When it comes to hometown sporting heroes, Brazil’s Henrique Avancini is about as close as you can get to a national cycling treasure, boasting ten cross-country national championships, a UCI XCM world championship in 2018, and a World Cup XCO victory in 2020 – the first for the largest country in South America. He’s even largely credited for almost singlehandedly spearheading the rising popularity of mountain biking in Brazil.
After eight productive years with Cannondale, Avancini has returned to his roots for 2023, forming his own eponymous team – Caloi / Henrique Avancini Racing – with three other Brazilian riders and in partnership with Brazil’s biggest bike brand, Caloi (which, as it turns out, falls under the same Pon Holdings corporate umbrella as Cannondale so Avancini is still in the family, so to speak).
While most of the top sponsors on the World Cup circuit have long histories of upper-tier race wins and deep catalogs filled with high-end options, Caloi has a far more modest background. In fact, there are just five carbon fiber cross-country mountain bikes in its lineup in total – and just one full-suspension model – with the most expensive Elite Carbon Team hardtail’s coming in at roughly mid-range in most major brands’ pricing tiers.
Avancini’s bike is based on Caloi’s Elite Carbon FS, a short-travel (roughly 100 mm) full-suspension platform that passes over the more common single-pivot flex-stay rear-end design for a Horst-link four-bar setup with a physical pivot just ahead of the rear dropouts. Frame geometry is on the more traditional side, with a somewhat shorter reach than what’s found on more progressive options, an average 68.5° head tube angle across the board, and a fairly upright 75° seat tube angle – all pretty normal stuff.
However, while the stock Elite Carbon FS features a workhorse build kit with a mix of Shimano Deore and SLX components, Avancini’s setup is far more premium. Shimano still headlines the show, but with the flagship XTR groupset, including a massive 40T chainring for the short track event at the opening round of the UCI cross-country World Cup series in Nové Město, Czech Republic. FSA provides its wild-looking KFX SIC one-piece integrated carbon fiber bar-and-stem combo, while Fox supplies its 120 mm-travel 34 Step-Cast Factory fork, Float DPS Factory rear shock – with remote lockouts for both – and Transfer SL Factory dropper seatpost.
Far more exotic is Avancini’s wheelset, which comes from Dutch brand Ninefold. Avancini’s Yarrow SL Ultimate model features silly-light 275-gram (claimed) carbon fiber rims that still boast a generous 30 mm internal width, DT Swiss 180 EXP hubs, and exotic Berd woven polyethylene spokes for a remarkably low total claimed weight of just 1,010 g (and a whopping retail price of €3,400). Wrapped around those rims for Friday’s speedy short track race were a set of 29×2.25” Vittoria Terreno Dry tubeless tires (presumably swapped for something with a bit more tread for the more technically demanding XCO on Sunday).
What’d the whole thing weigh, you might wonder? Unfortunately, our photographer on the ground didn’t have a scale handy, but based only on the spec sheet (and those wheels), somewhere around the 10 kg mark seems like a safe bet.
More information can be found at www.caloi.com.