This new Orbea demonstrates how difficult it now is for the bike industry when it comes to offering the value we’ve become accustomed to. Orbea’s Avant H60-D is one of many bikes that suffered a price rise between the time I started and finished testing – climbing from £999 to £1,159.
Orbea Avant H60-D frame and kit
The first thing you notice about the Avant is its striking hydroformed aluminium frame and – unusually at this price – an integrated cockpit.
Orbea’s ICR – Integrated Cable Routing – creates an exceptionally tidy-looking front end, which routes the cabling beneath the stem and through Orbea’s dedicated headset spacer and into an Acros headset.
It’s inherited from higher-end Orbeas and, apart from aesthetics, there will be a small aerodynamic benefit, though I’m not sure this is significant on an entry-level bike. It also proved quiet, with no rattling or noise, even on light gravel tracks.
Orbea has also brought a little colour to a largely monochromatic party, and the green-and-gold Avant looks great – but there is a more muted ‘speed silver’ model if you prefer.
Another, perhaps less welcome, factor distinguishing the Avant is its groupset. Most of its competitors at this price have Shimano Tiagra, some 105. This Avant’s lower-spec Claris is usually seen on bikes costing much less.
As with most Shimano products, 8-speed Claris works well with accurate shifting, even if it doesn’t have the feel of its more expensive brethren. The main downside, especially on a bike with a widish cassette, is the greater jumps between gears than on a 9-, 10- or 11-speed system.
So far, it looks like question marks over the Avant – but that’s not the whole picture. I rode the Avant on smooth tarmac, poor country lanes, muddy towpaths and light gravel tracks. Rolling on 28mm rubber I didn’t tackle anything too gnarly, but the Orbea’s control was good, and comfort impressive.
It takes a while to get it up to speed but holds its pace well.
Orbea Avant H60-D geometry
The tall head tube, a whopping 201mm on my 55cm test bike (plus 40mm of spacers), along with the 1,020mm wheelbase, reflect the Orbea’s endurance ambitions.
However, the head-tube angle is only a fraction shallower than 73 degrees so the handling isn’t that laid back. This makes the Avant one for longer cruises, rather than short, sharp sprints. Its slightly upright riding position puts little stress on your lower back, making the bike ideal for training rides and fitness outings.
|Seat angle (degrees)||74.5||74||73.75||73.5||73.5||73||73|
|Head angle (degrees)||71||71.5||71.9||72.4||72.6||72.8||73|
|Seat tube (cm)||42||44.5||47||49.5||52||54.5||57.5|
|Top tube (cm)||51.1||52.6||53.9||55.3||56.9||58.6||59.7|
|Head tube (cm)||12.2||14.1||16.1||18||20.1||22.1||24.1|
|Fork offset (cm)||4.8||4.8||4.8||4.3||4.3||4.3||4.3|
|Bottom bracket drop (cm)||7.5||7.5||7.5||7.3||7.3||7.3||7.3|
|Bottom bracket height (cm)||26.4||26.4||26.4||26.6||26.6||26.6||26.6|
Orbea Avant H60-D ride impressions
The Orbea isn’t light and its wheels aren’t that exciting, so climbing is composed rather than dynamic, but the 34×32 bottom will help you overcome gravity, and the frame is stiff enough for out-of-saddle efforts.
The Avant was a bit of a revelation on descents, where it really comes into its own. The front end feels stiff and planted and, while the geometry means it’s not a bike for throwing into tight corners, it proved a great companion on sweeping and straightish descents.
In contrast to a few bikes I’ve recently tested, the mechanical disc brakes offer consistent, powerful and controlled stopping. They’ll never compare with hydraulics, but the Tektro dual-piston MD550s, paired with 160mm rotors and thru-axles, are much more convincing than the brakes on the Ribble Endurance 725 Disc – Base and Genesis CDA, for example.
The 28mm Vittoria Zaffiro tyres are entry-level rubber. At 380g each they’re not light and not especially supple, but they are tough and came through testing unscathed.
I’d still be tempted to go up to 32mm rubber – Bontrager’s supple and hardwearing R3 Hard-Case Lite TLR for the road or Panaracer’s GravelKing SK for all-round riding – though with clearance for 35mm tyres you could go wider.
Orbea Avant H60-D bottom line
I liked the Orbea Avant H60 D a lot. It’s a lovely long-distance cruiser, comfortable over rough surfaces even with 28mm tyres, and with wider tyres you could easily tackle unsurfaced routes.
But it does feel as if Orbea has put a lot of the money into the frame and cockpit, and that its overall performance is held back by slightly lower-level kit than you might expect – though at least the braking doesn’t come up short.
How we tested
The £1k price bracket is a competitive one for road bikes and you can buy a lot of bike these days for that.
So I put nine of the most competitive to the test to see which perform best for your hard-earned dosh – hopefully proving you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a grand day out.
Testing took place on my local roads and tracks, with the bikes covering a range of intentions for the road and beyond, and prices range from £800 to £1,300.
Also on test
- Boardman ADV 8.9
- Vitus Zenium Tiagra
- Boardman SLR 8.9
- Giant Contend AR 3
- Planet X London Road
- Ribble Endurance 725 Disc – Base
- Genesis CDA 30
- Van Rysel EDR AF
|Available sizes||47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 60cm|
|Stem||OCI 31.8mm interface|
|Shifter||Shimano Claris ST-R2000|
|Seatpost||Alloy 27.2mm 20mm offset|
|Saddle||Selle Royal Seta RS|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Claris RD-2000-GS|
|Headset||Acros Alloy 1 1/2in internal cable routing|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano RS500 threaded cartridge|
|Front derailleur||Shimano Claris RD-2000-GS|
|Frame||Orbea Avant Hydro Disc, hydroformed triple-butted aluminium, thru-axle|
|Fork||Orbea carbon fork 2021, aluminium steerer|
|Cranks||Shimano Claris R2000 50/34|
|Cassette||Shimano HG50 11-32 8-speed|
|Brakes||Tektro MD-C550 mechanical disc|
|Tyres||700x28 Vittoria Zaffiro V Rigid|