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Verdict: 
Gran fondo bike with high-performance edge for racking up big miles in comfort
Weight: 
7,480g

The Orro Gold Limited Edition is a gran fondo bike with a high-performance edge for racking up the big and the not-so-big miles in comfort. As such, it's going to appeal to a whole lot of riders.

Orro is a brand from major UK bike and parts distributor i-ride. www.i-ride.co.uk. It launched last year with two road models, the Gold and the Oxygen. Both have been designed by Orro; you won't see these bikes badged up elsewhere with someone else's name.

The Gold that we have in on test is a limited edition model courtesy of its gloss black paint scheme with a gold fleck finish – the bike is hand-painted in the UK – and a choice of different from normal groupsets. You can choose between the 2015 Campagnolo Chorus option that we have here and Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical.

Whichever you go for, the price is the same: £2999.99.

Here's why the Orro Gold Limited Edition might be right for you.

Comfort is key

Orro talk lots about comfort and they've delivered plenty in the Gold. If you have a line with 'harsh' written at one end and 'plush' written at the other, the Gold is certainly positioned closer to 'plush'. It's not super-soft in terms of its vibration-eating capabilities, but it cancels out enough buzz that you can focus on the job of getting the power down rather than nursing your battered body towards the end of a long day in the saddle.

Orro reckon this is down to the blend of 20, 40, and 60 Ton carbon fibre that they use in the frame, the 20 Ton material being used to provide flexibility in the seatstays and the seat tube. Who knows? It could be. The point is, though, that you don't feel like the back end is constantly kicking you in the arse when the road surface is anything less than perfect.

The Continental Grand Prix 25mm tyres help on that score too. Orro spec 25s across all build options in the range – it's part of the brand's DNA rather than just something that has been added as an afterthought – and there's enough clearance to fit mudguards easily too. You can go with 28mm tyres if you're willing to forgo the mudguards.

Saddles are always a matter of individual preference but I really liked the Prologo Kappa Evo too. There's enough give in the shell to soak up the odd bump and the cushioning is ample rather than excessive.

The other factor that adds to the comfort is the frame geometry. Orro have designed the Gold as a gran fondo bike rather than as a full-on race bike, so the geometry is a touch more relaxed.

We have the medium model in for review and it comes with a 554mm top tube and a 174mm head tube. That makes for a ride position that's relatively easy on your back but still performance-orientated. Know what I mean? It's designed for riding fast but it's not extreme.

As long as you have reasonable flexibility, you should be able to divide your time between the tops, the hoods and the drops without too much trouble, that drop position being low and aggressive enough to ride efficiently when you really want to turn up the speed.

Great all-round handling

Don't let all this talk of comfort leave you with the impression that the Orro is some sort of armchair for the elderly. It's a long, long way from that. Bikes can be both comfortable and responsive; the two aren't mutually exclusive.

The Gold comes with a tapered head tube (1 1/8in at the top, 1 1/2in at the bottom) and a BB30 bottom bracket, and Orro claim a fully painted frame weight of just 955g. Our complete bike hit the road.cc Scales of Truth at a highly respectable 7.48kg (16.5lb) and it gets off the mark with the energy you'd expect from a bike of that weight.

You'll find bikes that climb with a little more urgency but the Orro certainly doesn't hang around on the slopes, giving you a generous return on the power you invest. The aluminium handlebar and stem from 3T hold steady when you get out of the saddle and grapple with them, and the frame itself doesn't let itself get pushed out of shape to any notable extent when you're giving it maximum torque on the steep stuff.

The other aspect of the handling that's worth mentioning is the Orro's stability. Whereas some bikes can feel twitchy and need constant attention to keep them on track, the Orro is steady. That's particularly good news over the course of a longer ride and it also makes for confident descending. That's a time when any skittishness can get magnified and become a real problem, but not here. The Orro feels safe and well-anchored on even the fastest downhills.

Talking of descending, the Campagnolo Chorus brakes provide very good, morale-boosting control when you need to rein things in. Admittedly, a lot of that is down to the fact that they're working on the aluminium rims of Fulcrum Racing 3 wheels here, but as a package everything works very well, giving you the assurance you need to take on the descents rather than backing off just in case your equipment lets you down.

New Campagnolo Chorus offers very good performance

The standard Orro Gold is available in two different builds: Shimano Ultegra mechanical (£1,999.99) and Shimano Ultegra Di2 (£2,599.99). Both come with Fulcrum Racing 3 wheels.

The bike we have in for review, though, is the Gold Limited Edition built up with a Campagnolo Chorus groupset and those same Fulcrum Racing 3 wheels. The Gold Limited Edition is also available in a Shimano Dura-Ace build at the same price, £2,999.99. The same frame is compatible with both mechanical and electronic shifting, by the way, if you want the option of swapping further down the line.

This is the first time that we've had the chance to use the redesigned for 2015 Campag Chorus groupset on road.cc and we like it very much.

Chorus is Campag's third tier group (if you take the EPS electronic groupsets out of the equation), and one of the biggest changes this time around is to the chainset. Like Shimano, Campagnolo now use a four-arm spider (that's an odd image) on their higher level chainsets, and a single bolt circle diameter. In other words, gone are the days of one bolt pattern for standard chainrings and another for compact chainrings. That makes it a lot easier and cheaper to swap chainring sizes. Campag also claim an increase in chainset stiffness.

The Orro Gold comes with a 52/36-tooth combination which I really like, providing a wide range of gear ratios suitable for most scenarios. It's almost the best of both worlds.

Campag have made changes to both mechs and to the internals of the ErgoPower levers too (I won't go into the nitty gritty here) but they've retained the ability to upshift by up to five sprockets at a time and downshift by up to three sprockets at a time. You can also run the chain in the big chainring and the largest sprocket without any rub on the front mech if you really want to (there is still a trim position when you're in the small chainring).

The biggest difference between Campag and Shimano (and SRAM) that will affect your everyday riding is in the way that they shift, and you'll probably already know which system feels most natural for you. People argue the toss about the perceived engineering pros and cons of each design but in choosing between the Campag Chorus and the Shimano Dura-Ace version of the Orro Gold, I'd go with the one that feels right to you.

Other high quality components

The rest of the Orro Gold's components are all good, solid kit too. The Fulcrum Racing 3 wheels – these are the Dark Label limited edition version with non-standard graphics – aren't super-high end but they're pretty light, stiff and responsive, and I've always found them tough enough to handle the knocks. We've used them on loads of review bikes that have been through the road.cc testing mill and I think I'm right in saying that we've never had any major issues with them. They just work, basically.

The wheels come shod with Continental Grand Prix tyres that provide good grip and decent puncture resistance without being too heavy.

3T provide the Ergonova handlebar, ARX II Pro stem and Stylus 25 Pro seatpost. These are all reliable aluminium offering, and I've already mentioned that I got on well with the Prologo Kappa Evo saddle.

Summing up

There aren't all that many bikes out there that spec Campagnolo Chorus as original equipment (the increased competition in the groupset market is why Campagnolo plans to make almost one in five employees at its Vicenza factory redundant and shift more production to Romania) and those that do exist don't tend to be cheap.

De Rosa's Idol Chorus, for example, is £3,299.99 while the Bianchi Infinito CV Chorus is £4,199.95. 

You can, though, get less expensive Chorus-equipped bikes. The one that leaps to mind here is the Canyon Endurace CF 9.0 Pro at £1,999 (plus forwarding charges). We reviewed this bike in a Shimano Dura-Ace build and it offers astonishing value through Canyon's direct-to-consumer retail model. That's freakishly cheap, though.

To sum up the Orro Gold Limited Edition in brief, it responds to your input a lot like a race bike but it offers just a bit more comfort largely thanks to its geometry. This is a bike you can ride quickly all day long, and that means it'll prove popular with a whole lot of people.

Verdict

Gran fondo bike with high-performance edge for racking up big miles in comfort

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Orro Gold Limited Edition

Size tested: 55 - Black and Gold

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Frame is a custom blend of 20, 40, 60T carbon fibre

Press Fit BB30

Custom UK Paint Job

955g frame (painted)

Hybrid electronic ready cable routing

Groupset Campagnolo Chorus 11spd

Wheels Fulcrum Racing 3

Tyres Continental Grand Prix 25mm

Handlebar 3T Ergonova

Stem 3T ARX II Pro

Seatpost 3T Stylus 25 Pro

Saddle Prologo Kappa Evo saddle.

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Orro call it a gran fondo bike - so fast and light but slightly more relaxed than a full-on race bike. That sums it up well.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

Riding the bike

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? The bike feels steady compared to most.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
7/10

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
8/10

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
7/10

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes, it's a very easy bike to get along with; no foibles.

Would you consider buying the bike? It's not exactly the type of bike I'm after, but it behaves as it's supposed to.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
8/10

Anything further to say about the bike in conclusion?

You might argue that this bike looks expensive compared to the Canyon Endurace CF 9.0 Pro but the same applies to many other Chorus-equipped bikes. On the other hand, it looks cheap compared to the Bianchi Infinito CV Chorus. Comparing spec sheets is dangerous at best.

This is a bike that achieves what it sets out to achieve by providing speed and comfort. It's easy to live with and a lot of fun to ride.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,

 

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

7 comments

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mike the bike [955 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Classic, understated finish and Chorus - lovely to behold.

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Geordie Simon [25 posts] 4 years ago
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I was told it's using one of De Rosa's frame moulds, don't know about differences in lay up tho

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Daveyraveygravey [535 posts] 4 years ago
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I've got money for the Oxygen version, but can't spend it when I see the Gold.

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bartsie [17 posts] 4 years ago
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> You'll find bikes that climb with a little more urgency

Not mine though. You could put it on a slope and it will still be there days later. Unless somebody nicks it.

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Okinawa [65 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

You are aware the word limited is meaningless. Everything is limited, except space

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Okinawa [65 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

And you guys are lapping it up, drooling over a bit of plastic, sorry I mean carbon made in China

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Bike Swanky [66 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

We run the standard Orro Gold (all sizes) in our demo fleet if anyone would like to try one out.

We've ridden them ourselves and frankly we've been very impressed. Sizing is quite different to the Oxygen (which we also have in the demo fleet) so it's worth trying one out on an extended demo ride before you get one.

The level of detail that the Orro team have gone to in the design of these bikes is brilliant. Real British artisans.

If you click on Book a demo on our site we'll be able to arrange something for you.

https://bikeSwanky.co.uk/bike/demo-orro-gold-ultegra-11-black

https://bikeSwanky.co.uk/bike/demo-orro-oxygen-accelero-pro-105-black