British brand Orro has built up a fine reputation in a relatively short time (it has been in existence for less than a decade). This reputation is built on the company designing bikes in the UK with British riders’ needs in mind.
What also sets it apart is that all of its bikes are hand-assembled in the UK, which means that your Orro dealer has much more versatility in the build: you can tune gearing to your preference or have your favourite saddle or preferred tyre choice fitted from new.
That’s not all, because Orro has things nailed on in the value-for-money stakes too. All of which brings us to the new Venturi Evo.
Shimano 105 with 11-30, 52/36 gearing. Robert Smith / Immediate Media
The flagship of the Orro range is the Venturi STC and this aero bike is constructed using high-grade, spread-tow carbon fibres (like the Textreme fabrics used on Felt’s exemplary AR).
It makes for a light, stiff and very strong aero build, but it does come at a premium (the Venturi frameset is £1,999.99 alone).
The Evo shares the same design as the flagship bike, in fact, it shares the exact same moulds, but uses a combination of three types of uni-directional carbon fibre in place of the expensive hi-mod and spread-tow fabrics.
Orro claims the Evo offers the same feel and performance, aero-wise as its premium sibling but with a little more weight (the premium STC version weighs in at 960g, the Evo a very respectable 1,118g); and it’s much less of a hit on your pocket!
Aerodynamic hourglass head tube and interlocking fork crown. Robert Smith / Immediate Media
Orro Venturi Evo 105 frame
The chassis is a great-looking beast and the metallic grey finish sets off the aero tube shapes and angles gloriously.
Up front, a curvy fork with 28mm tyre clearance flares in its final third outwards clearing the 160mm disc rotor (you can choose your preferred rotor size).
The fork neatly interlocks with the hour-glass shaped head tube that itself transitions with a triangular shape into the top and down tube in a style reminiscent of the current Giant TCR.
The broad down-tube flows into an aero-optimised bottom bracket and some rather deep chainstays; they are all design choices that favour power delivery.
The triangulated top tube meets a full-aero sculpted seat tube that closely cowls the rear wheel, keeping the aero high and the wheelbase short. The seat tube is topped by a proprietary carbon aero seatpost that it shares with the premium STC model.
Finally, the dropped seatstays are slim, yet aero-profiled and dropped low to add further aero gains.
Slim, dropped seatstays add aero gains. Robert Smith / Immediate Media
Orro Venturi Evo 105 kit
My Shimano 105-equipped test bike offers plenty. For a start there is the 105 group (albeit supplemented by a non-series Shimano RS510 chainset).
Shimano 105 offers the performance of Ultegra with a bit of added heft for much less cash. The same can be said of the substitute chainset, Shimano’s simple but effective RS510.
In past years the RS510 didn’t really stand out when it was substituted for 105, but now it does: the latest generation 105 has gained a classy battleship-grey Ultegra-like appearance while the ever-reliable RS510 has stayed gloss black.
But this doesn’t affect performance, and I can report that the RS510 aids shifting just as well as 105, albeit a few grams weightier.
Orro has been smart to spec Continental’s GrandPrix tyres. Robert Smith / Immediate Media
Elsewhere, Orro has been very clever on the spec, the Vision Team 30 Disc wheels, for example, are a new, updated version of Vision’s base-level aero wheelset.
The 30 offers a true aero advantage over shallow rims and it’s now wider than before for better-shaped, bigger tyres. They are hand-built and taut in tension with quality hubs that spin smoothly and the freehub picks up pedal input rapidly, too.
Orro has been smart to spec Continental’s GrandPrix tyres. These are the more affordable version of the GP range, but although they aren’t moulded in Continental’s premier German tyre production line, they are formed in Asia to what is essentially the same recipe.
On the road they roll beautifully and offer the same excellent grip as their premium cousins with only a fraction more weight.
Cables and hoses run internally through fork and frame. Robert Smith / Immediate Media
Orro Venturi Evo 105 ride impressions
How does all this pull together? Well, the Evo is a stunner of a bike to ride.
The stoic stiffness through the bottom bracket and the lower half of the frame absolutely encourages speed. Acceleration is easy and the Venturi holds your pace with a vice-like grip.
Over flatter, more undulating roads the ride really is up with the best around. I did, however, find that when it came to either hard efforts uphill or ‘enthusiastic’ ventures descending I could induce a little movement from the front end.
The resolute rigidity in the frame’s back end was not quite matched when either honking hard on the bars on a climb or pushing the bike into a hard lean into a fast corner and there was a bit of flex felt on the limit.
Excellent Shimano 105 brakes and gears. Robert Smith / Immediate Media
The steering response is absolutely on the nail for an aero bike. It’s all about stability and straight-line swiftness, the steering response is quick enough, but never overly sharp or nervy. If you want to hold a high speed on long, rolling stretches the Venturi is a great partner.
The ride position is unreservedly aggressive. This XL test bike has a low, 580mm stack and 399mm reach – numbers I’d more commonly see on a 56cm-equivalent bike, rather than a 58cm, and figures I’d expect to find on a race-bred bike: Orro’s founders are all ex-racers, so I feel their influence here.
Its aggressive riding position stems from the influence of the ex-racing Orro founders. Robert Smith / Immediate Media
Comfort-wise the Venturi is good, no doubt because it comes with 28mm tyres as standard, but also because the team has done a very good job with contact points.
The ProLogo Nago Evo saddle is firm yet forgiving and has a great shape, while FSA’s bar shape has always been an ergonomic winner, particularly when wrapped with (impressive) Orro tape.
That said, don’t expect endurance bike levels of comfort. However, for its type, this package is impressively rideable for long hours in the saddle.
Orro Venturi Evo 105 overall
With the Venturi Evo, Orro sets out to provide a premium aero bike experience for (much) less cash and to that extent it has succeeded.
It’s a great ride with a fabulous turn of speed. Its handling is smooth and stable so you’ll get super-aero speeds for less cash, and for that I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Aero-sculpted tubes and dropped seatstays give the Evo aero gains. Robert Smith / Immediate Media
Orro Venturi Evo 105 geometry
Size (* tested): S, M, L, XL*
Seat angle: 73 degrees
Head angle: 72.3 degrees
Seat tube: 56cm
Top tube: 57.63cm
Head tube: 18.37cm
Fork offset: 4.8cm
Bottom bracket drop: 6.9cm