The Avant hangs an awesome Ultegra Di2 build and hydraulic disc brakes on a classically styled carbon frame that’s stiff enough for racing but that has fender mounts and the relaxed geometry of an endurance bike. It comes with 25mm tires but can easily take wider rubber. The Avant is, in a word, versatile.
Our testers were unanimous in praising the build and pedaling responsiveness. Especially on the rough roads where we did our Buyer’s Guide testing, Di2 shifting was a blessing. But our testers also, to a person, dinged the Avant’s handling and vertical compliance. The steering manages to be both slow and unstable — with understeer in high-speed turns and difficulty holding a straight line, especially during hard climbing efforts. And while the Avant does boast forgiving geometry, the frame itself is notably harsh for something positioned as an endurance bike.
Wider tires, which the frame can easily accommodate, would obviously help with vibration. And the combination of disc brakes and fender mounts make for a go-anywhere adventurer. But there’s clearly room for improvement when it comes to handling and road chatter.
Component highlights: Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain with 50/34 crankset and Shimano 105 11-28 cassette; Shimano R785 hydraulic disc brakes; Shimano RX-31 disc wheels