Why choose between a tri bike and a road bike when you can have both? This is the question Orro claimed to have answered when they launched the Venturi Evo Tri in February, taking their Venturi Evo aero road frameset and simply adding a sliding tri bike-style carbon seatpost, a tri saddle, rear hydration system and clip-on bars.
- What’s the difference between a triathlon bike and a road bike?
- How does riding a triathlon bike differ to riding a road bike?
- When should I upgrade to a tri bike?
While triathlon is usually on the cutting edge of bike tech, modern road cycling trends such as disc brakes, wider tyres and tubeless-ready wheels have taken a little longer to trickle through. Yet the Venturi Evo Tri incorporates them all and adds the tri-specific sprinkles mentioned above.
The frame stands out from the crowd with chunky, angular tubes and a striking paintjob. Fully designed in-house by Orro, the frame has a triple carbon-fibre lay-up that Orro say provides an ideal blend of stiffness and comfort. We’d agree as, after numerous long rides, the Venturi Evo Tri is far more comfortable than its aggressive appearance suggests, while still offering huge amounts of stiffness through its oversized tubes for sprints and threshold efforts. The handling is as sharp as we wanted it to be through corners.
In terms of geometry, it’s on the racier side but not quite as aggressive as some aero road bikes out there. A 14.2cm headtube and 72.3° head angle on our medium test bike are figures you’re more likely to see on an endurance road bike. This doesn’t tell the full story, however, as the carbon seatpost created specifically for the Venturi Tri Evo makes it possible to slam the whole saddle on its rails much further forward, for a much steeper seat angle than the 74° quoted on the geometry chart. Bolt on the quality Vision Trimax clip-on aerobars supplied and it’s possible to near enough replicate your position on a dedicated tri bike. That said, the S-bend bars won’t allow you to have your hands right out in front of your head Mantis-style on a ski-bend-style bar.
- Aerobars: Integrated versus clip-on – which is best?
- How much time will aerobars save me?
- How to fit aerobars (tri bars) onto your bike
The frame is optimised around a 28mm tyre, which boosts both aerodynamics and comfort. While there are faster tyres out there than the Continental Grand Sport Race, the 35mm-deep Fulcrum Racing 4 alloy wheels are a generous addition at this price point. They’re also tubeless-ready thanks to Fulcrum’s ‘2-Way Fit’ system.
A full Shimano 105 Disc 7000 groupset offers great shifting, while an 11-30t cassette paired with the mid-compact chainset gives you enough low gears for steep inclines, and braking is dependable and reliable as you’d expect. There are 12mm thru-axles front and rear, and Orro incorporate a clever switch lever system for fast wheel removal.
With space for two bottle cages already as standard, it’s likely that only triathletes who want to use the Venturi Evo Tri for middle and long-distance triathlon will need to use the Vision Trimax rear hydration system supplied.
All in all, the Venturi Evo Tri is ideal for triathletes who want a bike to do it all or those who prefer drop-bar comfort. There are more affordable carbon road bikes out there that you could bolt tri bars to, of course, but the quality of the frameset’s difficult to match – and having everything in one package saves you hassle. It leaves us wondering why more bike brands don’t simply throw in quality tri bars and a hydration solution and sell to age-group triathletes like Orro has done.
Verdict: The Venturi Evo Tri bridges the gap for those who don’t want to commit to a full tri bike and/or demand road bike comfort, and we think it fulfils this brief to the letter. 91%