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Review of Orbea Occam Series

Jeff Balton

Orbea Occam Series

Photos from Orbeabikes.com

Orbea has been designing and manufacturing bikes in Spain since 1930. All of that experience and know-how has gone towards creating what could be the perfect full suspension Trail bike? The newly designed Orbea Occam has had a complete makeover.

Previously available as a 29″ wheeled 130mm travel Trail bike along with a 27.5″ 150mm All Mountain version.  The new model sees what could be the best of both of these in a complete 140mm or 150mm travel package.

With the frame available in aluminum alloy or carbon, a vast range of component choices and factory fitted upgrades, plus pricing to suit a broad range of budgets. Let’s take a look at the range.

 

Orbea Occam H30

Orbea Occam H30

MSRP $3,299

This model sits at the bottom of the price range. Although from the specification, there seems to be a lot of bike for the money. The H30 would suit a rider, perhaps making the step up from a hardtail or someone wanting a full suspension bike but not sure where their focus will be.

For this money, you might think you would be getting more of a budget full suspension bike.

However, the Orbea Occam H30 looks on paper, far more mid-range. The ‘H’ in the Occam range tells you it’s an alloy frame.

The suspension shock is the Fox Float DPS (Dual Piston System) Performance, with three modes, open, medium, and firm, giving you plush travel and the ability to lock it out when needed. Marzocchi, the legendary Italian suspension manufacturer, has now come under the Fox umbrella.

The Bomber Z2 fork used on the H30 has received outstanding reviews, comparing with forks in a much higher price bracket and boasting unmatched service intervals, it’s a true fit and forget component. The drive train is made up of the reliable and durable Shimano Deore M6100 and a Shimano CS-M6100 10-51T 12-speed cassette.

Brakes are the basic Shimano MT201 hydraulic, but these share many of their components with the higher-end models. Orbea OC1 tubeless-ready wheels, although not light, should stay true for a good length of time.

Maxxis provide the tires, with the Dissector 2.5″ up front and the Rekon 2.4″ on the rear, perfect for excellent grip in a wide range of trail conditions. The remaining components are mainly Orbea’s own brand, including their own dropper post, finishing off a very capable and well-priced bike that climbs as well as it descends.

 

Orbea Occam H20 LT

Orbea Occam H20 LT

MSRP $3,999

The H20 LT will cost you some more than the lower model, but what do you get for your money? This bike could be for you if you’re a rider looking for some weight saving and even more durability.

Sharing the same alloy frame and some of the components as the H30, but this also gets a Fox fork, complete upgraded Shimano drive train, and higher-spec brakes.

The Fox 36 Float Performance 150 shares some parts with the Marzocchi but also uses slightly better materials in places to save weight and improve the operation. The Orbea crankset is replaced on this model with the Race Face Aeffect. With its special chainring teeth profile, this will enhance chain engagement and retention, something which will be good to know when pedaling down a steep rocky trail.

The 12-speed cassette changes from Shimano M6100 to the Shimano CS-M7100 10-51T. This provides the same 51T low gear for getting up the slopes, and at the other end, the 10T cog will give you more pedaling speed on the flats and heading down the hills.

This will be useful, especially if any of your rides take in any asphalt between the trails. The rear derailleur sees the best bang for your buck with the Shimano SLX M7100 SGS. Shimano has redesigned the series for even faster, quieter shifting, with bigger 13T pulley wheels and less tension in the lower gears.

Durability is improved with increased protection around the pulley cage, making a vulnerable component more resistant to rock strikes and trail obstacles.

 

Orbea Occam H20 Eagle

Occam H20-EAGLE

MSRP $3,899

If you like the look of the H20 but prefer SRAM to Shimano, Orbea has thought of that as well.

Coming in at nearly the same price as the H20 LT, Orbea has swapped the all Shimano 12 speed drivetrain for the SRAM NX Eagle.

The crankset is the SRAM Descendant 6K Eagle DUB, which has been on the scene for a couple of years and uses their new axle diameter size of 28.9mm. This sits in between the standard BB30 and SRAM GXP. The benefits of the new DUB system from SRAM are that it is lighter than the GXP standard and also stiffer than the BB30 axles.

Could it be the best of both worlds? The shifters and rear derailleur are GX Eagle, and the cassette is the PG-1230 11-50T offering.

Although it should be said, the range is not as wide as the Shimano 10-51T on the H20. Most riders having had the experience of both will prefer one or the other. This choice can be influenced by weight, smoothness, durability, shifting speed, or even the conditions you generally find yourself riding in.

The Shimano SRAM debate has been going on for many years, and I’m sure it will continue. Choosing between the H20 LT with Shimano or H20-Eagle with SRAM will almost certainly come down to personal preference.

 

Occam H10

Occam H10

MSRP $4,399

The top aluminum offering from Orbea, with more Shimano XT components and improved wheels.

The Occam H10 is the most expensive bike with Orbea’s aluminum frame.

The suspension at both ends remains the same as the H20, but there are a few noticeable upgrades elsewhere. The crankset is the XT M8100, coming in lighter and stiffer than the SLX or SRAM NX, it doesn’t get much better than these.

The shifters also move up to the M8100 XT, offering crisp, concise, and accurate gear changes. The brakes, cassette, and rear derailleur remain the same as on the H20, but the remaining upgrade money goes on the wheels. The H10 rolls on Race Face AR wheels. With a slightly wider 30mm internal diameter rim, instead of the Mach 1, 25mm on the lower models.

With the 29″ boost hub spacing on fork and frame, these rims would easily take a 2.6″ wide tire as a future upgrade. Lightweight and strong, two words you don’t often hear in the same sentence, but that’s what you get with the M-1900’s.

You will probably notice the increased acceleration and responsiveness. These will take months and months of abuse without having to go near a truing stand. If you’re after a real, do it all trail bike with a superb aluminum frame, outstanding, lightweight and durable components, the Orbea Occam H10 gives you all this at a very good price.

 

Occam M30

Occam M30

MSRP $4,699

The carbon fiber frame range begins on the M30, for riders with a bigger budget and looking to save even more weight.

For an extra $300 on top of the $4,399 H10, you get the Occam M30 with a carbon fiber frame.

Orbea offers a lifetime warranty on all its frames and even a discounted crash replacement service. This is something worth bearing in mind when struggling to choose between various bike manufacturers. The Fox Float DPS Performance Shock is spec’d as on the H30, but the Fox 34 Float Performance suspension Fork is used here, as well as other upgrades compared to the equivalent aluminum model.

Race Face supplies the crankset with the Aeffect. Along with the same level shifters and the 10-51T wide-range cassette, but with the rear derailleur from the quality XT M8100. No need for upgrades here any time soon, just solid, reliable components and coming in at a reasonable weight.

The brakes are again from Shimano, but on the least expensive carbon model, we have the M6100 hydraulic discs. Using a four-piston caliper, usually seen on the higher-end models, the many five star reviews of these brakes leave you in no doubt as to the stopping power you’ll be getting.

Wheels are again supplied by Race Face as on the top aluminum Occam, finishing off a tough and reliable trail bike.

 

Occam M30 Eagle

Orbea Occam M30-EAGLE

MSRP $4,699

Again, as with the aluminum, Orbea has come up with an offering for the riders who want to have a carbon frame built with a SRAM drive train.

The Shimano crankset makes way for the SRAM Descendant 6K Eagle DUB, offering increased stiffness and weight saving. NX Eagle components are used for the shifters and the 11-50T cassette, while the rear derailleur is SRAM GX Eagle.

Stopping power is still supplied by the outstanding Shimano M6100 hydraulic brakes, although SRAM folks may have preferred the M30 Eagle to have been spec’d with something from their own Guide range?

The remaining components remain the same as the M30, including the Race Face AR wheels, Orbea’s in-house range, and the solid-performing Maxxis Dissector and Rekon tires, which appear on all the models throughout the range.

As with the H30 and H30 Eagle, the SRAM and Shimano parts are in the same ballpark for reliability and durability. It comes down to the simple choice of which manufacturer you prefer.

 

Occam M10

Occam M10

MSRP $6,499

If you go for the M10, you’ll be paying $1800 more than the M30, but what do you get for that money?

Looking at the spec, a hell of a lot! High-end Fox suspension front and rear, the shock is the Fox Float DPS Factory Custom Tune Kashima. Kashima is (used exclusively by Fox in the bike industry) embedded into the surface of the shock or fork stanchions to increase the smoothness but also protecting from damage.

Upfront the Fox 34 Float Factory Fit 4 Kashima fork provides smooth, supple performance over any terrain, however rough it gets. Race Face provides the stem and carbon bars, reducing weight but increasing comfort. The wheels are again Race Face, but you get the light, smooth and strong Turbine-R30 TLR’s.

The shifters, brakes, and rear derailleur are all Shimano XT, while the 11-51T cassette is Shimano CS-M7100. Giving the rider flawless, smooth gear changing and incredible stopping power, as well as durability and low weight. If the lowest weight possible is not your goal, but you’re still looking for a top of the range bike to fly up and hammer down on the roughest of trails, the Occam M10 could be the perfect one.

From blasting around your local trails to all day, epic, wild country rides, the frame, and the components are more than up to the task.

 

Occam M – Ltd

As good as it gets.

Orbea Occam M-LTD

MSRP $9,499

Do you want a do it all trail bike with the absolute best lightweight components, and are you willing to spend big to get your dream bike?

Then look no further. The M-Ltd is the top of the Orbea Occam carbon frame range.

The components have been chosen for quality and for saving weight on every part of the bike. The rest of the Occam range is available with the opportunity to upgrade parts from the factory, but with the M-Ltd, there is simply no upgrade possible! The very best of Fox suspension front and rear.

Same DPS Factory Kashima shock as the M10, and the same Fox 34 Float Factory 140 Kashima. Race Face supplies the upgraded Turbine R stem, along with the weight-saving carbon crankset and bars.

Orbea’s dropper post, the OC2, gets replaced here with the Fox Transfer Factory Kashima Dropper. The wheels are the top all-mountain Next-SL TLR carbon set from Race Face. The very best Shimano has to offer completes the build, with XTR shifter, brakes, 10-51T cassette, and rear derailleur all combining to make the ultimate trail bike.

If you love climbing as much as pinning it downhill, you will do well to find another bike as capable as The Occam M-Ltd.

 


User Reviews

We wanted to point out this one review.

Great value bike, and great bike regardless of value

Most of the bikes I was looking at started at $4,300 to $6,500. This value was hard to pass up. My Large, with tubes, no pedals weighed in at 29.8lbs… rolls fast, pedals up fast out of corners. Really enjoy!! The cockpit is shorter than the reach numbers might make you think. Stable at high speeds, yet as agile as my 2017 Cannondale bad habit… best of both worlds.

Roger · Reviewed on jensonusa.com

 

Sizes

The Occam is available in four sizes, with some changes to the stem and crank lengths within these.

 Rider heightStemCranks
S4’11” to 5’5”45 mm170 mm
M5’3” to 59”45 mm170 mm
L5’7” to 6’1”55 mm175 mm
XL5’11” to 6’6”55 mm175 mm

 

Our Thoughts

suggestedA great deal of thought and design work has gone into manufacturing the new Occam range from Orbea to find a trail bike that works well over a wide range of conditions.

Fox has also been involved in the development process to produce a frame and suspension which work perfectly together. A longer, lower, and slacker geometry trend is used here, which will give you a more balanced ride, with a lower center of gravity.

But also a steeper seat tube angle, just what you need to clear those steep climbs. The Occam could be the perfect ride for any trail, anywhere.