Berria Belador Allroad LTD review
A race-oriented gravel bike with a bump-taming seatstay pivot
This competition is now closed
By Oscar Huckle
Published: October 17, 2022 at 1:00 pm
Berria's Belador Allroad is the Spanish brand's first gravel bike, featuring a pivot at the seatstay junction that's reminiscent of the Kingpin suspension found on Cannondale's Topstone
Berria says the bike is designed for "maximum performance" and intended for gravel racing, although it can also take on light bikepacking duties.
That's quite a wide focus, but the Belador Allroad largely delivers on that promise, both for better and worse.
The Belador Allroad certainly cuts a striking silhouette with its ‘Active Flex Concept’ seatstay pivot the star of the show, as well as its curved and kinked seat tube.
The pivot is said to offer up to 26mm of movement, with the Spanish brand claiming the system offers "increased comfort and decreased rider fatigue… while improving traction, grip and control when the course becomes technical".
Berria also points to the specific carbon layup and 27.2mm carbon seatpost as being other key factors driving the bike's ride quality.
The Belador Allroad uses an HM2X carbon frame and fork, which features a mix of Toray T700 and T800 carbon fibres. The claimed frame weight is 1,060g in a size medium.
Berria has opted to head down the integration route at the front end, with hydraulic hoses and applicable gear cables routed through the own-branded Avanforce ICS2 stem.
The hoses/cables then head in front of the oval-shaped fork steerer tube and through the upper Acros headset bearing.
It's a neat design, but means you’ll need to disconnect your hydraulic hoses every time you replace a headset bearing.
Flat-mount disc brakes and 12mm thru-axles are used front and rear.
The Belador Allroad features SRAM's universal derailleur hanger (UDH) and can be run with either a 1x drivetrain or with a front derailleur, thanks to a removable hanger.
Tyre clearance is rated to a reasonable 700 x 44mm, or 650b x 47mm, although many more adventure-focused bikes can accept gravel tyres upwards of 700 x 50mm.
Berria has obliquely profiled the inside faces of the chainstays and seatstays to avoid mud accumulating, which it dubs the ‘Anti-Mud System’.
Although the brand says the bike can take on bikepacking duties, available mounts extend as far as bottle cage bosses for two bottles and a top tube mount for a bento box. There are no mudguard or rack mounts, nor are there any mounts on the fork.
The down tube features three bottle cage bolts, so you can alter the position of the bottle cage. Berria says you can run either two 500ml bottles, with the down tube bottle cage positioned in its uppermost setting, or one 750ml bottle on the down tube positioned in the two lower bosses.
I was able to fit two 750ml bottles when running the down tube cage in its uppermost setting, but if you run it on the lower setting, it fouls the seat tube bottle cage.
Berria offers four carbon models that share an identical carbon frame and a more affordable alloy model, the Belador Allroad HP, which retails for £1,500 / €1,750.
I tested the Berria Belador Allroad LTD, the top-of-the-range build, which costs £5,100 / €5,999.
I opted to test the bike with a rigid fork, rather than the RockShox Rudy suspension fork it would traditionally come specced with. We’ve already reviewed the RockShox Rudy suspension fork and, because all of the other Belador Allroad models come with this rigid fork, this would allow for the most applicable test across the range.
The fork is full carbon and features a flip chip at the fork dropouts, where you can alter the geometry by changing its orientation. I wasn't able to experiment with the flip chip during testing, because the adaptors weren't available at the time of the test. Berria expects them to be available in March 2023 but, for now, this does limit some of the potential versaility of the bike.
For reference, the flip chip was pre-set to its racier position. Berria wasn't able to provide figures for how the geometry would change when in the alternate setting.
Due to lack of availability, Berria sent the bike with an aluminium handlebar (rather than carbon) and rigid seatpost (compared to the RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post it would typically be specced with). More on that later.
My medium test bike in its non-standard build weighed in at 8.8kg.
As far as gravel bike geometry is concerned, Berria describes the Belador Allroad's layout as "aggressive", featuring a 71-degree head tube angle and 74.5-degree seat tube angle. This is paired with a 398mm reach on a size medium.
Berria says the short 419mm chainstay length "ensures whip-like reactions on challenging terrain". They are both slightly dropped and flared "for powerful acceleration, minimising energy wastage", according to the brand.
I am 5ft 11in and tested a size medium, which fitted me reasonably well. The stock medium build comes with a 100mm-length stem and a 42cm handlebar. I prefer a 40cm-width handlebar and, while I didn't find the 42cm overly uncomfortable, my arms felt a little splayed out. If this was my own bike, I’d experiment with running a 10mm longer stem and a 40cm handlebar, but fit is very personal, of course.
If Berria was to manufacture a medium / large, that would probably fit me best and would provide more room in the main triangle for storing bikepacking bags and bottles. It would also allow for a slightly longer reach and a shorter stem.
I tested the Belador Allroad LTD for just under two months and clocked up 850km.
The bike was tested on trails in and around Bristol and into the Cotswolds in the south-west of England. I also took the bike back with me on two occasions to my home area in Berkshire and rode the Belador Allroad around familiar Chiltern trails.
Additionally, I rode the bike on the West Kernow Way, a bikepacking route in Cornwall devised by Cycling UK. Accounting for some diversions on the 230km route, I covered a total of 277km off-road with 4,565m of elevation over three days.
The Belador Allroad is certainly at the firmer end of the gravel spectrum in terms of ride feel and performs best on undisturbed gravel paths, with reasonably few technical obstacles in its way.
The seatstay pivot takes the sting out of bigger bumps rather than introducing a wallow-like quality. Be under no illusion though – even with the pivot, this is a firm ride and the front-end comfort is mismatched with the rear.
This is where changing the flip chip orientation of the fork or, by extension, running a RockShox Rudy would help, because it would counter-balance the good work the seatstay pivot performs. Another factor that contributed to the somewhat rigid ride quality was the Zipp 303S carbon wheels.
Berria offers the Belador Allroad LTD in two wheel options – Fulcrum Rapid Red 900s or the Zipp 303S carbon wheels supplied on my test bike.
The Zipp 303S wheels aren't natively a gravel wheelset – they’re more at home as an aero road option – but, with a wide 22.7mm internal rim width, they are suitable for gravel use, too.
Although they are quick when riding at higher speeds, they are very stiff, resulting in a somewhat uncompromising ride.
You would likely find an aluminium gravel wheelset more compliant.
I’m confident with a change in wheels and by either running a Rudy fork or the rigid fork in its relaxed setting (via the flip chip), the bike's overall potential could really be unlocked.
It's a real positive that Berria has thought of different options here and although there are more comfortable and relaxed alternatives out there, the Belador Allroad should prove a quiver-killer for the gravel racer who wants a bike that can handle rides beyond race day.
The Belador Allroad is an efficient climber and you don't feel the pivot wallow and hold you back. Its low weight means you can really blast up the climbs.
It's also comfortable enough to sit up and spin, and the beefy bottom bracket junction feels stiff under power.
On descents, the Belador Allroad rewards you on gradual or non-technical terrain, with pin-sharp handling.
It proved a potent weapon on my favourite gravel descent in the Chilterns. It's a forgivingly smooth trail, and the Belador Allroad ripped its way down and felt more alive as I put more effort in.
On another group ride, I headed down a twisty blue mountain bike trail with a fairly fine surface and, again, the bike felt sure-footed and happy to play.
However, the Belador Allroad proved a mixed bag on technical descents, lacking some poise and transmitting harsh vibrations through the front end.
I took the bike down some fast descents with more than their fair share of roots and gulleys – descents I know like the back of my hand. Simply put, I found the bike seemed nervous holding its line and the rigid front end, in particular, doesn't do your wrists any favours.
Trails that I can bomb down on my Niner RLT 9 RDO reference bike had to be taken with care on the Belador Allroad and even my older Norco Threshold cyclocross bike felt as though it had more finesse when the going got rough.
Despite its rigid, race-oriented behaviour, the Belador Allroad bears the demands of bikepacking surprisingly well.
Perhaps it was the effect of having to mount the best part of an additional 10kg load in my Apidura Expedition bikepacking bags, but the bike took on a different, calmer persona when fully laden.
The West Kernow Way features extended sections of singletrack trails in places, with sharp rocks sticking out of the ground, waiting to wreak havoc with your tyres. As well as having to skilfully avoid them, the odd barrier or metal step are other obstacles to negotiate.
The Belador Allroad surprisingly performed brilliantly, offering a decidedly more relaxed ride. It even felt sure-footed on technical, singletrack descents. Crucially, at the end of the three days, although my legs were beaten up, the bike had held its own.
Berria's Anti-Mud System concept is an excellent feature. Even with the maximum 700 x 44mm tyre fitted, there is extra room between the tyre and seat tube and inside faces of the chainstays for mud to be shed.
It also has the potential to reduce the chances of carbon abrasion, which can be a surprisingly common problem when running close-fitting tyres.
However, the fact the seat tube is positioned slightly more in-line in the main triangle limits bottle cage clearance on my size medium.
The decision to use SRAM's universal derailleur hanger is also to be applauded. It lends a clean aesthetic and makes life easier not having to source a proprietary hanger if you bend or break it. More gravel bike brands should get on board with this.
The ‘Fire Red’ candy paint scheme is one of the highlights of the bike, attracting positive comments from other riders. However, I noticed some black dirt marks in places under the lacquer, which was disappointing from a finish perspective.
The internal cable routing of the frame is fairly quiet, although the caveat here is you only have the hoses running through rather than two additional gear cables, because this build is running a wireless electronic groupset.
The Belador Allroad uses an integrated seat clamp on the top of the top tube, with the bolt angled at 45 degrees.
I’m generally not a fan of this design because it almost always makes installation and adjustment needlessly fiddly. I would much prefer a traditional seat clamp.
However, hats off to Berria for angling the bolt, because it meant I could get most of my preferred hex keys or torque wrench sockets in there without fuss.
However, a concern is that the seat wedge bolt showed considerable signs of surface rust, less than a month into testing. This is despite the bike being stored inside in a warm, dry environment. A better-quality, or even titanium, bolt should be used here.
The frame uses a BB86 press-fit bottom bracket. It's one of my preferred standards and it was creak-free throughout the testing period, which is as much as you can hope for.
It was a shame there was a lack of chainstay protection on my sample, but Berria told me that production models will come with a clear vinyl protector so you can avoid worrying about damaging the paintjob.
The Belador Allroad LTD comes equipped with a SRAM Rival XPLR eTap AXS groupset. This was my first experience riding the group and I found it to mostly be a suitable match for the bike.
The XPLR's 10-44 cassette was paired with a 40t chainring. There were times on my bikepacking trip when I wished for an easier gear, which could be achieved by running a SRAM Eagle drivetrain. Otherwise, it's an excellent choice for most riding conditions.
Shifting quality is generally excellent, although I found shifting speed to be noticeably slower than Shimano's Di2 system.
The drivetrain performed close to faultlessly, though, bar one dropped chain.
My only gripe with the groupset concerns the shifters. I prefer the more bulbous shape and supple hood material of the Force and Red shifters, while they have a slightly longer hood length, which is noticeable when putting the shifters side by side.
That said, I liked the added texturing on the Rival's lever paddles.
The SRAM Rival hydraulic disc brakes offer bucketloads of power and modulation. The brakes were really put to the test, especially in Cornwall where lots of the descents are twisty. Not once did they complain.
The Rival eTap AXS rear derailleur features a spring clutch rather than the Orbit fluid damper found on Red and Force, but I found it retained the chain well and slap was kept to a minimum.
One aspect I can't comment on, having tested a wireless electronic groupset, is how the Belador Allroad's integration affects the quality of mechanical shifting. All other builds come with mechanical groupsets and the gear cables would be subject to tighter angles compared to being routed externally.
The Zipp 303S wheels performed well as an aerodynamically optimised wheelset. They make a satisfying whistling sound as you ride, although they continue the trend of the freehub body coming off very easily whenever you remove the rear wheel.
As I’ve mentioned, they are on the stiff side for a gravel wheelset.
The 303S wheelset is shod with Vittoria Terreno Dry tyres in 700x38mm. In an uncommonly dry summer in the UK, the Terreno Dry's performed well under the testing conditions, but are unlikely to be the best choice for general UK riding, which is often far wetter.
The 38mm tyres mushroomed out to 41.7mm on the Zipp 303S rims.
Grip is fair but not exceptional and they are not – as you’d expect – a fan of muddy conditions.
They came set up tubeless with sealant installed. If you’re buying a Belador Allroad, Berria says the bike will be shipped with inner tubes, although it’ll come wrapped in tubeless rim tape.
The Belador Allroad LTD is listed as being specced with a RockShox Reverb AXS XPLR dropper seatpost, but due to lack of availability my test bike arrived with Berria's own 27.2mm rigid carbon seatpost.
It dampened vibrations reasonably well and the fact it uses a good, old-fashioned two-bolt system for attaching the saddle works in its favour because you can independently adjust the position and tilt of the saddle.
It's also a positive that Berria has specced a round seatpost rather than something proprietary, so it's easier to swap out if you want to ride a more comfortable option.
However, a gravel dropper post would enable you to get more aggressive and rowdy on descents.
I didn't get on with the specced Selle Italia Model X BB FEC saddle. I found it overly rigid, the wrong shape for me, and I quickly changed to my trusty Specialized Power Pro with Elaston. As is always the case with saddles, however, there's a lot of personal preference involved here.
The Belador Allroad LTD is listed as coming with an Avanforce carbon handlebar, but again due to lack of availability, I was sent an aluminium model.
Berria provided the measurements for the carbon handlebar and the bar I tested differs. It was unremarkable and I’d have personally preferred a slightly longer length in the drops. That's with the bar set neutrally. Luckily, the carbon bar seems to have this.
The Avanforce ICS2 that devours the hoses is efficient, though girthy in size. It can accept a Garmin stem mount with some fiddling of the silicone bands under the hydraulic hoses, although Berria says it has a specific mount in development, which should prove more suitable.
The bars are wrapped in cork black tape, which is always a safe choice and provided a pleasant amount of ride-damping cushioning.
The Berria Belador Allroad offers a raw and visceral ride, as you’d expect of a gravel race bike. Although it approaches being uncompromising on technical terrain when unloaded, the Active Flex Concept seatstay pivot takes some of the sting away.
The bike delivers on its claim that it's suitable for bikepacking and although £5,100 / €5,999 is unquestionably a fair wad of cash, I’d argue it's good value.
That said, I would opt for different wheels, tyres and saddle if I was spending my own money.
Although I’m not sold on gravel bikes featuring integrated front ends, because they’re more susceptible to mud and water ingress than road bikes, it does admittedly lend the bike a clean aesthetic.
The fact the Belador Allroad offers you a lot of adjustability with the flip chip in its fork (when it becomes available…) and various seatpost options is a good thing. There's a choice for a variety of gravel riders.
Considering this is the brand's debut gravel bike, it's an admirable first effort. The Berria Belador Allroad is a lively and exciting gravel bike for riders who want a race oriented-machine and, while that comes with some compromises, with some further refinement Berria could be close to an all-round winning formula.
Oscar Huckle is a technical writer at BikeRadar. He has been an avid cyclist since his teenage years, initially catching the road cycling bug and riding for a local club. He's since been indoctrinated into gravel riding and more recently has taken to the dark art of mountain biking. His favourite rides are epic road or gravel routes, and he has also caught the bikepacking bug hard after completing the King Alfred's Way and West Kernow Way. Oscar has a BA degree in English Literature and Film Studies and has close to a decade of cycling industry experience, initially working in a variety of roles at Evans Cycles before joining Carbon Bike Repair. He is particularly fond of workshop tool exotica and is a proponent of Campagnolo groupsets. Oscar prefers lightweight road and gravel frames with simple tube shapes, rather than the latest trend for aerodynamics and full integration. He is obsessed with keeping up to date with all the latest tech, is fixated with the smallest details and is known for his unique opinions.❚