Orbea’s all-day endurance road bike – the Avant – gets a new, more affordable reintroduction as a modern alloy all-road bike. Gone is the carbon model in favor of a much more accessible aluminum Avant that might just be the most affordable road bike you will fined with fully integrated, completely internal cable routing. It seems the ‘no external cables‘ look is no longer limited to carbon super bikes…
2021 Orbea Avant H affordable alloy all-road bike
Orbea just dropped a couple of super premium carbon XC racing mountain bike updates in the full-suspension Oiz and hardtail Alma. But the Alma is almost the diametric opposite opting for Orbea’s hydroformed alloy tubing and sticking more or less to the road… although big tire clearances keep this new all-road bike versatile.
The last time I caught up with the carbon Avant OMP was a year ago when Orbea added MyO customization to the endurance road bike, after having been at the carbon Avant’s launch two and a half years earlier. But now as the well-rounded Orca OMX has become more versatile, it looks like Orbea is bringing the Avant back to its roots as a more accessible, more affordable endurance bike to get more cyclists hooked on road riding.
The heart of the new Alma is meant to be road performance, much the same as their top Orca race bikes, just scaled back to slightly more relaxed endurance geometry with room for bigger tires – in a broad seven size range (47-60cm).
Orbea’s idea behind reshaping the Alma in aluminum was to create a more attainable starting point for road riding. Racy road cyclists will still head towards the Orca, but those toying with the idea of riding roads will find more comfort, versatility, and maybe even more fun in the more affordable Avant.
But Orbea didn’t skimp on the details. While many other cyclists like myself have been eyeing the rise of the fully integrated cockpit, ‘no external cables’ look (as my past life as a bike mechanic cringes), $10,000 or even 5000€ price tags have kept me safely away. But this is an 1100€ road bike WITH A Claris 8-speed groupset & mechanical disc brakes that STILL manages to not have external cable housing. I mean… WOW!
(OK, so there is still exposed housing under the chainstays, but who is really looking there?)
The alloy Avant Hydro frame uses Orbea’s hydroformed triple-butted, variable thickness aluminum tubing, with an oversized headtube, threaded BB, 27.2mm seatpost and unique internal cable routing from the headset to the bottom bracket.
The Avant gets the integrated look of much pricier bikes, thanks to the Acros ICR headset solution, the same as on the Orca, but here using exclusively separate house-branded stems and handlebars, with the cabling routed through a proprietary headset spacer/upper headset cap. Guiding the Internal Cable Routing on a smooth path via the headset and into the downtube, Orbea says it is rattle-free and works with both mechanical & electronic shifting AND both hydraulic & mechanical braking.
Less clear there is also this further integration description worth sharing “The new Avant disc version, also includes power with integrated support for cycling computers. It’s not only a practical and compatible solution for multiple devices and brands, but it’s easy to assemble or remove.”
The Avant also features a new disc brake fork. Besides its new internal brake line routing, the for features expanded tire clearance to match the frame, plus stealthy fender mounting tabs and what looks like Mavic SpeedRelease-style bolt-on thru-axles
Maybe the most important tech detail of all in an all-road bike, the new Avant has room for 35mm tires. As has thankfully become the ‘new norm’ for all-road & endurance road, this is plenty of space to run the fastest roam slicks on the market, or to swap in some UCI-friendly 33m cyclocross tires to get dirty, or something like the fast-rolling Schwalbe G-One to smoothly transition from road to a bit of light gravel riding…
Wider, large-volume tires means more comfort, more control, lower rolling resistance, and no limitations as to what roads you want to ride!
In another endurance nod… Orbea also vaguely mentions adaptable ergonomics with a new OC rise “double height handlebar option”. Presumably as part of MyO, this would offer a more upright, more comfort-focused riding position thanks to what seems to effectively be a riser dropbar.
Avant H – Pricing & disc or rim brake options
The Avant is available in three complete disc brake builds that feature all of the integrated technology above, plus two even more affordable rim brake models that get the same geometry and tire clearance but with more traditional cable routing – staring at just 900€.
The Avant H60-D is the most affordable bike to get all the new tech. At $1300 / 1100€ you get a Shimano Claris 2×8 drivetrain (50/34 x 11-32T) Tektro mechanical disc brakes, and 28mm Vittoria tires on Orbea wheels. But it is all integrated!
The $1600 / 1300€ Avant H40-D jumps up to Tiagra 2×10 with the Tektro mechanical brakes, but hydro brakes are an option.
The Avant H30-D is the top-spec bike to get all the tech. The still affordable $1900 / 1700€ alloy all-road bike gets a complete mechanical shift, hydraulic brake road compact Shimano 105 2×11-speed groupset.
For more affordable builds, those in Europe can also opt for good old rim brakes (no USA availability, though it seems.) The Avant H50 is the cheapest of the bunch at just 900€ with a Sora 2×9 build.
Or go for the 1200€ Avant H30 to get a 105 2×11 setup.
While Orbea’s premium MyO program allows paint customization on their premium models, even here at the entry-level MyO lets Avant buyers tweak their spec. There’s the possibility to choose the perfect tires, adjust some drivetrain & cockpit sizing options before your Avant gets delivered to your local shop. Plus, like all Orbea bikes, the new Avant includes a lifetime warranty on the frame.