Orbea Occam – A New Trail Bike. But For Left Handers Only?

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That front wheel looks very light…
That’s a pretty fancy-pants looking Occam right there…

There’s a new Orbea Occam on the block! And this time it means business, drawing inspiration from the successful Rallon enduro machine. The Occam has been fully revised and now struts 29in wheels and 140/140mm travel (with a 150mm fork option).

Stealthy black. Shock controls are easy to access on the right

Something that is definitely inspired by the Rallon is the new Occam’s asymmetrical frame. The Rallon has a single-sided frame strut that sits to the non-drive side of the frame. Something that Orbea came out with before the similarly thought out Stumpy appeared (presumably to Specialized’s annoyance). The Stumpy’s single strut was on the drive side while that Rallon’s was on the non drive side, so that’s completely different, right? Anyway, that single-sided influence has been felt again on the Occam, which features a single sided strut (this time on the drive side) to beef up the frame and to act as the pivot anchor for the lower shock link.

Lots of polishing before painting makes the alloy frames look very carbon-like

Orbea reckons: “Shock controls are easily reached while riding and suspension forces on the frame are minimized by the drive-side reinforcement. Moving the bottle slightly to the left side of the frame helps offset the weight of the drivetrain and offers easy access to your water. These are small details but Occam is all about pushing performance.”

Just casually leaning on the door, like

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To this, we have to just ask ‘But what about if you want to drink some water, while riding?’ It would seems that the new Occam will only work if you’re left handed, or if you’ve stopped riding and are casually reaching down (with your left hand) for your bottle. It might be a little nit-picky of us, but that’s the first thing we saw – not the sweeping carbon frame tubes (there’s an alloy one too) but the thought of trying to reach down for a swing, while (for UK riders at least) your spare hand is only covering the front brake. It’s not like the brace couldn’t have fit on the other side.

Top drawer XTR spec M-LTD is going to be £6599

Ahem, anyway. Orbea is touting the lower, slacker, longer credentials of this new Occam and has supplied a handy geometry chart, showing a 450mm reach – unfortunately without mentioning what frame size the geometry refers to. If it’s a medium, then that’s pretty average. If it’s a large, then that’s rather short these days. We have ‘reached out’ as the saying goes.

Either way, the new Occam features 140mm of “pure trail” geometry. Compared to the previous versions, reaches are almost 2cm longer, the head angle is slacker, the seat angle is steeper, chainstays are 5mm longer and the (threaded) bottom bracket is a bit lower.

All very nice, but what size is it, Orbea?

Both frames come with internal routing, threaded bottom brackets, moulded frame protection, postmount 180mm brake mount, Enduro sealed bearings and an Orbea Lifetime Warranty.

Definitely a very light front wheel…

The new Orbea Occam looks like a lot of fun, with the 140mm travel being more than enough bounce for fun times in most of the UK while still being able to winch you back up for another go. Frames will come in Small through XL and more details should appear here very shortly: orbea.com

Perhaps he should consider a heavier front tyre? 🙂

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Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (9)

    The aluminium-framed version looks particularly neat.
    I have a soft spot for Orbea, but I’ve never owned one.

    I’m right handed and have an R5 Rallon, where the bottle is easiest accessed from the left side of the frame with the left hand. It’s really not an issue. Yes, you are definitely nit picking of the highest order!

    ” It might be a little nit-picky of us”

    Not just a little. We left-handers have to adapt to EVERYTHING, because by default the world is designed for right-handers. Could you not just let us have this one without complaining about it?

    The geometry chart on another website’s review shows 450mm reach is for the medium and the large is 475mm.

    Wow! Great looking bike and even has a threaded bb. Just seems us 27.5 trail riders have been forgotten, not everyone is 6’4″ minnaar types!

    Nice looking bike…but
    …. I saved my money up and bought
    an Orbea Rallon M-team, costing £6000.

    It was my dream bike but after less than a year it CRACKED (straight 2 inch crack on the downtube). Orbea have been utterly dismissive and left me completely unsupported… the ‘Lifetime warranty’ is worthless AVOID.

    This is despite the support of my local Orbea bike shop who expected the frame to be replaced under warranty… choose carefully people.

    ^^^ This one guy is pretty much copy/pasting the same response on every review of every Orbea bike. A Little more digging and it’s painfully apparent from the few pictures that were posted that it’s not a warranty job – the frame has either been in a crash or, more likely, taken a big unfortunate rock strike.

    I wonder how the reviewer manages to operate the rear brake if his left side is so impaired???

    Also if the bottle was on the right side, the handlebar would have to be operated by the left arm alone while drinking. Isn’t that even more difficult to do left-handed than reaching a bottle to your mouth?

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