Orro’s parent company, i-Ride, is based in Sussex in the shadow of the Ditchling Beacon, the county’s famed climb and its bikes are all designed and assembled in the UK.
The Orro Gold STC Disc is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2019. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women’s bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub.
While it may have been supplanted at the top of the Orro tree by the aero-optimised Venturi, the Gold model still has plenty going for it.
Orro Gold STC Disc frame and kit
The curvy frame might seem a little old-school, but Orro has redesigned the classic, rim-brake roadman’s bike to accommodate disc brakes. And its other revisions are in construction rather than style.
The STC refers to Spread Tow Carbon, which comprises a series of very thin, flat unidirectional ‘tapes’ interwoven to build up the layers, and gives the raw (gloss-lacquered) carbon finish its unique checkerboard-like pattern.
Orro claims this ordered construction improves the mechanical performance of the individual fibres. It’s also said to reduce weight, as the construction is less prone to ripples, wrinkles and other imperfections.
The frame weighs 985g, which is decent for a disc frame. Yes, there are lighter disc chassis around, but you’ll be paying significantly more to save very little.
The ride position is similar to the rim-brake model, which impressed us back in 2017. The geometry is pretty sporty with a 596mm stack and 391mm reach combined with a slightly longer 1019mm wheelbase.
It makes for what is best described as an aggressive endurance position, but it’s not so extreme as to become wearing after hours in the saddle.
The handling is quick without making you nervous and the chassis does a good job of reducing road buzz, it’s a little firmer than an out-and-out endurance bike, but that gives the Gold an eager edge that can often be dulled in bikes built for big miles.
What also suits the bike’s overall demeanour is the gearing choice. It’s good to see full Ultegra at this price and the 50/34 and 11-30 cassette make the Gold a great bike for longer climbs.
The low weight also helps with climbing, aided by Fulcrum’s Racing 5 disc wheels. The 5s are more road orientated than some of Fulcrum’s wider, more gravel biased, alloy units — such as the cheaper Racing 7 — but here the 21.7mm-wide ride with its 16.9mm internal is perfectly suited to the 25mm Continental GranSport tyres. I wouldn’t go wider than 25s on these rims, but as that’s what most road riders favour, it’s not really an issue.
The weight of the 5s is impressive, with the front tipping the scales at 780g (including the disc rotor lockring and rim tape) and the rear at 890g, a total of 1,670g.
Once you’ve spun your way to the crest of a climb the Gold is a fine companion on descents too. The neutral yet balanced handling on the Gold inspires confidence and I found myself flowing between turns with ease.
The Ultegra brakes have bags of feel but Orro has used Shimano’s cheaper rotors (non-finned IceTech units) and made the cardinal sin of fitting a small 140mm rotor upfront on a big bike, and that means one thing: the rotor heats too quickly and starts to make a noise. This doesn’t affect ride quality but I’m not a fan of screeching when braking…
As expected, Orro has done a good job with the finishing kit — Continental tyres and a great cockpit courtesy of Deda’s recently restyled and upgraded Zero 1 bar and stem.
I’m a fan of Deda’s drop shape — its semi-compact size is cleverly radiused to fit larger hands with space to spare, and the transition from top to drop leaves plenty of clearance for your wrists, too.
The Prologo Kappa saddle is comfortable, and custom-coloured in black and gold to match the bike. Orro has also added nice extras such as a carbon cage, a branded bottle and a neat seat collar, which integrates a rear light.
Orro Gold STC Disc verdict
As a package, the Orro Gold is damn good. It rides well and handles with quiet confidence. The (British) frame design does look a little old school compared to the latest Kamm-tail optimised tubes, but that makes it stand out from the crowd. And if aero isn’t one of your concerns then the Gold’s obvious value and great overall character should be worth consideration.
Orro Gold STC Disc specifications
- Sizes (*tested): XS, S, M, L*, XL
- Weight: 8.56kg
- Frame: Carbon
- Fork: Carbon
- Chainset: Shimano Ultegra
- Cassette: Shimano Ultegra, 11-30
- Derailleurs: Shimano Ultegra
- Shifters: Shimano Ultegra
- Wheelset: Fulcrum Racing 5 disc
- Tyres: Continental Gransport Race 25mm
- Stem: Deda Zero 1
- Bar: Deda Zero 1
- Saddle: Prologo Kappa RS custom
- Seatpost: Alloy Orro
- Brakes: Shimano Ultegra
- Extras: Seat collar with integrated light, carbon cage, bottle
Orro Gold STC Disc geometry
- Seat angle: 72.9 degrees
- Head angle: 71.7 degrees
- Chainstay: 41.2
- Seat tube: 58cm
- Top tube: 57.4cm
- Head tube: 19.8cm
- Wheelbase: 1,019mm
- Stack: 59.6cm
- Reach: 39.09cm
BikeRadar would like to thank Stolen Goat, Lazer, Northwave and Effetto Mariposa for their help and support during our Bike of the Year test.