BikeRadar posted a picture of the 2015 Saracen Avro road bike on our Facebook page late last week, and the encouraging reception from readers let us to take a closer look at this unique newcomer.
Let's start with the name. For those not in the know, it's a nod to 1950's British aircraft manufacuter Avro, in-particular the company's delta wing Vulcan bomber, which originally had no defensive weaponry, instead relying upon high-speed, high-altitude flight to evade interception.
For the Avro, Saracen wanted a forward-thinking machine, priced at a level that shouldn't intimidate the majority of enthusiasts (£1,799).
Saracen doesn't envision road bikes of the future as using spindly axles and rim brakes. So, the Avro uses thru-axles on both wheels and disc brakes. The 142x12mm rear end and 15mm fork axle are identical to what is very much the standard already amongst trail mountain bikes. Riders won't have to panic about having to carry big spanners or multiple Allen keys, either; the system is tool-free at each end.
Purists might be upset by the forward-thinking Avro
The carbon frame is claimed to come in close to the 1kg mark, although we aren't yet able to confirm any weights. Its construction and geometry specs were chosen to offer a combination of quick handling and endurance comfort. You'll also find space for 28c tyres, or 25c ones should you make use of the mudguard eyelets.
Wide tyres also mean wide rims, and so the Avro uses a 17mm disc-specific Alex rim that is an alteration of a cyclocross design. Wide doesn't necessarily mean heavy though, with the entire wheelset coming in at a claimed 1,600g. Stopping is provided by Tektro's Lyra mechanical discs via a staggered 160/140mm rotor set-up.
Gearing is taken care of by Shimano's latest generation 105 group, so that's eleven cogs out back along with semi-compact 36/52T chainset. Despite the Avro being sold with a mechanical drivetrain, it's 'future proofed' with accommodation for electronic groups.
Is the Avro a glimpse into the future of road bikes? Or do you think it's a step in the wrong direction? Let us know in the comments section below.