The art of competition tells a story
16 May 2019
23 July 2018
Published by Orbea
You knew when you planned the ride it would be a long day - a route stacked with grinding climbs and twisting descents, terrible roads with a good amount of who-knows-what-else thrown in. These rides aren’t most people’s idea of fun, but they sure are memorable, monumental, challenging. Is that why you keep going? You suck down another coffee and pull on your shoe covers to hold the weather at bay, it’s going to clear out and warm up in a few hours... Probably.
Grab your Avant and do a quick check before rolling into the morning mist. No other machine could better help you endure the hours of rough, exhausting conditions ahead. It’s going to be a long day - and you love it.
Challenges are personal. For some riders cycling itself is the biggest reward. Others want to feel the nerves of the peloton in a road race and test their legs and skills against others. But there are those of us who are looking to distance ourselves from the pack, to tackle challenges that are bigger, harder and more testing than any Sunday group ride.
For this we need a bike geometry that reduces fatigue and is designed to save energy - A bike that is perfect for Gran Fondos, cobblestone epics and marathon rides that require maximum endurance and control. We have learned the difference between a bike that merely handles these conditions and one that excels in them is small, but Avant is designed to maximize those traits that make a superb endurance bike. For you to ride quickly over four climbs is a great thing, but it might mean very little if there are two more giants to come.
When we looked for this bike in the past, we found only road racing bikes that maybe could fit 27c tires, or perhaps a bike with such an upright geometry that we had trouble finding an efficient fit. But now there are enough of us looking for a fast and comfortable bike that it has become a competitive market. This Avant is a completely new design for Orbea’s endurance platform – a culmination of years of analysis of how a bike can actually help you ride longer. It’s a blend of low weight, efficiency and comfort characteristics that add up to a unique experience. We are proud of this perfect endurance machine; the lightest, most efficient and comfortable Avant ever.
Even if fit and handling are more important, we all love to ride a light bike. We search for any way to save 50g here and there for just the smallest advantage. If some of the improvements to the new Avant are marginal gains, the 200g weight reduction is not - Now weighing as little as many road racing frames, the sub-1Kg Avant can save you approximately 3.2 watts or 15 seconds climbing a 20 minute, 5% grade. The advanced construction adds high modulus and high strength carbon fibers to a standard layup to improve stiffness-to-weight ratios. Bladder molding with polyurethane headtube and bottom bracket inserts eliminates wrinkles in critical zones.
Without the need to over-build these areas to compensate for voids and imperfections, fewer carbon sheets and smaller amounts of resin are used, reducing weight in the Avant without sacrificing strength. Using the bare minimum of aluminum inserts in the frame also accounts for a hefty weight savings, and you will find carbon throughout the Avant unless metal is absolutely required for threaded interfaces, bottle cages or derailleur mounts.
Lower weight helps with climbs and makes us feel better every time we lift our bikes, but it’s primarily a more comfortable frame that will help you ride all day long. Reducing material lowers mass, but carbon structure, tubing shapes and frame design are elemental to building a comfortable frame that helps reduce muscle fatigue. Avant’s Dynamic Structure provides a smooth, light ride without bulky compromises like tubing inserts and elastomers. The natural flex patterns created by the carbon layup and minimal bulk of the top tube and seat stays deliver a dynamic, smooth ride and it can be tested. And at the end of a long day it could mean the difference between climbing one last col and climbing off your bike.
Another part of this enhanced comfort comes from the semi-sloping top tube of Avant. Frames with sloping top tubes can be very smooth because the longer seatpost required is quite compliant. Taken to an extreme, a compact frame is not as torsionally stiff, so Avant maximizes efficiency by using a semi-sloping design, balancing stiffness, weight savings and comfort.
A comfortable frame with slender forms in the upper half of the structure also needs to transmit your power from the crankset to the rear wheel. The large majority of torsional and lateral loads are handled by the lower spine of the frame. The headtube, downtube and chainstays are shaped to resist twisting and transmit power to the rear wheel. There is no doubt about it, large cross-sections and resistance to flex in the bottom of the frame transfer your watts to the road and create a sensation that power transfer is instantaneous.
Beyond the ride characteristics of the frame, the fork is an excellent place to further tune the feel of the bike. The Avant fork uses a shallower, rounded blade profile and longer fork legs to increase frontal compliance by 10%. This intentional front-to-rear flex improves shock absorption and allows the wheel to track rough roads more closely without compromising the torsional stiffness that affects handling. You will appreciate this comfort when you are riding with comfort over bad pavement that is causing your riding partners to slow down. The increased axle-to-crown height is offset by shorter headtubes to maintain stack measurements.
Avant’s endurance position isn’t a concession to folks who aren’t flexible enough to ride an aggressive racing bicycle. An endurance fit gives you more control over rough terrain and gives better visibility and weight balance when descending. It specifically engages muscle groups that better propel the bike over cobblestones or gravel. Avant Endurance Geometry is born from years of analyzing how ergonomics can help you ride further. Unlike a racing geometry that is focused on aerodynamics, endurance ergonomics result in a bike that is easier to ride and increases stamina.
Handling is precise and intuitive. Angles and dimensions are considered carefully across a range of sizes to maximize rider comfort. And more comfort means longer rides.
A simple frame detail by itself might not help you win the day, but a well considered bike with the sort of features that make life easier can keep you from having to quit early. These four items aren’t an exhaustive list of Avant’s good points, but they are an example of the thought that goes into making a bike that you can fall in love with.
What are a few things about Avant that you might not notice at first glance but will appreciate over long days in the saddle?
- Chain Security: Even your perfectly-adjusted derailleur can drop a chain over rough roads or during a wheel change. With the integrated chain-drop protector Chain Security, you’ll have the added peace of mind knowing your chain is never going to end up around your bottom bracket shell.
- BB386: The 46mm shell diameter means larger bearings with better durability and stiffness. Compatibility with 24mm steel and 30mm alloy spindles increases the number of crankset options available to you when seeking the stiffest and lightest components.
- Tire Clearance: The move to wider tires is happening everywhere, with even road racers opting for the comfort and lower rolling resistance of 25C and 27C tires. To make Avant even more versatile, it is possible to run most 30C tires on contemporary wide rims, and this will provide plenty of clearance. If you live in drier climates, you may find even larger tires will work well.
- 12x12mm Through Axles: Front and rear through axles provide unparalleled rigidity and security. A completely enclosed axle placement provides an incredibly stable caliper/rotor interface. 142x12mm rear and 100x12mm front axles are the most widely-adopted specification for road disc, meaning component choice won’t be limited by a proprietary axle system.
But most importantly, the Avant is backed by the same lifetime warranty we extend to all our bikes.
Avant is for those of us, who, for lack of a more accurate description, want to conquer the ride itself - to prove greater than the task, to defeat the fatigue created by tough conditions and tougher courses. To mark another milestone off the list and move on to the next improbable route. We designed the Avant for you to master every ride on every road.