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The 2021 Orro Venturi STC SRAM Force eTap Tailor Made takes all of the excellent qualities and attributes of the previous model but now comes with smoother lines thanks to fully integrated brake hoses and some bling-looking cockpit components to really make it stand out from the crowd. SRAM's excellent eTap groupset makes a welcome appearance too.
Orro could easily have rested on its laurels after designing one of the best aero all-rounders I've ever ridden, the 2020 Venturi Ultegra Di2 Wind 400, but it didn't.
The new fully integrated cable and hose routing not only gives marginal aero gains but also improves aesthetics, bringing refinement to the front end, and the SRAM eTap build gives you the ideal gear ratios whether you are hammering it hard on a flat road or taking to the hills for the day.
Before I get into all of that, though, let's have a look at what Orro hasn't changed: the ride…
For such a stiff frameset the Venturi offers impressive levels of comfort. You still know you are aboard a taut, high-performance machine, but there is no harshness or irritating vibration even with the tyres pumped up hard.
A lot of that is achieved by the use of spread tow carbon fibre (I'll touch on that in the section below about the frame and fork), but also in the way the carbon is laid up. Orro designs its own frames and doesn't use open moulds so the company has complete control over the finished product.
The smoothness of the ride means that even on long rides I didn't feel any fatigue at the usual points like wrists or lower back, which allowed me to push on at a quick pace for longer.
As I said in my previous Venturi review, its geometry and handling isn't as aggressive as a full-on race bike – it feels more like a very fast endurance machine with a racy edge. The stiffness from the oversize tubing and wide BB86 bottom bracket means that should you want to sprint or hit a climb hard, you won't be disappointed once you get out of the saddle.
I gave this bike everything I could in terms of power efforts out on the road and there isn't a whiff of flex anywhere.
The tube profiles and seatpost do bring an aero advantage, especially when paired with the 40mm-deep carbon rims. This top-level model also gets the BlkTec Carbon Aero stem and handlebar, which give that clean front end.
All this adds up to a bike that cuts through the air, especially when the speed gets up above 20mph, the point where aerodynamics really become noticeable in the real world. This thing absolutely motors on the flat, especially when you hunker down into the drops.
If you like your downhills then you'll love the Venturi. It feels totally planted thanks to the riding position the geometry allows, and the steering is quick without sneaking over the border into Twitchyville.
I'm a confident descender and really like to push a bike as fast as possible, especially on technical hills. Obviously, this doesn't always go to plan, but the Orro gives you plenty of feedback to let you know what the tyres are up to.
A few times I went into a bend a little hot, shall we say, but the Venturi is easy to bring back onto line whether through the steering or the application of the disc brakes. It's forgiving without damping down the fun levels.
As I mentioned, the frame is manufactured using spread tow carbon which means that the carbon fibre is arranged in flat, wide tapes; think of it as ribbons that are woven together.
Producer Sigmatex explains the benefits: 'Spread tow fabrics are very thin, are ultra-lightweight, have near zero crimp and fewer interlacing points. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, this technology has improved mechanical performance at a reduced thickness and cost when compared to standard 2D fabrics using 1K fibres. It is said to reduce weight and increase stiffness.'
The big change with this new frame, though, is the cable/hose/wire integration. Gone are all of the entry ports located on the down tube as they just aren't needed anymore. All you'll find is an exit point for the rear brake hose plus the front and rear mechs, although the latter two aren't used here as eTap is a completely wireless system.
Here, the brake hoses run from the shifters through the handlebar and directly into the stem, from where they are fed down into the head tube, guided by the headset spacers.
The spacers come in two halves, so should you want to remove some to trim the steerer tube you won't need to re-cable or re-hose.
The fork has also been tweaked as it no longer needs the entry point at the top of the leg, the hose again running completely internally until it exits just above the calliper. It's a very clean looking frameset.
When it comes to its design, the Venturi very much focuses on the aerodynamic side of things, as you can see by the deep section tubing.
First of all, it's developed around a 28mm tyre, highlighting the trend for ever wider rubber on race bikes, so while clearances are generous, the shape of the frame follows the contours of the wheel/tyre size closely when you look from the side.
The seat tube arcs around the rear tyre, for instance, while the angular down tube hugs the front wheel.
At the front the head tube, down tube and top tube basically mould into one, which gives some big cross-sectional areas for stiffness. The fork is also integrated into the down tube for a smooth transition.
Not everyone is a fan of press-fit bottom brackets because of early issues with very loose tolerances which resulted in creaking and poor bearing life, especially when ridden in the wet. I've said this many times over the last year, but I'm seeing fewer and fewer problems on the various bikes that I've been riding, especially those being ridden in the winter months.
One benefit that you get from pressing the bearings into the frame rather than having them sit outboard is that the frame can be wider here, allowing for extra stiffness without affecting the Q-factor, the distance between the pedals. The extra width of the bottom bracket shell allows the tubes joining it to have a larger cross-sectional area too, increasing stiffness and resisting any flex from the pedalling forces.
Overall, the whole frame is quite boxy and oversized, so it's impressive that Orro has been able to deliver so much comfort.
The Orro seatpost uses an internal wedge style system instead of the more common external seat clamp. The bolt is tucked away under the top tube and I'm pleased to say that it held the post securely throughout testing.
Geometry-wise, it's certainly speed orientated but not quite as aggressive as you might think. This large size comes with a 558.2mm effective top tube and a 163.8mm head tube. The seat angle on this model is 73.5 degrees, while the head angle is slightly slacker than expected at 72.3 degrees. This gives a stack figure of 561mm and a reach of 392mm, the wheelbase is 999.5mm.
Four sizes are available and two colour choices: gloss black with gold decals or this matt black version. I do like the look of the shiny one, but my son swayed me towards this one when he started calling it the Batman bike.
The Venturi range includes builds from Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM so you get plenty of choice. What we have here is the SRAM Force eTap AXS model and it's a groupset I really love.
First of all, once you get your muscle memory functioning it is such an easy setup to use. You have one button on each shifter, click the right shifter and it'll drop the chain down the cassette. Push the left one and it'll climb back up. Push both together and the front mech will move the chain to the other ring – proper simples!
The biggest draw for me though is the ratios. It's 12-speed at the rear with a 10-33t cassette, paired with a 48/35-tooth chainset.
With that 10t sprocket you still have a massive top gear for flying downhill (48x10 is roughly the same as 53x11) while the 33x35 smallest sprocket/ring combo gives you a low enough gear to get up the climbs.
Out on the road it just works really well, and to be honest on the majority of the rides the small front chainring didn't get a whole lot of use. The shifting is quick and crisp, the carbon cranks are super-stiff, ready for plenty of pedal mashing, and the whole setup runs very quietly. The Flattop chain continues the clean and smooth look, too.
It's also an easy groupset to set up thanks to SRAM's app, which allows you to set up how the shifters respond (it also shows you the battery life left on each component).
SRAM's hydraulic braking system offers loads of power and plenty of modulation from the 160mm diameter front, 140mm rear rotor setup. When new they were quite noisy in the wet, but after a hundred miles or so they started to quieten down and the braking power increased.
The top flight Venturi Tailor Made models come with the BlkTec stem and handlebar I mentioned earlier. It's a brand I first came aware of when I got to ride its C1 wheels back in 2014 – a full carbon wheelset that weighed an incredible 1,363g!
The carbon Aero stem looks the business with its smooth shape and flush top cap. It's stiff too.
The handlebar with the same name is stiffer than a lot of carbon bars I've used, but just like the frame, it doesn't feel harsh. The flat tops offer a comfortable hand position while being a little bit aero, and a nice touch is the full diameter centre section which allows you to fit a computer and lights, not something usually achievable on such designs.
Saddle-wise, you're getting a Prologo Dimension, one of my favourites. It's a firm seat, but I like that, and it kind of suits the Venturi. There is enough give in the padding to take out the worst of the rough stuff, and its stiff nature gives you a good platform to push against when sprinting or climbing in the saddle.
This Venturi comes with Fulcrum's Airbeat 400 Carbon 40mm wheels, original equipment models only available to bike manufacturers rather than the general public. They are very similar to Fulcrum's Wind 40 DB wheels in terms of hubs and rim depth but are a couple of millimetres wider to sit better with the 28mm tyres.
They have a quoted weight of 1,640g so they aren't the lightest out there, but their 24-spoke build provides loads of stiffness, and durability looks to be good too.
The spec list might say Vredesteins, but our test bike came with Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL tubeless tyres fitted to the Fulcrums. These aren't cheap when it comes to replacing them, but boy are they grippy and they roll fast too. Even on cold, wet roads they inspire plenty of confidence when you're racing through roundabouts or taking corners at speed.
Puncture protection has proved good during a time when the hedgerows are being shorn, and thanks to the internal liner they don't need reinflating very often.
This Venturi model is priced at £4,599, which I see as a lot of bike for the money when you take into account the groupset, wheels and finishing kit. There's been no skimping on the frameset either.
Canyon has updated its Aeroad for 2021 and it certainly looks a smooth and fast machine thanks to the integration of the cable/hoses, as with the Orro. The CF SLX 8.0 Disc AXS model comes with a Force eTap groupset like the Venturi but costs £5,499, though you are getting a set of 62mm-deep DT Swiss ARC wheels which definitely aren't cheap. Taking that into account, the Venturi still looks competitive against a brand that is often touted as offering impressive value for money.
A couple of months back I reviewed the Wilier Cento10 SL, and it was a thing of beauty, not just in the way it looked, but also the way it rode. It's a similar kind of design to the Venturi, with a nod to some aero benefits, and while it's a race bike its comfort levels mean that it covers big miles, fast, just like the Orro. I tested the Ultegra Di2 model, which costs £5,290, but Wilier also offers a Force eTap AXS model for the same price, with similar finishing kit to the Venturi.
The 2021 Venturi has retained all of the spirit and fun of the previous model but brings with it more refinement and makes a stunning looking bike even more appealing. The BlkTec components finish things off nicely, and the SRAM eTap groupset really exploits the performance of the frame.
Stunning looks, performance and ride quality in a very competitively priced bike
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Orro Venturi STC SRAM Force eTap 2021
Size tested: L
About the bike
List the components used to build up the bike.
Frame: ORRO Venturi STC
Seatpost: ORRO Carbon Aero
Fork: ORRO Venturi STC
Saddle: Prologo Dimension
Bottom Bracket: BB86
Stem: BlkTec Carbon Aero
Front Derailleur: Sram Force AXS Etap
Handlebar: BlkTec Carbon Aero
Cassette: Sram Force AXS 10-33
Shifters: Sram Force AXS Etap
Wheelset: Fulcrum Airbeat Carbon 40mm
Tyres: Vredestein Fortezza Tubeless
Rear Derailleur: Sram Force AXS Etap
Brake Calipers: Sram Force AXS
Chainset: Sram Force AXS 35/48
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, "Our brand new Venturi STC is an evolution of our much loved speed machine. We knew nothing had to be revolutionised with this bike so we have kept the geometry and handling that makes the Venturi so easy to ride and updated the frame and cockpit to make it even better. We now have a fully integrated cockpit on every model for improved front-end aero performance and a clean look.
'The Venturi is an aerodynamically optimised frame that rewards you with brilliant speed. This is a bike that encourages you to ride fast but lets you cruise in comfort when you want to calm things down. The Prologo, BlkTec and Sram kit ensure every contact point is a joy to use throughout your ride."
The Venturi is a stunning bike to ride and the latest tweaks have improved the aesthetics, while the SRAM groupset creates a clean looking bike and one that is efficient.
Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options
The Tailor Made line-up starts at £3,599.99 for Shimano Ultegra, with an Ultegra Di2 model at £4,399.99, and sitting above the Force eTap option is a Super Record build at £5,999.99.
Orro also offers a standard STC line-up with an FSA cockpit (everything is still integrated for a clean front end) and Fulcrum 400 DB wheels. That starts at £2,699.99 for an Ultegra model.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
It's a high quality frameset and the matt colour does give it a stealth look.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
Orro uses spread tow carbon from UK carbon composite specialist Sigmatex. 'Spread tow' means the carbon fibre is arranged in flat, wide tapes; think of it as ribbons that are woven together.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
It is a race-orientated bike, but with a slightly slacker head tube angle than I would expect; it means the steering isn't at all twitchy but remains quick.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The stack and reach figures are exactly what I'd expect for a race style bike; the stack divided by the reach is 1.43 on this large model.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
For such a firm frame it is impressively comfortable.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Stiffness throughout the frame and fork is very impressive.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
The Venturi transfers power well thanks to the oversize bottom bracket area, and the sub-8kg weight means that it feels responsive.
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? Just the fun side of neutral.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The steering overall isn't quite as sharp as some race bikes I've ridden but it is very close, and it means the front end never feels twitchy. If you find yourself a bit out of your depth the calmness of the steering lets you get things back under control without faff.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
The flat tops of the BlkTec handlebar give a comfortable hand position on long rides, and I'm a fan of the Prologo saddle shape.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
Both the stem and handlebar provide plenty of stiffness for out of the saddle efforts, as do the Fulcrum wheels.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
I get on really well with the ratios of the SRAM groupset.
Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
The Force eTap groupset works brilliantly. The gear shifts are quick and snappy, the braking is powerful and precise.
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 quality set of wheels that deliver some aerodynamic benefit without being so deep that they become a handful on windy days.
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?
The tyres on their own are pricey but the Venturi deserves their excellent grip levels and low rolling resistance.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
The Venturi is very well specced and I see this as a bike that needs no upgrades anywhere. It's good to see quality components like the BlkTec stuff and the bar's shape offers plenty of hand positions.
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?
Although the Canyon mentioned in the review costs a fair bit more, that's mostly down to the wheels; go like for like and the price would be about on par, which is impressive considering Orro is taking on the direct-to-consumer model that Canyon uses.
The Venturi comes in much cheaper than something like the Wilier Cento10 SL too.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Venturi still has one of the best carbon frames I have ever ridden and now it looks even better. The balance of performance and comfort is impressive and it really is a lot of bike for the money.
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!