Sussex-based Orro has made quite a splash with its expanding bike range since its launch less than three years ago. All of the company’s bikes are not only designed in the UK, they’re also assembled in Britain, not far from Orro’s Ditchling Beacon testing grounds.
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Orro is the house bike-brand of i-ride, the UK distributor for Prologo, 3T, Fulcrum and De Rosa among many major marques, which allows it to offer kit specifications on its bikes up there with online outfits such as Rose and Canyon. The 1,000-quid Terra, for example, comes with classy components such as a 3T cockpit and seatpost, a Prologo saddle and Fulcrum wheels — most of which are rare sights on bikes costing a grand.
The Terra Gravel Road, as its name suggests, is aimed squarely at the booming ‘all-road’/gravel bike sector. But this is more than just a reworked cyclo-cross bike, Orro’s designers have put a lot of effort into creating the Terra. The frame angles — 73-degree head, 72.6-degree seat — resemble those of a road bike, and it’s also quite long and not that tall at the front, much like a road bike. So hit the tarmac and this feels every inch the road-going machine.
But the bottom bracket has been lowered and the near-105cm wheelbase is longer than a road bike’s for greater stability. In spite of this, though, the Terra never feels ponderous, even when you’re threading your way through twisty country lanes.
The brushed and polished triple-butted aluminium frame adds an old-school air of class, but the ride quality it offers is thoroughly modern. The slender seatpost, skinny seatstays and full-carbon fork combine to offer a cushioned feel on the road that translates into bump-nulling smoothness when you venture onto more variable surfaces. And i-ride’s brands also mean quality contact points, with the saddle, handlebar and bar tape contributing to its accomplished manner.
Front and rear mudguard fittings and rear rack mounts make the Terra a very capable fast commuter or day-to-day all-rounder, though you will need to switch to more capable tyres for bigger adventures.
The wire-beaded Vittoria Zaffiro tyres feel quick enough on the road, but that’s partly because they do come up quite narrow in spite of their nominal 28mm width, even on the wider Fulcrum rims. But go off road and hit the bumps and you will quickly find their limits. That said, the frame can take rubber up to 42mm wide, so if you’re looking to venture off the tarmac and on to the gravel you can. We appreciate the Zaffiros help with the Terra’s all-round appeal, but considering the bike’s name we would have liked something a bit more gravel friendly.
The kit is on the upper-end of what you can expect for £1,000 (a price that means it hits the Cycle to Work scheme’s tax breaks). Shimano’s 105 groupset is at the heart of things, performing as efficiently and with as little fuss as usual. The Fulcrum Racing Sport Disc wheels are stiff and secure, the TRP Spyre cable disc brakes are excellent as are the contact points.
However, it’s the frame that remains the star. It delivers a smooth and comfortable ride with the stability to give you confidence to really push it when the conditions become more challenging. Its fixtures and fittings add to its versatility, so you can ride it to work, to the shops, to the Continent, or pretty much anywhere you want…