Spanish bike maker Orbea unveiled its all new Avant line and previewed updates to its flagship Orca on the first day of Bike PressCamp 2013 on Tuesday in Deer Valley, Utah. The Orca updates are embargoed until June 28, the eve of the Tour de France, where the Euskaltel Euskadi WorldTour squad will be piloting the revamped race rig. But the new Avant platform is ready for its coming out party.
Billed as a bike that will, “Take you from here to there on any road anywhere,” the Avant boasts a host of highlights that start with a fit first concept. Seven sizes and two fork rakes (53cm for the three smaller frames, 43cm for the four larger sizes) all but eliminate toe overlap and improve handling, according to U.S. product manager Scott Warren.
The Avant’s design process also included extensive consultation with several fit specialists, and a focus on creating a linear relationship between stack and reach throughout the frame sizes in order to ensure that no matter a rider’s height, there’s an Avant that will work for them – and work well. That’s accentuated by a taller head tube.
The Avant frames also come stock with disc brake tabs and the required internal cable routing options to accommodate either disc or standard caliper brake systems.
The Avant can be run disc or with traditional caliper brakes.
“We believe in disc brakes,” confirmed Warren. “Rim brakes will always have their place, we’re confident in the new braking technology and see the market headed in that direction.”
That statement is reinforced by the fact that dropout spacing is 135mm (for disc), but can be adjusted down to 130mm with special “chips” for those who prefer to stick with caliper brakes. Warren also claimed that in recent wind tunnel testing sessions, Orbea found that the disc-brake equipped bikes were more aerodynamic at yaw angles of 5, 10 and 15 degrees.
“Our goal is to future proof these bikes,” explained Warren. “So you can run disc or caliper brakes and electronic or cable actuated shifting.”
Other features include a tapered 1 1/8 to 1½ head tube, tire clearance up to 28mm, monocoque frame construction, a lifetime frame guarantee, and a BB86 bottom bracket. Warren said Orbea’s move away from the BB30 standard was driven by the fact that not all component manufacturers offer BB30 options and that Orbea was seeing issues such as creaking when it equipped its bikes with after-market BB adapters. Warren said that the BB86 was also preferred for its wider platform for attaching tubes.
Pricing for the new Avant will start at around $2,400 for a Shimano 105 spec and climb all the way to $8,000 for SRAM’s new Red Hydro 22. There are seven models and multiple color options, including bright pink.
And if you want to use the bike for racing on the weekends, but commuting on the weekdays, you’re in luck. Discretely placed tabs for mounting racks and fenders are standard on all the Avant frames.
“We want this bike to be a versatile option that can work for a wide variety of riders,” added Warren. “We are really excited about this new direction.”
To learn more, check out this three-minute marketing video from Orbea, then check out the extensive photo galley.