This is the Orro Venturi, which has taken third place in our SuperBike of the Year. Seeing as it’s rather super, we thought that we’d take a closer look!
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 (which we’ll touch on a bit later), 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 means that even on long rides there isn’t the feeling of any fatigue at the usual points like wrists or lower back, which allows you to push on at a quick pace for longer.
What we love about the Venturi is that it has a great combination of that comfort and race performance. Its geometry and handling aren'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.
You can give this bike everything you can in terms of power efforts out on the road and there isn't a whiff of flex anywhere. The tube profiles and seatpost also bring an aero advantage, especially when paired with the 40mm-deep carbon rims.
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.
The Venturi also feels totally planted thanks to the riding position the geometry allows, and the steering is quick without getting that horrible twitchy feeling.
The model that we have has a SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset, and and many riders really love it. With just one shift paddle for each hand to control, it’s a very easy groupset to get the hang of.
The biggest draw for many 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 - a 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 on the majority of the rides, the small front chainring won’t be getting a whole lot of use. The shifting is quick and crisp, the carbon cranks are super-stiff, and the whole setup runs very quietly. Oh, and how good does that Flattop chain look?
The top-flight Venturi Tailor Made models come with the BlkTec stem and handlebar. The carbon Aero stem looks the business with its smooth shape and flush top cap. It's stiff too. The handlebar is incredibly stiff, 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 we usually see on such designs.
Prologo provides its Dimension saddle while Orro has gone to Fulcrum for the Airbeat 400 Carbon 40mm wheels.
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 says that '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.
So why did it place third in our SuperBike of the Year category? The Orro Venturi STC 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.
The fact that this still combined the comfort that we’d expect from an endurance bike with the speed that we’d want from a race bike makes it a cracking option for anyone that wants to ride fast and long.
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.