Orro’s Gold has been around for a few years, and while the design of the frame has remained pretty much unchanged, under the skin the Sussex Downs-based company has made significant improvements.
The frame and fork are made using Spread Tow Carbon, hence the STC in the name. The fibres are arranged in thin, unidirectional tapes, which are interwoven giving the chequerboard-like pattern to the frame’s surface.
According to Orro, this layup improves the mechanical properties of the individual fibres, as they are straighter and more taught, weight is reduced, and because of its flat, thin construction it’s less prone to wrinkles and imperfections when formed into a frame.
After the miles I’ve put into the Gold it’s proven to be a solid performer. My test bike is based around Orro’s standard Ultegra model but with an upgraded wheelset, Fulcrum Racing Zeros, adding £501 to the base £1999.99 price.
The stretched-thin bar tape wasn’t as comfortable as it could be Robert Smith Photography
At 7.29kg for a Large/57cm bike, the Gold’s light for the money and the geometry marks it out as more race than recreation.
The handling is well suited to more aggressive riding with quick but neutral responses. The Fulcrum wheels are light, tight and offer smooth, silent running. They’re shod with the ever-dependable 25mm Continental Grand Sport tyres.
When it comes to the Shimano Ultegra R8000, the new mechanical groupset, there is nothing to fault. The action of the shifting is so similar to new Dura-Ace, which we described as the best mechanical groupset to date, you’d never notice the difference.
The same goes for the braking. The only way you’d notice a difference between Ultegra and Dura-Ace, beyond the finish, is by putting them on the scales, and seeing a bigger hole in your finances.
A neat LED rear light is integrated into the seatpost clamp Robert Smith Photography
Orro Gold STC Ultegra ride impression
On climbs the Gold impresses, the frame is stiff in all the right places and the new Ultegra’s extended range means this one comes with a wider 11-30 cassette, so you can get into a gear and spin on the cranks using aerobic effort rather than grind out power-heavy revolutions when under-geared for a gradient.
The neutrality of the handling makes the Gold a fine descender, encouraging flowing movements and weight shifts. The great spec, including wonderful wheels, and sublime drivetrain mated to a frame that’s confident in its handling and makes for a very enjoyable all-round experience.
Orro Gold STC Ultegra specifications
Weight: 7.29kg (L/57cm)
Frame: STC Carbon
Fork: STC Carbon
Gears: Shimano Ultegra R8000
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra R8000
Wheels: Fulcrum Racing Zero
Tyres: 25mm Continental Grand Sport Race
Stem: 3T Arx II Pro
Bar: 3T aluminium
Saddle: Prologo Kappa RS
Extras: Integrated seatpost clamp rear light