Orro Bikes have earned an excellent reputation for building value-for-money bikes, all made to order at their factory in the heart of the South Downs, in the shadow of the legendary Ditchling Beacon.
This one kilometer long climb, with an average gradient approaching 10% and peaking at 16%, is heaven for local cyclists looking to test their mettle.
The Gold Evo is the brand’s version of an endurance bike and is available in this full Shimano 105 spec, or a cheaper 105/FSA mix with mechanical disc brakes for £1,799.99.
Gold Evo 105 frame and specification details
Claimed frame and fork weights of 1.15kg and 460g respectively are good for a bike at this price and compare favorably to offerings from top brands like Specialized’s Roubaix, Giant’s Defy and Cannondale’s Synapse.
Orro’s frameset is designed in the UK. The Gold Evo uses three types of unidirectional carbon fiber in the frame construction, optimized to create stiffness through the head tube and bottom bracket.
The design eschews the trend of lowered seatstays in favor of a more traditional diamond-shaped frame, while the seatstays themselves are slim and slightly arched above the rear dropouts to provide comfortable compliance.
Tire clearance is quoted at 30mm, but there’s plenty of room both at the fork and rear with the 28c tires fitted, so if you wanted to go bigger the Gold Evo could easily take some oversized tires.
For a bike designed in the UK, it seems a bit of an omission not to have the frame fitted with mudguard mounts. There are plenty of clip-on fender options out there, so it’s not a big loss, but some riders will find it a problem.
The frameset is built with a solid selection of components, with Deda supplying the cockpit in the form of the Zero 1 stem and bar.
The bar’s semi-compact drop is one of the best shapes on the market, fitting your hands well when in hoods, and the transition between the highs and the drop provides a great platform for the heel of your hand when holding the hoods.
Prologo’s Kappa saddle has a well formed channel and is generously padded to produce a comfortable seat.
Geometry Gold Evo 105
Although aimed at the long-distance endurance rider, the geometry of my XL test bike—a 600mm stack and 406mm reach—is on the sporty end of the endurance spectrum.
When you factor in the short 410mm (407mm on small sizes) chainstays, tight 1015mm wheelbase, 73-degree head angle and steep 73-degree seat angle, 5 degrees all adds up to a very fast and capable bike. This contrasts with the more stable and relaxed geometry that can define some endurance machines.
Driving impressions Gold Evo 105
The alloy seat post does its job well enough, but in the long run it would be on my list to upgrade to a carbon post with a bit more compliance.
It’s not that the Orro wants comfort – the combination of its well-designed frame and compliant 28mm Continental tires successfully smoothes out rough tarmac. The tires may come from Continental’s second-tier range, but they still offer excellent wet and dry grip, and roll quickly.
They are wrapped around Fulcrum’s Racing 800 33.7mm deep alloy wheelset. At 1960 ga pair, these aren’t the lightest road bike wheels out there, but they are a high quality wheelset with smooth hubs, quick engagement freewheel and construction tense.
This makes for a bike that responds quickly and climbs well.
When I swapped out the wheelset for a lighter set, the Gold Evo turned into a formidable ascender, making it a bike that’s packed with long-term upgrade appeal.
Its Shimano 105 drivetrain may be the last hurrah for mid-level mechanical road bike groupsets with the arrival of the 105’s electronic Di2 iteration, but that’s no reason to ignore it.
The shifting quality is superb and the gear range – combining a 50/34 crankset with an 11-30 cassette – is the perfect split for big rides and big climbs.
The hydraulic brakes have plenty of feel and power, although the rotors are at Shimano’s entry level and can get a bit noisy when really heated. However, it’s not intrusive enough to become a problem.
Gold Evo 105 bottom line
On the road, the Gold Evo is everything a great everyday bike should be – the ride quality is smooth without being soft.
The frame reacts and accelerates quickly, and the geometry of the front end strikes the happy medium between speed and stability, making the Orro a great companion on climbs and corners.
The plush feel means it adapts well to rougher road surfaces, maintaining its line and being undisturbed by ruts and bumps, while offering plenty of comfort.
There are minor issues such as the lack of fender mounts and noisy rotors, but Orro has produced a compelling all-rounder at a great price.
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