Excellent bike, lightweight frame and stunning looks
Zero flex on power, ultra responsive, very light and modern design, attractive top tube and bottom tube design, single mount F brake for which I can't tell performance diff compared to direct mount, R brake is undercount which lacks some feel compared to seat stay type however to my surprise do not collect any more gunk being located down there and it ads a very clean aesthetic look to rear of bike.
Decent road compliance makes my alloy bike feel like its running 140psi in the tires.
Superb factory back up should anything go wrong with the frame.
Designed with feedback from Avanti race team
Max 25mm tires which was fine for me as 28mm lack road feel from using them on other bikes
If you're thinking of buying one you won't be disappointed.
Lightweight aero race bike for everyday riding at a great price
I recall reading before I bought my 2013 Avanti Corsa DR team that this bike represented a giant leap forward for the Kiwi manufacturer and considering I had (and still do) the previous Avanti Quantum I agree.
The author has been riding for 20+ years, but doesn’t have the luxury of riding too many other bikes so this review is primarily comparing the Corsa DR Team Vs a 2011 Avanti Quantum 2, which in itself is a good bike.
Firstly a disclaimer that the comparison is not quite fair as one bike is mid spec 2011 vintage and the other is the current top spec, but before you despair, I encourage you to read on.
The Corsa DR is a big leap forward. My bike shop was suggesting, without being committal that my “Team” version was 6.8kg (without pedals and cages) and whilst not wanting to challenge what they said, when I measured it (non-calibrated kitchen scales) I got a number around or just under 6.8 – wow!
The model I have has DA9000 running gear which is awesome. I’ve test ridden some Ultregra Di2’s and yes they are good, but I wouldn’t swap my mechanical DA9000 for one as the mech DA9000 is very quick, light, precise and feels very strong and is ultimately significantly lighter than the Ultegra Di2. Since I still have a good bike with Ultegra 6700 mechanical, it is an easy comparison and yes whilst it changes gears well (and perhaps better than 105 and cheaper kit) it is a noticeable step down from DA9000.
The frame on the Corsa DR Team is very light, but more importantly it is stiff. Whilst I am sure there are stiffer bikes out there, this is plenty stiff enough for me and most applications and subject to strength in legs, have no troubles keeping up with another riding wanting a sprint. Compared to the mid spec Quantum, this is most noticeable in that I actually pull one gear taller for same effort level pulling away from traffic lights, which means I accelerate faster. Very noticeable in group rides…
I will let others more familiar with lots of wheels describe the technical details, but if nothing else I love the look of the ZIPP 60’s. Yes, they do catch some cross wind, but if riding solo I am not bothered. If riding in a pack then a little extra caution required. They seem solid and strong enough and don’t seem to have any undue flex. There are lighter and better wheels around, but for the very significant upgrade cost. These will do me just fine.
Speed increases with the aero bike:
Lets be honest, for those of us averaging 30km/h or less, there isn’t a truckload of difference in the aero effect and these effects are more noticeable the higher up in the speed regime you go. Since most of us don’t cruise at 40+ most of the time, the benefits are more in the mind and soul than in the legs. On my normal milk run 30-50km mostly flat circuits, I reckon there’s perhaps 0.5km/h improvement in my un-calibrated, similar HR and similar fatigue levels than my old non-aero bike and this concurs with most professional views for modest speeds (average around the 30 mark.) Having said this, where this bike really shines is up and down hills – see below and in rolling tests with some other guys in a local group, I reckon there might be 1-2km/h difference in a constant downhill roll at 40ish.
Maybe its perception, but I am sure that I accelerate faster and easier from 30-35 or from 35-40 with this bike than before and can only put this down to slight aero improvement and stiffer package.
In my opinion the frame is very stiff and despite some suggesting aero wheels aren’t for climbing I am climbing significantly better on this bike / wheels than on my old one (same gearing) which is only 2kg heavier at most. My climbing speeds would be comfortably more than 1km/h better for the 8+% slopes and faster again for the gentler slopes which have shared the significant time of the Strava climbing segments I’ve done. I’d estimate circa 10% or more improvement in climbing speed.
This is where this bike absolutely shines compared to my old Quantum in that the frame’s handling and my downhill average speed down the backside of Mt Macedon (which involves several downhill corners and hairpins requiring breaking – 7km at about 5% average) has increased by close to 10km/h and I am now in top 10% of Strava-ites for this segment. This is almost entirely due to the increased level of confidence with cornering and breaking.
Love the DA brakes – these are so much better than Ultegra or 105 and with the aluminium inserts on the wheels, they are very smooth and linear.
The slick Kendra Kountach’s that come with the bike are fine. Yes there will be aficionado's who always want their GP4000’s on (which I have on the older bike), but since I don’t ride the bike in the wet I have really gotten into the Kountach’s and believe they offer very good grip around corners and at 3000km am just starting to look like fullish life for the rear which is about 500km less than I got out of my last GP4000 rear.
Saddle / Seat:
The Zero Zenith Team SL saddle is the best I’ve ridden on hands down. Not only is it very sexy being all carbon and very thin, but for me, even after several hours, it is the most comfortable I’ve been on. Anecdotally a friend who had the same saddle and then “upgraded” to another bike / brand saddle of supposedly higher rating / cost, now regrets it.
Still not perfect and there is a tendency still (carry over from the old frame but far less pronounced) to kick the rear a little under hard acceleration on bumps at speed, but realistically this is a great handling bike. It can be whisper quiet and smooth on the smooth blacktop and has only reasonable transmission on course sealed roads.
Honestly – I wouldn’t know – this is why I kept the old bike.
Yes – There is still a tendency if riding hard over bumps at speed for the rear to want to kick, but it is so much less than my old bike and so seldom seen that I am OK with this.
Being an aero frame and seat post, it is hard to find rear lights that will easily attach and even the Giant aero seat post rear light doesn’t look like it will fit. My solution is crude but effective and cheap and involved a 25mm PVC elbow from Bunnings for a few cents taped in place above the rear brake that allows easy fitment of my lights designed for a 25mm or larger seat post.
Is this bike worth the upgrade from a Quantum (or anything similar from that generation) considering it will cost you circa $5+k for a new one – YES. Are there better bikes out there ?– likely, but also likely at far higher cost. In my case this one massages the mind and soul to a greater degree than the improvements in performance and it encourages me to get out more and that for me is the clincher… I feel like I’ve upgraded from a decent Jap car to a German prestige one…
Fantastic bike, great value, serious performance machine for those seeking one of the best value for money bikes on the market.
light frame, great control, comfortable yet drives power efficiently,
not much to dislilke
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