Orbea is perhaps better known in the UK for their road bikes; they have a significant presence at many road races, and some very fine kit, after all.
But they’ve also been making mountain bikes for quite some time – and the bikes they produce seem rather well thought out.
Orbea took a pile of journalists (collective noun) including me from all over the world to l’Ainsa, in the Spanish Pyrennes – and the heart of the area known as Zona Zero, to look at their new models for 2016 – and to ride some truly, truly awesome trails.
But I’ll leave the riding, and some of the other goodies we saw, for another time – the internet is a bit flaky here for one thing.
Orbea are looking to make a big song and dance about the new Occam range, which is available in both 27.5in and 29in iterations – the Occam AM and TR, respectively.
Orbea Occam TR
The Occam TR is – unsurprisingly, perhaps – the ‘trail’ implementation of the new bike. It’s a 29er, it’s got 120mm of travel front and rear and it’s light – the Large production frame (without the shock) weighs 1.99kg. The bike comes with Fox 32 fork, and it’s Boosted front and rear (so 148mm rear hub spacing and 110mm front hub spacing, in case you’d forgotten/you’ve been living in a hole).
All the right words are there – it’s longer and lower than before, the chainstays are shorter, it’s slacker (68 degree head angle, 74.5 degree seat angle). It has a Boosted front end to increase stiffness, and there’s a press-fit bottom bracket, which engineer Xavier assures me is there mostly so they can build in an enormous down-tube. The rear brake calliper is out of the way on the chain stay.
The carbon bike has what they call ‘UFO’ technology – which is bendy seat stays which work with up to 140mm of travel to you and me. The aluminium one has a simple (and easy to service) pivot which runs around the axle. You can get it in M, L or XL sizes. Here are the details:
Unsurprisingly, the Occam AM is a different beast entirely. It’s 27.5in for a start, and it’s 140mm travel. That AM in the name? All mountain, people. All. Mountain.
It sports different geometry, naturally, and a 67 degree head angle/75 degree seat angle. The carbon bike has many of the same features as the TR model – enormous downtube/BB interface for stiffness, bendy stays, and loads of nice little touches.
The AM bike is only available in S, M or L sizes, as opposed to the M, L or XL of the TR bike. Orbea says that it’s tricky to get smaller riders to fit on small 29ers and that taller riders are better served by the 29er. But if you’re after a longer travel, more AM focussed bike, and you’re tall, you’re out of luck. Orbea do have loads of options when you’re buying an Occam TR, but a bigger fork isn’t among them – the Fox 34 isn’t presently available in Boost…
Ah yes, the options. One of the nice things about the Orbea idea is that every bike is built to order. They have dealers, yes – but you place your order, choose your options, and you get your own bike, custom built for you, even down to a choice of colours for each model. They essentially want people to have a similar experience buying a MTB from them as they would buying a car – specifying options such as 2x or 1x drivetrains, for example. Not bad.
Here’s the geometry:
You can find more about Orbea’s range of mountain bikes here.