The 2022 Orbea Rallon has been hitting the EWS circuit this year, and Andi has swung a leg over to give us his first impressions.
The Orbea Rallon has always been a pretty progressive bike. In 2014 the bike was updated with some of the most progressive geometry of the time, and then in 2018, it was given a massive makeover. The 2018 version of the Rallon saw a move to an asymmetric frame design, the jump to 29in wheels and a new carbon frame construction. Being 4 years old, the Rallon was well due an update and when Orbea got in contact and offered me the chance to ride their new “weapon” (Orbea’s words not mine) I was excited to see how their enduro bike had evolved.
2022 Orbea Rallon – Design and features
Well as you can see, the new Rallon looks a lot like the previous model. In fact, if someone rode past you on the new Rallon you likely wouldn’t give it a second glance, which does make me wonder why the dazzle camo paint job was necessary at the EWS (I jest! Marketing is the answer!).
However, getting hold of the bike and taking in the details it’s immediately clear that the new Rallon has a significantly lower standover height when compared to the outgoing model. The top-tube on the last-gen bike curved up from the front of the shock mount to create a seat-tube tower of sorts, but on the 2022 Rallon, this has been completely flattened out.
Not only has standover been reduced but the length of the seat tube is now much shorter and features a straight and uninterrupted design. This allows even size small Rallon frames to run fully slammed 200mm dropper posts without any clearance issues. No, you probably would never want to run such a large dropper on the small-sized bike, but it does illustrate the clearance available.
The ability to run longer droppers on shorter frames is there for when riding steep terrain, or as Orbea likes to say “steep and deep”, but it also gives rides some flexibility to riders when choosing a frame size that fits their riding style and body shape, and this is important as the geometry has completely changed.
4 years ago the geometry on the Rallon might have been pretty good, but a reach of 450mm on a size large bike doesn’t cut it these days, so Orbea has increased it while steepening the seat angle and slackening the head angle. A size large Rallon now sports 30mm more reach for a total length of 480mm with a seat tube of just 435mm.
Each size, S, M, L and XL has a max head angle of 64 degrees, and a seat tube angle of at least 77 degrees. What’s interesting here is that the new Rallon ships with 2 shock extensions meaning you can choose to run the bike either as a full 29er or a mullet. With the 29er extension installed you also have a flip-chip to play around with which can take the head angle to 64.5 degrees and the seat angle to 77.5 degrees. In addition to those options, the new Rallon geometry gets a 3mm lower BB height and 5mm more length from the chainstays.
Geometry isn’t the only significant update to the 2022 Rallon, with the new Orbea sporting a host of useful integrated features. Beneath the bottle cage is a LOCKR zone, a small opening that is accessed via a flick of a switch. The bottle cage comes away with the door revealing room for stowing tools and spares. Production bikes will come with 2 sealed bags to help keep your items clean and secure and there is a rubber clip to attach a trail tool to. Orbea state there is enough room in the frame for C02 cartridges, a tube and tyre levers, but the area near the BB looks wide enough that a lightweight jacket might be able to fit also.
If you’re after tools then the Rallon already has a few dotted about its person. A small multitool is held into the main pivot with a strong magnet while the rear axle lever can be removed and used as a spoke key, bottle opener or 6mm key.
The updates don’t stop there, as the team at Orbea has adjusted the pivot placements to boost progression while giving the suspension are more rearward axle path. Progression is said to be between 22-33% more than the previous version, making the chassis compatible with both coil and air shocks, while the rearward axle path is said to improve performance on square edge hits and for maintaining speed. The anti-rise and anti-squat haven’t seen much of a change to the 2018 bike as rider feedback confirmed that these characteristics maintained active braking. Suspension travel for this 29er enduro bike is 160mm rear and 170mm front.
Other refinements to the frame are fully sealed bearings to keep the dirt out and reduce maintenance, and there have also been updated to the cable and hose routing to ensure a smooth and quiet ride.
2022 Orbea Rallon Geometry
2022 Orbea Rallon Range
There are 4 Rallon builds with prices ranging from £4299 to £8999 but on top of the off the shelf options, there is also Orbea’s MYO customisation service which has a reported 1 million combination options. These customisations include changes to the components, frame colours, details etc.
2022 Orbea Rallon Pricing
- Rallon M20: £4299
- Rallon M10: £5299
- Rallon M-Team: £6599
- Rallon M-LTD: £8999
2022 Orbea Rallon First Ride
This is by no means a review of the new Rallon. The first time I saw the bike in the flesh was the day before the launch (yesterday, if you’re reading this on the launch day) and I didn’t get any time to fettle with the suspension and cockpit settings to get the bike feel exactly as I wanted it, but my few hours on the bike gave me an indication of how the Rallon performs.
I rode the Orbea Rallon M-Team bike with mullet configuration. My size large bike has a 30mm longer reach than the previous bike, 480mm in total and a 2 degrees slacker seat tube angle. As you can imagine, I get to ride a lot of bikes so I have to be adaptable to different geometry, and I have to say the Orbea didn’t feel as long in the cockpit as the relatively long reach might suggest. With an effective top tube length of 626mm the large Rallon is roughly the same size as a medium-sized Orange Alpine Evo.
My size large bike had a 200mm dropper fitted, and with the short seat tube, this meant I had to run the post extended by around 20mm. I’m 178cm so if you’re shorter than that and want to ride the large, which you easily could, you may also need to swap to a shorter dropper.
The climbing position on the Rallon is good, the steep seat angle has you almost directly over the pedals for getting the power down and the rear suspension offers enough support and traction over loose rocky trails, of which I have many locally. It’s hard to be sure as I didn’t have time to set the rear shock up exactly how I wanted it, but the Rallon appears to enjoy winching up climbs rather than setting new lap records. I’ve certainly ridden similar travel bikes that had a more spirited climb to them, and the person I rode with did reach for the compression lever on some climbs so perhaps this is a characteristic of the new Rallon? A longer time on the bike and long term test would reveal if this is the case or not.
The geometry states a stack of 637mm, on top of this the bike I was riding had a few headset spacers. I tend to prefer a lower stack height for keeping weight over the front wheel. Comparing to the Alpine Evo again, the stack is 30mm taller on the Rallon. My local trails have a few steep sections here and there, but nothing near vertical and I much prefer to be lower over the front even in aggressive riding situations.
If I’d had the bike longer, removing the spacers to drop the front a little would certainly have put me in a more comfortable position, and it will have moved the reach forward very slightly too.
In terms of suspension action when descending the Rallon took everything in its stride. Even though my settings were not spot on, it’s easy to feel that the Rallon chassis responds well to pumping through the trail to generate more speed while also soaking up fast rock strikes. Even with the taller front end, I felt confident to lean the Rallon over on loose corners, even to the point where skill and speed collided and I ended up in a heap. Cornering grip though is exceptional, and the Rallon is very easy to tip over into fast corners and offer tremendous traction. A positive to the mullet rear wheel? I’d have to compare it to the 29er to be sure.
With the last week or so proving to be very dry, my local trails are covered with loose rocks and dust. Surely all those hoses, cables, integrated tools and internal storage make for a noisy ride? Apart from my first decent where the mech clutch wasn’t in the right position, the Rallon is very quiet and smooth even in extremely rough situations. There were no knocks and creaks, and the integrated tools stayed put even after crashing.
2022 Orbea Rallon First Impressions
Just to remind you again that I only spent a few hours on the Rallon, so please do not use these comments as a full review. Also, I’ve not ridden the previous bike, but I imagine anyone on the current generation Rallon, who likes their bike but want’s something a little more capable may have found their next bike.
My experience of the Rallon is that Orbea has made an enduro race bike that anyone can ride. It’s not the fastest uphill, but downhill it has the capability to fly. The new geometry and lower standover also give riders the ability to go from a long to radically long bike easily and it’s great to see that the parts needed to convert from mullet to 29er (except the wheel) are included with the purchase of the bike.
Hopefully, we can get a 2022 Orbea Rallon in for a full, long-term review soon but in the meantime, if you have any questions let us know in the comments section below.