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Results have arrived, orbea road bike buyer's guide - orca, avant, & terra explained.

Built in the Spanish Basque Country, Orbea bikes are podium contenders for everything from the Tour de France to Unbound Gravel. Here's how to pick the right Orbea road or gravel bike for you.

trek vs orbea road bike

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on: Apr 29, 2022

Posted in: Guides

One of the oldest brands in cycling , Orbea has been building bikes in Mallabia, Spain for over 100 years, and it’s been racing them for nearly as long. It’s no stranger to the top of the podium in pro races. Orbea bikes have won everything from Tour de France stages to Ironman World Championships to Olympic gold, and it’s that success that has helped it refine its bikes into world beating machines. If you’re looking to go fast on an Orbea road or gravel bike, this guide will help you pick the bike that’s best for you.

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Orbea Orca OMX

OMX carbon Orca frames also use tubes that are ovalized and subtly flattened and a D-shaped seatpost to reduce aero drag by 10% over the previous Orca. OMR carbon frames use more rounded tube shapes and a traditional round 27.2mm seatpost to improve compliance and absorb 10% more vibration than OMX frames, making OMR Orcas ideal for a slightly smoother ride. Best of all, all Orca models can clear 32mm tires for extra comfort.

Category: Road race Who it’s for: Riders looking for a lightweight bike for climbing, racing, and all-around road riding.

Orbea Orca Aero

Orbea Orca Aero

Category: Aero road race Who it’s for: Riders looking for maximum speed and aero gains, especially on flat and rolling roads.

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Orbea Avant

Orbea Avant

The Avant is fast and efficient, but its focus is rider comfort. It has higher stack and shorter reach numbers for a more upright and comfortable riding position. The bottom bracket is lower and the head angle is slacker for more stability, especially on rough roads and dirt and gravel. 

Category: Endurance road  Who it’s for: Riders looking for a fast, comfortable, and budget-friendly endurance road bike. 

Orbea Terra

Orbea Terra

Category: Gravel race Who it’s for: Riders looking to tackle pavement, gravel roads, and singletrack trails on the same bike

No matter which Orbea you choose to ride, you’re in for a good time. Having trouble deciding which bike is right for you? Contact our expert Ride Guides at [email protected] or call (866) 401-9636. They can help you understand all the pros and cons, and find the right bike for you. Do you already own an Orbea road bike? Let us (and other cyclists) know in the comments what you love about it.

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2024 Orbea Orca vs Trek Emonda

Our bicycle maestro Bernard Lu compares the Orbea Orca and Trek Emonda, comparing the variant, features, technologies and pricing.

In this article, I’ll guide you through a comparison between the Orbea Orca and Trek Emonda ; both popular road bikes among cyclists.

I’ll walk through the Orbea Orca and Trek Emonda models lineup, their specifications, and retail pricing (USD). I’ll explain the carbon fiber technology used ( Orbea Monocoque (TorayCa) Carbon vs Trek OCLV ), and unique frameset features for each bike.

The goal is to help you get a better understanding before you make your final purchasing decision.

Orbea Orca SRAM Red eTap AXS

The latest Orbea Orca was launched in mid-July 2023, during the last week of the Tour de France.

Compared to its predecessor, the 2024 Orbea Orca is a lot lighter (832g previously vs 750g for a size 53 frame). This is achieved using a traditional-looking, round tube frame without the dropped seat stays seen on the majority of road bikes today. At 6.7kg for the top-of-the-line M11eLTD PWR model with SRAM Red AXS , it’s among the lightest, disc brake road bikes available today, alongside the likes of Cannondale Supersix Evo LAB71 and Cervelo R5 .

Like many other Orbea models, the Orbea Orca offers a lot of customization options for the riders, thanks to the MyO configurator. There are 11 models available with either Shimano or SRAM electronic shifting groupsets. The models with PWR indicate it comes with a power meter, the LTD models use the highest grade OMX carbon.

Orbea Orca vs others

2024 BMC Teammachine SLR vs Orbea Orca

2024 Cannondale Supersix Evo vs Orbea Orca

2024 Canyon Ultimate vs Orbea Orca

2024 Cervelo Soloist vs Orbea Orca

2024 Giant TCR Advanced vs Orbea Orca

2024 Orbea Orca vs Pinarello Dogma F

2024 Orbea Orca vs Pinarello F

2024 Orbea Orca vs Scott Addict RC

2024 Orbea Orca vs Specialized Aethos

2024 Orbea Orca vs Specialized Tarmac SL7

Trek Emonda

Trek Emonda SLR 9 Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)

The Trek Emonda is a lightweight bike for the high mountains.

The lightest Trek Emonda frame weighs less than 700g using Trek’s OCLV 800 carbon. This is the bike Richie Porte rode to his third place in the 2020 Tour de France.

The SLR is the lightest and most expensive atop the Trek Emonda models. There are six Emonda SLR options, specced electronic shifting groupsets from SRAM or Shimano.

Next in line is the SL, the mid-range, more budget-friendly option. It has the same frame design and geometry as the SLR but uses the OCLV 500 carbon instead. The groupset choices are Shimano Ultegra Di2 , Shimano 105 Di2 , SRAM Force AXS , or SRAM Rival AXS .

The Trek Emonda SLR and SL framesets are also available separately.

Trek Emonda vs others

2024 Canyon Ultimate vs Trek Emonda

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2024 Pinarello F vs Trek Emonda

2024 Scott Addict RC vs Trek Emonda

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2024 Specialized Tarmac SL8 vs Trek Emonda

2024 Trek Emonda vs BMC Teammachine SLR

2024 Trek Emonda vs Cannondale SuperSix Evo

Orbea vs Trek carbon fiber

Orbea monocoque (torayca) carbon.

Orbea uses carbon fiber from TorayCa in their bikes. It’s one of the handful of bike manufacturers that uses a monocoque carbon fiber construction, resulting in a lighter and stiffer frameset. The two most prominent types of carbon used in Orbea’s bike frames are OMX (T1100K) and OMR (T800) carbon.

  • OMX ( Orbea Monocoque X ) carbon is Orbea’s top-grade carbon fiber, with the ultimate blend of stiffness, lightness, and strength. Monocoque refers to a type of construction technique where the external skin supports the structural load, which, when applied to bike frames, results in a balance of strength and weight. Due to its high manufacturing cost, OMX carbon is typically reserved for Orbea’s top-tier models.
  • OMR ( Orbea Monocoque Race ) is the standard carbon composite used by Orbea. While OMR doesn’t match the absolute performance capabilities of OMX, it offers a fantastic performance-to-value ratio. This makes it a great choice for riders looking for top-notch performance without the premium price tag of the top-grade OMX carbon.

Trek OCLV carbon

The OCLV (Optimum Compaction, Low Void) carbon is a proprietary carbon fiber manufacturing technology developed by Trek.

  • Optimum Compaction refers to the heat and pressure applied during the curing process to squeeze out excess resin and ensure that the carbon layers are compacted to the optimal density.
  • Low Void refers to the goal of reducing microscopic air pockets or voids that can occur in the carbon fiber and create weaknesses.

One of the key advantages of OCLV carbon is its ability to achieve an optimal balance between stiffness, strength, and weight. Trek engineers carefully tune the carbon layup and utilize varying modulus carbon fibers to create stiff frames in certain areas to maximize power transfer while maintaining compliance in other areas to enhance comfort and ride quality.

The OCLV carbon is available in 800 and 500 series.

  • OCLV 800 is the highest-grade carbon fiber used by Trek. The carbon modulus is higher in OCLV 800, making it stiffer and lighter. The manufacturing process is more refined, using more advanced carbon and resins, leading to a bike frame that provides top performance levels for stiffness, weight, and strength. OCLV 800 is used in all models with SLR .
  • OCLV 500 is a lower-grade carbon but still offers a high level of performance. It has a slightly lower carbon modulus, meaning it’s a bit less stiff and heavier than OCLV 800. OCLV 800 is used in all models with SL .

It’s worth noting that the different OCLV grades don’t only refer to the material itself, but also to the manufacturing techniques used to form the carbon fiber into bike frames. Higher-grade carbon requires more precise manufacturing techniques to take full advantage of its superior material properties.

Frameset technologies and innovations

Orbea Orca and Trek Emonda framesets incorporate advanced technologies to enhance their bikes’ performance and ride characteristics.

Here’s an overview of the technologies used in each bike model.

Where to buy

Orbea retailers.

  • Orbea retailers . Use this tool to find your nearest Orbea dealers.
  • Trek online shops . Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States
  • Trek retailers . Use this tool to find your nearest Trek retailers.

Bernard Lu at Mr.Mamil

Bernard Lu has 7+ years of experience working in a bicycle shop, overseeing the retail and workshop operations. He’s a qualified bicycle mechanic who understands a cyclist’s needs and speaks the same cycling lingo.

If you meet him at the cafe, he will happily talk to you for hours about all the intricacies of bikes and cycling tech. Just buy him a coffee next time you see him.

Mr. Mamil's content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. The content is not a substitute for official or professional advice. Please do your own due diligence.

Mr. Mamil participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We also participate in various other affiliate programs, and at times we earn a commission through purchases made through links on this website.

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Trek vs Orbea... please help !!

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I was decided on a brand new 2019 Trek Roscoe 8, but doing some research recently discovered the Orbea Laufey (previously called Loki). The price on both bikes is comparable. Please help me choose. Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk  

*OneSpeed*

Juancts said: I was decided on a brand new 2019 Trek Roscoe 8, but doing some research recently discovered the Orbea Laufey (previously called Loki). The price on both bikes is comparable. Please help me choose. Click to expand...
Juancts said: I was decided on a brand new 2019 Trek Roscoe 8, but doing some research recently discovered the Orbea Laufey (previously called Loki). The price on both bikes is comparable. Please help me choose. Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk Click to expand...
Juancts said: https://www.orbea.com/int-en/bicycles/mountain/laufey/cat/laufey-27--h30-19 https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/...trail-mountain-bikes/roscoe/roscoe-8/p/23608/ Click to expand...

https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7046253/monte-pirata This is the trail you get to ride. Both bikes will be good. Each will get better with a better fork.  

I’ve ridden and liked both bikes. Very similar geometry. Trek Roscoe has slightly steeper seat tube and slacker headtube angle with an imperceptibly longer chainstay. Between these two it really comes down to personal preference or even, dare I say it, color. I think you’ll love either of these bikes. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk  

Slowtalker said: I've ridden and liked both bikes. Very similar geometry. Trek Roscoe has slightly steeper seat tube and slacker headtube angle with an imperceptibly longer chainstay. Between these two it really comes down to personal preference or even, dare I say it, color. I think you'll love either of these bikes. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Click to expand...

LyNx

Big question, can you test ride any of these bikes? If the answer is yes, then they're similar enough to say go with the one that you like the colour/shape of best and/or which fits better. For me though, I agree with Huckleberry and put a bit more to get the 29+ Stache.  

BlueCheesehead

Here's a spec comparison for you: https://99spokes.com/compare?bikes=trek-roscoe-8-2019,orbea-laufey-27plus-h30-2019 You can hover points on the scatter graph to find other bikes. Frankly the Roscoe seems to out pace others by a long shot on spec vs $. That said, the geometries are quite different. What kind of riding do you do?  

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Trek Bicycle vs Orbea

Orbea vs trek bicycle: side-by-side brand comparison.

Compare Trek Bicycle vs. Orbea side-by-side. Choose the best bike brands for your needs based on 1,440 criteria such as newsletter coupons, Apple Pay Later financing, Shop Pay Installments, PayPal Pay Later and clearance page . Also, check out our full guide to the top 10 bike brands .

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Best aero road bike 2024 | 20 top-rated aero bikes and buyer's guide

The best aero road bikes tested by BikeRadar – and everything you need to know about these go-fast aerodynamic machines

Steve Sayers / Our Media

Paul Norman

The best aero road bikes add an extra dose of speed to your ride, and the pursuit of speed is undoubtedly part of what makes cycling so exhilarating. When it comes to going fast, on the flat or downhill at least, aerodynamic drag has the biggest influence.

Representing the leading edge of road-bike technology, the best aero road bikes challenge traditional notions of what makes a fast race bike.

The latest aero bikes combine wind-cheating profiles with next-level integration to make these machines as slippery as possible. Sure, they may not always be at the cutting-edge when it comes to weight, but if you think an 8kg road bike can’t be fast, think again.

Are aero road bikes worth it?

Aero bikes are commonplace in the pro peloton, where riders are chasing marginal gains and, of course, have access to the latest WorldTour bikes from their team sponsors.

The angular, sculpted frames of aero bikes particularly come to the fore on long, flat stages and under the sprinters, where the lower drag of wind-cheating tube profiles can give them the extra turn of speed they need to clinch a victory.

Teams and their bike sponsors will typically provide riders with the choice between an aero bike and a lightweight climbing bike , and some riders will swap between them depending on the terrain.

Some riders now stick to their aero bikes regardless of terrain, riding them on more undulating and mountainous territory. This is particularly true for breakaway specialists, who spend a lot more time in the wind than other riders and seek out whatever advantage they can get.

That said, one of the recent trends in bike design has been the combination of low weight and aerodynamics, and some brands offer just one machine to meet both requirements. The Specialized S-Works SL7 and Pinarello Dogma F are just two examples of aero-influenced all-rounders.

However, aero road bikes are the fastest option out there in the majority of circumstances and you don’t have to be a pro to benefit, especially if you’re a rider who places a lot of significance on riding fast. After all, for a lot of people, riding fast is fun .

Still, there is a lot to consider when it comes to finding the best aero road bike for your needs, especially for everyday riding.

For those of us who aren’t blessed to be WorldTour pros with a team of mechanics at hand, an aero bike still needs to be easy to live with. Do you need an engineering degree to maintain it? Do the deep-section wheels make it a handful on windy days? How does it perform on broken roads?

We’ve answered all of those questions in pursuit of finding the best aero bikes money can buy.

Read on for our pick of the best aero bikes, as tested by the BikeRadar team, and read our full buyer’s guide at the end of the article to help you find the right bike for you.

The best aero road bikes in 2024, as tested by BikeRadar

Cannondale systemsix hi-mod etap axs.

Pack shot of the Cannondale SystemSix HI-MOD Red eTap AXS

  • £10,500 / $12,500 as tested
  • Still one of the fastest bikes in the world
  • Nimble handling and a comfortable ride

This Cannondale SystemSix is an incredibly fast bike that left us feeling other brands are still playing catch-up with Cannondale when it comes to creating aero bikes.

The Hi-Mod frameset is Cannondale's stiffest carbon fibre, and despite the stiffness and aero tubing, we found this to be a remarkably comfortable bike to ride.

This bike has a halo-spec with a SRAM eTap AXS groupset, 64mm-deep carbon wheels and Cannondale's two-piece aero KNOT handlebar, which still allows for plenty of adjustment.

The price is high, but when you compare it to other bikes of this spec it's competitive, and there is always the Cannondale SystemSix Carbon Ultegra .

  • Read our full Cannondale SystemSix Hi-Mod eTap AXS review

Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 7 Disc eTap

Pack shot of the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 7 Disc eTap road bike

  • £4,949 / €4,999 / AU$7,399 as tested (CF SLX 8.0 Disc eTap $7,499 in US)
  • Great spec with SRAM Rival eTap and a power meter
  • Superb ride that's fast but comfortable

The latest Canyon Aeroad is a superb ride: lightning-fast and efficient but still comfortable enough over broken surfaces, with a 28mm rear and 25mm front tyre helping smooth things out.

The component list on this model includes SRAM Rival eTap AXS complete with (single-sided) power meter and 50mm-deep DT Swiss carbon wheels.

Canyon's clever three-piece bar makes width adjustment and travelling with the bike easier. The 8.3kg weight for the size large is competitive too. We did get some front-brake rub; it was easily fixed, but with Canyon, you don't have the benefit of a shop to help if you need to tweak things.

  • Read our full Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 7 Disc eTap review

2023 Cervélo S5 Force eTap road bike

  • £9,599 / $9,000 / €10,199 as tested
  • Wide tyres for a comfortable ride
  • Fast, sharp, responsive ride feel

Cervélo has made some subtle changes to the S5 with the latest model, announced in July 2022 . The tube shapes have been tweaked to make them a little more aero, the front-end design has been simplified and made easier to adjust and there's 6mm wider clearance, so you can fit tyres up to 34mm.

The result is a bike that feels incredibly fast but also smooth, with the fitted nominally 28mm tyres measuring 31.7mm. It's also really sharp-handling, planted at speed and still firm enough to respond immediately to pedal input.

The S5 isn't a light bike though, at 8.2kg for a size 56cm, and there's not much fore and aft saddle adjustability, although seatposts with different setback are available.

  • Read our full Cervélo S5 review

Cervélo Soloist Ultegra Di2

Cervélo Soloist road bike review

  • £6,800 / $6,800 as tested
  • Balance of speed and comfort, but some rivals are lighter
  • A few spec concessions on this model

The Cervélo Soloist was the original aero bike, released in 2002, and the Canadian company has now resurrected the Soloist name 20 years later .

With the S5 pitched as Cervélo's pro-level aero bike, the Soloist is aimed at speed-hungry amateurs, with a (slightly) more affordable price and all-round flavour. It's claimed to be lighter than the S5 and more aerodynamic than the R5, and offers clearance for 34mm tyres.

And the result on the road? The Cervélo Soloist Ultegra Di2 is a very comfortable and fast aero-optimised racer deserving of the Soloist name. Sure, it may give up speed and weight to other Cervélo bikes, but if you want an aero-influenced bike that offers a bit of everything, this is a contender.

  • Read our full Cervélo Soloist Ultegra Di2 review

Cube Litening SLT C:68X SL

Pack shot of the Cube Litening C:68X SL road bike

  • £8,099 / €6,899 as tested
  • Fast with agile handling
  • High-spec with quality bespoke components

Cube's Litening range includes this aero-focused frame (renamed the Litening Aero since our test) and the Litening AIR, launched in August 2022 as a slimmed-down, lightweight frame for riders who want an all-rounder with aero touches.

Back to our test bike, and the 7.54kg weight is still impressive for an aero machine, helped by the high-spec SRAM Red eTap build and Mavic Cosmic SLR 45 Disc wheels.

It offers straight-line speed in abundance, making it fast and exciting to ride. A single-piece bar-stem with a low frontal profile helps the bike cut through the wind.

  • Read our full Cube Litening SLT C:68X SL review

Factor Ostro VAM

Factor Ostro VAM review photos 1

  • £9,450 / $11,499 as tested
  • Wide tyre clearance and light weight
  • Plenty of comfort for broken roads

An all-rounder with an aero edge, rather than a full-on aero bike, the Factor Ostro VAM manages to mix aerodynamics with a 7.4kg weight for the tested size 56 and clearance for 32mm tyres.

There's a proprietary bar-stem from Factor's Black Inc component brand, although you can swap this out for a standard model. The 45mm-deep carbon wheels come from Black Inc as well.

It's a bike that feels composed and confidence-inspiring, with fast steering but predictable handling at speed and enough comfort to handle broken roads.

  • Read our full Factor Ostro VAM review

Felt AR Ultegra Di2

Pack shot of the Felt AR Ultegra Di2 road bike

  • £6,299 / $6,999 / €6,999 as tested
  • Fast, user-friendly and with an excellent spec
  • Internal routing limits handlebar-height adjustment

Felt claims the AR Ultegra Di2 is 9.4 per cent more aerodynamic than its predecessor, and there's no denying that out on the road you can feel the aero difference over a more orthodox road bike. It isn't as light as other aero road bikes, but this doesn't get in the way of the Felt being incredibly fun to ride.

When it comes to spec, Felt has done a great job with a near-faultless package including carbon finishing kit, an Ultegra Di2 groupset and Reynolds wheels with Continental GP5000 clincher tyres.

While the internal cabling looks clean and aids aero performance, it leads to some handlebar height-adjustment issues, which is worth bearing in mind.

  • Read our full Felt AR Ultegra Di2 review

Giant Propel Advanced Pro 0 AXS

Giant Propel Advanced Pro 0 AXS aero road bike

  • £6,399/$8,000/€6,900/AU$8,499 as tested
  • Blends low weight and aerodynamics
  • Assured handling

The Giant Propel Advanced Pro 0 AXS costs half as much as the WorldTour-level Advanced Pro SL and gives away little in terms of performance.

Our aero B ike of the Year 2023 is a brilliantly versatile aero road bike due to its balance of weight, speed and handling.

Not all of Giant's spec choices hit the mark, but the Propel Advanced Pro 0 AXS's mid-range price could leave you with cash for upgrades.

  • Read our full Giant Propel Advanced Pro 0 AXS review

Giant Propel Advanced SL 0

Giant Propel Advanced SL 0

  • £11,999 / $12,500 / €12,000 / AU$14,000 as tested
  • Very light for an aero bike at 6.9kg
  • Easy maintenance and adjustment

At 6.9kg, the Giant Propel Advanced SL 0 is exceptionally lightweight for an aero bike. Giant claims it's also more aero than its predecessor.

It's designed to be easy to work on, although the integrated seatmast means that once cut there's only a few centimetres of saddle-height adjustment.

The bike rolls on 25mm tyres, although there's room for 30mm, but despite this the ride is comfortable. The two-part bar and stem make for adjustability, although Giant doesn't offer bars under 40cm width.

  • Read our full Giant Propel Advanced SL 0 review

Lapierre Aircode DRS 8.0

Pack shot of the Lapierre Aircode DRS 8.0 road bike

  • £6,300 as tested
  • Fast with accurate handling
  • Superbly equipped

Now in its third generation, the Lapierre Aircode DRS 8.0 follows the trends for aero bikes with the integration of disc brakes and hidden cables – not forgetting clearance for 28mm tyres.

The bike also addresses weight and comfort, two issues that are often associated with aero bikes, with a 900g frame and a carbon layup that's said to improve frame compliance.

Despite the aggressive geometry that screams urgency as soon as you get on the bike, there's no denying it's comfortable to ride. It's a real technical achievement and the spec does it justice with Ultegra Di2 gearing and a DT Swiss wheelset. Lapierre even throws in some bolt-on aero bars for extra versatility and value for money.

  • Read our full Lapierre Aircode DRS 8.0 review

Merida Reacto 6000

Merida Reacto 6000

  • £2,800 as tested
  • Great value for money
  • Excellent frameset but wheels are heavy and tyres are average

The unisex Merida Reacto 6000 is a great-value aero road bike with excellent handling, and a stiff and fast frameset that shares its geometry with the Merida Reacto Team-E .

It puts you in an aggressive position, which makes sense for a bike that is built for speed. This could be tiring on your arms and hands on long rides, but we had no issues during testing.

The spec is good, but there are compromises. It has a cockpit that bucks the trend by sticking with a non-integrated design, which might not be desirable for some, but others will find it very practical.

There is an Ultegra groupset that performs as well as ever, but the wheels are on the heavy side and you would probably want to upgrade the tyres right away.

We've also reviewed the Merida Reacto 4000 , equipped with Shimano 105 and earning the same 4.5-star rating.

  • Read our full Merida Reacto 6000 review

Orbea Orca Aero M10iLTD

Orbea Orca Aero M10i LTD

  • Fast, comfortable ride
  • Clever add-ons for those not racing
  • A bit heavier than the competition

Orbea claims the latest iteration of its Orca Aero saves 15 watts over its predecessor. It feels fast, but is still comfortable and adjustable, and the spec leaves no reason for swap-outs. The bike comes with an optional aero bottle and storage under the down tube, the latter not UCI-legal.

There's a nicely integrated bar, although we found the sharp trailing edge hit our wrists when sprinting. The bike is compatible with a standard bar and stem though.

The Orbea is a bit on the heavy side too at 8.3kg, although we didn't notice this when out riding and we were impressed by the Orca's comfort levels.

  • Read our full Orbea Orca Aero M10iLTD review

Ribble Ultra SL R Enthusiast

Ribble Ultra SL R Enthusiast aero road bike

  • £6,599 as tested
  • Fearsomely fast
  • Well priced

The Ribble Ultra SL R Enthusiast's eye-catching aero design translates into visceral speed with minimal concession to overall practicality.

If you just want to ride fast, you'd be hard pressed to find a better aero road bike for the money.

However, an integrated power meter would be nice, as would more handlebar size options and a simpler seatpost clamp.

  • Read our full Ribble Ultra SL R Enthusiast review

Vitus ZX-1 EVO CRS Ultegra Di2

Vitus ZX-1 EVO CRS Ultegra Di2

  • £3,999 / $5,200 / AU$6,800 / €5,500 as tested
  • Incredible-value fast aero bike
  • Integrated handlebar rules out front-end fit adjustments

The ZX-1 EVO is Vitus' flagship aero bike, and despite the relatively low price tag, the bike boasts a spec that wouldn't be out of place on a much more expensive ride, with Ultegra Di2, deep-section wheels and aero-profiled finishing kit.

The bike is incredible value for money, then, and it doesn't disappoint on the road either with a joyous ride. The geometry is racy, but it isn't the most aggressive, making this bike a good choice if you value stability.

The only thing to look out for is the integrated cockpit, which doesn't allow for front-end fit adjustments, so it might be wise to try before you buy.

We've also tested the mechanical Shimano 105 spec of the Vitus ZX-1 EVO. Priced at £2,800, it's great value for an aero bike.

  • Read our full Vitus ZX-1 EVO CRS Ultegra Di2 review

Cervélo S3 Disc Ultegra

Cervélo S3 Disc Ultegra

  • £3,999 / $5,000 as tested
  • Awesome aero experience
  • Choppy ride on rough surfaces

Cervélo invented the aero road bike, and the S3 Disc builds on the brand’s 25 years of aero knowledge with a claimed 13 watts less drag and a 68g weight saving on its predecessor. Cables all run internally, despite the S3 having a separate bar and stem for adjustability.

The wheelbase is short even on larger-sized frames, leading to sharp handling, although the bike would benefit from an upgrade from the alloy DT Swiss P1800 wheels. Run tubed, they lead to a rather choppy ride over uneven road surfaces; a swap to 28mm tyres might help.

  • Read our full Cervélo S3 Disc Ultegra review

Orro Venturi Evo 105

Orro Venturi Evo 105

  • £2,100/ $2,667 / €2,457 as tested
  • Tunable spec
  • Reasonable price
  • Some flex in the front end

At £2,100, the Orro Venturi Evo is a British aero bike that won’t break the bank. It looks great too, with space for 28mm tyres and an aggressive racing position. We reckon it rolls with the best on flatter undulating roads, although there’s a little front-end flex when pushed hard.

You can custom-tune the spec to your requirements, and alongside a Shimano 105 R7000 groupset , the test bike came with Vision Team 30 aero alloy wheels and fast-rolling Continental tyres. It’s a nice package at a nice price.

  • Read our full Orro Venturi Evo 105 review

Scott Foil RC Pro (2023)

2023 Scott Foil RC Pro

  • £10,499 / $10,999 / €10,499 as tested
  • More aero than the previous Foil
  • Plenty of comfort, particularly at the rear

The latest Scott Foil has a claimed increase of 16 watts in its aero efficiency at 40kph over its long-running predecessor, thanks to wind tunnel tuning with Simon Smart, the man who's also behind the ENVE SES wheel range . At 7.4kg, the new Foil is light too, despite having deeper aero sections than the previous bike.

The frame geometry is the same as the Scott Addict RC , offering sharp, predictable handling at high speeds, but not at the expense of comfort, particularly at the saddle. That's thanks to a three-piece seatpost design with a rubber insert and a wider 28mm rear tyre.

It's a bike that's fast, lightweight and comfortable.

  • Read our full Scott Foil RC Pro review

Tifosi Auriga Chorus Disc

Campagnolo Chorus is an often-overlooked groupset but gear changes are rapid and accurate.

  • £3,499 as tested
  • Long and low ride position
  • Better tyre rubber would up the Auriga's game

The Tifosi Auriga is a fast bike in a straight line, with a stiff frame, and it handles direction changes with admirable agility. Despite its 9kg-plus weight, it climbs well too.

The Auriga frame's geometry puts you in a long and low position, which should cut down your frontal profile for aero benefits, while the FSA ACR system allows cables and hoses to be run internally, also lowering drag.

Tifosi claims 28mm tyre clearance, but we think there's room for more and the Auriga is equipped with a Campagnolo Chorus mechanical/hydraulic groupset, which we enjoyed. The tyres are in need of a swap-out though.

  • Read our full Tifosi Auriga Chorus Disc review

Trek Madone SLR 9 eTap (2023)

Pack shot of the Trek Madone SLR 9 eTap (2023) aero road bike

  • £13,800 / $13,199 / €14,999/ AU$17,999 as tested
  • Very fast, very expensive
  • Slightly twitchy in crosswinds

With distinctive, aggressive looks, the latest Trek Madone SLR is every inch the aero race bike.

The distinctive IsoFlow seat tube is designed to funnel airflow into the area behind the rider, improving aerodynamics while retaining some of the comfort from the old IsoSpeed system.

The rigid frame and sharp handling make for fast riding that's predictable, in most circumstances, and inspires confidence. We did find the Madone somewhat sensitive to crosswinds though, probably down to the slightly angular Bontrager Aeolus RSL 51 wheel rims. The fitted 25mm tyres felt a little narrow too, and they're not tubeless.

  • Read our full Trek Madone SLR 9 eTap review

Wilier Triestina Cento10 SL Ultegra Di2

Pack shot of a red Wilier Triestina Cento10 SL Ultegra Di2 road bike

  • £5,540 / €5,600 as tested
  • Sharp handling
  • Firmer ride than some

The Cento10 SL is a lower-priced version of Wilier's previous flagship road bike, the Cento10 Pro (the Filante is now its top aero racer).

The SL shares much in common with the Pro, using the same moulds for the frame, and it feels like a masterstroke because the bike is almost indistinguishable from a superbike, at a much more affordable cost.

The bike is firmer than some, but it's a dream to ride with a long and low position that feels balanced when cornering fast, and handling that puts other aero bikes to shame.

The equipment spec is high, too, with Shimano Ultegra Di2, Wilier's own carbon wheels and a Selle Italia SLR Boost Carbonio saddle, but the 25mm tyres might be on the slim side for some.

  • Read our Wilier Triestina Cento10 SL Ultegra Di2 first ride review

Buyer’s guide to aero road bikes: what to look for

What is an aero bike.

5 things I learned testing the latest aero road bikes

An aero bike prioritises aerodynamic features, aiming to give you a little free speed as you ride.

That starts with aero tube profiles, usually a truncated aerofoil design (also known as a Kammtail), with a smoothly curving leading edge and an abruptly chopped-off rear. The idea is to trick the wind into following the drag-saving shape of a full aerofoil while saving weight and maintaining frame stiffness.

Truncated shapes are particularly evident on the down tube and seat tube, but on dedicated aero bikes usually carry over to the head tube, fork blades, seatpost and the rest of the frame.

The latest aero bikes are all about integration and it’s rare to see exposed cables at the front end of the bike. The trick for bike manufacturers is providing that integration without sacrificing fit or everyday usability – some brands do this better than others.

Aero bikes will sometimes have more aggressive road bike geometry than all-round race bikes – and certainly more aggressive than endurance road bikes or sportive bikes. That normally means a longer, lower position that allows the rider to hunker down over the bar, reducing frontal profile for less wind resistance.

An aero bike arguably needs deep-section aero wheels to complete the deal. The best will come with them, but some makers fit more basic wheelsets (usually to keep the price down), expecting you to buy your own.

Aero bike vs road bike

Giant TCR Advanced 2 and Merida Reacto 4000 road bikes

It looks as if the era of the specialist aero bike may be passing. As we’ve already mentioned, the latest generation of lightweight/all-rounder race bikes increasingly incorporates aero features.

Take the Specialized Tarmac SL7 road bike, for example. It’s almost as aero as the brand’s Venge specialist aero bike, which has now been removed from the range with Specialized adopting a ‘One bike to rule them all’ philosophy.

Other formerly conventional road bikes that have had an aero makeover include the Cannondale SuperSix (overall winner of our Bike of the Year test in 2020), the Trek Emonda and the Scott Addict , with all these brands promoting aero benefits in a lightweight package.

As with any bike purchase, it’s a case of weighing up the options and choosing the right machine for your needs. If you’re looking for more of an all-rounder with an aero edge, there are now plenty of options out there. Equally, if all-out speed is your thing, a dedicated aero bike will have that ace up its sleeve.

What is the fastest aero bike?

Male cyclist in white top riding Cannondale SystemSix HI-MOD Red eTap AXS road bike

Almost every aero bike will be accompanied by some kind of claim about how the bike is faster than its predecessor or competitors. Aero gains are often quoted as seconds saved over 40km at 45kph or such, but do you regularly ride at that speed? The laws of physics mean that if your average speed is half that, you’ll reap an eighth of that figure.

With around 80 per cent of wind resistance down to you, rather than the bike, there is only so much help an aero bike can provide. That’s before we get to the rider’s engine, too. If speed is your thing, here are five ways you can ride faster for free .

Having said that, few riding experiences beat the feeling of free speed when riding fast on a sharp-handling aero bike, especially on a rapid downhill or full-gas on a flat or rolling road.

As for the ‘fastest’ aero bike, as ever we’d tread with caution when it comes to manufacturer claims. Sure, you can factor it into your buying decision, but there’s lots more to consider besides, including fit, usability, frame features (for example, tyre clearance) and budget.

Tube shapes

Wilier Triestina Cento10 hybrid road eBike

It goes without saying that an aero bike will have aero tube profiles. These are most obvious on the main tubes of the bike, the down tube and the seat tube in particular.

Aero features will likely extend to the seatstays, which are often dropped, hitting the seat tube some way down from its top, as well as being aero in profile. The head tube, fork and seatpost (and its clamp) are also likely to have had the aero treatment.

The first crop of aero road bikes, led by the Cervélo Soloist (which has now made a comeback in 2022), had teardrop-shaped tubes. It’s the classic aerodynamic shape, but the tail adds a lot of weight without much structural benefit, so the frames tended to be heavy. The extended profile could also make for tricky handling in crosswinds.

That’s changed now, with the realisation that a truncated aerofoil (or Kammtail) can be more aerodynamically efficient than a teardrop.

Air forms an eddy behind the cut-off edge of the tube and air flowing past this forms a teardrop shape that’s much longer than the tube. Trek says that although the length of its Kammtail tubing is less than three times its width, it behaves aerodynamically as if it’s eight times the width.

With that in mind, there’s potentially a quadruple benefit from truncated aerofoils: they use less material for a lighter frame, they are more structurally rigid, they produce longer virtual tails to the tubes and they’re less edgy in crosswinds.

Another plus: they make it much easier for manufacturers to produce aero designs that comply with the geometry rules set by the UCI, cycling’s world governing body.

Integration

Canyon CP0018 Aerocockpit

The new frontier in aero bike design is front-end integration. That means the handlebar and stem are often one piece, with a broad, flat aero shape to the bar. At least some of the brake and gear cables will run internally into the frame, so they’re out of the airflow.

There’s a surprising amount of drag from round cables routed externally. Pinarello claimed burying the cables inside the bar and stem of the Dogma F12 improved aerodynamics by more than 5 per cent relative to its F10 predecessor, which had external cabling (Pinarello has since launched the new Dogma F ).

The flip side is that some integrated systems can be difficult to work with, so expect to spend more on maintenance or to deal with more frustration if doing it yourself.

Also, make sure you’re comfortable with the position dictated by a bike’s integrated carbon bar/stem. There are limited size options and adjustability to many integrated systems.

The best integrated cockpits keep everything clean and tidy, hiding the cables from the wind, but still allow for easy servicing and fit adjustments, most likely by keeping the handlebar and stem as two separate units.

Ride quality

Trek Madone SLR aero road bike isoflow side

With their chunky tube profiles, aero bikes of old had a (often justified) reputation for a harsh ride.

That’s largely changed with the modern crop of aero bikes, because brands have learned how to design frames for a more comfortable ride without compromising aerodynamics, and road disc brakes have increased tyre clearances – you can now run a 28mm or even 30mm tyre on many of the latest aero bikes.

Nevertheless, it’s something to look out for if you’re thinking of buying an aero bike. It’s worth reading road bike reviews and, ideally, taking a test ride before parting with your cash, especially if you live somewhere with rough roads.

Pack shot of the Lapierre Aircode DRS 8.0 road bike

As mentioned above, an aero bike will typically promote a long, low ride position. That’s great for cutting through the wind, but make sure you’ll be comfortable riding an aero bike (or that it offers the adjustability you need) before taking the plunge. Neck, back, shoulder and hand pain can be issues if you’re not very flexible or not used to an aggressive position.

You may adapt to the position, but if you’re not racing you don’t want to end up suffering on your bike to go a little faster – being forced to cut your ride short due to pain or picking up an injury is counter-productive, to say the least.

Felt AR Ultegra Di2

Weight used to be a driving factor behind bike design, with a lower weight perceived to result in a faster and better ride. Aero bikes disprove the rule, with many tipping the scale at around 8kg and feeling lightning-quick.

While a lightweight bike might serve you better on long climbs, the weight and performance difference between many more conventional bikes and aero bikes is marginal, and improving your power-to-weight ratio can be one way to offset the difference.

There are also ways to make your road bike lighter if you’re that way inclined.

A lightweight bike might feel more responsive, but geometry and tyre choice arguably have as much impact on the feel of a bike as weight. If you want something that feels responsive and snappy, look for a bike with a short wheelbase and a head tube angle of around 73.5 degrees.

Cannondale Systemsix Carbon Ultegra 04

An aero bike needs an aero wheelset to complement – and make the most of – the frame’s aerodynamics. It’s still all too common to find an aero frameset equipped with budget, non-aero wheels. Recognising this, some brands are now fitting wheels worthy of the investment they’ve made in their frames.

Unless you’ve got a set of go-fast wheels already sitting at home, it’s worth looking for a bike that comes with decent deep-section wheels. If not, and you do want to upgrade, budget the best part of £1,000 for a set of the best road bike wheels .

Shimano’s Ultegra brakes on the Wilier Triestina Cento10 SL Ultegra Di2 use Ice-Tech rotors

Disc brakes have largely taken over on all new bikes, but rim-brake outliers are still out there, particularly if you’re buying a second-hand bike .

If you go for a rim-brake aero bike (and, most likely, an older model), you may find the calipers have been moved out of the wind. The front brake may be integrated into the fork and the rear brake may be under the bottom bracket.

Fortunately, this is less common nowadays and, as a general rule, we’d steer riders away from integrated brakes. Integrated front brakes are often less effective than a separate caliper, and rear brakes under the bottom bracket are prone to brake rub and getting covered in filth.

Most high-end aero bikes now come with disc brakes, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you’re looking at a lower-priced rim-brake model.

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16 of the best £2,000 gravel and adventure bikes from Cannondale, Trek, GT, Ribble, Kinesis and more

16 of the best £2,000 gravel and adventure bikes from Cannondale, Trek, GT, Ribble, Kinesis and more

First Published Apr 6, 2021

So you’ve got about £2,000 to spend (lucky you!) on a brand new gravel bike (aka adventure bike), but you don’t know where to start looking? Fear not, we’re here to help to help you with some really good choices of versatile and capable road and off-road bikes in this price range.

With fat tyres, wide-range gearing and drop handlebars, gravel bikes can go almost anywhere from potholed city streets to remote forest roads. At this price point you'll often have a choice of carbon fibre or aluminium frame. Carbon's lighter, but aluminium usually comes with a better groupset for the money. Versatility is the raison d'etre of gravel bikes so look out for lots of mounts for pannier racks and other carriers and the ability to take very fat tyres

Gravel and adventure bikes are all the rage right now. They’re ideal for bikepacking adventures and gravel races, but they’re also super versatile and can be used for more road-based riding including touring, Audax and even the daily commute.

Read more: The best gravel bikes — super-versatile bikes that are at home on lanes, potholed streets and dirt roads

Most of the bikes here are around and about £2,000, we've included a few above and below the price simply because not every manufacturer offers a bike at precisely this price point.

We're now seeing lots of bikes with Shimano's GRX gravel-specific components, which feature a choice of double or single chainring transmissions, generally lower gear ranges and the Shadow Plus clutch technology from Shimano mountain bike rear derailleurs which helps reduce chain slap and clatter.

Bombtrack Hook EXT — Buy Now for £2,400 from Damian Harris Cycles

2021 bombtrack Hook EXT hero straight

With a large tyre clearance and plenty of mounts, the Bombtrack Hook EXT is a hugely versatile machine. It manages to offer an impressively fun and nimble approach to the tracks and trails regardless of whether you are riding it loaded up for an adventure or smashing it around stripped back. It’s like a cyclocross bike on steroids!

Tester Stu writes: "You really shouldn’t be able to flick an 11kg dropped bar bike around like you can with the Hook EXT; it’s an absolute laugh. It just feels loads lighter than it actually is. Carry or push it up a hill, and the heft is there, but under pedal power, it feels like a good couple of kilos lighter.

"It’s a confidence-inspiring bike indeed, and I felt like I could just let it go with just the lightest of grip on the handlebar. With a steeper head angle than many gravel bikes at 72°, the front end feels pleasantly direct and quick, yet not so much that it can become twitchy or a handful on looser surfaces. The wheelbase is lengthy enough to provide stability while at the same time keeping the ride and handling in the fun zone.

"Even with those big tyres squishing around beneath you, there is no denying that the Hook has a great ride quality from the steel frame and carbon fork. There’s loads of feedback on the technical sections, and pairing that with the spirited front end, a quick dart down through the local tree-root strewn singletrack became a favourite pastime."

Read our review of the Bombtrack Hook EXT Find a Bombtrack dealer

Orro Terra C GRX600 — Buy Now for £2,199.99 from Orro

2021 Orro Terra C GRX600

Orro has taken its highly capable gravel bike and given it a clean look with new internal cable routing. The great thing is Orro hasn't touched the fun handling and balance of comfort versus performance that made its predecessor so enjoyable. This 2021 model also comes with Shimano's 1 x 11 mechanical gravel groupset, for not a huge amount of money.

Tester Stu says: "It's nippy off the mark and I just love it when the singletrack dries out enough to tackle at full speed, the Terra C hopping over tree roots and changing direction with a flick of the wrists or shimmy in body position on the technical sections.

"It feels really balanced and poised, Orro having just got the speed of the steering to be entertaining enough without becoming a challenge or tiring when really going for it on a loose surface."

Read our review of the Orro Terra C GRX800, which has the same frame

Kona Rove LTD 2022 — Buy Now for £2,499 from Wheelbase

2022 Kona rove ltd

The Kona Rove LTD is the company's top end gravel/adventure bike that offers an excellent ride feel, loads of mounts for those epic trips off the beaten track, and plenty of tyre clearance.

Tester Stu writes: "The thing I like best about the Kona Rove LTD, is the way it handles.

"I first rode a Rove – the DL – a few years ago and I really liked it. With its aluminium alloy frame and fork it was hardly svelte at 12.17kg, but there was just something about the way it felt that really got me... it was just so much fun.

"The LTD version delivers the exact same emotions, but they're intensified thanks to the new model's ride quality and the excellent gravel-specific components.

"Like a lot of the recent gravel/adventure bikes I've been testing, the Rove LTD has a butted steel frame which delivers a beautiful ride feel."

Read our review of the Kona Rove LTD Find a Kona dealer

Cotic Escapade — Buy Now starting at £1,949 from Cotic

Cotic Escapade gravel bike

One of the early adopters of the whole gravel/adventure/do-it-all bikes, the Cotic Escapade has had a few upgrades since its inception a good five or six years ago. Larger tyre clearances, a new carbon fork and a tapered head tube have now upped the performance and dropped the weight, making the new model an absolute joy to ride whether on or off road.

At its heart is still a quality chromoly steel frame that just wafts along, taking the vibration and bumps out of all but the roughest of road surfaces, helped by the fact that it can now accommodate larger volume tyres. The heavily sloped top tube also means no matter how tall you are you are going to be running a lot of exposed seatpost, bringing a little more flex and comfort to the ride.

Read our review of the Cotic Escapade

Ribble CGR 725 GRX 1 x 11 650B — Buy Now for £2,299 from Ribble Cycles

Ribble CGR 725 Apex 650b

Ribble's custom-spec tool makes it easy to create a version of the versatile CGR in aluminium, steel or carbon fibre, and the version with Reynolds 725 steel tubing and 650B wheels was a hit with our colleague Jon Woodhouse at off-road.cc who said the " combination of steel frame and plump but fast-rolling 47mm tyres delivers a comfortable ride on dirt while still being plenty quick on road, with sorted handling that's a happy medium between stability and steering agility; it's quite possibly all the drop bar bike you need for gravel, road or commuting. "

Jon concluded: "There's little not to like about the CGR 725. It's equally adept on tarmac or fireroad, with the combination of steel frame and fat 650b tyres giving comfortable cruising ability, no matter what surface you're on. It's stable on dirt without feeling lethargic on tarmac, while it feels just as happy weaving in and out of traffic as it does at the end of the long, full laden day of bikepacking."

With a roughly £2,000 budget we went for Shimano's GRX 600 transmission rather than the SRAM Apex shown above, and Mavic Allroad wheels, but we're sure you can find your own way to tweak the spec.

Read our review of the Ribble CGR 725 650B

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 2021 — Buy Now for £2,150 from Sigma Sports

2021 Treck Checkpoint ALR 5

One of the first bikes of the 2021 model year to hit the shops, the latest version of the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 bins off last year's Shimano 105 components in favour of Shimano GRX. The most important practical advantage is a change of chainset from 50/34 to 46/30, which makes this version much more compelling as an all-rounder.

It’s built around an aluminium frame bedecked with mounts for just about every accessory you might need, and neat sliding dropouts so you can either go singlespeed or choose the wheelbase for your riding style. You get Trek's own Bontrager GR1 Comp 40mm tyres, and there's clearance to go up to 45mm.

Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2021 — Buy Now for £2,399 from Cadence Performance

2021 Giant Revolt Advanced 2

If you want a gravel bike for going fast in the dirt, then Giant's Revolt Advanced 2 is definitely worthy of your attention. Tester Stu loved its ride and handling, saying: "After returning from my first ride on the Giant Revolt Advanced 2, I couldn't believe it weighs nearly 10kg as it felt so light and agile off-road.

"I love proper race bikes for the rough stuff that are an absolute hoot to ride flat-out with their tyres scrabbling for grip on loose material. The Revolt is just like that. The harder you ride it, the more you get back. I spent huge sections of my rides through wooded trails or twisty gravel byways knowing that I was so close to the bike's limits that it could all go pear-shaped in an instant.

"I just couldn't stop it, though – it was addictive."

Read our review of the Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2020 Find a Giant dealer

GT Grade Carbon Expert 2021 — Buy Now for £2,300 from Sigma Sports

2021 GT Grade Carbon expert

Highly capable, with a performance that shines on any surface as it smooths out bumps with the skinniest of skinny rear stays – and a very competitive price – the GT Grade Carbon Expert is a top choice in an increasingly crowded gravel bike market.

Read our review of the GT Grade Carbon Expert

Bergamont Grandurance Expert 2022 — Buy Now for £2,149 from Cyclestreet

2022 Bergamont Grandurance Expert

Hailing from Hamburg, Bergamont may not be a household name, but they've been doing some great work in the gravel/endurance/adventure field. The latest version of the Grandurance Expert has a carbon fibre frame and fork with Shimano's new GRX gravel components and 35mm Schwalbe G-One tyres.

Read our review of the Bergamont Grandurance 6

Marin Gestalt X11 — Buy Now for £2,095 from Winstanleys Bikes

2021 Marin Gestalt X11

Gravel and adventures bikes owe a lot to their mountain bike cousins, and this Marin Gestalt X11 owes more than most. It’s got a dropper post for smashing down steep tracks with extra confidence, a wide flared drop bar for increasing handling control, and a wide-range Shimano GRX 1X transmission.

It’s a bike we’ve reviewed, and here’s a snippet of the full review linked below:

“It really encourages you to find the most adventurous route between A and B, to seek out that overgrown path in case it reveals itself to be a ribbon of singletrack ebbing and flowing between the trees with which the Gestalt can really shine. It puts a smile on your face. And when you get to some steep and technical descents you’ll still be smiling, as it’s impressively surefooted and capable.”

Read our review of the Marin Gestalt X11

Fairlight Secan 2.5 — Buy Now starting at £2,449 from Fairlight Cycles

Fairlight Secan 2.0

The latest Secan gravel and adventure bike from UK brand Fairlight Cycles was a hit with the review team, combining the elegant composure of a well-designed steel frame with very generous tyre clearance and versatility and capability in equal measure.

Tyre clearance has been key to the Secan's development. It provides massive tyre clearance, up to 650x60mm or 700x50mm tyres, or 650x50mm/700x42mm when using the mudguard mounts. That's extremely generous and puts more than a few adventure bikes to shame.

You can buy it as a £1,349 frameset or choose a complete bike with Shimano GRX for £2,449.

Read our review of the Fairlight Cycles Secan

Cannondale Topstone 1 2021 — Buy Now for £2,000 from Wheelbase

2021 Cannondale Topstone 1

Unfortunately you no longer get a carbon fibre Topstone in this price bracket, but the aluminium versions have built a loyal following and there are now five bikes in the range, of which this is the second-from-top.

Like many manufacturers who missed out on Shimano GRX in 2020, Cannondale have adopted it enthusiastically for 2021, and here the GRX derailleurs are paired with Cannondale's own 46/30 chainset for a wide, low gear range.

Read our first ride report on the Cannondale Topstone carbon

Merida Silex 700 — Buy Now for £2,100 from Primera Sports

2021 Merida Silex 700

When it comes to geometry, most gravel and adventure bikes split the difference between cyclocross and endurance bikes. Not so with the Merida Silex, which borrows a few ideas from mountain bikes and combines a long top tube with a short stem, and a very tall head tube to get away from an ugly stack of head tube spacers. The result is a riding position that promotes control and stability on loose surfaces and off-road trails, if it’s not the prettiest bike to look at.

There’s a wide range of models to pick from; this Silex 700 is right on the money with Shimano's GRX 800 components.

Read our review of the cheaper Merida Silex 300

Orbea Terra H30 2x — Buy Now for £1,999 from Epic Cycles

2021 Orbea Terra H30-D 2x blue

Legendary Basque bike brand Orbea launched its foray into this sector with the Terra, designed around 40mm wide tyres and with disc brakes, thru-axles and internal cable routing. The model we’ve picked out uses an aluminium frame with triple butted tubing and a carbon fibre fork and is specced with Shimano's GRX groupset with Kenda Alluvium 40mm tyres.

When we reviewed the 2019 version we found it to be a flighty and responsive adventure bike that has one eye on bikepacking adventures and gravel races and another on the daily grind, with mudguard eyelets for commuting and winter training.

Read our review of the Orbea Terra

Vitus Substance CRX-1 2021 — Buy Now for £2,199.99 from Chain Reaction

2021 Vitus Substance CRX-1

A bit over £2k is the Vitus Substance CRX. It’s equipped with a Force SRAM 1x groupset with fat WTB Venture 47mm tyres and a really smart yet understated paint job. It's an absolute cracker off-road, offering a fun yet stiff ride, plus it rolls surprisingly well on the tarmac too.

Having wide, high-profile tyres fitted will make even the stiffest bike feel more palatable to ride, but even with the 47mm 650B rubber pumped up to 60psi for use on the road the Vitus still deals with every road imperfection without issue.

On road rides you can dart off down a new track you haven't seen before and yeah, it's a bit rattly over the really rough stuff, but you can pick out that the frame and fork were doing a damn fine job of absorbing a fair amount of the vibration.

Read our review of the Vitus Substance CRX

Kinesis Tripster AT — Buy Now for £800 (frame & fork) from Kinesis UK

kinesis tripster

Rounding out our list is the Kinesis Tripster AT, AT being short for All Terrain which points to the sort of riding this bike is intended for. It’s a smartly designed aluminium frame with a Columbus Futura carbon fork and specced with a SRAM Rival/Apex 1x groupset with Kinesis Crosslight wheels and 38mm wide Schwalbe G-One tyres. It’s another bike we really got on well with when we tested it following its launch in 2017.

In our review we said this: “Kinesis has designed a really nice bike in the Tripster AT. It's taken the best bits from the more expensive Tripster ATR and reimagined it in aluminium, and added some useful features along the way. It's a frameset that offers a multitude of build options from a fast road commuter to a large-tyred bikepacking setup for bigger adventures.”

While it's now only available as a frame, a Tripster AT with a sensible build should wind up costing you around two grand.

Read our review of the Kinesis Tripster AT

Read more: Is a gravel/adventure bike all you need?

Explore the complete archive of reviews of gravel bikes on road.cc

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trek vs orbea road bike

David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes . 

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16 comments.

Avatar

There's some really obscure brands here that I never see out on the roads and yet no Planet X bikes ?

Come on. Titanium. Less than two grand ? What's not to love ?

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What about alpkit. And their sonder bikes... Was my first gravel bike... Superb

So the title says the following

16 of the best £2,000 gravel and adventure bikes

Yet out of the 16 bikes shown only 3 cost £2000 or under (not included the Kinesis as its frame and fork) some of the bikes shown cost £2500 so that's 25% more than the £2000 quoted in the title!

No offerings from Planet X? for under 2k you can get a Titainuim Tempest gravel bike equipped with Sram Force groupset, Fulcrum wheels

Fancy carbon instead, then 2k gets you a Planet X Free Ranger with Sram Force for £1600, on a tighter budget then drop down to Sram Rival for £1400

It seems that Planet X complete bike offerings dont get reviewed on here very often, if at all

Quote: Most of the bikes here are around and about £2,000, we've included a few above and below the price simply because not every manufacturer offers a bike at precisely this price point.

Avatar

As I read this article, I am awaiting my new gravel bike being built. I've ordered an Enigma Escape titanium frame, Shimano GRX groupset and Hope hubs, brakes, bottom bracket, headset and pedals. The Hope hubs will be built onto Hope rims too. It's going to look fantastic, the Hope stuff will be anodised orange which will compliment the titanium frame and black groupset. Deda Zero100 seatpost, stem and Gravel100 bars, it will be having black full mudguards and rack too as it is going to be my daily commuting bike.

Someone really needs to have a word with the paint/graphic designer at Kinesis. The logo is bad enough but then they seem to have found some highlighter paint and then went onto stick some stripes in random places for good measure. Holy-moly what a mess. 

That picture is a couple of years old - they have new paint schemes now. One is still a very bright orange, but overall more pleasing than the orange/yellow fade. Plus there is (and indeed also was back then) a more muted colour scheme available (although that has also changed slightly).

And as for stripes, they make you go faster don't you know?

Well 2000£ for a bicycle is a lot of money for me, so the only reason to spend that much money would be a Titanium bike, so I am dissapointed that there are no such options (I think the new Ti Triban exceeds the price limit)

Kudos to the manufacturers that provide people with what most riders of this class really need.

What is that? Tall headtubes!!

Here you go...not mine - I'd never part with it - but Litespeeds come up regularly on eBay at reasonable prices:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Litespeed-Siena-Titanium-bike-700c-wheels-lar...

Not a gravel bike, however, and 28mm tyres are the largest I use.  Mine has done Paris-Roubaix a few times in the mud....that's pretty gravelly.

Planet X has ti bikes at less than 2000. I can recommend them, though the pickenflick I have is not a current model. I also have a hurricane, an audax ti bike which is excellent.

I know there's always someone who says "what about x y z". 

but why do you never have planet x bikes in your list? 

Thanks for that David! I own the 2019 Canyon Grail CF 8.0 (Ultegra). Planning to replace it with a new one (Grail, that is) for various reasons... A question: What do you think of the GRX600 vs the 800 given the reasonable price difference between the two? Also: I'm reasonably new to tech details: I tried a couple of Di2 bikes (one was in fact the Grail) and was positively shocked by how quick and smooth they were compared to a mechanical one. What do you reckon? Thanks!

Can I be the first to say comments such as 'call this a list?' or 'what about.....?' and 'how could you not have included.......?'

Feel free to include the above in any comments section for any list of bike recommendations on this site. It could save people a lot of time.

First. And second too!

Read our review of the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Link is missing!

Latest Comments

With the old route I hope they bigger it up also!  Sadly they'll probably do that but with a vowel change.

Sean Kelly, assuming you mean him by the rattling pockets, /did/ fail tests in his career.

I think this incident has angered the police, such that this driver will face further sanction.  We've created a monster here.

Took my thru axle bike abroad in one.  It was a couple of years ago and I can't remember how I did it but you can attach the wheels with skewers...

for me its the lack of sanctions for traffic offences in the first place thats the problem, Mikey wouldnt have to do what he does at all, if people...

The UK has had a few black cycling champions. Not long after Maurice was gaining recognition on the track, Charlie Reynolds, also from South London...

Common sense at last

And tandems...

Car crashes into wall behind Natwest in Winchester https://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/news/24216676.photos-car-crashes-wa...

One way to find out is to put a member of the driver's family on the bike and ask them to repeat the manoeuvre.

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  • General Ebike Discussion

Specialized, Trek or Orbea, which one?

  • Thread starter Firnatine
  • Start date Mar 3, 2021
  • Mar 3, 2021

I'm new to the forum and looking for advice. I'm planning on buying an eBike in a month or two and have narrowed it down to Specialized Turbo Creo Evo, Trek Domane HP+, or Orbea Gain M20i. I'm 72 and just started cycling last may. I ride a Santa Cruz Carbon Stigmata and love it and plan to keep it. My reason for an eBike is I will be riding cross country this August with a group of firefighters for the 20th anniversary of 9/11. I will be the oldest in the group by 10 years with the least amount of cycling experience. The plan is to stay together and no one gets dropped. I don't want to be the guy that slows the group down so I hope the eBike will allow me to keep up. On the flats my Santa Cruz should be fine but there will be some major climbs to deal with that will be extremely challenging especially for a guy my age. I really like the Turbo Creo Evo and leaning heavily in that direction. I like the fact its a gravel bike, doesn't look like an ebike, is under 30 lbs. and class 3. All the reviews I've read have been positive. The battery range is one of the best and the optional battery they claim would give 40 more miles. I see they just raised the price by $500 and stock is low. The Domane HP+ has a more powerful motor that I would assume be better for the big climbs and it too is class 3. I don't like the weight at 39 lbs. which makes it 20 lbs. heavier then my Santa Cruz. Out of the 3 bikes, it is the most expensive. For me the Orbea by far is the best looking of the 3 and does not look at all like an eBike. It is also the lightest at 26 lbs. It comes with Shimano Di2 and is more then a thousand dollars less then the others. I don't like the fact it is not class 3 with the assist only to 20mph. I also have concerns about the hub motor compared to the mid drive motor. The reviews I've read have been mixed. I've read the drag is noticeable once the assist quits. I'm not looking for a free ride just some assist that will get me over the big bumps, has good range and comfortable to ride for 8 hours. I pretty much made up my mine but would love to hear others opinions to help assure me I'm making the right decision. Thanks in advance.  

Active Member

The Pros Closet has each of what you are looking for, well, maybe not the right size at the moment, but these types of bikes have a regular appearance at this web site and offered in many cases at substantial savings.  

WattsUpDude

WattsUpDude

Well-known member.

My money would be on the Creo. It’s a really versatile bike. The Orbea is beautiful and lightweight but the Ebikemotion system they use employs a speed + cadence sensor. PAS is not going to feel as natural as the torque sensor bikes from Specialized and Trek.  

indianajo

I ride a 94 lb bike with all racks, panniers, tools & water. Once a week I carry 60-80 lb supplies out to my summer camp. My heart+lungs+legs don't get tired, my hips do from the hard seat. I don't understand the passion about weight. Are you climbing the Matterhorn? Iowa doesn't have hills enough to overheat a geared hub motor. Even with 80 lb ag supplies my bike weighs about what I do. Worried about weight, lose some. My biking habit wore me down from 213 to 160 in 8 years. the wind is my worry, global warming has kicked up strong winds in May & September. 25 mph headwind can make my 30 mile commute take 6 hours without electricity. Which is why I added motor & battery. As far as I can tell both Orbea gain m20i and Specialized creo carbon both have mid drives with an 11 speed chain. As neither is a brose, shimano steps, or yamaha, they should both drag noticably when the power runs out. By contrast, my $221 ebikeling geared hub motor didn't drag at all unpowered even when the gear wore out @ 4500 miles. Low battery capacity of the models I looked at, 340 wh and 248 wh, strike me as toys. Biweekly I cross 77 to 80 hills and only use the battery on the last 25 or so. I have 840 wh and used to red light and cut out on the last hill or two on the ebikeling motor. Replacement Mac12t hub motor is more efficient and I arrive 30 miles out at about 45 v on a 48 v battery (start @ 52.5). Notice orbea gain M20i limits the assist to 20 mph. Your road bike buddies going to go that slow? My bootleg home converted Mac12 will assist to 23. The ebikeling motor would assist to about 25. Only extremely smooth pavement is safe at that speed, IMHO, without a suspension. I peak at 35 downhill but only do that with great pavement on valleys I know there is no gravel. I'm happy for you at 72 you are so flexible to ride with your head turned back at 90 deg and can lift your leg over a high bar. I refuse to flex my neck that much, always have, and it has held up better than my Mother's that ruptured a disk age 48 from sitting typing in the wrong chair+table with the neck flexed. I started having trouble getting the foot over the bar age 64, and it is not getting any better at 70. You see my drop frame left. Have a great ride. Enjoy those mud stripes on your hips. Enjoy changing your chain mid ride, too. Guys on roadbikereview.com are reporting 1000 miles life on 11 speed chain, and that is with feet only. some high speed electric commuters report ~500 miles per 11 speed chain. I got 5000 miles out of my first 8 speed chain, 2 1/2 years. Changed it at home first of spring with the tires.  

Wow Firnatine, what a fabulous adventure! You said cross country, as in across the entire U.S,? My earlier cross country rides were 400 miles max over several days. And well supported with great rest stops and sag wagons. Fabulous memories. My first thought for your situation is for sure a class 3, especially if the group holds an aggressive speed. And how long is the wait for the bike to arrive? Based on comments here I’m hearing it can be lengthy. What are the daily miles? Can you charge along the way or have extra batteries? Keep posting!  

BillH said: The Pros Closet has each of what you are looking for, well, maybe not the right size at the moment, but these types of bikes have a regular appearance at this web site and offered in many cases at substantial savings. Click to expand...
WattsUpDude said: My money would be on the Creo. It’s a really versatile bike. The Orbea is beautiful and lightweight but the Ebikemotion system they use employs a speed + cadence sensor. PAS is not going to feel as natural as the torque sensor bikes from Specialized and Trek. Click to expand...
indianajo said: I ride a 94 lb bike with all racks, panniers, tools & water. Once a week I carry 60-80 lb supplies out to my summer camp. My heart+lungs+legs don't get tired, my hips do from the hard seat. I don't understand the passion about weight. Are you climbing the Matterhorn? Iowa doesn't have hills enough to overheat a geared hub motor. Even with 80 lb ag supplies my bike weighs about what I do. Worried about weight, lose some. My biking habit wore me down from 213 to 160 in 8 years. the wind is my worry, global warming has kicked up strong winds in May & September. 25 mph headwind can make my 30 mile commute take 6 hours without electricity. Which is why I added motor & battery. As far as I can tell both Orbea gain m20i and Specialized creo carbon both have mid drives with an 11 speed chain. As neither is a brose, shimano steps, or yamaha, they should both drag noticably when the power runs out. By contrast, my $221 ebikeling geared hub motor didn't drag at all unpowered even when the gear wore out @ 4500 miles. Low battery capacity of the models I looked at, 340 wh and 248 wh, strike me as toys. Biweekly I cross 77 to 80 hills and only use the battery on the last 25 or so. I have 840 wh and used to red light and cut out on the last hill or two on the ebikeling motor. Replacement Mac12t hub motor is more efficient and I arrive 30 miles out at about 45 v on a 48 v battery (start @ 52.5). Notice orbea gain M20i limits the assist to 20 mph. Your road bike buddies going to go that slow? My bootleg home converted Mac12 will assist to 23. The ebikeling motor would assist to about 25. Only extremely smooth pavement is safe at that speed, IMHO, without a suspension. I peak at 35 downhill but only do that with great pavement on valleys I know there is no gravel. I'm happy for you at 72 you are so flexible to ride with your head turned back at 90 deg and can lift your leg over a high bar. I refuse to flex my neck that much, always have, and it has held up better than my Mother's that ruptured a disk age 48 from sitting typing in the wrong chair+table with the neck flexed. I started having trouble getting the foot over the bar age 64, and it is not getting any better at 70. You see my drop frame left. Have a great ride. Enjoy those mud stripes on your hips. Enjoy changing your chain mid ride, too. Guys on roadbikereview.com are reporting 1000 miles life on 11 speed chain, and that is with feet only. some high speed electric commuters report ~500 miles per 11 speed chain. I got 5000 miles out of my first 8 speed chain, 2 1/2 years. Changed it at home first of spring with the tires. Click to expand...
Marci jo said: Wow Firnatine, what a fabulous adventure! You said cross country, as in across the entire U.S,? My earlier cross country rides were 400 miles max over several days. And well supported with great rest stops and sag wagons. Fabulous memories. My first thought for your situation is for sure a class 3, especially if the group holds an aggressive speed. And how long is the wait for the bike to arrive? Based on comments here I’m hearing it can be lengthy. What are the daily miles? Can you charge along the way or have extra batteries? Keep posting Click to expand...

Saratoga Dave

Saratoga Dave

Are you riding across the US or Iowa? I sort of assume the US, and I get that you’re going to ride your Santa Cruz where possible now. That said, I might change my original idea of the Creo and go with the Domane, if in fact you are going to be needing something to get across the Ozarks and the mountains of Virginia... which would be the Trans Am route. For that specific purpose, I’d want my ebike to be the most rootin tootin one I could find. If you’re doing an easier route, the Creo would be a blast, I’m sure. If you’re confident enough of your strength, and it sounds like you might be, then the Creo could be a great choice for the whole thing. I guess it would keep you more in line with the rest of the outfit than to be zooming over Hayter’s Gap on a Domane while everyone else is dying. Shared suffering, right? Either way, sounds like a hell of an adventure!  

Stefan Mikes

Stefan Mikes

indianajo said: As far as I can tell both Orbea gain m20i and Specialized creo carbon both have mid drives with an 11 speed chain. As neither is a brose, shimano steps, or yamaha, they should both drag noticably when the power runs out. Click to expand...
  • Mar 4, 2021

Another thought, have you checked with the organizers to see if ebikes are allowed? More than likely they are allowed since they are getting more common. Just my slightly paranoid opinion.  

Marci jo said: Another thought, have you checked with the organizers to see if ebikes are allowed? More than likely they are allowed since they are getting more common. Just my slightly paranoid opinion. Click to expand...
Art Deco said: @indianajo Quick note Specialized uses Brose motors, so no noticeable drag with the boost off. Click to expand...
Saratoga Dave said: Are you riding across the US or Iowa? I sort of assume the US, and I get that you’re going to ride your Santa Cruz where possible now. That said, I might change my original idea of the Creo and go with the Domane, if in fact you are going to be needing something to get across the Ozarks and the mountains of Virginia... which would be the Trans Am route. For that specific purpose, I’d want my ebike to be the most rootin tootin one I could find. If you’re doing an easier route, the Creo would be a blast, I’m sure. If you’re confident enough of your strength, and it sounds like you might be, then the Creo could be a great choice for the whole thing. I guess it would keep you more in line with the rest of the outfit than to be zooming over Hayter’s Gap on a Domane while everyone else is dying. Shared suffering, right? Either way, sounds like a hell of an adventure! Click to expand...
Stefan Mikes said: A slightly off topic but corresponding to your post Marci Jo: I'm more and more attracted to group rides. In each case I'm asking the organiser whether e-bike would be allowed. I'm positively shocked: so far, ride organisers were answering "Come. Our goal is to have a good time together". So I'm joining an MTB ride for the coming Sunday. Only competing is not allowed. In any case, I would have asked the organiser because roadies might have different idea. Click to expand...
Firnatine said: We're a friends and I'm one of the organizers so I don't think I'll have any objections.LOL There will be no more then 15 us including chase/support drivers. The group is made up a first responders and military vets. Click to expand...
gtpharr said: with a tail wind all the way! Click to expand...

Glad to hear orbea included a 100 g one way clutch. That allows no drag pedaling when feet are faster than motor. I got my information from orbea website: www.orbea.com/us-en/ebikes/road/gain/cat/gain-m20i-20mph/ which says the motor is a Ebikemotion X35 Plus 20mph I don't see any hub drives in the picture. Maybe firnatine has access to some old stock in a bike shop near him. With the kind of support vehicles Firnatine is reporting, wearing out chains in his 8000 mile trip should not be a problem. In the group rides around here, I was sometimes the guy changing tubes for the road bikers, while the sag wagon was way to the rear helping the newbies on kiddy bikes that weren't prepared for any distance. Supposed to be 65 Tuesday Wed, and more important 55 Tue night. Will ride out my first 30 miles of the year to see what was stolen or fell down this winter.  

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Trek vs Orbea

blr33439

Since they both probably come from the same factory in Taiwan/China, go with the Orbea because you will probably get a better price. Big companies spend millions to convince you that their bikes are the best, but in reality most are almost identical in performance after a certain price point. I caveat the price point because there are several quality standards for bikes and below about $1700 for a carbon frame, you get lower quality design and/or parts.  

exracer said: yeah, and it's "ooooooooo, Lance rides one" BFD! I've never based any purchase of frame, components or wheels on what some pro rider rides. The optimum answer is to get the one that fits best. Click to expand...
blr33439 said: Since they both probably come from the same factory in Taiwan/China, go with the Orbea because you will probably get a better price. Big companies spend millions to convince you that their bikes are the best, but in reality most are almost identical in performance after a certain price point. I caveat the price point because there are several quality standards for bikes and below about $1700 for a carbon frame, you get lower quality design and/or parts. Click to expand...

Peanya

Blue CheeseHead said: Given the depth of answers such as "hands down the Orbea is cooler", let me add my $.02, get the red one. Red is always faster. If neither is red, go for the best fit. If both fit similarly, go for the one that "speaks to you". Click to expand...

mimason

Knowing now that you are in Europe get the Trek if it fits. You will not have the dime a dozen issue like in the states and you get a good company to back their product. I've owned a Trek and it was a great bike and it survived a lot of crashes without exploding. Would I buy another Trek? Not in the states but if I were to move back to Germany then I would bring a Trek and Cervelo with me. These are hot over there.  

Found it! All the Trek's made from TCT carbon, like the 4 and 5 Madones, are made "around the world" (Asia). If I understand the Trek FAQ correctly, the ONLY thing they make in the US anymore is the 6 series Madones. That's pretty damn disappointing.  

On second thought if you do tris why not consider the Cervelo with the flipable seatpost that with convert the bike to tri geometry? Cervelo S1, S2, S3.  

Why not a Look? Keep with the home team?  

MisterMike

Speaking from actual ride experience, I can tell you that I test rode a 2009 Onix and it doesn't feel "racy" per se. Very comfortable bike, but I'd rather ride a century on it than race a criterium. I don't know about that Madone, never ridden one.  

rx-79g said: Found it! All the Trek's made from TCT carbon, like the 4 and 5 Madones, are made "around the world" (Asia). If I understand the Trek FAQ correctly, the ONLY thing they make in the US anymore is the 6 series Madones. That's pretty damn disappointing. Click to expand...

Look bikes are sooooooo expensive... 585 goes for 4-5 thousand.. My budget is low :/ I don't want a Tri bike, I put a profile for Tris and it works great ! I'm just so exited to change bike i'm boiling !! Lol. My LBS is taking my old Alu Orbea (carbon fork) back in as an exchange when I'll buy the new Machine for 300 euros, I bought it second hand for 800 in June 2009 (worth 12 hundred new). Around 10 000 kms on it. Is he scaming me ? ... I actually didn't want an other Orbea after the one i have now, i didn't find it great.. it's so flexible i can see the crankset swinging side to side while i'm on the HomeTrainer.. but when i saw the new paint schemes of the 2011 Onix's i went crazy !! Trek 2011 schemes are very disappointing..  

tbb001 said: Madone 6-series Madone 6-series SSL Speed Concept 9.5, 9.8, & 9.9 Elite 9.9 SSL Top Fuel 9.7, 9.8, & 9.9 SSL Fuel EX 9.7, 9.8, & 9.9 Remedy 9.7, 9.8, & 9.9 Superfly 100 & 100 Elite All made in Waterloo, WI. Click to expand...

How about a Giant TCR advanced 3 ? Is that any better ? Anyone knows about it ? It won BikeRadar's bike of the year 2009^^ Thx for your input.  

I considered buying an orbea not too long ago, but when I looked at the specs I found that it was much heavier (at any price point) and has less aggressive geometry than most other "race" bikes. The orbea's look good without a doubt, but it makes one wonder why they redesign the Orca almost every year. I've heard many times in the past that orbea makes the best looking JRA/century bikes and always thought it must be a gross generalization. When my wife bought an onix, I found the bike to be lacking as I helped her get setup and dialied in with the fit. She was never inspired by the ride and handling and wished many times that she bought the Specialized that she tested. So much for originality and unique bikes. Regardless of the availability of Treks in the US and who rides them, I found the company to have one of the best customer service reputations and solid bike designs. I haven't done anything more than a test ride or 2 on the newer madone design (2008 and newer) but LOVE my 2007 madone and can only assume that a new bike would ride equally as well if not better. I'd suggest getting the madone with the most aggressive fit available (pro fit?). That is the original design of the madone and you can always use a couple of spacers under the stem if you want. Trek has recently caught some flak with their carbon steerer design of the 6 series and responded in a pitiful manner but you will not encounter this issue with the 4 series.  

testpilot

I agree. My Madone is far superior to the Orbea's performance. Once dialed in and rid of the Bontrager tires (very harsh, slippery and downright dangerous) and Bontrager saddle (a pretty but rock hard POS) it's qualities are better than any others I've owned or ridden. Performance is stable on fast downhills, corners like a grand prix car, climbs like a mountain goat and is even comfortable on the 75 milers. The carbon steerer issue is more one of incompatibility and poor design of non-Trek components and user or bike shop incompetence. As far as the Orbea goes, you can put lipstick on a pig but in the end you still have a pig.  

The Giant is probably the stiffest and most aggressive of the three bikes. If you like the comfort of carbon, go with the Trek. Little sporty, go with Orbea. Very tight stance especially in the rear triangle, but not as comfortable...the Giant.  

terbennett

rx-79g said: It appears that this model Orbea is made in Spain. No idea on a lower level Madone. Click to expand...

The Orbea website indicated that many US products were made in Asia, but European production came from Spain. But the Wiki article suggests that, as you say, they are just painted and assembled in Spain. Sorry for the confusion.  

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trek vs orbea road bike

Based on frame geometry and build specs.

A bike with lower gearing will be easier to ride up steep hills, while a higher top end means it will pedal faster down hills.

Top Fuel 9.7

(descending)

Based on build material and quality level of the frame, fork, wheelset, groupset, suspension system, and more.

IMAGES

  1. Compare: 2022 Orbea ORCA M30 vs Trek Domane AL 5 Disc vs Émonda SL 5

    trek vs orbea road bike

  2. Orbea Gains sleek carbon frame, more stealth integration in versatile e

    trek vs orbea road bike

  3. Orbea Gains sleek carbon frame, more stealth integration in versatile e

    trek vs orbea road bike

  4. Trek X-Caliber 9 2017 vs. Orbea Alma H30 29er 2017- Mtbr.com

    trek vs orbea road bike

  5. Compare Orbea Mx MX 40 (2017) vs. Trek Marlin Marlin 6 (2017)

    trek vs orbea road bike

  6. Orbea VS Trek. Comparativa de ambas marcas.. Comparamos ambas marcas

    trek vs orbea road bike

VIDEO

  1. Bikevorstellung Overview Orbea Occam M30LT

  2. Tu Bicicleta de MTB necesita esto URGENTE!! @DanielRace8 @ibonzugasti

  3. Las mejores llantas para tu MTB, Pirelli Scorpion XCRC ProWall vs Lite @gcnenespanol @ibonzugasti

  4. Bike Check Orbea Road Bike

  5. 2024 REASONS TO RIDE

  6. Orbea Ordu Review (Cycling Unboxed)

COMMENTS

  1. Trek vs Orbea

    They're a step above entry level and will perform about the same. They may feel a bit different but that's likely the tires and wheels and more likely the tire pressure. As in every question like this, buy the one that fits the best. Trek has a wider range of sizes than Orbea so you may find a Trek that fits better.

  2. Orbea Road Bike Buyer's Guide

    The Orca is Orbea's flagship road bike, made to conquer fast, flat roads, monster climbs, and everything in between. It's been made from carbon fiber since its inception (Orca is an abbreviation for "Orbea Carbon") and has consistently been at the forefront of road bike technology. The Orca was redesigned in 2021 to be more aero and ...

  3. Best Road Ebikes: Compared for 2021

    Trek Domane+ LT E Road Bike. $6500-$7000. Motor brand (type): Fazua Evation (midbike) ... Road tested the Creo, the Trek Domane+LT, and the Orbea Gain M20. First the eBike rationale: I am 72 - my wife is 60 - and we've found ourselves now riding at different performance levels. With our bike club she rides 18-20 mph group, and I ride 16 ...

  4. 2024 Orbea Orca vs Trek Emonda

    2024 Orbea Orca vs Trek Emonda. Our bicycle maestro Bernard Lu compares the Orbea Orca and Trek Emonda, comparing the variant, features, technologies and pricing. ... At 6.7kg for the top-of-the-line M11eLTD PWR model with SRAM Red AXS, it's among the lightest, disc brake road bikes available today, alongside the likes of Cannondale Supersix ...

  5. Orbea vs. Trek

    Orbea vs. Trek. Jump to Latest Follow ... The wheels on the Trek bike are significantly lower in quality than the wheels on the Orbea. This reduces the advantage of the Trek. However, I do plan on keeping and enjoying both bikes. ... Road Bike, Cycling Forums. 5.4M posts 205K members Since 1990 A forum community dedicated to Road Bike owners ...

  6. Compare: 2021 Orbea ORCA M20 vs Trek Domane SL 5 vs Domane SL 6

    Bontrager R2 Hard-Case Lite, aramid bead, 60 tpi, 700x32 c. Disc Rotors. Shimano RT70, CentreLock, 160 mm. Shimano RT800, CenterLock, 160 mm. The Orbea ORCA M20, Trek Domane SL 5, and Trek Domane SL 6 are all carbon frame road bikes with hydraulic disc brakes. The Domane SL 6 has better components.

  7. Choosing between Trek, Orbea, Specialized road bikes : r/bicycling

    Orbea Orca M20 LTD. Trek Madone SL 6/ Émonda SLR 6. Specialized Tarmac SL7 Expert. I quite like the look of both the Orbea because of it's customisability but the weight for a "lightweight/aero" bike at around 7.5kg isn't as appealing. The Trek Madone is the aero option which is again, quite heavy but it makes up with aero.

  8. Orbea vs Trek vs Cannondale vs Motobecane

    Anyone's thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated. Here are the bikes I'm checking out: Trek 2.1 ($1099) Orbea Gavia ($1199) Cannondale Caad 9 5 ($1299) Motobecane Sprint ($995) The LBS pro-talk tells me that the Caad 9.5 is the best value for the money at that pricepoint, but I'm awfully tempted by the Ultegra components of the ...

  9. Compare: 2021 Orbea ORCA M20 vs Specialized Tarmac SL6 Comp vs Trek

    Specs. ORCA M20 Orbea · 2021. Tarmac SL6 Comp Specialized · 2021. Émonda SL 6 Trek · 2021. Frame. Orbea Orca carbon OMR Disc, monocoque construction, HS 1,5", BB 386mm, powermeter compatible, Rear Thru Axle 12x142mm, thread M12x2 P1, Speed release compatible dropout, Internal Cable Routing, EC/DC compatible. BB Standard: 386EVO, 86mm, Press ...

  10. Best climbing bikes 2024

    Nearly everyone would like to climb uphill faster. Here are the best lightweight bikes as tested by the BikeRadar team.

  11. Orbea vs trek vs ? : r/whichbike

    The Orbea is more capable on the trails. But the Trek might be slightly more comfortable to ride on the road/paths. For the same price, the Orbea is a better buy imo, especially when you consider M4100 vs M5100. I've owned two Orbea's (road bikes) and they've both been great. true.

  12. Compare: 2021 Orbea ORCA M30 vs Trek Émonda SL 5

    Émonda SL 5 2021 Trek. Frame. Orbea Orca carbon OMR Disc, monocoque construction, HS 1,5", BB 386mm, powermeter compatible, Rear Thru Axle 12x142mm, thread M12x2 P1, Speed release compatible dropout, Internal Cable Routing, EC/DC compatible. BB Standard: 386EVO, 86mm, Press Fit. Colors: Raw Carbon- Titanium (Gloss); Metallic Electric Orange ...

  13. Need help in choosing my first road bike. Trek or Orbea?

    Two of my friends offered me their road bikes. One is a gray 105 Trek and the other is a black Ultegra Orbea (2013). The Trek one is 95,000 yen (744 USD) while the Orbea is around 80,000 yen (627 USD). I know that Trek is a good brand but the other one has a better groupset but I don't know if Orbea is a good brand.

  14. Trek vs Orbea... please help

    The price on both bikes is comparable. Please help me choose. Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk. Orbea is better head angle. The trek is too steep. The orbea has more stack. Again being more comfortable and better for learning the steep stuff. I think the 46t cassette is fine. Simple to maintain 11 speed and lighter weight.

  15. Trek Bicycle vs Orbea: Side-by-Side Comparison

    Orbea vs Trek Bicycle: Side-by-Side Brand Comparison. Compare Trek Bicycle vs. Orbea side-by-side. Choose the best bike brands for your needs based on 1,407 criteria such as newsletter coupons, Apple Pay Later financing, Shop Pay Installments, PayPal Pay Later and clearance page . Also, check out our full guide to the top 10 bike brands.

  16. Orbea, Trek or Specialized?

    Orbea Onix or Opal. The Opal is about $1000 more, but I'm not sure if the difference is worth that much. 2. Trek Madone5.1 or 5.2. 3. Specialized Roubaix Expert Ultimate or.Tarmac Expert. The prices vary some, but I'm looking more for frame quality, handling, and climbing. Any thoughts would be welcome.

  17. The best aero road bikes in 2024

    The best aero road bikes in 2024 | 20 top-rated bikes & buyer's guide.

  18. 16 of the best £2,000 gravel and adventure bikes from Cannondale, Trek

    Legendary Basque bike brand Orbea launched its foray into this sector with the Terra, designed around 40mm wide tyres and with disc brakes, thru-axles and internal cable routing. The model we've picked out uses an aluminium frame with triple butted tubing and a carbon fibre fork and is specced with Shimano's GRX groupset with Kenda Alluvium ...

  19. Specialized, Trek or Orbea, which one?

    USA. City. San Francisco, Bay Area. Mar 3, 2021. #3. My money would be on the Creo. It's a really versatile bike. The Orbea is beautiful and lightweight but the Ebikemotion system they use employs a speed + cadence sensor. PAS is not going to feel as natural as the torque sensor bikes from Specialized and Trek.

  20. Trek vs Orbea

    Trek vs Orbea. 1938 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by Swerny, Jun 15, 2009 Jump to Latest R. Rockne Discussion starter ...

  21. Compare: 2023 Trek Roscoe 9 vs Orbea LAUFEY H10

    The Trek Roscoe 9 and Orbea LAUFEY H10 are both aluminum frame hardtail trail bikes. The Roscoe 9 has 29″ / 29″ aluminum wheels and better components, while the LAUFEY H10 has 29″ aluminum wheels and higher gearing.

  22. Trek vs Orbea

    Bikes, Frames and Forks. Trek vs Orbea. Jump to Latest Follow

  23. Compare: 2023 Trek Top Fuel 9.7 vs Orbea OIZ M30

    120mm. 120mm. Brand Site. trekbikes.com. orbea.com. Summary. The Trek Top Fuel 9.7 and Orbea OIZ M30 are both carbon frame full suspension trail bikes. The Top Fuel 9.7 has 27.5″ / 29″ aluminum wheels and better components, while the OIZ M30 has 29″ aluminum wheels, a better fork, and higher gearing.