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Review of Orbea Bikes

Jeff Balton

Orbea bikes review

Photos by Orbea.com

Orbea is the biggest Spanish bicycle manufacturer, providing bikes to some of the best elite racing teams in the world. Find out more about their history, technology, and models in our review below.

Orbea is a company that has been in the business for a very long time. The name has become synonymous with high-end performance bicycles used for racing at both amateur and professional levels.

The company’s most recognizable products are their carbon road bikes, such as Orca and Alma, but they don’t shy away from other types either, such as MTB, urban, and triathlon bikes.

In this detailed review, you’ll find out all you need to know about the company and the bicycles they make, before getting your first Orbea-labeled bike.

 

Where It All Began: A Short History of Orbea Bikes

Mariano Canardo

Mariano Cañardo, with a hand-stitched jersey, was the first great ambassador of Orbea (Image source: jeffkendallweed.com)

Orbea was first established as a company back in 1840, but it had nothing to do with bicycles at the time. Instead, they originally produced rifles and guns, which were in high demand during that period.

Orbea finally switched its focus to bicycles in 1930, changing its name to Orbea Bicycles. In 1934, Orbea made its debut at the Tour de France and continued growing and expanding its business until the 1960s.

After experiencing some financial hardships, the company became a co-operative in 1969 and moved its headquarters from Eibar to Mallabia, where it remains to this date.

At first, the newly-established Co-op focused on making leisure bikes and eventually returned to competitive cycling in the 1980s, taking part in both the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.

Orbea began producing mountain bikes in 1989 and today also makes triathlon models. Its bikes are still a regular sight at the very top of elite bicycle racing.

 

Cycling Technology Forwarded by Orbea

Orbea has done a great deal for the cycling world not just by sponsoring major races and elite teams but also by pioneering several break-through technologies.

The most exciting of these include their monocoque frames and the 4×4 and DCR technology.

 

  • Monocoque Carbon Frames

The Orbea Monocoque carbon technology is used in the production of high-end carbon frames where the frames are molded into one-piece structures, which guarantees optimum performance and long-term reliability.

Each tube is connected to the next via continuous fibers that go through each critical juncture. Therefore, seams between tubes are removed which eliminates weak spots.

Monocoque Carbon Frames

Monocoque Carbon Frames

  • 4×4 Technology

Orbea’s 4×4 Technology is a type of frame-design aiming to improve rigidity, reliability, and handling on any type of surface. Orbea Alma is a great example of it.

This is achieved by designing both front and rear triangles as four-point triangles, which disperses forces more evenly and improves lateral rigidity by 15%. In return, this provides better power transfer and more comfort.

  • DCR Technology

DCR stands for Direct Cable Routing which is a cable guide system that routes the cables directly through the frame, eliminating cable turns. This leads to reduced friction, better performance of brakes and derailleurs, and improved durability of cables and cable housings.

Orbea’s DCR technology also translates to a fully-sealed cable routing system that’s ultralight and reduces weight by 50g compared to conventional housings.

Direct bike cable routing

 


Best Orbea Models


Road

  • Orca

Racing

ORCA M11eLTD

  • Frame material: Carbon
  • Intended use: Amateur and professional racing
  • Features: Monocoque carbon, OMX/OMR frame shapes, road racing geometry, large tire clearance
  • MSRP: $2,200 – $9,400

FULL REVIEW of Orca M30

Orbea Orca is the most popular performance road bike this Spanish company makes. It’s intended for professional cyclists aiming to win high-profile races, but the diversity of models and prices makes it suitable for amateurs, Strava hunters, and weekend warriors as well.

Orca is available in 12 unique builds, plus two frame-only options — OMX and OMR carbon. If these don’t meet your requirements, you can also build your personalized Orca and choose the colors and components.

These come with a variety of groupsets, from SRAM Red eTap and Shimano Dura-Ace on the most expensive models to Shimano Tiagra on the cheapest.

Get Orca if you want the fastest, lightest, and most technologically advanced model in the Orbea road bikes lineup.

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  • Orca Aero

Racing

ORCA AERO M21e TEAM

  • Frame material: Carbon
  • Intended use: Racing
  • Features: Aerodynamic frame, Monocoque carbon, Integrated handlebar/stem
  • MSRP: $3,300 – $5,700

 

Orbea Orca Aero is the ultimate aerodynamic bicycle for those who want to lead the pack on group rides or take pulls and attacks in races.

This series offers four models at the moment, equipped with specially-designed aero frames with wide tubing, deep wheels, and the best components around. The most expensive model sports a SRAM Force eTap group whereas the cheapest boast a Shimano 105.

Orca Aero models are slightly heavier than the original Orca model, but they are 27 watts faster, according to Orbea’s numbers which will make a big difference out on the road.

It’s the right bicycle for you if you want to go fast and win more podiums.

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  • Avant

Endurance

AVANT H30-D

  • Frame material: Aluminum w/ carbon fork
  • Intended use: Endurance road riding
  • Features: Carbon fork, high polish, ICR Plus, disc brakes, affordable prices
  • MSRP: $1,600 – $1,900

FULL REVIEW of Avant Models

Frame technology has advanced so much that the differences between the best aluminum and carbon frames and hard to point out unless you’re a professional racer. Orbea Avant bikes are the perfect example of that.

Avant is a lineup of two endurance Orbea road bikes built around lightweight aluminum frames and paired up with stiff carbon forks.

They’re intended towards intermediate riders who want to go far and test their limits, break their old PRs, but not necessarily race. The groupsets are Tiagra and 105, which are every bit as good as Dura-Ace, although heavier.

If you want a bike that’s light, looks good, offers plenty of comfort, and costs a lot less than 2K, Orbea Avant is hard to beat.

 

  • Terra

All-Road

TERRA M21e 1X

  • Frame material: Aluminum or Carbon
  • Intended use: Road/Gravel/Cyclocross/Whatever
  • Features: Relaxed All-Road geometry, versatile design, comfort-focused frame design, Monocoque carbon
  • MSRP: $1,900 – $4,600

 

Gravel, cyclocross, all-road… call them whatever you want, but these bikes are becoming more and more dominant on the scene. Orbea’s Terra is an exquisite all-road bicycle that can handle any type of terrain and help you stay in the saddle for longer than ever before.

It’s available in 9 unique builds, with high-end, mid-range, and entry-level parts, and carbon or aluminum frames. Therefore, Orbea Terra is suitable for all rider profiles. Use it for racing, exploring, bikepacking, or commuting.

Orbea Terra features relaxed all-road geometry that offers maximum compliance on dirt, gravel, or asphalt, but ensures plenty of stiffness as well.

Get this Orbea gravel bike if you want to keep riding when you run out of road and most of your pack has to turn around and head back home.

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Mountain


  • Rallon

Enduro

RALLON M LTD

  • Frame material: Carbon
  • Suspension: Full suspension (170mm travel)
  • Intended use: Enduro, descending, racing
  • Features: Monocoque carbon, 64.5° headtube angle, concentric boost suspension, enduro geometry
  • MSRP: $4,500 – $9,000

 

Orbea Rallon is by far the most popular performance mountain bike the Spanish company has ever made. It’s a capable enduro machine made with advanced monocoque carbon frames and the best suspension technology around.

Rallon has a pure enduro geometry with a slack head angle, long cockpit, adjustable geometry, long wheelbase, short chainstays, and low BB.

At the moment, the series includes four models with Fox front and rear suspension, providing you with 170mm of adjustable travel to smash any course.

The components include high-end and mid-range Shimano and SRAM groups that provide reliable shifting and performance.

Consider buying Orbea Rallon if you want to win enduro events or simply take your trail skills to an otherworldly level.

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  • Occam

Trail

OCCAM M10

  • Frame material: Carbon or Aluminum
  • Suspension: Full suspension (140mm – 150mm)
  • Intended use: Versatile trail use
  • Features: Trail geometry, OMR carbon frames, asymmetric offset design
  • MSRP: $3,100 – $8,000

FULL REVIEW of Occam series

Orbea Occam is a purebred trail machine that can climb, descend, storm tight berms, and do it all again and again and again.

The series is comprised of 8 models with very diverse price tags and even more diverse lists of specifications.

The most expensive builds are made with carbon monocoque frames, whereas the budget-friendly models are built around triple-butted aluminum frames.

All Orbea Occam bikes have 140mm of travel on the rear and forks with 140-150mm of squish, provided by Fox suspension parts.

This capable trail bike rolls on massive 29″ wheels and wide tires that also push the limits of what you can do when shredding the trails.

Buy Occam if you want one of the best Orbea mountain bikes with a versatile trail geometry that offers strength, balance, and control.

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  • Oiz

Cross-Country

OIZ M LTD

  • Frame material: Carbon or Aluminum
  • Suspension: Full suspension (100mm – 120mm)
  • Intended use: Cross-country riding and racing
  • Features: OMX/OMR Carbon, High-polish aluminum, flat mount discs, ICR, chain security, Squidlock
  • MSRP: $2,600 – $9,000

 

Orbea Oiz is a full-suspension bike that has the prowess to take you to the very top of cross-country racing. It has already done exactly that with several XC champions, such as Haley Batten, Katerina Nash, Tomi Misser, and others.

The Oiz series is comprised of 10 breathtaking models that feature price tags that suit both amateurs and pros. If you want the best performance, get one of the carbon models. But if you want to save, consider aluminum.

Depending on the model, Orbea Oiz rocks on 100mm to 120mm of front and rear suspension, provided by adjustable Fox forks and rear shocks.

Oiz also has a Chain Security feature that prevents a dropped chain from damaging your frame and the three-position Squidlock suspension lockout lever for ultimate control of your squish and dropper.

It’s the right Orbea mountain bike for you if you want to reach the top (of a hill or the competition world).

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  • Alma

Cross-Country

ALMA M LTD

  • Frame material: Carbon
  • Suspension: 100mm or Rigid
  • Intended use: Cross-country riding and racing
  • Features: Spirit rigid fork, OMX/OMR Carbon, ICR, Flat mount, Chain security, Blocklock headset
  • MSRP: $2,000 – $8,000

 

Orbea Alma is another cross-country model coming from Spain, but it is unique in the sense that it comes both as a rigid and a hardtail setup.

The most expensive model, Alma M LTD, is available with the Spirit rigid fork that weighs only 500g. You might be in for a bumpier ride, but it’s by far the lightest cross-country bike around.

The other models are made with OMX and OMR carbon, featuring 100mm RockShox or Fox suspension forks. The components differ based on the price tag, so you’ll see mid-range and high-end groups from Shimano and SRAM.

Alma also comes with a few intelligent touches, such as the Blocklock headset and the Chain Security feature, which are designed to protect your frame and extend its durability.

You won’t regret buying it no matter if you’re a racer, weekend warrior, or Strava hunter.

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  • Laufey

Trail

LAUFEY H LTD

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Suspension: Hardtail (140mm)
  • Intended use: Trails and whatever esle comes to your mind
  • Features: 29″ wheels and 2.6″ tires, trail geometry, hydroformed aluminum, forged yoke
  • MSRP: $1,600 – $2,500

 

Orbea Laufey is a budget trail bike that can go anywhere and do anything. It’s good enough for first-timers on the trails, as well as for experienced mountain bikers in need of a versatile shredder.

 

All three models are made with hydroformed and triple-butted aluminum frames that are light, stiff, and very comfortable. They’re paired up with adjustable suspension forks that provide 140mm of travel.

All three models roll on massive 29″ wheels and also come equipped with dropper posts that will allow you to take the bike to its limits.

If you want a slack and simple trail bike that brings the fun back to forgotten trails, Orbea Laufey is a safe choice.


Triathlon


  • Ordu

TT and Triathlon

ORDU OMP

  • Frame material: Carbon
  • Intended use: TT and Triathlon
  • Features: Completely customizable, Freeflow fork, Mondragon tube shapes, mini taper, multisport geometry
  • MSRP: From $3,300

 

If you need the most aero and the fastest bike Orbea has ever built, you should be looking at Ordu. This is a versatile aero bike that features multisport geometry which makes it suitable for both TT and triathlon events.

It has a reduced drag compared to previous models thanks to a Freeflow fork, Mondragon tube shapes, a Mini taper head tube, and a specially designed frame.

Orbea Ordu is also completely customizable. You can choose your own wheels, groupset, saddle, cockpit, tires, and all other parts that matter for the best possible performance and fit.

Of course, it’s made from carbon so it’s lightweight as well, meaning you can go longer and faster than before.

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Urban


  • Vector

Commuting

VECTOR DROP LTD

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Intended use: Commuting and urban riding
  • Features: Disc brakes, puncture-resistant tires, wheel security, mudguard and rack compatible, lifetime warranty
  • MSRP: $1,700 – $2,000

 

Cycling does not always need to be about performance, racing, Strava KOMs, and personal bests. Instead, sometimes you just need to get from point A to point B and enjoy the journey in-between. That’s what Orbea urban bikes such as Vector are here for.

This is a lineup of two urban aluminum bikes made as versatile city commuters and weekend fitness machines. They’re equipped with disc brakes, drop bars, and Shimano road groupsets, so they can definitely perform when needed.

You can equip them with fenders and a rear rack and ride them year-round to work, school, or around a park with your friends.

Vector is also fitted with puncture-resistant tires and wheel security features, which will give you peace of mind when using it and abusing it on a daily basis.


Orbea Electric Bikes


  • Gain

Road and All-Road

GAIN D31 20mph

  • Frame material: Aluminum or Carbon
  • Max speed: 20 mph
  • Intended use: Road riding
  • Features: Range extender, mode button, internal battery, rear hub motor, PAS Sensor, App, Mavic carbon wheels
  • MSRP: $3,300 – $9,000

 

At first glance, would you say the bike in the image above is an e-bike? No, you wouldn’t. Orbea has done such a good job with motor and battery integration that Gain looks almost like a regular road bike.

This versatile road machine has a 20 mph maximum assisted speed thanks to an Ebikemotion X35 motor and long-range thanks to a 36V/6.9A battery and an additional external battery. The main battery is hidden in the downtube and the rear hub motor brings drag to a minimum.

Orbea Gain comes with a carbon or aluminum frame, coupled with narrow road or wide all-road tires. The motor is easy to control via a mode button on the top tube, so the cockpit is discreet and not clunky.

You can get one of the 7 models if you want to get a pure road riding experience, with a motor that’s there only to enhance your experience and help you stay out for longer.

 

  • Wild-FS

All-Mountain/Enduro

WILD FS M-LTD 20mph

  • Frame material: Carbon or Aluminum
  • Max speed: 20 mph
  • Intended use: All-mountain, Trail, Enduro…
  • Features: Performance geometry, 160mm travel, vertical shock, 29″ wheels, external battery, Blocklock headset
  • MSRP: $5,000 – $9,600

 

If you think an e-motor is a limiting factor on mountain bikes, you should think again. The Orbea Wild e-bike will allow you to go as hard as you could before, but do it for much longer thanks to the extra juice.

First and foremost, this is a serious full-suspension all-mountain/enduro machine with 160mm of Fox and RockShox suspension, fitted around carbon or aluminum frames.

The Bosch motor and battery will assist you up to 20 mph and the battery capacity goes up to 1125 Wh with the help of an extendable battery.

These 29″ monsters roll on super-wide 2.6″ tires and come with advanced features such as Blocklock headset, battery cover, computer mount, key holder, and an oversized pivot.

If you want to climb up more hills and shred the downhills with the same fervor, Orbea Wild FS is the right tool.

 

  • Optima

City & Commuting

OPTIMA E40 20mph

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Max speed: 20 mph
  • Intended use: Urban riding and commuting
  • Features: Step-through frame, wide gear ratio, disc brakes, lights, fenders, rear rack, kickstand
  • MSRP: $2,500 to $2,800

 

A lot of people choose to take their cars to work because they don’t like the idea of getting drenched in sweat or huffing and puffing on their morning commute. Orbea Optima lets you skip the traffic jams and get a good workout.

These are aluminum bikes built around step-through frames that are easy to get on and off, equipped with everything you need for safe and efficient urban riding.

Orbea Optima comes with front and rear lights, fenders, rear rack, frame lock, chainguard, and big comfy tires. The Ebikemotion X35 Plus motor and battery can support you up to 20 mph, ensuring a decently long range.

If you want a simple and straightforward commuter and urban bike that easy to ride with or without the motor, Orbea Optima should check most of your boxes.

 


Personalized Orbea Bikes


Orbea personalized bikes

Orbea’s simple-to-use bike personalization interface

Most bike manufacturers give you a limited choice of components, wheels, and tires that your future bike can be equipped with. However, Orbea gives you total freedom to personalize most of the bikes in their lineup.

By personalizing your next Orbea bike, you will spend a bit more money compared to getting a stock model, but you will end up with a bicycle that is perfect for you.

Orbea has created a simple-to-follow interface that lets you choose the color pattern (in great detail), groupset, wheels, tires, cockpit, accessories, and more.

This service is available with their Road, Mountain, and Triathlon bikes, but not with Urban models. When it comes to e-bikes, you can only personalize the Wild FS mountain e-bike.

If you want a truly unique bike that will draw a lot of attention on the roads, definitely consider personalizing your Orbea. However, if you’re purchasing on a budget, we recommend resisting the temptation.

 

Orbea Bikes Sizing

Orbea provides detailed geometry and sizing information on their website, for every model they make. You can find charts with size recommendations based on your height and inseam in metric and imperial units, which will make your life easier when in doubt.

Including all the charts here would create too much clutter, so head over to Orbea’s official website and get all the sizing and geometry information you need!

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FAQ

  • Is Orbea a good road bike brand?

Yes, Orbea is a very good road bike brand. They’re made from advanced carbon and aluminum materials and fitted with the best components around. The UCI Professional Continental team Cofidis Solutions Crédits raced Orbea bikes in the 2016 and 2017 seasons, which tells a lot about the quality of the bikes.Frequently asked questions

  • Are Orbea bikes any good?

Yes, Orbea bikes are very good. Orbea produces performance bikes in several categories, such as road, mountain, and triathlon. They also make high-quality urban bikes and e-bikes intended for everyday use. Orbea’s bikes are used by professional cyclists in all cycling categories who often win races and championships on them. These are durable and technologically advanced machines with reasonable price tags that will make any amateur or pro happy.

  • Where are Orbea bikes made?

Orbea’s high-end carbon models are made in China, whereas their less expensive carbon and aluminum models are usually manufactured in Portugal.

  • Are Orbea bikes heavy?

Weight is a relative concept in cycling. Orbea bikes weigh just as much as similarly priced bicycles made by other brands, if not even less. Orbea uses advanced carbon materials and technologies to manufacture their carbon frames and builds their aluminum frames from hydroformed and triple-butted tubing that brings the weight down.

  • Where to buy Orbea bikes?

Orbea bikes can be bought online, directly from the company, on their official website. Alternately, you can buy them online from other popular retailers or in brick and mortar shops, at one of Orbea’s certified dealers.

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