Orbea’s Wild FS carbon eMTB has been on sale for a year or so now, but we’ll be honest that the previous version of the bike hardly had our pulses racing. When compared to Orbea’s enduro bikes, the 2018 Wild FS was a short, bulky and rather odd eBike proposition. Orbea, seems to agree and the 2020 Wild FS couldn’t be any more different.
With 160mm of travel, vs the original’s 140mm, the 2020 Orbea Wild FS might look like a gravity focused e-MTB but we soon found out that this Bosch powered beast is more than happy climbing, and singletrack cruising as it is smashing the descents.
There are four off the peg versions of the new 2020 Wild FS, but if you want something a little more personal you could delve into the MyO online customisation tool to really build the bike that you want. Not only does MyO let you choose the colours of your bike, but it also allows you to choose stem length, shock type and add your name or personal message to the frame. Orbea is so open to building you the perfect Wild FS that you can request pretty much any change you like at an additional fee.
We’ve dabbled with the MyO customisation tool in the past but Orbea has added more options and choices to the system and now claims that there are more than 1 million possible Wild FS combinations available!
Regardless of all those choices, each 2020 Orbea Wild FS is built up with the same carbon mainframe, they all roll on 29 x 2.6in wheels and tyres, and they all run the latest generation 4 Bosch motor, with internal battery and an option to run an additional external battery.
With this much travel and 29in wheels, the 2020 Orbea Wild FS is up against stiff competition from YT, Commencal and Intense, but does this advanced Spanish bike have what it takes to fend them off?
2020 Orbea Wild FS: The Bike
If you take a look at the 2018 Orbea Wild FS then look at the 2020 bike you would be forgiven for thinking you were looking at two entirely different models. Never before have we seen such a drastic redesign in such a short time. The differences are so many and so numerous that Orbea could have easily renamed the 2020 Wild FS as something else.
As already mentioned, the new bike has more travel, but more than this, it also has new geometry, new suspension kinematics, a new motor, new battery and a new external battery mounting option. AND, it also has some very clever hidden features that we just don’t see on other bike brands.
Out of the four Wild FS available for 2020, each one has the exact same carbon front triangle with 625Wh Powertube battery and Performance Line CX motor from Bosch. From the most affordable M20 to the most expensive build, the main carbon frame, layup, motor, and battery are exactly the same.
The three more expensive versions of the bike also receive the same carbon rear end too, and only the most affordable M20 Wild FS comes with an alloy back end. Other than this difference the frame features across the range remain the same. Each bike has a more progressive suspension kinematics than before and each has the same internal battery and hidden hose and cabling.
Orbea, while confident the new frame is tough and can manage a pounding, has still gone to great length to protect it. Look around the front and rear of the 2020 Wild FS and you’ll find rubber chainstay protectors, downtube protectors, and even fork crown bump stops. All designed to protect and keep noise to a minimum.
Not content with this, Orbea has also fitted each Wild FS with a headset with built-in bump stops to further prevent damage in the event of the crash. A hidden frame protector isn’t the only item hiding upfront though, as the key for the locking 625Wh battery is neatly stowed away in the steerer of the fork.
If you thought all the hidden features were upfront then take a look at the derailleur hanger. It’s a new design that can be replaced without using any tools.
The new Wild FS is designed around the new Bosch Gen 4 motor. This powerplant is significantly smaller, and offers a much more natural power curve when compared to the Gen 3 motor, and even when compared to Shimano’s E8000 motor. The Bosch motor is powered by an internal PowerTube 625Wh battery that is accessed via a carbon door on the downtube.
If you’re after more range, then the Wild FS does support piggyback batteries, and Bosch offers those in various sizes and capacities allowing you to build your perfect battery system. Range extending batteries fit where the bottle cage would go, so if you did want to extend your ride you would also have to think about a new location for your fluids. If you don’t need the extra battery then fine, you can still use a bottle cage.
While adding new features, and redesigning the suspension, Orbea also took the time to update the geometry too, and like everything on this update the changes are huge. Whereas a size large 2018 Wild FS had a reach of just 425mm the 2020 bike is 450mm. The seat tube angle also steepens from 74° to 76°, and the head angle from 67° to 65.5°. While upping the reach, Orbea has also managed to retain a low stand-over on the bikes, and I was able to test both the size large and XL during the launch. Speaking of sizes, only three options are available.
Our launch bikes were fitted out with the type of top drawer kit that we would all love to have on our next e-Bikes. Fox suspension front and rear with slippy Kashima coating and the fantastic Grip2 damper upfront.
Shimano XTR 1 x 12 drivetrain for crisp shifting, but to help manage the torque of the motor Orbea has replaced the standard Shimano chain with an e-Bike specific KMC chain and wall-crawling 51T 12-speed cassette. The Shimano drivetrain extends to a set of four pot XTR Enduro brakes for powerful and predictable stopping.
Keeping with the carbon theme of the frame is a carbon E*Thirteen, 160mm long chainset, and a set of Race Face Next carbon bars measuring 800mm wide.
Wheels are top of the line DT Swiss HX1501 alloy wheels rather than carbon, with Microspline hubs, each wheel front, and rear comes dressed in 29 x 2.6in Maxxis Minion DHF tyres.
2020 Orbea Wild FS: Geometry
To read the rest of this review login or register for free.
Use code HELLO54 when you join us as a print or digital member and your membership will be half price for the first year.
The Print+ membership where Singletrack magazine drops through your door, plus full digital access, is normally £45, now only £22.50 with the code. And a digital membership where you can read all the digital magazines is normally £25, and now £12.50 with the code.
Simply use code HELLO54 at checkout.
(New annually renewing membership only. Excludes Gift Memberships, Discount applies to first year. Cannot be used in conjunction with other offers, or when switching memberships)
so which one is a better option, orbea or decoy?
which one is better descending?
how does it feel with the additional battery?
Things that could be improved, top if the list on a completely re-designed bike should have been full integration of the speed sensor, why have they stuck with the pre-historic spoke magnet when everyone else has integrated it into the disc, little things can spoil what was looking like a real contender, oh well, back to the ever growing list of where to put my money.
That’s because Bosch won’t let them change it. It’s the same for the display. Orbea wanted to design their own sensor and display but Bosch doesn’t allow it.
I’m testing the YT now, and should have the Orbea soon. So watch out for a comparison soon.
Which size is better? Large o Xlarge?
Hi, so I felt more comfortable on the XL for the wide-open trails we rode during the launch, but I would probably choose the L for riding on my local stuff.
Thanks for the insight.
How did you find the battery range ? I’m 511 and am think of ordering a xl what height are you please thanks Dan.
Bumping dano78’s questions. I have the same questions.