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Carbon frame and fork and thru-axles on Saracen’s all-new disc-equipped road bike

Mountain bike company Saracen have launched the Avro, a disc-equipped carbon fibre road bike with thru-axles front and rear. It’s being sold with a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset and Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes for £1,799.

“Avro is everything we wanted a groundbreaking road bike to be. Over the past few years carbon fibre has become the material for building high performance bikes. Despite all the advancements in technology we’ve found it strange that road bikes are still using decades old designs in the form of braking and wheel axles,” says Saracen.

The full carbon frame, with a claimed sub-1,000g weight, has full internal gear and brake cable routing, and is Di2 compatible too. The carbon fork utilises a tapered steerer tube with the brake cable externally routed. Four sizes will be offered, each sharing the same slack geometry centering around a 70.5 degree head angle and long wheelbases, 1,049mm on the size 56cm.

Both dropouts use thru-axles, large diameter hollow axles that pass through enclosed dropouts and thread into the receiving dropout. Such technology is commonplace on Saracen’s mountain bike range and they even use the same 15mm front and 12x142mm rear standards.

Saracen have specced their own custom Alex wheelset with a disc-specific rim, laced via 24/28 spokes to sealed bearing hubs.Saracen claim a 1,600g weight for the wheelset. They’ve given the Avro big tyre clearance and the bike comes fitted with 28mm Continental Grand Sport Race tyres. The frame has mudguard mounts and with a pair of ‘guards fitted clearance for tyres is reduced to 25mm.

While the bike is forward-thinking with regards to disc brakes and thru-axles, they’ve interestingly steered clear of a press-fit bottom bracket. Instead, the Avro has a regular external threaded bottom bracket. That’s a sign of the company’s mountain bike background, external bottom brackets are still prevalent simply because they’re really easy to service and replace by the home mechanic.

On paper the Avro looks to offer good value for money with thoughtful design touches that should make it ideally suited for a year-round British bike. With mudguards fitted it would be perfect for commuting or training through the winter. You could even take it off-road if you fitted some lightly treaded tyres and pretended like you grinding some gravel.

And the name? That’s inspired by the British aircraft manufacturer that gave the world the futuristic Vulcan with its delta wing design back in the 1960s.

“In the late 1950’s Avro Engineering built  the first generation of probably the most  cutting-edge flying machine of its time:  The Vulcan. In 2015 we launch a cutting-edge flying machine of our own and as a  nod to past for world beating British engineering we have called it Avro,” says Saracen.

More details at  http://www.saracen.co.uk/bikes/road/avro

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. 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.

17 comments

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nuclear coffee [217 posts] 2 years ago
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This... may be my new favourite.

It's a looker (*cough* diverge *cough*), well priced, sensibly specced with the future in mind, and has mudguard mounts.

Do want.

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Cyclosis [73 posts] 2 years ago
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External BB too!

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jollygoodvelo [1537 posts] 2 years ago
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So, in a 'nod to world beating British engineering', are they paying any form of fee to A. V. Roe's descendants or BAE Systems (presumed owner of the Avro trademark)?

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BikeJon [161 posts] 2 years ago
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Looks very nice and I agree with nuclear coffee. It weighs 8.62kgs (19 pounds) for anyone that's interested (Saracen don't say which size that is for), which is again a decent weight for this spec. The only real issue is being an early adopter of those wheels as the market is hardly flooded with alternatives. They look pretty decent, having said that.

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bendertherobot [1270 posts] 2 years ago
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Just had a gander at the Tenet 3 disc. Tiagra, alloy etc at £979 ish. Looks very very nice.

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stem [37 posts] 2 years ago
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I would have preferred the option of 28mm tyres plus mudguards. Never happy, some people!

It seems as if through-axle is going to stick though.

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stem [37 posts] 2 years ago
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I would have preferred the option of 28mm tyres plus mudguards. Never happy, some people!

It seems as if through-axle is going to stick though.

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Chuck [568 posts] 2 years ago
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Most of the disc road bikes from the big names seem to have something on my list of wants missing, but this one seems to tick all the boxes. Non-pressfit BB is a bonus.

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truffy [653 posts] 2 years ago
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brakes are mechanical, not hydraulic. And I know that aesthetics are a subjective matter (and it is better than the Diverge!), but it's still not that easy on the eye. (IMO)

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DaveE128 [671 posts] 2 years ago
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What kind of headset does it take? Hopefully not the daft integrated sort?  39

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joules1975 [404 posts] 2 years ago
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Nice bike, but for around same amount genesis have the equilibrium ltd with shimano hydraulic discs. Better brakes and better looks!

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noether [96 posts] 2 years ago
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Life on such bikes starts at 28mm. And mudguards a must when commuting. The Vulcan engineers would not have been pleased with such an oversight, Saracen!

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barbarus [330 posts] 2 years ago
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Interesting... Both Saracen and Genesis are owned by Madison... So they are perhaps trying to dip toes into several markets?

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Yennings [237 posts] 2 years ago
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Looks like a tidy bike but bit confused about Saracen - obviously an iconic MTB brand back in the day, then seemed to plunge downmarket more recently into sub-Halfords territory. And now this move in the other direction. Did Madison acquire the brand recently then?

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Toast [26 posts] 2 years ago
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MKultra [396 posts] 2 years ago
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noether wrote:

Life on such bikes starts at 28mm. And mudguards a must when commuting. The Vulcan engineers would not have been pleased with such an oversight, Saracen!

I am not so sure, we are talking about a company that produced a plane that had ejector seats for the pilot and co pilot but none for the rest of the crew...

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dodgy [203 posts] 2 years ago
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Would it have hurt to provide just a few mm more clearance to allow mudguards on 28mm tyres? After all, that's what the bike ships with.

Sounds like a missed opportunity to me, but it's still at the top of my list for an all year round commuter and weekend tourer.