Back at the end of June we brought you a first look at Avanti's new Carbon Torrent. Well yesterday unbeknownst to me, a box showed up here addressed to long time Spoke contributor Leif Roy. I wasn't about to leave the box unopened and quickly ripped into it and was surprised to find a built-up Carbon Torrent inside. A few phone calls later and all was clear as mud.
Leif Roy, seen here on the cover of issue 38 on board the very first iteration of Avanti's much lauded Torrent platform, is not only a pretty handy bicycle rider but by day is a qualified and very experienced industrial designer. Of late though his focus has switched to usability and the research side of design. Given his design pedigree and his long relationship with Avanti's MTB product designer Brent Burrows, it just seemed right that Brent would put Leif on the bike for a month or so and give the Avanti team some real world feedback on the new bike.
Now, this bike is done and dusted, I mean it's supposed to arrive in shops later this year. Nothing Leif says can affect the bike's final result right? Well, kind of. You see Avanti announced about a month ago that they're doing away with model years when it comes to releasing bikes. A bit like Santa Cruz, there's no set time for them to release a new bike other than 'hey we just found a way to make it better'. That might be two years from the last one, might be five or it might be less. With Avanti having dropped the shackles of being confined to a set release date and having to change bikes each year, they are consistently testing and revising to make a better bike. And as far as the Torrent is concerned, it started out four years ago as a great bike and each year it's gotten better, and that's due to people like Leif riding it and giving quality feedback to Brent and his team so they can take those things on board. And it's a constant process; after Leif is finished with the bike it will be going to another tester with different terrain in a different area for more evaluation.
It's pretty clear too from the picture above that this build doesn't reassemble the production version of the Torrent's final build found in our last post. Part of the testing process for Brent and his team is also about build and what components work with the bike, and for the Torrent this year it's also worth noting that it will be available as a frameset. On this test rig, only the frame and seatpost match what you'll able to buy; the frameset version will come with a Kashima-coated Fox CTD rear shock. But Avanti know that people will change things and getting their testers to spend time on different builds arms Avanti with a tonne of knowledge about how their bike works under different setups, people and terrain.
Case in point, the fork. There's no denying the Pike is a popular fork, but none of the upcoming Torrent models will be featuring this fork, although no doubt a bunch of the framesets sold will end up built like this.
And like this too, SRAM's 1x setups are everywhere. It's good to know the folks at Avanti are thinking like us and evaluating the bike not only in its on-the-shelf form but in the ways that framesets and shop ready versions are very likely to evolve into.And as a bonus, for us here at Spoke we get to ride what we think is a pretty amazing bike on our local trails.