Unveiled at PressCamp in Utah, the Orbea Avant is billed as an endurance road bike (it even has its own sportive) but on closer inspection the more relaxed frame also has a number of fittings so the Avant can be equipped with a rack and mudguards.
The carbon monocoque Avant works with disc brakes or rim brakes. The frame is built with 135mm rear spacing, for discs, or can be fitted with 2.5mm dropout ‘chips’ to reduce spacing to the 130mm road standard. The Avant can take tyres up to 28mm. Orbea said it has tested the Avant in the wind tunnel, with both discs and calipers. The Basque bicycle company – which started out as a gun maker and also made chocolates – claims there’s negligible difference in drag between discs and calipers.
The Avant is equipped with BB86 bottom bracket, wider than on other Orbea bikes.
The Avant name comes from an ancient custom and has been appended to a company-run sportive called the Pax Avant. Because of late snow melt, this sportive has had to be shortened from the planned 125 mile mountain route.
The original Pax Avant, said Orbea, was staged in 1375. And not on bikes, obviously.
“In 1375 the people of two opposing Pyrenean valleys, one Spanish and one French, made peace after years of border disputes. The local officials created an agreement through which the Gauls surrendered three cows to the Navarrese each year with a celebration in July," said an Orbea presentation.
“Political representatives and citizens of each valley come to witness and partake of the festivities that follow the ceremony. As in years past, three animals are selected and delivered. The act closes with the pronunciation of two words: Pax Avant! (So let there be peace!)"
The Avant will be available in seven models, including a Shimano 105 Avant at £1,999, a Shimano Ultegra Di2 model at £3,699 and a SRAM Red Hydraulic for a touch under £9000.
At PressCamp, Orbea also showed the 2014 Orca, a tenth anniversary model. Details on this bike will not be released until the Tour De France.