Launching at the Sheppard’s Bicycles dealer show in Melbourne, Avanti was showcasing the full 2016 range. In addition to the road bikes we’ve already looked at, the New Zealand brand had a wide range of mountain bikes on display. Below, we cover what’s new.
Competitor S – budget full suspension
Starting at just AU$2,000, the Competitor S is an entirely new full suspension platform from Avanti. The 27.5in wheeled, 120mm travel alloy bike is designed to hit a pricepoint that often has people still considering a hardtail.
Related reading: Hardtail vs dual suspension on a budget
Although not the same, the new frame borrows plenty of design elements from its bigger brother, the Torrent (more on which below). This includes the Horst-link suspension (think Specialized FSR), one-piece rocker link, PF30 bottom bracket, tapered head tube, asymmetric chainstays and quality pivot hardware.
Additionally, the Competitor S features a heavily formed tubeset in order to keep weight low and stiffness high. This appears to be a frame worthy of upgrades as your skill set progresses.
The quick release out back proves you can’t have everything at this price
Interestingly, the back of the bike features a standard 135mm quick release dropout. Speaking with Avanti, this was apparently a decision based on low-cost hub availability, with quality thru-axle models still not readily available at the desired price point.
The base model Competitor S 1 (AU$2000) features a X-Fusion Streat RL2 fork. This air-spring fork looks great on paper, with a tapered steerer, 32mm aluminium stanchions, 15mm thru-axle and a proven damper that offers both lockout and rebound adjustment. Out back, an X-Fusion 02 Pro RL air shock is given, which also offers rebound adjust and lockout.
The rest of the component spec is a mix of Shimano Deore 20-speed components, FSA cranks, Shimano M355 hydraulic disc brakes and Alex double wall rims. The Deore rear derailleur is not clutch equipped, something that Avanti says was a conscious decision to instead provide the best suspension package at this price.
The Competitor S 2 (wrong front derailleur pictured)
The other option in the Competitor S line-up is the S 2 at AU$2,500. This model moves to a RockShox suspension package, in the form of a Recon Gold front fork and Monarch RT rear shock. The rest of the build is a little more upmarket too, with mostly Shimano Deore components, and then a clutch-equipped XT rear derailleur.
Torrent goes single (ring)
The Torrent S 7.2
The Torrent S 7.2 is here to satisfy riders seeking a trail bike at lower pricepoint than its carbon siblings. Sticking with last year’s 150mm aluminium frame, the Torrent S7.2 has received a makeover that many will appreciate. The front shifting has, unlike on the carbon Torrents, been replaced with 1×11 Shimano XT, including an e*thirteen TRS chainguide to ensure the chain is never misplaced (not pictured).
Additionally, the Mazorcchi fork of last year has been replaced with a 150mm RockShox Pike RC. The rubber gets a further boost of confidence too, with 2.35in tyres wrapping the 27.5in DT Swiss rims.
We’re fans of these upgrades, and the resulting AU$4,000 price looks extremely competitive.
Fat bike in three wheel sizes
Joining a small handful of other brands, Avanti is now offering its Tracker fat bike in 20, 24 and 26in wheels. While the 26in wheel model is aimed at adults, the two smaller offerings are for the kids.
At AU$1,700, the adults’ Tracker features a brand-new suspension corrected aluminium frame, ‘Big Daddy’ 4in wide tyres, Shimano Deore 27-speed shifting and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. We’re excited to see this new frame, as last year’s Tracker had looks only a mother could love.
Sized just slightly taller than an equivalent ‘standard’ kids mountain bike, the Tracker Jr 20 (AU$750) and Tracker Jr 24 (AU$800) are unexpectedly lightweight.
Both models feature an aluminium frame and fork, 4in wide ‘Bid Daddy’ tyres and Tektro mechanical disc brakes. The Jr 20 offers seven-speed Shimano shifting from a Revoshift grip shifter, while the Jr 24 adds one more gear.
Competitor carbon reborn – again
The Competitor C 2 (AU$3,600)
If you’re after a little cross-country performance at a reasonable price, the new Competitor C could be worth a look.
The new carbon hardtail frame offers interchangeable dropouts, a tapered head tube, internal cable routing and a PF30 bottom bracket. The frame uses Avanti’s wheel sizing theory, with small and medium frames available in 27.5in wheels, and the next two sizes available in 29in wheels.