Avanti is a New Zealand brand said to have a sizeable presence in its home land.
UK distributor, Paligap, will be importing models from the upper echelon of their road and mountain bike ranges. We’ll focus here on the road range; see our sister site, Bike Magic, for more on Avanti’s mountain bikes.
The top end road bikes are divided into five ranges: Corsa DR aero road bikes, Chrono time trial bikes, Questa performance bikes for women, Quantum racing bikes, and Cadent ‘endurance’ bikes, with a more comfort-oriented than that of the race ready Quantum. There’s a range of track bikes too, represented below by the Pista Evo II.
While the frames are made in Asia, Avanti invest significant sums in research and development, according to our man at Paligap. Refreshingly, the Shimano groupsets spec-ed across the range are complete; no third-party chainsets or unbranded brakes here.
We’ll be testing the Avanti Corsa DR4 Di2 aero road bike described below, so we’ll be able to offer an opinion then. In the meantime, here’s the technical lowdown on some of the models we photographed at Paligap’s west country HQ.
Avanti Corsa DR4 DA9000
Many large manufacturers now have an aero road bike in their range (Scott’s Foil, the ‘seven’ incarnation of Trek’s Madone, Felt’s ARC, to name but three) and Avanti’s contoured offering is the Corsa DR. There are four models in the range with the electronic Dura Ace-equipped Team Di2 at the top of the heap. Pictured below is the Corsa DR4 DA9000 we’ll be testing, a contoured beast dressed head to toe in 9000-series Dura Ace and rolling on Dura Ace C50 wheels; a machine that will sell for £5800.
The frame is neatly finished in several areas. Cables are routed internally and the top tube is flat enough to balance a dinner plate. The paper thin, semi-integrated seat post sits is fastened with a binder reminiscent of that on the Fondriest TF3 we tested earlier this year. The non-drive side seat stay contains a recess into which the quick release folds unobtrusively.
Paligap are also bringing in the 105-equipped DR1, which will sell for £2,200, the Dr2, and Ultegra-specced model at £2700, and the DR3, with Ultegra Di2, to be sold at £3700.
The Quantum Team, with full, 11-speed Shimano Dura Ace 9000-series groupset, and Shimano RS61 wheels, retails at £4800, but Paligap have yet to finalise their plans for the Quantum range. Carbon seat posts, are, happily, de rigeur now on machines of this value, but carbon bars remain a rarity. The unit here is Avanti’s in-house, Zero Attack Team Carbon range. The one-piece seatpost is neatly realised too.
The frame has many of the features present on contemporary bikes of this level: a press fit bottom bracket, a tapered fork steerer, and a gently curving top tube, through which the rear brake cable is routed (the rest are external). The blades of full carbon fork sweep back at the trailing edge. Like many of its stable mates, the Quantum Team’s chainstays are ‘Maximum Output Differential Stays’ (MODS), deeper, in a nutshell, on the drive side to resist the greater forces exerted there.
Questa is Avanti’s women’s specific, competitive range. The Questa Team pictured here is an identical match for the men’s Quantum Team, with a CR5 carbon monocoque frame, 11-speed, 9000-series, Shimano Dura Ace groupset (replete with 52-36 chainset), and Shimano RS-61 wheelset.
Pista Team Evo II
Avanti’s UCI-compliant Pista Team Evo II is another frame made from Avanti’s top-of-the-shop CR5 carbon, and which incorporates the MODS chainstay. As might be expected, it’s a heavily sculpted affair, with aero profiled tubes and Avanti’s own aero profiled seatpost and handlebar. The model we photographed was built up with a Dura Ace chainset and a Mavic Comet wheelset, but the Pista Team Evo II will be sold in this country as a frameset only (at £2600).
Chrono Evo II Team Di2
Avanti’s time trial offering is named, appropriately enough, the Chrono. Despite its various aero enhancements (the fork fairing, an integrated front brake) it bears the UCI approved sticker, all-important for time trialists, though a matter of little concern to triathletes. The rear triangle tells a similar story, with deep, flat chainstays (in the MODS configuration), and a sculpted seat tube that arcs around the rear wheel to meet a pair of very shallow seatstays that expose the flat backed, ‘kam tail’ design of the upper section of the seat tube. The paper thin seat post is secured by a binder tightened with an allen key mounted neatly in the top tube. The model we photographed had a now superceded 7900 series Dura Ace groupset, whose battery was located discretely beneath the non-driveside chainstay. Paligap tell us other bikes will have the 9070 Di2 series groupset,creating a machine that will retail at £10,500. Paligap will stock the frameset package only, supplied with brakes and the PRO Missile handlebars pictured here for £3,500.