Saracen Flies into the Future w/ Lightweight Avro Disc Brake Road Bike

Saracen Avro Full Bike Profile Disc And Thru Axles

While thru-axles and disc brakes are not surprising anyone paying attention to current road bike trends, combining them with carbon frame that’s just over 1,000g and fully built for £1,799 (aprox. $3k) makes quite the take-note bike.

On top of a sweet new frame that’s lightweight, the new Saracen Avro combines solid spec with some really cool new design concepts that make disc brakes on the road all the more palatable. For the price, it’s looking like a solid performer that’s entirely worth upgrading in the future, but doesn’t stick you with any duds out of the gate. The devil is in the details, take note next…

The Avro Vulcan Bomber, inspiration for the new Saracen bike.

The Avro Vulcan Bomber, inspiration for the new Saracen bike.

Saracen’s theme with the Avro is a look to the future. That forward gaze starts with their choice of model name. Avro was a British aeronautics firm that, back in the mid-1900′s, was made famous by the cutting-edge engineering that birthed the incredibly advanced, delta-winged Avro Vulcan Bomber. The plane was known for its lethal payloads and ability to fly fast and high, out of the range of most threats.

Saracen Avro Mechanical Disc Alex Disc Specific Rims

Fast forward to today, and UK-based Saracen’s Avro road bike has been developed to ride fast and carry the deadly combination of future-proof technologies with forward looking designs on the leading standards where applicable. The most evident technology is the increasingly ubiquitous disc brake. Spec’ing discs keeps the rotating-weight low via lighter disc-specific Alex CXD26 rims (470g published weight). Saracen is stating the full wheelset comes in at a respectable 1,600g. The Avro is maintaining its targeted price point via the employment of Tektro’s mechanical Lyra discs (160mm rotors front & rear). Both those and wheels will get the job done, and both are solid choices to upgrade in the future.

Saracen Avro Tektro Mechanical Discs

When it comes to use on the pavement, a concern thrown at most thru-axle technology is the requirement of tools or a time consuming unthreading procedure. Saracen noted this and engineered their own tool-free system — 15mm front, 12x142mm rear. Now, a familiar flip of a lever will release either axle. As things slowly but surely move to disc brakes in the pro peloton, solutions like this will make it much quicker and easier on riders and mechanics during emergency wheel swaps.

Saracen Avro Angle Profile With Conventional Threaded Bottom Bracket

The final noteworthy item on Saracen’s new Avro is the absence of a pressfit bottom bracket — no BB90/BB95, no PF86/92, no BB30, no PF30, no BB386 EVO (you get the point). With such a push toward future standards, the spec of a conventionally threaded BB is of particular note. Saracen explicitly stated they built the Avro for UK road riders. With UK roads being notoriously wet and grimy the old BB standard just made sense. Saracen’s roots are in MTB and product durability is not taken lightly; this is reminiscent of Santa Cruz’s laudable stance on the same issue. You may or may not be a UK cyclist, but either way you’ll benefit from Saracen’s pragmatism.

Saracen Avro Full Bike Profile Disc And Thru Axles Shimano 105

The frame itself is laid up to comfortable for all day rides but angled to perform snappily. The rest of the details include full Shimano 105 11-speed mechanical (frame is electronic ready, though) and Continental 28mm tires. With another nod to a priority of practicality Saracen has listed in its specs the inclusion of mud-guard mounts with clearance for 25mm rubber. Between the discs, thru-axles, plush tires, and optional fenders the Avro is truly a go-anywhere do-anything road bike of the future. Watch for the debut of the Avro on Saracen’s site here.

Comments

Mike - 07/18/14 - 12:54pm

Ugh on the rear brake cable routing.

K11 - 07/18/14 - 1:18pm

just need to say, more companies need to return to the threaded bsa. i’m not going to state the reasons, some will agree, others won’t. it’s more stable as time goes by, my opinion.

MuddyDave - 07/18/14 - 1:22pm

Canadian?

“Avro was a British aircraft manufacturer founded in 1910 whose designs include the Avro 504 used as a trainer in the First World War, the Avro Lancaster, one of the pre-eminent bombers of the Second World War, and the delta wing Avro Vulcan, a stalwart of the Cold War.”

Andy - 07/18/14 - 1:41pm

Avro a Canadian firm? I wasn’t aware Manchester was in Canada.

Kevin - 07/18/14 - 1:45pm

agreed ugh.

John - 07/18/14 - 2:07pm

Someone fell short on research. Avro, as stated above was a long running British firm, based in Manchester. They did certainly have a Canadian arm, yes, but I’d hardly see that as the core of their operations. It’d be difficult to state the CF105 as the pinnacle of Avro’s fame (are we trying to strenuously link to a Carbon Frame, 105 groupset maybe?) Anyone ever heard of the Lancaster bomber of WW2 days? Avro.

Ck - 07/18/14 - 2:27pm

The rear brake routing is only bad because most cable calipers have a terrible fixed entry point for the housing, unlike many hydraulics that have a banjo fitting. I’m hoping the next generation of cable calipers understands that more and more frames are mounting the rear caliper between the stays.

Velociraptor - 07/18/14 - 2:28pm

Nice looking and ticks all the right boxes for me.

Elliot - 07/18/14 - 2:39pm

Not sure why you’ve pulled up the Avro Canada CF-105 as a reference point, when the first picture shows the bike right in front of the production (British) Avro Vulcan. Saracen is also a British brand.

Elliot - 07/18/14 - 2:53pm

The photo’s taken at East Midlands Aeropark, btw: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.8327333,-1.3458025,235m/data=!3m1!1e3

Ditto - 07/18/14 - 3:01pm

@Elliot @Andy

Maybe because Avro (or more accurately, Hawker Siddeley Group) owned both companies, the Canadian and British?

The Avro [Canada] Arrow was seen as ‘before it’s time’ which is something I am sure they would want to evoke rather than ‘used as a post-war pilot trainer’ or ‘to bomb a poorly defended island in the South Atlantic for no legitimate or humanitarian reason’ as the Vulcan was…

Other websites say that the Vulcan was an unarmed bomber and relied on speed and maneuverability to avoid being shot down… well, guess what… That is essentially the definition of all bombers after the concept of a flying fortress went down (somewhere over France I think…)

Take your pick of whatever story you want to believe.

Then take a deep breath, plug your nose and mouth, and pressurize to try and blow the pickle out your other end.

Eyal - 07/18/14 - 3:13pm

Hmm, Avro has a typical gravel grinder geo, look at the sprawling wheelbase. This granfondo bike!

Andy - 07/18/14 - 3:20pm

@Ditto

As Elliott has pointed out, Saracen is a company who’s target market is the UK. Somehow, an obscure Canadian prototype isn’t likely to have been top of their minds when thinking of the name.

If they wanted something ahead of it’s time, they could have kept things closer to home and called it the TSR.2

Pickle? Have you been overdoing the Maccy D’s or something?

Andy - 07/18/14 - 4:29pm

@Elliott

What about this Avro product, in MOSI:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/egwu/5706350439/

Tomi - 07/18/14 - 5:38pm

Not a fan of the build, but the frames tick all the box to me. I love the combinaison of BSA/disc brakes/relatively low weight/provision for fender.

And it’s not bad looking either. Replace the tektro brakes and 105 lever with the upcomming ST-RS685 / BR-R785 kit and a nice carbon tubular wheelset and you’ve got a great road machine usable in all kind of weather / roads.

May very well be my next go to bike.

Baz - 07/18/14 - 5:45pm

Hallelujah for the threaded BB. That alone is enough for me to consider buying this bike.

ma - 07/18/14 - 5:52pm

i agree with @Tomi.
The frame is pretty nice. I’d like a sram build of it (hydrosbrakes /mechs all Rival) for about the same price and… itd be a pretty killer bike.

Id be fine with a pacenti set of rims and a half decent hub (incl. novateks) for price savings. They’re pretty damn good (imo the best alu rims) and much cheaper than the big carbon names. Heck i rate them better than some carbon rims.

brattercakes - 07/18/14 - 6:01pm

Gorgeous paint scheme.

Maurizio - 07/18/14 - 6:05pm

Hell yes! This is precisely the sort of road bike I want to buy – hell if you want to upgrade it some of the new shimano mechanical/hydraulic brifters and calipers and boy have you got a nice bike. I shall start saving, effective immediately.

Tyler Benedict - 07/18/14 - 6:33pm

All – we’ve updated/corrected the story thanks to a little extra info from Saracen about the aeronautics inspiration.

Scotty - 07/18/14 - 8:13pm

The Avro engineers that designed the Avro Arrow were the best of the best. When the program got canceled due to politics, many of the engineers ended up at NASA and went on to design the Gemini and Apollo programs.

Rhyno - 07/18/14 - 11:06pm

Sweet bike, but did anyone see the backside of the big chainring? That thing is crazy looking.

david velez - 07/19/14 - 7:52pm

Who sells these stateside?

AbelF - 07/21/14 - 12:39pm

Great looking bike! Horrayy for threaded bbs!!!!!

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