiss R23 DB Spline wheels. Those tires measure out to 28.1mm with plenty of additional clearance. After a stint on the stock setup, I upgraded to a set of Zipp 303 Firecrest Clincher Tubeless Disc wheels — resulting in everything getting amped up a notch. I paired them with a set of Zipp Tangente Course R28 tires measuring out to 29mm.
Fast and responsive
To me an all-rounder must excel everywhere. It needs to be aero enough to hold its own on the flats. It needs to be light and responsive out of the saddle to tackle punchy climbs with aplomb. And, long, consistent mountain ascents need to feel like second-nature with the subsequent descents feeling as comfortable as wearing an old t-shirt. For me, the most superb all-rounder I’ve swung a leg over remains the Pinarello Dogma F8 — that’s the gold standard. How does the G7 Disc compare?
Now I’m not going to say that the G7 Disc is in the same class as the best all-rounders — that’s not what it’s built for. But, I will say that you will only have a few compromises should you wish to ride the G7 all day on every road you can find. With crisp handling, it will respond with cat-like responsiveness but it’s not twitchy like a crit racer. Further, pushing hard on rolling terrain is just what this bike is made for. It’s no slouch on the climbs and the power transfer is superb with a stiff chassis. All that comes at a weight penalty (which is the same for all disc bikes) and a somewhat harsh ride. To further reduce weight, I’m told BH is introducing the G7 Disc Evo in the near future.
At this year’s Paris-Roubaix, the Direct Energie squad rolled out aboard the G7 Disc — largely due to the aero benefits and added tire clearance for 30mm tubulars. As it turns out, the wider the tires the more comfortable the G7 gets (surprise, surprise). You see, that’s really the biggest downside with the extended seat tube mast because this bike is wicked-stiff. Every road variance is transferred to your backside so as to keep you in tune with the road. Again, that becomes somewhat muted with larger tires, but don’t kid yourself into thinking this is a La-Z-Boy — it is more like a go-cart. Again, a compromise to eke out the most aero efficiency and power transfer.
With mid-compact chainrings, the 11-28t cassette makes climbs more comfortable, but you do have to stay ahead of it and not just sit and spin a high cadence like you can with compact gearing. While climbing, the G7 is quite responsive. Standing climbs result in zero wandering and a bike that keeps going straight ahead. I’ll also mention that the cable routing stays out of your way when standing and sprinting or climbing — something that can be annoying with some disc cable routing.
On descents, the G7 has a predictable demeanor. It’s race-capable geometry does still require an attentive pilot, so don’t think cruise control here. Winding descents are a ton of fun as handling remains responsive without getting twitchy — so long as you keep an aggressive approach. Keep on top of it and you’ll be descending with significant speed.
Rounding out the kit
Much of the responsive handling is due to a combination of short chain stays (402mm), aggressive geometry, stiff seatpost mast and a semi-integrated and ultra-stiff head tube and fork. Thankfully, BH kits this one out with the Easton EC70 Aero bars and EC70 stem. That carbon cockpit not only drops weight and adds stiffness, but evens out the otherwise firm ride up front.
Something else worth mentioning here is the full Shimano Ultegra mechanical kit — no penny-pinching mixed bits. No, it’s not sexy or flashy, but it just plain works. Shifts are predictable and stopping has been powerful and well-modulated — even though it’s just running 140mm rotors. Again, Shimano’s shifting levers are tough to engage with winter-weight gloves, but only the brave few (ahem, me) venture in those temperatures.
The DT Swiss R23 DB Spline wheels roll well and are responsive enough without being too heavy (1655g stated). With 18mm internal width, you can’t go too wide, but if this were a long-term engagement, I’d go for some 28c tubeless tires to soften up the ride by allowing for lower pressures. Or, if you’ve got extra coin for a wheelset upgrade, something like the Bontrager Aeolus 3 TLR or the new Zipp 303 Tubeless Disc-brake would give further aero benefits while softening the ride and allowing for wider tires.
For reference, I’m 5’11” with standard proportions (29.75″ saddle height) and I was riding the size medium.
- Proper thru-axles at both ends
- Full Ultegra kit shifts flawlessly
- Great braking power even with 140mm rotors
- Responsive geometry without being too aggressive
- Excellent tire clearance — you’ll want 28-30c tires
- Kudos for a full carbon cockpit — Easton EC70
- Aero benefits to eke out a little extra efficiency
- It really is a great-looking bike
- No getting around the firm ride on this one
- Extended seatpost mast can cause fit challenges
The Bottom Line: BH G7 Disc
The G7 Disc has been surprising on many levels. Once dialed, I’m really surprised how accommodating this bike has been as far as fit and performance goes. With wider tires, this bike has been great on long rides, but the stock setup will rattle your teeth. Stand up and this thing just sings. It can climb quite well and descends admirably — all with the benefits of added tire clearance and braking performance afforded by disc brakes.
Buy Now: Available at BHbikesusa.com (or your local dealer)
No doubt about it, BH nailed this aero disc bike -- several years before other manufacturers were even entering that market. You'll love the crisp, confident handling on climbs, descents and rolling terrain. Just keep in mind that the ride is firm, so you'll want to find bigger tires or upgrade to carbon wheels should you choose to ride long distances or gravel (which I recommend you should).
Since you’re one of the few US (if any) places to have reviewed the G7 and Quartz, can you do any compare / contrast? Obviously the geometry is different but maybe G7= X rider Quartz = Z rider etc? Appreciated and I’m eying some BH Options.
I’ll try to elaborate the differences between each bike to give you a better idea. Of course, each bike is built for completely-different purposes: G7 for aero race and Quartz for endurance.
The G7 is a race bike — no getting around that. It rides stiff and is ultra-responsive. But, it does ride well all-around and can be made more comfortable with wider tires. The geometry remains aggressive and may not fit every rider without reversing the stem. If you value speed and sexy lines, the G7 is a great choice.
The Quartz Disc is a classic endurance bike with shorter reach and taller stack combined with a super-compliant rear end. Much of that is due to the compact frame design which allows for a longer extension of the seatpost. It’s no slouch on climbs and with the added comfort and I believe longer wheelbase, it is one of the most comfortable descenders I’ve ridden. It’s not as sexy of a look, but don’t be fooled — it is a killer bike for the money.
In short, the G7 is a race sled that trades comfort for performance and the Quartz Disc is an endurance sled that’s great (fit-wise and performance-wise) for most riders.
Have you ridden the Ultralight Disc? Debating between the G7 and Ultralight.
I haven’t ridden the Ultralight Disc, but I should have one in the spring. I’d expect a more comfortable ride for sure, but similar handling characteristics.