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Orro continues the theme of designing solid, fun-handling, good value bikes with its Terra C Adventure gravel bike. It's that familiar balance of comfort versus performance that the company seems to do so well, and it means that the Terra C is enjoyable to ride on and off the road. You get a decent spec list for the money too.
I reviewed the Orro Pyro Evo late last year and I was very impressed with the way it rode, and this Terra C shares many of its attributes. It feels like a very capable endurance road machine but with room for bigger tyres and a slightly more relaxed front end to take the twitchiness out of the equation when on the rough stuff.
On its website Orro describes the Terra C as 'a lightweight gravel bike', and it has a racy edge to it. It's absolutely spot on for nailing around on the local tracks and trails at speed.
The frame is pretty stiff which adds to that performance feel; Orro has brought it right to the edge of feeling harsh and unforgiving without letting it become so. With the tyres pumped up to road pressures, darting off onto a newly discovered bridleway saw the Terra C skipping about on the gravel a bit, but while your wrists take a few knocks, the carbon layup damps a lot of the vibration out without killing the feedback from the tyres.
At more sensible off-road pressures, the Terra C deals with the worst of the terrain well, and you can remain in the saddle over even the roughest of tracks.
Hit a climb or you just need a bit of a boost of speed and the Orro responds instantly to your input at the cranks.
The extra bottom bracket shell width used by the BB86 press fit bearing cups means that the down tube can be wider and the chainstays beefed up. The resulting bottom bracket junction area is huge and when you are really hammering it, it is here that you can really feel the benefits.
This medium model has a 74.2-degree seat angle which is relatively steep and puts you in a forward race style position for getting the power out.
The front end is also designed for stiffness and you'll notice the now obligatory tapered head tube and corresponding fork steerer to deal with steering and the increased braking loads of the disc rotors.
The head angle is more typical of that found on the majority of gravel bikes at 71 degrees, which just takes the edge off the steering speed. For off-road use it is about right – the handling still feels precise and quick enough to be fun but without the twitchiness of a more aggressive front end. Something you don't want when the surface is moving around beneath you.
Riding one of my mixed terrain routes, which takes in about 35 miles of wide-open gravel tracks, woodland trails, small gravel byways and the odd bit of tarmac, the Terra C performed very well throughout.
The 1,031mm wheelbase keeps the bike short enough to be flickable and responsive, something that really showed up when bunny hopping the tree roots and potholes when charging down the local singletrack.
The only thing I was really needing was some deeper treaded tyres because of the wet and muddy conditions the UK is currently seeing, to really exploit the handling.
Those tame manners of the front end showed their benefits though, as correcting the sliding front or rear wheel never became too much of a challenge.
Take the Orro on the road and many of the findings on the gravel are mimicked here. The comfort is still there, even with skinnier, slick 35mm road tyres fitted and pumped up hard. The performance is there too. At 9.08kg it's similar in weight to many disc-equipped road bikes so it is no slouch in the hills either.
Coming down the other side, the only thing that is really going to curb your speed is the lack of top end gears on the 1x groupset (other builds are available with 2x groupsets) as the handling is still competent enough to see you carving your way between the apexes.
At high speed the turn-in feels a little lazy compared to a true road bike, but it's nothing major and you soon adapt, especially if you are riding the Terra C for the majority of the time, unlike me where I'm constantly riding up to four different bikes a week.
With mudguard mounts and locations for fitting a rear rack, the Orro could easily be put to work as a winter trainer or commuter. Its sensible road manners make it perfect for riding on wet or tricky surfaces and it's surprisingly quick on the road.
Orro designs its own frames and forks, developing its own moulds, which is quite an investment, but bikes like the Terra C, Pyro Evo and the brilliant Venturi show it's worth the effort.
This Terra C shows a very good understanding of the carbon grade used and its layup, in the way it delivers performance and comfort in just the right levels at various parts of the bike.
It is very well built too. Removing the seatpost and looking under the headset bearing cap shows no rough edges to the carbon finish, plus it is all finished off in a very classy Radiant Steel flip paint job. It looks awesome in the sun!
The noise of rocks and stones pinging off a carbon frame always fills me with dread when riding at speed on gravel, and while I've yet to see any damage to the underside of a down tube, Orro has increased the impact protection by strategically locating Innegra in areas that are likely to see the most abuse.
Innegra is a tough, durable lightweight fibre whose yarns can be woven with others, like carbon fibre, increasing strength without adding weight.
For neatness, the Terra C has full internal routing for the cables and hoses. Some brands choose to have them exit under the bottom bracket right into all of the mud and water spray, so it is good to see that Orro has extended their runs to exit on the chainstays.
There are blanking plates used to cover the entry port not used because of the lack of front mech on this 1x setup, and the unused Di2 port down near the bottom bracket shell is also discreetly shielded off.
If you wanted to change to a 2x setup all of the bolts are provided for attaching the front mech.
The press fit bottom bracket doesn't have a huge amount of fans because of potential issues with water ingress and the resulting creaking, and while we have seen many brands move back to threaded, some haven't.
Orro has gone down the BB86 route, and while the last six weeks have probably been one of the wettest test periods I've ridden through, I haven't had any issues with creaking. To be honest, on a lot of test bikes I've reviewed over the last year with press fit I have seen much less of an issue than I did with bikes before that.
I mentioned earlier that the Terra C takes mudguards and a rear rack, and it's another high-five to Orro for their positioning.
A lot of bikes have taken different approaches because of the positioning of disc callipers or the lack of a mounting point with no rim brake calliper fitted, but the Terra C has its threaded mounts exactly where they should be: at the dropouts, fork crown and seatstay bridge. This makes fitting off-the-shelf mudguards a much easier experience.
I say dropouts, but technically the Orro doesn't have them as it uses 12mm thru-axles front and rear.
Tyre clearance isn't the largest we've seen at 42mm for both frame and fork. Some frames are getting closer to 50mm, with the wider rubber being more suited to the wet, muddy conditions found on the UK's gravel tracks compared to the firmer, dustier ones more often found in sunnier climes.
For me it's not exactly a deal breaker. There are plenty of decent 40-42mm tyres out there with enough width and tread to offer plenty of grip, it just all comes down to where you ride, I suppose.
Shimano was late to the game with its 1x gravel groupset, but it was worth the wait. The Orro comes equipped with the 600 level of the GRX group and it really is rather good, as you can see from Mike's review.
I really like the shape of the brake levers. You are still getting the excellent hood shape similar to that found on the Ultegra/105 road versions but the actual levers have a scalloped, flat profile to them which gives you more surface area for your fingers to rest on when you are riding on rough terrain at speed. It stops your fingers sliding or bouncing off.
GRX comes in both 2x and 1x options and for this Adventure model the ratios are specced as a 40T single chainring with an 11-42T cassette. For me that is a decent enough spread of gears to get me up my local steep climbs in the saddle, and off-road you have plenty of top end too.
On the road or smooth gravel, I did tend to find that the gaps between the ratios are a bit of a jump and sometimes you just can't get that right gear – you're either spinning too fast or a bit too slow. That isn't a direct whinge at the Terra C as it's something I find with the majority of 1x systems, and as I said earlier, there are a selection of 2x Terra C builds available.
Performance-wise the shifting of the GRX 600 groupset is top notch even under load and when covered in mud and grit. The clutch rear mech keeps the chain taut so there are no worries about unshipping because of the lack of a front mech, and your chainstays won't be taking a battering either.
Orro has gone with 160mm diameter rotors on the Terra C so there is plenty of stopping power available. The GRX brakes have that familiar Shimano progressive feel to the way they transfer the output at the lever to the pads, which gives you plenty of control when the ground is slippy, even when you are having to grab the brakes hard.
For the cockpit Orro has gone for FSA components.
The Adventure Compact bar has a good flare to it, giving you a wider stance when in the drops at speed which gives a feeling of better steering control. Its shallow shape means the drops aren't too much of a distance from the hoods either, so you don't need to be massively flexible to use them.
The Omega ST stem does the job without really being noticeable, which, to be honest, is what you want from it.
The alloy seatpost is Orro branded and kept secure by the seatpost clamp that comes with an integrated rear light. It's a neat touch and while not the brightest in the world it'll help you out in an emergency.
Saddle-wise it's a Prologo Kappa RS model and I found it comfortable. There is enough padding to take the sting out without being overly squidgy, not something I'm a fan of.
The Terra C Adventure comes with Fulcrum's R700 DB wheelset, an OE version of the Racing 7 DB model.
They are solid performers, taking plenty of abuse from the gravel tracks and awful weather conditions that these have seen without complaining. The bearings in the freehub are still spinning smoothly and no noises have emanated from them.
They are tubeless ready, and their width makes them work well with the standard 38mm tyres that come fitted.
At around 1,750g they aren't the lightest out there, but for gravel use, durability is more of a concern than ultimate performance.
The spec says Hutchinson Overide, but the test bike came with Vredestein Aventura tyres. They offer a decent balance of off-road grip while minimising rolling resistance on the road. If you are going to be chopping and changing terrain and don't want the faff of swapping tyres, they are a good compromise. The tread works okay on hardpacked gravel and dry mud trails, and they are fine on grass too. If you are spending a lot of time off-road in the winter, though, I'd definitely go for something with deeper knobbles.
On the road they grip pretty well even when taking fast bends at 40mph, and they roll along at a decent lick too.
A lot of my rides took me over sections of country lanes that were covered in hedge cuttings but thankfully I didn't suffer a single puncture so I'm happy with their resistance levels.
The Adventure version of the Terra C comes in at £2,099.99, which puts it up against some very good opposition.
I really liked the way that the Giant Revolt Advanced 2 behaved on and off-road. The spec lists are similar, and it's exactly the same money bar 99p, but it is a fair bit heavier at 9.75kg.
Undercutting the Orro slightly is the GT Grade Carbon Expert that David Arthur was very impressed with. It comes with Shimano 105 gearing and similar parts to the Terra C for £2,000. The GT also has a limit of 42mm tyres.
I really like the way the Terra C behaves wherever you are riding it. It feels fast and it's fun to ride off the beaten track, and works well on the road too, with impressive levels of comfort and performance that make it especially enjoyable to ride for many hours. If you are looking for a good value one-bike-for-all-use, it's definitely one to consider.
Stiff yet comfortable gravel racer that is just as much fun to ride on the road as off it
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Orro Terra C Adventure 2020
Size tested: Medium
About the bike
List the components used to build up the bike.
Chain: Shimano 105 7000
Wheelset: Fulcrum R700 DB
Seatpost: ORRO Alloy Setback
Saddle: Prologo Kappa RS
Cassette: Shimano GRX600 11-42
Handlebar: FSA Adventure Compact
Shifters: Shimano GRX600
Stem: FSA Omega ST
Bottom Bracket: BB86
Rear Derailleur: Shimano GRX600
Brake Calipers: Shimano RX400 Hydraulic
Tyres: Hutchinson Overide 38c
Chainset: Shimano GRX600 40T
Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Orro says, "With its new colourway the Terra C now stands out from the crowd more than ever before. Designed as a lightweight carbon gravel bike the Terra C is fast on both road and gravel. Its lightweight frame has inbuilt impact protection which is provided by strategically located Innegra in the frame layup, as well as clearance for up to 42C tyres making the Terra C the ideal UK gravel bike. Step back onto the tarmac and it becomes immediately apparent that the Terra C is not just a one trick pony. The excellent power transfer provided by the carbon layup equates to brilliant acceleration and it's brilliant handling gives the upmost confidence while cornering and descending."
It is a very good all-rounder based around a quality frameset.
Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options
The range starts with the frameset at £1,399.99, a Shimano 105/FSA mechanical build (£1,799.99), 105 Hydro (£2,099.99) and an Ultegra model for £2,499.99.
There is also a mechanical 105/TRP build which comes with a bundle of kit including a Bryton computer, tools and some bags for £1,648.99 which looks to offer good value.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Finished to a very high level and the paint looks great in the sun.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
Both the frame and fork are made from carbon fibre with the addition of Innegra for added strength to deal with the rough abuse from gravel tracks.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The geometry is aimed at a more aggressive riding style than a lot of gravel/adventure bikes. It has a steep seat angle and relatively short head tube which allows you to really get the power down. The head angle is slackened off a touch from that found on a road bike, which keeps the handling neutral off-road.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The medium model has a stack of 587mm and a reach of 387mm which is typical for the size of bike. It gives a ratio of 1.55 which is very similar to most endurance road bikes.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Yes. Surprisingly comfortable considering how stiff it is.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
No issues with stiffness at all. The use of the wide BB86 bottom bracket means that the larger tube profiles resist any flex under pedaling loads.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Power transfer is very good thanks again to the size of the tubes and chainstays around the bottom bracket area.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Responsive off-road while being more neutral on it.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The steering has a good balance of being quite direct without ever entering the twitchiness side of things. Plenty of feedback from the frame and fork really helps let you know what the tyres are up to as well.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
I was impressed with the padding and the shape of the Prologo saddle.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
The Fulcrum wheels offer plenty of stiffness for out of the saddle efforts.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
Low gears are great for steep off-road climbs although if you are going to spend a lot of time on hardpacked gravel or road the 2x builds might be more suitable.
Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
I really like the shape of the brake levers as they give a larger platform for your fingers when braking on rough terrain at speed. The cassette ratios are quite gappy for road use though.
Wheels and tyres
Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?
A solid set of wheels for all-round use. Swapping to a lighter set flatters the Orro's performance, when you fancy an upgrade.
Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?
A pretty versatile tyre for a range of terrains and robust too. You'll need deeper tread if you are going to find yourself in wet mud, though.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
It's good to see a flared handlebar specced for gravel use and the compact drop is very accessible.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Orro sits alongside the likes of the Giant Revolt Advanced 2 (£2,099) and the GT Grade carbon Expert (£2,000). For the quality of the frame and the specification, it's pretty good value.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Terra C Adventure is a very complete package. It works on both road and gravel, has a very comfortable and high performing frameset plus gets a good value build for the money. Some riders might want larger tyre clearances though.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!