We were impressed by the flagship Di2-equipped Avanti Quantum Team – as we should have been, given its £8,000 pricetag – so we were interested in seeing what this New Zealand brand can offer at a price more in line with most people’s budgets.
Avanti’s challenge is to establish itself in what is an already competitive international market, so quality, performance and price are bound to top the list of requirements. The Giro 4 fares rather well on all three, and if thrown into the ring with similar rivals it shouldn’t have any trouble going toe to toe.
Its butted and cleverly hydroformed 7000 series tubing is smoothly welded into a swishy arc-like shape, and the tubes are normal in diameter, giving it a light and nimble aesthetic. The Avanti’s ride matches its good looks: it’s quick to accelerate, snappy on climbs, and you hardly notice the extra weight of the price-targeted componentry, while the frame feel has a nice ping to it, providing good feedback without being tiring.
Going with a full Shimano spec, shifting and braking function was perfect: smooth and progressive, with reduced effort, we never skipped an opportunity to shift or pull a stoppie just for kicks. Equally effective, the Shimano R550 wheels do a pretty good job despite rudimentary hubs, with exceptionally accurate machined braking surfaces and stainless spokes.
Bottom bracket flex is kept to a minimum thanks to a seriously flared seat tube, tapering gracefully to a 27.2mm carbon seatpost which takes the sting out of big hits. With less than 6cm of fork trail (the distance between where the wheel hits the ground and where the steering axis would, hypothetically, hit the ground), the Giro 4 always feels light on its feet and ready to dance, yet oddly stable due to a 72.5-degree head angle.
The wide, square handlebar gives the bike a high ‘chuckability’ factor, helping to create a nimble experience that requires a heightened level of awareness from the rider. Other than for all-out racing, the Avanti Giro 4 brings a can-do attitude to most kinds of riding, from daily fitness to sportives, club runs and even triathlons.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.