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Orbea Avant H60-D review

Ultra-distinctive, updated and integrated endurance bike

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £1,159.00 RRP
Pack shot of the Orbea Avant H60 D road bike

Our review

A very capable all rounder but note that it has a budget groupset
Pros: Comfort; control; tyre clearance
Cons: Lower-spec groupset; slightly weighty; no front mudguard mounts
Skip to view product specifications

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.

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Orbea Avant H60-D frame and kit

Pack shot of the Orbea Avant H60 D road bike
The Avant H60 D is a bike that will serve you well on long endurance rides – you’ll have fun descending too!.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

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.

Shimano Claris drivetrain on the Orbea Avant H60 D road bike
It’s disappointing that the bike is specced with Shimano’s lower-tier Claris groupset.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

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 Avant’s geometry lives up to its endurance billing, particularly when it comes to its 605mm of stack, which is a couple of centimetres higher than the Boardman SLR‘s 567mm figure on a medium frame with a similar length top-tube of 555mm versus the 569mm here.

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.

47495153555760
Seat angle (degrees)74.57473.7573.573.57373
Head angle (degrees)7171.571.972.472.672.873
Chainstay (cm)42.542.542.542.542.542.542.5
Seat tube (cm)4244.54749.55254.557.5
Top tube (cm)51.152.653.955.356.958.659.7
Head tube (cm)12.214.116.11820.122.124.1
Fork offset (cm)4.84.84.84.34.34.34.3
Bottom bracket drop (cm)7.57.57.57.37.37.37.3
Bottom bracket height (cm)26.426.426.426.626.626.626.6
Wheelbase (mm)9899961,0041,0061,0201,0291,038
Standover (cm)71.273.876.17980.983.385.2
Stack (cm)52.554.556.558.560.562.564.6
Reach (cm)36.53737.5383939.540

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.

Female cyclist riding the Orbea Avant H60 D road bike through the country side
The front end feels stiff and planted, making it a great companion on sweeping and straightish descents.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

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.

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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

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £1159.00
Brand Orbea

Features

Available sizes 47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 60cm
Handlebar OC1 Road
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
Grips/Tape Orbea
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
Chain KMC X8
Cassette Shimano HG50 11-32 8-speed
Brakes Tektro MD-C550 mechanical disc
Tyres 700x28 Vittoria Zaffiro V Rigid