Light, nimble and with a nice handling – this is how touring bikes are supposed to be and to ride, says My Bike in its test report about touring bikes in the magazine’s March 2018 edition. And the STEVENS Avantgarde ”was close to being the perfect touring bike”, the editors state at the beginning of their report about the bike spec’d with a suspension fork and Shimano XT drivetrain.
In the overall ranking of nine tested bikes it ended up as the test winner. It was simply made for long-distance outings, but also in the city, when traveling, and even off-road it performs really well.
Its geometry promotes a relaxed and upright seating position (at least in comparison to the otherwise rather sporty STEVENS bikes, according to the editors). ”Still, the Avantgarde is an agile, nimble ride, its stiff frame provides great directional stability.
This directional stability was the result of a highly engineered aluminium frame with tapered seat and steerer tube, load-specific tube shapes and wall thicknesses, and the front wheel thru-axle. Plus, the air suspension fork from Suntour performed perfectly.
The road test with added luggage confirmed the frame’s stiffness: The added weight of 12kg (26.5lbs) inside the panniers did not show any influence on the handling and ”the bike tackled the 22kg (48,5lbs) maximum load with exemplary minuscule lateral torsion”, the editors said. A reason for this stability is the way the pannier rack is attached to the frame: It is supported by the frame and a U-shaped strut traverses the rear wheel under the mud guard.
In the category ”drivetrain” the editors awarded the best mark of 1.0 (A+) for the well-proven 3x10 system. Also the wide but light tires (Schwalbe Marathon Racer) were rolling smoothly and offered reliable traction on tarmac as well as on unpaved surfaces.
Conclusion: ”the Avantgarde is very close to being the perfect touring bike. The extremely stiff frame offers a relaxed seating position. This makes the versatile, nimble bike very safe and fun to ride.”