Orbea’s all-carbon M series Avant 50D was the top disc bike in our 2014 Bike of the Year test. Its light and lively frame combined the comfortable riding position of an endurance bike with positive, sporty handling, great braking and decent quality kit.
- Highs: Great handling, ride position and comfort
- Lows: Its heavy weight hampers its true performance
- Buy if: Your budget can’t quite stretch to carbon
With its H series the long-established Spanish company has taken that formula and applied it to a less expensive butted alloy frameset. But it still features the same well-designed full-carbon fork with a 1 1/8-1 1/2in tapered steerer tube – now with the front brake cable routed neatly through the left fork leg. Unusually for a bike at this price the fork also has carbon dropouts.
The front brake cable is very neatly routed through the left fork leg
You get mainly Shimano 105 components, including the shifters, rear derailleur and 12-28 cassette. The front mech is Tiagra, while FSA supplies its Omega compact chainset, which combines with the cassette to offer a wide gear range, and the brakes are also Shimano: its entry-level BR317 mechanical discs. Most of the finishing kit is good quality, if somewhat basic, though it is very good to see a 27.2mm carbon seatpost.
The downside of this modest build is that the Orbea is carrying a bit of excess baggage – our 57cm test bike weighed a pretty hefty 10.58kg. Half of that difference is down to the own-brand wheels, which contribute over 4kg, a lot of which will be all-important rotating weight. This mass really made itself known to us when we reached our test route’s climbs – and if it wasn’t for the generous gearing we would have been even slower on our longer ascents.
Heading uphill is when you’ll really notice the H10D’s hefty own-brand rolling stock
But we have no complaints about the Avant’s geometry. Orbea’s H series bikes share the same frame angles as its excellent M series carbon machines. This helps to make this Avant comfortable and its handling engaging and reasonably swift. Once you’ve overcome the inertia and wound it up to speed the quality of the frame design shines through, and it still feels like a bike we’d be happy to ride for hours.
Taking the Avant down descents – where its weight is no hindrance – its disc brakes also have a chance to shine. While Shimano’s budget cable discs don’t have the feel or offer you the same ability to fractionally adjust your speed as hydraulic setups, they are still leagues ahead of a caliper rim brake, especially in the wet.
We think that the Avant H10 has the potential to be a decent all-rounder. It certainly has the right feel, handling and comfort. But for the upgrades that you’d need to get it down to a more competitive weight, you’d be spending something approaching the cost of Orbea’s excellent M50D – and frankly we’d rather spend our time on that.
|Name||Avant H10D (14)|
|Description||Look Keo Easy pedals|
|Wheelset||20mm alloy rims on Shimano RM35 disc hubs: F & R 32 spokes|
|Seatpost||Orbea carbon 27.2mm|
|Shifters||Shimano 105 10-speed|
|Stem||Orbea Oversized Alloy 13cm|
|Rear Wheel Weight||2340|
|Bottom Bracket Height (cm)||28|
|Seat Tube (cm)||47.5|
|Standover Height (cm)||81|
|Top Tube (cm)||57|
|Saddle||Selle Italia X1|
|Rear Tyre||Vittoria Zaffiro 25mm|
|Available Sizes||47cm 49cm 51cm 53cm 55cm 57cm 60cm|
|Frame Material||Avant Hydro, hydroformed triple-butted aluminum|
|Bottom Bracket||FSA External|
|Brakes||Shimano R317 mechanical disc|
|Cassette||Shimano Tiagra 12-28 10-speed|
|Cranks||FSA Omega 50/34 175mm|
|Fork||Orbea monocoque performance carbon 1 1/8- 1½in tapered steerer|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Tiagra band-on front|
|Rear Hub||Shimano RM35 disc hubs|
|Front Hub||Shimano RM35 disc hubs|
|Front Tyre||Vittoria Zaffiro 25mm|
|Front Wheel Weight||1830|
|Handlebar||Orbea Oversized Alloy 44cm|
|Headset Type||FSA integrated 1 1/8-1½in|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano 105|
|Frame size tested||57cm|