New Orbea Avant Fondo Road Bike – Rim or Disc Brakes, Racks & Fenders or Not
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…
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.
The fork has thin, almost bladed legs, with internal brake hose routing.
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.
It uses a monocoque carbon frame with PFBB86, so it’s stiff and will work with all three major brands of drivetrains.
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.
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.
Adding to its versatility, there are discreet threaded fender and rack mounts.
Remove the fenders and racks and you’d almost never know they were an option.
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.
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.