Shimano's Deore XT components are generally considered THE standard when it comes to high-quality mountainbike groupsets and brakes apart from pure race components. The classic Deore XT drivetrain combines high quality and durability with precise shifting performance, short shifting travels and low operation forces – smooth shifting even under heavy load is its domain and it is also characterised by a low weight of all components.
Shimano's Deore XT groupset appeals above all to sporty riders and, according to the Radfahren editors, it fits perfectly with the design of the Avantgarde, whose stiff, triple-butted frame is "of high processing and machining quality" and therefore stands for "corresponding dynamics", according to the test editors. The sporty ambitions are underlined by "the uniform saddle/handlebar level, which leads to a correspondingly moderate, slightly sporty seating position". The "wide, backsweeping handlebars [...] fit into the picture just as clearly as the grips, which are suitable for touring". "The overall stable, powerful cockpit gives you very good control of the front end," say the Radfahren editors.
The fact that the Avantgarde is also a tourer "is clearly indicated by the good suspension fork with relatively long travel". Here, the bike differs from some of its competitors who rely on rigid forks and have to make sacrifices in comfort. No compromises are made in the Avantgarde's drivetrain design either, because "with the XT groupset, it covers the entire, broad spectrum. The slightly wider cassette provides both speed and climbing ability". Here, the 3x10-speed setup can take full advantage of the broad gearing spectrum of the 48/36/26-tooth crankset and 11-34-tooth cassette.
The Avantgarde is particularly easy to ride at speed, because "the noticeably firm rear end and the fast touring tyres make for a nice, lively pace on all firm trails". At the same time, however, it conveys a high degree of comfort, because "rough edges lose much of their effect in the suspension fork". And in order to be able to decelerate safely even from high speeds, high-quality hydraulic disc brakes with 180/160 mm disc brakes are installed on the Avantgarde, they "pass the class comparison with convincing performance".
And so, with an overall rating of 1.5 and a "Very good", the Radfahren editorial team came to a clear recommendation: "Fast, agile, nippy. And at the same time suitable for long rides. The Avantgarde defines [...] what a modern, versatile trekking bike is".