First Look | The Avanti Gran Durance 3 is a new budget friendly adventure machine

The latest bike to land in the Flow test fleet is Avanti’s do-everything-ride-everywhere-drop-bar-shredder-that-also-won’t-break-the-bank, the Gran Durance 3 gravel bike.

With an alloy frame, more mounting points than you can shake a handlebar bag at, and a solid spec, the Kiwi outfit pitches the Gran Durance as ready to tackle dusty backroads or the urban jungle.

Before we get this sucker broken in with a healthy coating of mud and trim up our moustaches to embrace the #SpiritOfGravel, let’s see what the Avant Gran Durance is all about.

The Gran Durance 3 is the top-spec alloy model of this bike and it’s designed for big rides in the backcountry.


Avanti Gran Durance overview

The Gran Durance 3 is Avanti’s top-spec alloy model, that’s mated with a carbon fork at the front. There is a carbon model above it however, the geometry varies slightly and comes spec’d with a 1x drivetrain — though there are mounts for a front derailleur.

The alloy version of the frame fosters an upright riding position; if that wasn’t enough to tip you off to the adventure focus of the Gran Durance 3, the 16 mounting points for bottle cages, bags, banana holders and whatever else you may need to keep you fuelled, warm and dry on two wheel adventures. There’s also provisions to run full-coverage fenders.

There are a boatload of mounting points on the Gran Durance 3.
There is no denying that running everything through the top headset bearing cleans up the front end. But we still aren’t on board with this new trend sweeping across the industry.

The frame is well finished, with no two tubes totally round or the same shape. Avanti has also opted to route the cables through the headset, guiding everything through the Satorie Viper stem. There is no doubt it cleans up the front end, but it’s still hard to look past the added faff should you need to replace the bearing.

To get the cables back out of the frame, Avanti has employed what amounts to a rudimentary tube-in-tube system that creates one cavity to guide the cables down to the BB before they head to their destination. Inside everything is wrapped in foam tubing to keep rattles at bay, although the open end feels a bit unfinished and seems like it may invite mud and grit buildup.

According to Avanti, there’s room for 700x50c tyres between the stays, though the bike is sent out with 40mm Kenda Alluvium Pro rubber. Everything is tubeless ready, however, the Alex GX26 Gravel rims are not taped (grrrr!), so you’ll need to pick up a roll of tubeless rim tape and some valves.

After the cables and hoses disappear into the headtube, they emerge from what is a basic tube-in-tube routing system under the BB.
It’s been a while since we’ve ridden Kenda tyres, but the tightly packed centre strip with more pronounced shoulder knobs should be fast rolling and suit a pretty wide range of conditions.

Avanti Gran Durance Sizing & Geometry

The Grand Durance’s geometry is an interesting one. The vast majority of the numbers on the chart are tipped towards stability. With the 70° head angle, a trail figure of about 76mm — if our calculations are correct — 435mm chainstays, and a loooong 1,058m wheelbase, the Gran Durance 3 should laugh in the face of speed wobbles.

Another interesting nugget is the 70mm BB drop. With the 40mm tyres this produces a 290mm BB height, which is more in the realm of what we’d expect from a CX race bike, so you should also be able to pedal through corners like MVDP at Hoogerheide.

Avanti Gran Durance 3 Pricing & Spec

Sitting second from the top in the range, the Grand Durance 3 sees a full Shimano GRX 11-speed groupset. The rear derailleur is the RX 812, which can handle up to a 42T sprocket and has a clutch to keep the chain quiet and on the front chainring.

The levers come from the second-tier GRX 600 series. These are slightly heavier than their 800 series counterpart and lose the free stroke adjustment screw. But the lever blades get the same rubberised coating which provides a significant improvement over the polished road Ultegra and Dura-Ace versions, and what you see from SRAM, especially when you’re hanging on for dear life with sweaty hands or in the wet.

The touchpoints come from Syncros, the rolling stock which we mentioned at the top comes from Alex — both are aluminium.

Priced at $2,999.99 AUD it only costs $700 AUD more than a Specialized Diverge E5 Evo Frameset. If we’re talking complete bikes with an 11-speed drivetrain or better, the competition is with a Polygon Path or Marin Headlands. Not bad value for a bike that’s purchased through a brick-and-mortar bike shop. Stay tuned for our full review to see how it stacks up.

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