Avanti is a brand we’ve somewhat neglected here at Flow. Despite the popularity of the bikes both here in Australia and in New Zealand, this is the first Avanti we’ve actually had on test! Shame on us.
Avanti’s dual suspension range has three bike lines to suit your flavour of riding. There’s the all-mountain 27.5″-wheeled Torrent, the longer-travel 29er trail machine Coppermine and the racy 100mm-travel Ridgeline series too.
With a two-day mission to film the trails that will be used for the upcoming Port to Port MTB stage race, we thought we’d opt for a lightweight, race-ready bike and selected the Ridgeline Carbon 2. With front and rear remote lockouts, narrow rubber and a geometry chart that is unmistakably cross-country oriented, this bike sure fits the bill for long days reeling in distant finish lines.
With a carbon front end and an alloy rear, the construction looks and feels robust – the frame is mighty stiff, especially out the back with sturdy 142x12mm dropouts using a Syntace axle. The bottom bracket shell is a solid looking PF30 affair too.
Internal gear cable routing keeps things clean (though we don’t know why the bike wasn’t configured so that the cables entered on the opposite side of frame from their respective shifters – this would have prevented cable rub). Faffing about with the remote lockouts took less time than expected, and the novel routing for the rear lockout works nicely. The Shimano-made lever actuates both fork and shock lockouts simultaneously, which is really ideal.
Interestingly, while the wheels are tubeless ready, the tyres are not. We wasted plenty of time (and sealant!) trying to get the Kenda Slant Six tyres to seal up, but it wasn’t happening. Our first move would be to get some new rubber on there. Setting up the Shimano XT brakes was a pleasure as usual, same with the XT 2×10 shifting.
We’ll be taking the Ridgeline to our favourite cross country trails over the coming weeks, but our impressions so far are positive enough that we’re already looking to test other bikes in the Avanti range soon.