New Orbea Avant Fondo Road Bike – Rim or Disc Brakes, Racks & Fenders or Not

2014 Orbea Avant disc brake road bike for gran fondos and endurance riding

The all-new Orbea Avant is the bike designed to take you “from here to there” regardless of where the “here” and “there” are.

It was designed around the Pax Avant Pyrenean Challenge. It celebrates the peace agreement between two opposing Pyrenean valleys, one Spanish and one French. It’s a Gran Fondo that has about 15,000 feet of climbing over 196km through the Pyrenees. They say it’s one of the two toughest races in Europe.

To make the Avant work for rides like that, they focused on fit first, with a more upright ride than the Orca. The fit is based around stack and reach with seven sizes that grow proportionately in both stack and reach as frame sizes grow. Overall, the handlebars will be higher and closer than what’s found on the Orca. It has a pretty short reach on some of the smaller sizes, so they developed two different carbon forks, with the three smaller frame sizes having a 53mm rake and the rest getting a 43mm rake. By adjusting the head angle, trail numbers are kept pretty similar across the range, but there’s improved toe clearance for the smaller sizes.

But fit is only part of the story. The Avant packs in a Swiss Army knife’s versatility by working with rim or disc brakes, adding stealthy rack and fender mounts and adding aero touches…

2014 Orbea Avant disc brake road bike for gran fondos and endurance riding

The frame is both disc brake and rim brake compatible on the same frame. They acknowledge there are still concerns about disc brakes, both in safety and aerodynamics, so they took them to the wind tunnel and set up the bike with both types of wheels and found the difference was pretty negligible, with the disc brakes even being better at some yaw angles. They didn’t talk much about safety, but our initial impressions of the new SRAM hydro disc brakes are quite positive.

2014 Orbea Avant disc brake road bike for gran fondos and endurance riding

The fork has thin, almost bladed legs, with internal brake hose routing.

2014 Orbea Avant disc brake road bike for gran fondos and endurance riding

The downtube and other aspects of the bike were designed with aero shaping, too, and the frontal profile is waif thin. Not really visible from these pics, but the top tube is very thin, too, which should provide excellent knee clearance.

2014 Orbea Avant disc brake road bike for gran fondos and endurance riding

It uses a monocoque carbon frame with PFBB86, so it’s stiff and will work with all three major brands of drivetrains.

2014 Orbea Avant disc brake road bike for gran fondos and endurance riding

If you opt for rim brakes, you’ll get a standard center bolt front caliper and a dual bolt rear brake that mounts under the chainstays. This not only preserves the clean looks but tucks it out of the wind. Since rim-brake wheels are all 130mm spaced at the rear hub, they have 2.5mm chips that bolt into both dropouts to reduce the frame’s standard 135mm spacing.

2014 Orbea Avant disc brake road bike for gran fondos and endurance riding

Cable routing is internal, and by swapping the cable stops/port covers, it can work with both electronic and mechanical shifting systems. The head badge bolts on, with different versions depending on the type of drivetrain.

2014 Orbea Avant disc brake road bike for gran fondos and endurance riding

Adding to its versatility, there are discreet threaded fender and rack mounts.

2014 Orbea Avant disc brake road bike for gran fondos and endurance riding

Remove the fenders and racks and you’d almost never know they were an option.

2014 Orbea Avant disc brake road bike for gran fondos and endurance riding

With a frame weight of around 1,100 grams (final production weights TBD, but US PM Scott Warren says it’ll be close if not better), it could easily be a quick commuter that transforms to a club racer on the weekend.

It’ll hold tires up to 28c with both style brakes, but you could probably cram a 30 in there with discs.

2014 Orbea Avant disc brake road bike for gran fondos and endurance riding

For the US, they’ll offer bikes from about $2,400 up to around $8,000, from a 105 build up to the new SRAM Red 22 Hydro R Disc. Mechanical disc brakes will be offered on some models. Frame is the same across the range, and three frame colors are offered, but builds will largely determine what colors you get. Di2 models will use the Shimano internal seatpost battery. Available soon.

Comments

Charango - 06/19/13 - 3:05pm

This seems like a really well thought-out and versatile bike. The first impressive (on paper) bike from Orbea that I can think of.

dale - 06/19/13 - 3:15pm

That gray/blue colorway is nice. One of the only good looking fondo bikes I’ve seen.

Ck - 06/19/13 - 3:22pm

Take note other manufacturers, this is how you build a bike with compatibility for multiple standards in brakes, rear spacing and bottom brackets. Not to mention the slick discrete rack/fender mounts.

Eyal - 06/19/13 - 3:44pm

Wow, bravo on the fork rake for the smaller sizes! Look and learn BMC, Time, Cannondale, Focus

Dr. Monkeypants - 06/19/13 - 3:52pm

Wow. It looks pretty great in profile, but those bends on the CS and SS are ugly…

And that bolt on headtube cable guide is shiteous.

Champs - 06/19/13 - 4:02pm

Orbea style with substance to back it up. This is my new favorite bike. The Black Inc. EVO can wait.

Mike - 06/19/13 - 5:41pm

Mr. Monkeypants sounds like a 5 year whining 5 year old.

ChocTop - 06/19/13 - 6:07pm

Well done Orbea

J Zez - 06/19/13 - 8:37pm

It’s actually Dr. Monkeypants, nor Mister. They awarded him a (honorary) doctorate for his contribution to the field of whining.
That bike looks fantastic.

Hotep - 06/20/13 - 12:47am

Orbea? Who would have guessed that? Somebody gets points for this. I can’t wait to see this @ my local shop. Who stocks Orbea, hmmm…Regardless, Good Job Orbea team.

cuaus1 - 06/20/13 - 11:49pm

Does anyone know what rack mount that is on the picture? I’m looking for a small one just like it.

Spaniard - 06/21/13 - 5:59pm

Orbea siempre se estropea

Ajax - 06/22/13 - 5:43pm

It needs thru axle

Cole - 06/23/13 - 3:31pm

Cuaus1- that is a Tubus rack.

qupid - 06/25/13 - 1:01am

Looking at the level of details makes me wish it had clearance for 35mm (winter) tires.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.