We popped down to distributor Paligap this morning to check out their latest products, and the undoubted star of the show was New Zealand brand Avanti’s brand new carbon-fibre road bike for 2014, the Corsa SL.
It joins the Corsa DR, their first aero road bike that we saw this time last year. Where the Corsa DR is all about reducing drag, the Corsa SL (as the name suggests) is focused on performance, handling and lightness. It takes over from the current Quantum in the range as the all-round top-end carbon race bike.
There are some clear influences from the DR. There’s a similar aesthetic not only in the colour scheme on this example, but also the profile of the tubes and shape of the frame. Beside the Quantum, the previous go-to race bike in the range, the Corsa SL, looks thoroughly modern from every angle. It’s quite a leap forward for Avanti in design, and thrusts them into the spotlight alongside the latest bikes from brands like Felt, Cervelo, Trek et al.
It’s clearly drawing on the Corsa DR for its inspiration, and the latest thinking in high-end road bike design with some of the key features. There’s the down tube which carries a slight aero profile - not as extreme as the DR but clearly intended to minimise drag to a degree. A slim top tube carries the aero influence, as does the integrated seat clamp.
The rear brake caliper has vanished from the seatstays and now resides under the chainstays. An increasingly common design, it not only increases the aerodynamic performance but also frees up the seatstays to provide more deflection to lend some extra comfort.
There’s a new fork, with a distinct angled side profile, and asymmetric chainstays - the non-driveside stay is noticeable oversized - designed to prevent the rear triangle twisting under load. Bang on-trend is the 27.2mm seatpost, an easy win in providing a little extra deflection to help absorb vibrations from rough roads.
As is necessary with any top-end carbon frame, the internal cable routing is fully compatible with both mechanical and Di2 electronic groupsets. Cable routing isn’t usually worth a mention, but it is on this bike, with two details that stand out. First, the rear brake cable sprouts out of the down tube well before the bottom bracket, which as the effect of creating a smooth cable path and also allowing for easy servicing. Secondly, the rear dropout has an integrated cable stop which locks the ferrule into place just where the cable exits the chainstay, again creating a smooth cable path to the derailleur.
Geometry is on the racey side of fast, with a 16.5cm head tube on the M/L size, with a 56.5cm horizontal top tube. The wheelbase is 98.5cm, the front centre 59cm and head and seat angles are 73.5 and 73 degrees respectively.
The bike is so new that this is the only one in the UK. As such, Paligap haven’t yet confirmed prices for the range, which will start at Shimano 105 level, but expect something in the region of £2,600 for an Ultegra build like the one pictured. As soon as we get the official prices we’ll let you know.
More details soon...
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.