First Look - Orbea Rallon

Nov 26, 2013
by Matt Wragg  

FIRST LOOK
Orbea Rallon

WORDS & STILL PHOTOS: Matt Wragg
ACTION PHOTOS: Orbea

bigquotesWe wanted to have a bicycle that gives you the maximum when you're going downhill. - Xabier Narbaiza, Orbea MTB Product Manager

As far a bicycle companies go, Orbea is probably the oldest, most-established company you've never heard of. Originally founded in 1840 in the Basque region of Spain, they made their first bicycles way back in 1930. In those 80 years they have grown to be the largest bike company in Spain, but unless you follow road racing or cross-country, we'd forgive you for not being familiar with the name. Looking through their range, their mountain bike focus has clearly been on their more lycra-clad side of things - Julien Absalon piloted one of their bikes to Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008 and the longest travel offering they had ever made was 150mm. That is until now, when they decided to take the emergence of enduro racing seriously and re-purpose their all-mountain bike, the Rallon, for enduro.

‘Enduro’ is a much-misused word right now. Somewhere along the line, it has been corrupted, re-appropriated to cover pretty much everything we previously lumped in under the headings of "all-mountain" or "trail." Today it's connection to the long, tough downhill-focused races in the high, French Alps that spawned the format is all-but forgotten by many. Orbea may be one of the exceptions, as they seem to have a very clear, and pure, understanding of enduro. None of the Orbea staff at the launch showed up with open-face helmets and goggles, or fanny packs. Orbea MTB Product Manager, Xabier Narbaiza, explains:

bigquotesWe asked our dealers and our riders what they were looking for. We realised that our previous bike was more of a trail, or all-mountain bike and it wasn't right for enduro. The seconds in the race are won downhill, but it needs to be an economic bike going uphill. You don't want to waste energy, so you have 100-percent for when the timing starts, but we really wanted to make it fast, to perform going downhill. And uphill, you will have to sacrifice. Whether it's the main pivot point or taking a fork that isn't lockable, we'll do that.

3 4 view

Introducing the Rallon

On first glance, maybe the Rallon doesn't look too radical, or maybe we just didn't expect a company who comes across as straight-laced as Orbea to go down such a road. The introduction to the bike was low-key. The Rallon is unencumbered by complicated acronyms and scientific-sounding materials. It's simply an aluminium frame with 160 millimeters of travel at the front and the rear. Studying it alongside the previous version, its lines are cleaner, the wheel size has been bumped up from 26 to 27.5 inches and the linkage design of the suspension has also been reconfigured. The Rallon looks good, maybe not 'drop what you're doing and sell a kidney' sexy, but it definitely looks purposeful. It's only when Xabier starts talking about the geometry and the suspension that you realize what Orbea have created though.

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Details:

• Purpose: Trail/All-mountain/Enduro
• Frame: Aluminum, concentric rear dropout pivot suspension, 160mm travel
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Shock: BOS Kirk
• Fork: BOS Deville 160mm travel
• 66° head angle
• 420mm chainstays
• Sizes: Small, medium, large, X-large
• Weight: 30.29 lbs
• MSRP: Rallon X Team $6,199


Suspension

Orbea developed the Rallon’s suspension in partnership with BOS. The well-respected French suspension maker was brought in to review their design at the early prototype stage. Xabier said that with BOS’ feedback, Orbea had to totally change the kinematics of the bike. Instead of having a small rocker link near the top tube, which would have been lighter and easier to produce, the new chassis required a longer rocker arm that pivoted from the down tube to achieve a smoother, more linear leverage rate to get the maximum from the shock. It was one of the keys to achieving the front and rear balance that was Orbea’s primary goal in developing the bike.

Linkage 1
  Coupled with a concentric pivot design, the Rallon has a high pivot, one Orbea claim to be the highest with this sort of suspension layout. On the right is the large rocker arm BOS required to ensure the proper shock rate.

There are two ways you can control a bike suspension feel: by manipulating the leverage rate of the suspension, or through tuning the shock. Many modern suspensions use linkages to produce complex, custom leverage rates, to offer specific suspension characteristics at different points of the suspension travel. This is usually involves keeping the shock firm in the first part of the stroke to make pedalling easier, then get harder at the end of the stroke to reduce harsh bottom outs. Variable rate suspension linkages, however, complicate the task of tuning the shock.

Being humans, we all tend to have our personal preferences, especially when it comes to suspension feel. With the suspension characteristics hard-wired into a frame the suspension feel is going to be within given range. Orbea and BOS decided to walk the alternate path, with a linear suspension design to allow the shock to have the biggest possible influence on the suspension feel. The BOS Kirk shock that the Rallon was developed around, has rebound, and separate high and low-speed compression adjustments - which means that you can use the shock to tune in the precise suspension characteristics you are looking for. Until recently, this kind of shock technology and approach to suspension setup was only available with coil shocks for downhill and freeride bikes. Although if you find the prospect of this kind of involvement in your suspension tuning intimidating, Orbea do also offer the bike with a Fox Float shock that comes with preset settings.

Working with BOS they didn't consider any of the elements in isolation, but worked on the frame, fork and shock as a complete package. The linear suspension rate of the rear suspension meant that its performance could be closely matched to the fork. Both fork and shock consequently have tunes unique to the Rallon, Orbea are confident this makes this one of the most balanced bikes out there.

Suspension
  Both fork and shock have tunes unique to the Rallon

Concentric Rear Dropout Pivots

Behind that big rocker link is a suspension layout that will look familiar to fans of Trek's Active Braking Pivot or Dave Weagle’s Split Pivot bikes. It uses a similar system with the rear dropout pivots that rotate concentrically around the rear axle. When we quizzed Xabier on the similarities, he said:

bigquotesWe checked the patents, and this design was there for 100 years - having the pivot point where the seatstays and chainstays rotating around the rear axle. We have been very careful not to infringe on our competitors' patents, but there are opportunities out there that you have to explore. We really respect our competitors' patent rights and encourage others to do the same, and we believe that our concentric rear axle design does not infringe any valid patent rights of our competitors. The main reason we are taking this suspension design is because of the construction. We can make the whole system much lighter, because the dropouts tend to be a little chunkier, when you have a Horst Link, or a pivot above the rear axle, you get a bigger CNC part. The lightest way is to have the most tubing possible. How do you get the maximum amount of tubing? You bring the bearings and all of the linkage to the rear axle. We have our own patents protecting this design because we have the most compact system out there.

Linkage 2
  A close-up of the dropout and the all-important concentric pivot - this sort of suspension layout means the rear wheel has an axle path like a single pivot bike, but the braking forces are separated from the suspension.

Magic Numbers

Of course, suspension is only one element, one that can be completely wasted if you wrap the wrong geometry around it. It is here that you can clearly see the difference between what Orbea consider an all-mountain bike and this, an enduro race bike. Compared to the previous Rallon, the top tube was lengthened, the head angle was slackened and the bottom bracket was lowered. In the frame’s lowest suspension setting, this equates to a 338-millimeter bottom bracket height, a 66-degree head angle and an 1172-millimeter wheelbase for a medium-sized bike. In the higher of the two suspension settings, the head angle is 66.5 degrees and the bottom bracket, 345 millimeters.

Side view of the bike
  From the very first run, the Orbea was a very easy bike to live with

For a 650B bike, a 66-degree head angle is slack and with the extra reach from the lengthened top tube, the medium bike began pushing the bike’s wheelbase towards the 1200 millimeter mark, which test riders felt was too long. To combat this, Orbea shortened the chainstays to 420mm. With 650B wheels, 430mm chainstays are generally considered short, 420mm is shorter than most 26-inch-wheeled bikes even. While the primary aim here was to adjust the wheelbase, shorter stays are easier to keep stiff and are one of the major contributing factors in producing a fast-handling bike.

Make no mistake about it, Orbea’s Rallon is pushing on the boundaries of what you can do with an enduro bike and how aggressive you can make the geometry without turning the bike into a full-blown gravity sled. When Orbea’s lead test rider, Simon Andre, talked about head angles,he mentioned that they pushed the Rallon prototypes all the way out to 65 degrees, but after trying different configurations, he found that the ultra-low bottom bracket and the frame’s longer reach made the most impact on high-speed stability. Taken in conjunction with these other factors, a 66-degree head angle proved to be just as stable as a 65 degree head angle, but handled far better at low speeds.

Through the rocks
  Quickly we found the confidence to hit technical sections with some speed

First Impressions:
We threw a leg over a medium-sized bike at the launch and the longer reach was immediately noticeable. It is certainly one of the longer medium bikes we have tried, although, crucially, it still felt shorter than most large frames. Riders in the group who were traditionally on the small/medium cusp tended to favour the small. Pedaling out to the trailhead there was a steep climb and, as we would expect with these kind of geometry numbers, you have to work on your riding position to maintain traction and keep the front in check. That said, power transfer to the back wheel felt pretty good and climbing was comfortable, if not lightning fast.

Most of the time, riding an unfamiliar bike once or twice is not enough time to get a good sense of its potential. From the very first descent, however, it was apparent that the Rallon is something rather special. Taking our first runs on the track used for stage four of the final Enduro World Series round in Finale Ligure this year, we were hitting sections like we'd been riding this bike for years - staying off the brakes, chancing lines and throwing it at the corners. What was interesting was that this seemed to be a fairly universal feeling among the group, that with their approach to the suspension the bike can be relatively easily tuned to suit a wide range of riders. All signs point to Orbea’s new enduro machine as being a very, very fast bike. We have taken a Rallon away from the Orbea launch to put some more miles in on it, and will will report back on our long-term findings before long.
- Matt Wragg



www.orbea.com


153 Comments

  • + 74
 This is the first bike of the 2014 crop that really has my interest piqued. Nice, clean lines, good looking paint job across all models, suspension system without a bazillion linkages, and something from a the norm and that likely won't be seen very often. I want one.
  • - 68
flag wakaba (Nov 26, 2013 at 2:31) (Below Threshold)
 ...most important: Almost linear shockcurve. That means the logic to setup the bike is in the shock and not split between reartriangle and shock. Very good thing.

They would, no doubt, created a better bike if they would have used 26 and a coilshock instead of an airdamper. They could have gone down to 64 oder 65 HA, saved 1.5kgs and would have built a bike that could be called a Freerider with uphill capabilities.

@Mavic: Enough yellow. It never looked good. We all know you think yellow is great. Many of us dont buy Mavics because of the ugly color. Its so 1999.
  • + 3
 Same impression here, looks original and real good on the paper and if Matt says it feels just right straight from the first ride, it must be ace. Great job Orbea
  • + 5
 it's hot.
  • + 1
 Excellent spec as well - in these instances its the frame and feel that count but its nice to see what I'll hesitantly call 'proven' choices on the product managers list, no headline grabbing with gear which may well let you down or create servicing or reliability issues -good job
  • + 3
 I saw this and made a noise a bit like nghnhnmmmm! IZ NIZE!!!!
  • + 5
 This is definately a bike I'm gonna keep an eye out for on the used market
  • + 1
 I just heard Rob Warner say "LOOK AT THE KIT, LOOK AT THE KITTTTTT!!!!"


if you go to their website, you can upgrade some parts on her... I think I'm in love with a spanish woman!
  • + 1
 What is interesting is that the geometry looks really new school, despite The fact that Orbea used to shine in XC and road racing. One could expect Garda Festival fire road warrior yet you get a ferocious beast. They have no ex DH rider testing it for them. Some companies never got there making über mediocre bikes for years (pun intended), only one of them was smart enough to hire a guy of Fabien Barel magnitude to sort things out.
  • + 1
 DW is not amazed.
  • + 2
 Im still not sure why manufactures continue to produce bikes with 2x10 drivetrains, I switched my Enduro to 1x10 and 32 tooth and have never once thought ive needed a granny ring, plus it removes a shifter from the handlebars, and lightens the bike. Not to mention the better guides
  • + 1
 i hate this bike cuz it looks so awesome and makes my bike look terrible Frown
  • + 1
 @wakaba I agree on all counts.

I'd consider buying one though, it looks fabulous. I wonder if there will be a carbon one next year?

Also, I notice that the shock is very close to the top tube... would a coil shock even fit without twatting the underside of the top tube? If not it would be a shame because I also think air shocks are gash and would want to mount a coil shock.
  • + 1
 @Corywilliam - what you might have is Bike-maintenance-level 2 syndrome. Level one is to keep it in a good shape, oil the chain, service suspension, change broken parts etc. Level 2 is to keep it in fashion Big Grin
  • + 1
 no its not that i dont maitain my bike its that its a crappy bike, its an old 90s bike that i built up ALOT
  • + 11
 Its nice that there's a mention of concentric axle/dropout pivots being mentioned as patented a century ago... because they were... but somehow we get folks believing that if the US patent office grants a patent, it must be new, and if they grant two patents then obviously one company is stealing the idea of another inventory (Dave's claims he shopped his idea to trek, before they filed their own patent application) when it could simply be that the first inventor's idea wasn't actually
original. It may have been original to him, but not to history. And the US patent office in particular is notorious for granting patents for already invented technology. Most of their budget comes from fees, and the fees for filling applications aren't as high as the fees for being awarded a patent, and then maintaining it.

patentpending.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/1890_front_and_rear_suspension_bicycle.jpg

Note that the rear axle pivots concentrically to the dropout interface between the seatstay and chainstay, and this was patented ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY THREE YEARS ago.
  • + 9
 Actually, the US patent system is a major obstacle in the innovative path. The mere fact you can file a patent for an idea which you haven't even develop -a mere idea I mean, like "a squarish communication device with rounded edges" (Hi Apple, I'm talking to you!), or Microsoft trying to patent the XML standard (STANDARD is key here, since it means it was a consensual collective creation) proves its real purpose isn't to protect the original inventor from being plagued by others, but to avoid any future enhancements from arise.
  • + 2
 "Charlie, I'm an excellent drive...excellent driver..."

The chainstays look really short, but I am not sure about the head angle...looks really steep.
  • + 4
 Yep, patents should be 5 years with no renewal. Same with copyright. Give them time to profit, but then let other people re-imagine the same concept in better ways. For an example just look at the interesting ways Shakespeare remade a bunch of existing plots, and since then how many people have re-imagined Shakespeare (sons of anarchy=hamlet and there are hundred of other examples).
For a technical example look at the simple designs where there are less patents. It would force companies to compete on grounds of quality and price. Imagine if bikes had to compete based on the merits of their build instead of just charging an arm and leg for special linkages that were really invented during the industrial revolution and then later applied to a bicycle.
Patent trolls stifle innovation, not copy cats.
  • + 2
 There are very few patents in the bike world that cover the technical aspect of a design. Most are related to the naming and the marketing of a design.
Specialized's FSR is a true technical patent. It specifies having a pivot below and in front of the rear wheel's axle. It's quite specific and it's apeal to a bicycle application is well documented.

On the other hand, the core of designs like Split Pivot, DW-link, Maestro, etc. have been around for ages in different applications. From industrial machines to door hinges.
These basic designs have been tweaked to serve specific purposes on bicycles, but their simplicity makes them impossible to patent. What you can protect, though, is specific measurements, esthetics, name, and the way that name is marketed.

For example: You can build a concentric chain/seat stay pivot, but can't name it ''Split Pivot'' and you can't use the same measurements. And can't use the same claims that Trek uses.

Bicycles are simple machines, and they've around for a while. Time has weeded out the bad designs. What makes a good product these days is good market research and good marketing. Since what works is out there and easily accessible.
  • + 2
 For everyone who believes that, there is a lawyer who has successfully gamed the court and patent system to his/her/their client's benefits. The Horst-link patent was a valid one, but then Specialized bought it and gamed the system. Amp Research was a "small" entity under patent law/regulations, and paid the small entity fees. Specialized was in no way, small, but continued to pay the small fee rate for the maintenance of the patent until one of their "licensees" found out and basically told them they weren't going to pay royalties any longer unless Specialized wanted the patent office to be told of their fee fraud. Stuff like that leads to patents being declared expired in a hurry when the USPTO finds out. The patent has now expired anyway so the
point is moot, except for the greater one that Specialized is one of those companies that prefers to exploit loopholes in the patent act to their advantage even if it means they're essentially committing fraud. They figure they can afford the lawyers and most consumers wouldn't care one way or the other even if they knew what was going on.
  • + 1
 That is a whole other game. As a small manufacturer I doubt I'd get flack from Trek if I'd chose do do something similar to the SplitPivot. But if they did take me to court, even if I'd be within my right, I wouldn't have the economic and intestinal fortitude to defend myself, and would probably cease producing the ''infringing'' design.
  • + 3
 From trek...maybe not...but Specialized crushed Stratos out of existence after they started selling drop-in inertia valve cartridges for suspension forks, which were exactly following the ORIGINATOR of the inertia-valve shock's patent, which specialized knew about already when they committed patent fraud by filling their own patents without disclosing known prior art. There are a lot of patents out there, and you're supposed to include prior art that you know about, of similar inventions for patent examiners to compare to, to make sure your invention is worthy of patent protection or not. Failing to disclose glaring stuff like other patents of the same technology, that you're trying to get around, is a big NO NO. Specialized knew of the prior patent having essentially lied to its inventor/patent holder when they worked out an license agreement to use his patented design, and then promptly locked it up for rear shocks and filed their own patents along with Fox for suspension forks for bicycles. The original patent mentioned every sort of wheeled land vehicle possible except bicycles unfortunetly, in its description. That's another way bike companies game the system. Take stuff that's public knowledge for say motorcycles, and file for bicycles as if its "new" technology.
  • + 4
 I just keep waiting for a lunch tray manufacturer to sue apple for stealing their design. After all, my kindergarten lunch tray was a rectangle with rounded corners long before apple's products looked like that.
  • + 5
 I had mixed feelings when I saw Specialized's P-Slope. I had designed and built the LePink three years prior. And both bikes did share very, very similar (but not identical) configurations and profile. The LePink sold well and people liked them, so it was easy to feel cheated.
Eventually I figured that whether they consciously copied my design or not, they still put some time and computing power to validate the design. And if Spec's think-tank came to same conclusion as I did three years before, well I was right all along!

Some times it's better to take the compliment and move forward than fight a battle that's already lost. Our system obviously does not allows fair fights on these issues.
  • + 2
 On a similar origin... ya know the Niner "CVA" patented design is basically ripped from the Balfa 2-step FR layout... I presume when Procycle bought balfa they got the design rights and everything, and any patents that may have existed. Too bad it never occurred to them to challenge Niner for patent violation. As to specialized think tanks...they don't really have one. They have a "what design of a competitors that isn't US patented yet can we steal" group though. Their "body geometry" saddle designs are totally ripped from a european saddle maker's research and designs.
  • + 2
 Dude I just found an old Balfa catalog in my shop and I immediately noticed the same thing. They are nearly identical.
  • + 7
 I'm happy that they didn't sacrifice the numbers to put the big wheels in it like many others do. 66 degrees head angle and 160 mm travel seems just perfect for any all mountain bike today and it's no doubt interesting to have full BOS suspension on this bike. I wonder however how easy is to do maintenance of this suspension.
  • + 3
 Not that easy. You can service the Deville yourself without too much hassle, but you'll have to send the Kirk away for a service. Another issue is that you can't buy the stock BOS seals for the Deville, but you can always fit some 34mm SKF ones (found on the Fox34 forks)
  • + 1
 Sacrifice the numbers? Maybe the better wheels don't need the extreme numbers to make a bike have stability. Looking at these numbers, I would think the bike would handle almost like a downhill bike. It's fine for racing, but for trail riding its a bit too extreme, like trail riding a free ride bike.
  • + 0
 Which wheels are the better wheels? And I don't see anything extreme in those numbers. The trend today is to pay more attention on the downhill side when creating a bike, that's why we have "enduro" term now Smile
Me, personally, I like that trend. The goal is to have the most fun of a bike when going down the hill and still being able to climb to the top. Sacrificing climbing a bit, because of better downhill performance does matter for many people, I believe. Especially if they can afford only one bike.
  • + 6
 Man, what a killer build! Amazing how you can reach the top end without carbon for just over 6 grand. Add carbon and it spikes another 4g's. I like orbea's killer whale look. The black and white with the right curves. . . it's just sweet.
  • + 9
 Very nice all round package, i would definately ride that.
  • + 3
 Shut up and take my money, er, credit card!

Have not seen many bikes track that well/seem so easy to point (seeeeeem)!
  • + 2
 ...that's what she said...
  • + 6
 Haven't seen many bikes like this? Pretty sure Orbea's late to the game if anything, not a ground breaker. Bikes like this have been around since the mid 2ks. Nomads, 6 points, moments, etcetcetc. Lots of bikes out there for the point and shoot adventure rider in us.
  • + 15
 It's like a Specialized Enduro dripping with French produce & Spanish Tapas - sounds odd but that's my idea of heaven. F'kin yummy!
  • + 1
 Man I'd chow that down if I didn't just get a Mojo! Wait that sounded wrong...
  • + 1
 Also, negative props for saying aggressive AM bikes have been around for years? What? If you're going to have an opinion, please drop off a comment too! Fact is, this bike is nothing new, and though the hyper short rear end is amazingly good to hear, not some groundbreaking bike that would make me think "wow never seen anything like that before."
  • + 1
 The problem is they didn't say or imply they thought "wow never seen anything like that before" so why argue that point against them? Makes no sense. They're not even talking aesthetics, which you are. They're talking ride characteristics. So again, I'm confused.

That said I'd love to ride this. I like it. Hope that's alright.
  • - 1
 Read Trailking's comment. I was responding to that, not to the article. He states "Have not seen many bikes track that well" which to me is saying he doesn't view many AM bikes as capable on the downs, and to that, I argue bikes have been around for half a decade to fill that void.

Thanks for adding the comment though. Salute
  • + 6
 From a geo point of view R-trailking is correct and your comment is incorrect: None of the bikes you mentioned have geometry as aggressive as this. Kona have gotten huge press coverage over their geometry for 2014, yet with the same wheelsize Orbea have 5mm shorter chainstays, but 1cm longer wheelbase, suggesting it should magically be more fun yet more stable. They have have somehow gotten Specialized Enduro 26" geometry into a 27.5 bike, while half the bike brands out there are still selling 450-440mm chainstay bikes. I dont think any other 27.5 bike has as short chainstays, and very very few 26 bikes match it.
  • + 2
 In a new world order of things, this bike is NOT groundbreaking, but for a European bike company that to this point have only placed all their eggs in the Road bike and XC basket, for them, this is truly groundbreaking, and for that they're clearly proud of this bike (and so am I).
  • + 1
 I could give other examples to more radically aggressive bikes, such as the YT wicked, or the Intense SS, but I think you've missed my point, so not sure how it would help.

I did mention the hyper short stays are definitely appealing, but stays alone don't make the bike groundbreaking to me. He said he hasn't seen many AM bikes that track that well, fact is, there's been AM bikes that track that well for 6+ years. The geometry is certainly a step forward, but that hardly means it's on some pedestal sitting by itself.

I could go into the wheelbase being long as it has a long front center, which many of us actually find a bad thing, or how it's another high COG alloy AM frame, but it's not relevant to my point, neither is your post. Medium legged battle bikes have been around for a bit. Not my fault people are just catching on to the genre!

Edit, this isn't to say I don't like it, as my previous posts imply, I'd be absolutely all over this if I didn't just build something up. Happy trails!
  • + 4
 Just to be clear I'm not neg propping anyone. But to be clear, generally speaking short chainstay = fun easy to point, large wheelbase = stable, tracks well. Still the wicked and intense bikes are no where near the numbers of this bike, its shorter out back but longer overall. As they say in the article, they did have to steepen the head angle as it was getting a bit silly at some point, I personally would run this bike in the steeper 66.5 mode, as I have found that I prefer short stems with ~67 degrees.

I'm only commenting as I regularly ride a 2008 or 2012 lapierre spicy, the older one has 440mm chainstays, whereas the newer one has 425mm chainstays. I have different length stems to compensate for the 1degree slackening off of the head angle, most other measures are equal and near identical builds. While I dont believe one is worse than the other, small changes in chainstay length are surprisingly noticeable, not just the usual bull$*** marketing. I'm not convinced im faster on the 2012, but I do have more fun...
  • + 6
 Again, his comment was to do with the point and shoot ability of the bike. If you're telling me a Nomad doesn't do the descents well, then you're likely just on the hype bandwagon and there's nothing I could say to get my point across. Is it the next step in a DH friendly AM bike? Yes. I didn't say otherwise, I merely want people to recognize this genre of bike has been around for near a decade, and am not attacking the bike. It's a great newcomer to the AM stage, and it's welcome by me. At no point did I say anything negative about this bike, and apparently not being groundbreaking is a cause to get down on someone's opinion. Orbea isn't the first company to explore short stays and a long TT.

I'm not saying the bike isn't innovative, I'm merely talking a specific point made by a user. Apparently the fact I'm not joining in the circle jerk, and I'm giving credit where credit is due, is a bad thing. My apologies gang. Salute Take care.
  • + 4
 @sherbet: Again, apples and oranges. Trailking's comment was about 650b bikes, and you are throwing 26-inch examples all around. I do also know many 26ers with aggressive geometry, long top tubes and short chainstays (that's what I like in a full-suspension bike in fact), but for real, looks like Orbea is the first company who noticed they should start chewing some tubing back there (no pun intended ;-)) in order to keep the bike nimble and playful. Longer chainstays are what kept me away from wheels bigger than regular 26", but I've got to admit this one looks promising.
  • + 3
 YT wicked 650, Commencal 650, Banshee Rune 650. All of those are agro 650b bikes, with the last of the three having a nice rear end, and swappable dropouts. I can keep saying my point all day, fact is, you're not reading it.
  • + 2
 Got to agree with sherb. Especially talking 26" this kind of bike has been around for 6-7 years atleast. So they are running a "new" wheel size; I wouldn't call the thing ground breaking or different at all.
  • + 1
 This design concept has been around a while. I have an old Iron Horse frame shoved in a corner somewhere that I don't ride anymore. 16" frame, 24" top tube, ETT would be 26 or so, I'm guessing, a 1.25" head tube and 15.5 chain stays. It's from 1991 or 92. It was a bit more than it should have been, but it was very fast downhill with a rigged up (home made machined spacers) 3 inch rise BMX cruiser bar. My little brother was faster than he ever should have been racing downhill. Beating full suspension bikes on a regular basis. Did I mention it was fully rigid? He bought some 2.4-2.2 Klein tires maybe. There weren't big tires back then. Gary Fisher came out with genesis geometry a few years later, so it's not new.

This bike is pretty cool, full XTR, top end Mavic wheels, RF SixC cranks and bar, RS Reverb, Bos suspension for $6200? I like the 2 models below this one too. The $4300 bike has RF and a Talas and there is a $3100 bike with RF and Fox. Does anyone know how these things hold up to abuse?
  • + 3
 oldschool43 - The frame seems solid enough to me, nicely welded, etc and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • + 1
 Cool. Thanks!!
  • + 3
 Christ.
  • - 2
 I really just don't understand why we can't enjoy this bike for what it is without someone trying incredibly hard to show we shouldn't like it. A staff member no less.

This isn't a "circlejerk" as you called it. I don't see what point every member in this thread is "jerking" over. If you could point that out I'd be thrilled to no end. I don't see anyone saying this hasn't been done before, which is the point you keep hammering home. Congrats? You proved something no one said to nobody?

I honestly believe you're just miffed that people aren't agreeing with what you're saying so you're creating issues that don't even exist to try to rally support behind your stance.

This has been a really bizarre comment section to read.
  • + 0
 Again, you've totally misread me if you feel I have anything but respect for this bike. As I don't feel dragging this out any further, as nobody seems to be bothering reading what I have to say before casting it down; yes I am a horrible person and I hate everything about bikes. There. Now you have a reason to treat me like the shit you have been.

All my point was there are other burly AM bikes. Everything else would be statements that others are shoving in my mouth. That's hardly fair to me, but here we are, still having a go.

I honestly believe you need to work on your reading comprehension. Salute Also wasn't aware staff was barred from having opinions.

Edit; also like that a conversation about a frame has completely turned on it's ass and is now about me. Didn't realize I was so fascinating!

Second edit. Definitely work on that reading comprehension. Second comment in this string implies the author of the comment wasn't aware of other AM bikes that were so DH friendly. I've said this I don't know. Four times now? Really. Work on reading.
  • + 2
 Wow, thanks for the insult (however completely off base). Nicely done.

I never said you were a horrible person, I never said you hate everything about the bike. I never said you were barred from having an opinion. I never shoved statements into your mouth. And don't just sit there telling me I'm downvoting your posts without reading them (really... what the hell). Seriously what is wrong with you? WHERE DID I SAY ANY OF THAT.

Once again, you're creating issues that don't exist. Stop it. And treating you like shit like I HAVE BEEN? What the hell is that supposed to mean? That is my first post in this article. So where else have I been treating you like shit exactly?

See now I'm just pissed.

You want to talk reading comprehension? OKAY!!!!!!

What is this "circlejerk" you seem to think everyone is in on? What point exactly is everyone here supposedly "circlejerking" over? I'd REALLY like you to answer this since you... I guess didn't "comprehend" that question in my previous post.

WHERE did anyone say this hasn't been done before? PLEASE answer this too since you didn't "comprehend" it last time. If you want to defend that stance then I'd like to see who you're even defending it against. And let's be clear here, you specifically said people were saying this.

You want to talk about shoving statements in peoples mouths? You are far and away the worst offender out of everyone here. Now please, go ahead and point out where I said or implied a single thing you just accused me of. DO IT. I triple dog dare you.

You have once again created a lot of issues that didn't even exist, AND!!!! You've successfully managed to do exactly to me what you accused me of doing to you.
  • + 0
 Read the first line. Didn't insult ya mate, merely said you're having a go where there's no need. You're the one making an issue, not I. Have a good day, hope the rest isn't so dramatic for you.
  • + 2
 Yeah, because you edited your post to make it more PG while I was responding. I strongly notice you didn't refute anything I said or answer anything I asked. I'm not even surprised.

If you want to make crazy claims about people you had better be able to back them up, and it seems you can't.

"Didn't insult ya mate, merely said you're having a go where there's no need." The hypocrisy and irony here is palpable.
  • - 1
 Dang! I was impressed by the bike and now I am bummed by the drama.

While Orbea is a great making in my mind, this bike seems to be a nice ticket for them to hop on the "fun 650" train. I am going to keep an eye out at Britton's to see if I can demo one. New? no, but fun looking yes!
  • + 1
 No, I really didn't edit my posts to be PG. You're going to stop the drama now, and we're going to talk about bikes. Thank you.
  • + 0
 "You're the one making an issue, not I."

Except that you did exactly that. You're trying to play a pity card when it's not necessary mate. You're not even answering the questions people are asking you're just avoiding them like a politician.

I can see this isn't going to go anywhere or get resolved with you, but cyrix has a point, regardless of how pissed off he seems to be.
  • + 2
 At this point I'd like to point out Mike and Cyrix are multiples of the same poster. I was going to let you slide, but at this point, you're nothing but a troll and a social engineer.

Get a life. Salute
  • + 8
 Better back it up! Ohhhhhhh internet forum fight!!!
  • + 2
 Opinions. They all suck. I would love to demo this bike, see how it feels in relation to my stumpy comp evo 26. I really dont care about new and ground breaking features as long as it all works together to make for a fun, fast, and controllable ride.

I thought Mods were supposed to take the high ground instead of causing drama? If any moderaters wants to respond to this, It'd be cool if it wasnt any who were involved in this thread.
  • + 5
 Been watching this thread all day. One troll using multiple accounts to antagonize a guy who happens to have a blue badge on his name is what's going on here. Don't read too much into his status as a moderator. Now if we could all just take a deep breath and go comment on other articles that would be awesome.
  • + 6
 Wow, that was a painful read.
  • + 5
 Wow Sherbet suspended a guy for having an opinion....... Just like you Sherbet. Enjoying your lil power trip?
This will get erased in about 5 minutes.
  • + 1
 hahaha. haven't read a good banter like that in awhile, well done, ladies.
  • + 4
 Dear god. That went horribly, horribly wrong. All I am saying is, there product manager is clearly not the burliest guy I have seen, yet he seems to pick line choices easily and smoothly on this ride, seemingly as well as their racer. It is probably most likely just the long toptube giving him space to make small accurate inputs, but it is something I personally have been wanting. Plus I like that they really put out there that they played with actual wheelbase and headtube angles to come to their end product. Very professional, even if it really is just an ad.
  • + 4
 I like how they carefully colour matched the fork and shock to the frame, getting those custom green touches to match the subtle green branding, and then stuck a set of GIANT YELLOW WHEELS on it. Smile

That aside, looks a quality bike.
  • + 3
 I think the fact you can see them from space is exactly the point. When you watch the EWS edits and Clementz and Barel go by at warp speed, you still can see what wheels they are riding.
  • + 3
 Hi there... Orbea has a mtb history, I spend riding the old Rallon last season as "Rallon ambassador" in Spain. I had a 10 years background in freerinding and I was very comfortable with the old model up & down. The new one looks awesome, I expect to ride this bike in the next early spring in my home mountains

If canadians from Vancouver area wants to know more about Rallon, my buddy César Gairín (spaniard resident in Whistler) will ride the new model in Whistler next season, also he was in the Master podium in Whistler EWS last august, 2nd. You'll find him next enduro season in BC in some races and you can see in action the Rallon there. Ask him is very friendly guy and hard to battle in race...

www.alotrolado-mtb.com/riders/enduro-world-series-crankworx-podium-cesar-gairin
  • + 1
 The patent system needs to be changed. 5 years, no renewal. No design is so ground breaking that it deserves decades of protection from re-imagining or improvement by other engineers. Especially not putting pivots on an axle.
  • + 1
 This bike is an absolute blast to ride! We got a few in for demo last week and I'm having a hard time letting go of the Small. Easily my favorite bike Orbea has ever made. For Arkansas, this thing would be all the travel you need, it would be an absolute beast on any of our trails. I've spun it around on some urban jaunts through downtown immediately after we unpacked them. It's the 1st bike I have jumped on in a long time in which I immediately felt comfortable and confident to try whatever I wanted. I also had the chance to do a 3 hour trail ride on this bike and it pedals VERY well for a 160mm bike. Our climbs in the area I rode weren't really that steep, but were definitely rocky/ rooty and it tracked well, although on steeper climbs, it could definitely benefit from a travel adjust fork to weight the front end a bit. I'm leaning towards buying the X10 model myself. E2
  • + 1
 I saw the X10 on their website, looks awesome and the price is actually really good for what you get. Even the X30 has a low price and good stuff on it. How do these bikes hold up though? I've replaced a few frames in my time because of cracks and broken frames, do these things hold up?
  • + 0
 @E2, did you find the main benefit of the bike to be the 27.5 wheels or the bikes geo. You and I are both very accustomed to feel of a 26" Santa Cruz.
  • + 2
 Honestly, at 1st the wheels didn't feel like that big of a deal when starting off on the Rallon for a ride, but I rode a buddies Spec Enduro w/ 26's so he could pedal the Rallon a bit and I could immediately feel the difference in the wheel diameter, not quite the difference like 26 is to 29, but definitely a difference. Once back on the Rallon after a couple miles on his Enduro, I felt quite a bit faster and small to mid sized bumps were quite a bit smoother. I'll put it this way, I don't even want to ride my Nickel anymore after riding this thing and I love the Nickel. But the Geo is freakin DIALED, Eureka Springs DH would be fun and i guarantee I could shave some seconds off of a timed run on this bike.
  • + 1
 This looks like its just begging for a Foes/DMR Bolt style stiffener linkage attached to the top tube. Unless you enjoy servicing your shock all the time...Also, this has been discussed in depth further up the comments so I won't repeat too much of it, but this really is quite similar to the APB layout trek use. Only real difference I can see is the shape of the seatstay where it joins the chainstay, and the mech hanger appears to be mounted to the seat stay part? Even the colour of the anodizing on the small parts is identical to Treks. Surely they were taking the piss slightly there?
  • + 1
 Seems like the rest of the class is finally catching on - fun bikes sell - proper HA, TT, and "shorter stays are one of the major contributing factors in producing a fast-handling bike."
  • - 1
 I had the previous model the rallon r3 and you know what, they sad the same thing back then, this is better then the old one and bla,bla,bla and that the bike is impressive like same bike coming from space, but you know what it sucked in almost every thing, the only thing that they are saying right is how bad the old bike was. Sory orbea but I don't trust in your bikes any more, and by the way my YT Industries (wicked) is 1000 times better Big Grin
Have a good day !
  • + 1
 "We wanted to have a bicycle that gives you the maximum when you're going downhill." oh... so like a downhill bike? ...not an enduro bike? (sorry couldn't resist)
  • + 2
 You just look at the second picture down and realize... God Damn! That is one sexy sexy bike. I think I'm in love...
  • + 1
 13.3" BB is pretty low for a 160mm bike no? What's that 11.5bb sagged. Pedal strike city! Great for gravity,-!: shorter cranks:-)
  • + 1
 Looks cool, but any bike with a pivot near the drop out, and nothing connected to the seattube is going to either be flexy or heavy.
  • + 1
 MATT WRAGG - can you expand on that last question, please? I also was wondering that exact same situation... its a long way to go from her ankles to her belly button and having her knees in the middle... can you tell us how you feel about it, hmm? I like long legs by the way...
  • - 1
 And by the way the design is all a copy, rear like trek, in the middle like a Jekyll, the only difference from the Jekyll is, the shock is in front, instead of the rear of the swing arm, and the front triangle from a mondraker, the bike mite be good but it's a photo copy of many bikes out there. Go invent your bikes orbea don't steal them !
  • + 1
 Dam i really want an enduro!!!!! Too much much hike a bike, need more riding.
  • + 3
 If only it were a 9er
  • + 1
 Surprising that they didn't go with a 1x drivetrain, given it's supposed to be a high end enduro race bike
  • + 1
 They have the option of an XX 1x11 driveline, and it's easy enough to remove the front mech and shifter if that's what you're into. I like the fact that they didn't design it to be a 1x only frame like a lot of new "enduro" bikes. Seems Orbea understands that while all of us want a high end "enduro" bike, not all of us have a set of high end enduro legs to go with the fancy 1x driveline. Almost everybody on my local trails with a 1x driveline has to walk up the steep technical stuff, I'll stick with my 22t granny and pedal up, even if walking would have been faster.
  • + 1
 Looks very nice, I've seen it on the ubyk website but I don't think they have them in until Jan.
  • + 1
 Beauty
We just wanna shred with this geometry! But yellow rims suck what do u do Mavic?? Monsieur Dola réagis!!!!
  • + 1
 Really nice looking bike! About time Orbea made something interesting! Pity it's not 26".
  • + 2
 It had me @ Bos hi/lo speed compression
  • + 2
 the geometry ethos reminds me very much of the new GT Fury, and me likey
  • + 1
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtLr65qxu7s promotional vid of the orbea rallon Wink
  • + 1
 Best bike company ever. Great products, quality and value with excellent back-up and support.
  • + 1
 Orbea makes sweet road bikes, so I expect nothing less of their mountain lineup, looks dialed!
  • + 1
 i think its a good price, 6k, yes its expensive but i seen a lot of bikes more expensive with worst parts,
  • + 1
 Has anyone bought an X30 or X10, if so what are your thoughts on the bike as I'm thinking of getting one??
  • + 1
 "Both fork and shock have tunes unique to the Rallon." This is NOT a selling feature. It's compensating for poor geometry.
  • + 1
 Not necessarily true, any rear shock needs to be shimmed according to leverage ratio and that has nothing to do with geometry. Not sure how the fork would be custom tuned, though.
  • + 1
 Has anyone bought the X30 or X10, if so what do you think of it??
  • + 1
 Norco Range is the all mountain for 2014
  • + 1
 This is a veeery good looking bicycle.
  • + 1
 Good looking, very heavy versus price no revelations, good geometry
  • + 1
 shut up and take my money!
  • + 1
 Nut buster hump on the top tube.
Has that ever made any sense?
  • + 1
 Reminds me of a stumpjumper
  • + 1
 Are there any shops in Vancouver that carry the line?
  • + 1
 Nice....but then again its basically ripped Mondraker off!!!
  • + 1
 Not really, the Rallon has looked pretty much like that for years. Pretty much as long as Mondraker, they just aren't into the mtb scene as much as Mondraker are.
  • + 1
 but not affordable by the average joe..
  • + 1
 This is the dog's bollocks model. They'll probably offer frame only and lower spec models.
  • + 1
 Which is why they'll thankfully offer bikes at lower price points, like any logical company would!
  • + 1
 they have four different models, with different pricing. Check out orbea.com Smile
  • + 1
 6k is plenty affordable , if you really want some thing you will save and do over time to get it , very much doubt many people have 6k in cash hanging about to purchase with ! either save up or get a 0 percent finance over 2 years deal.
  • + 1
 Some people can't afford to do Finance, never know if you'll keep your job for that long,
  • + 3
 Then what you do is save , i'm a low wage earner and in temporary work but save like mad for things I want , took me months to save up for my last frame but it's plenty achievable if you really want some thing.
  • + 0
 Tell me about it, I'm kinda lucky because I work in a bike shop, but unfortunately the only MTB's we can get are Diamondback. I can get Intense on trade but it's only a one off. My next bike will either be an S-Works Demo or M9. I want the M9 as I've used one before and it performed flawlessly but I'm also into motorbikes and want to test the Ohlins on the Demo. If it is anything like the TTX on my mates dad's BMW HP4 then I'll be buying one for sure.
  • + 1
 I want new forks for my bike , I'm saving now hoping to have enough cash by the summer , fork prices are just so high these days...
  • + 1
 So do you want two new forks are do you just want a new fork?
  • + 2
 They offer a 3K version which is PLENTY affordable.
  • + 5
 What Orbea offer on their website is the option to customise your spec too - so you can take the base model, but upgrade it with the BOS suspension, or the Reverb seatpost. I can't remember the exact prices, but I think for around 4,000 Euros you can have a bike with the BOS suspension, Reverb Stealth seatpost and Shimano SLX brakes.
  • - 1
 I was actually just curious whether bigburd is buying multiple new forks or just one... he said "I want new forks for my bike".... probably just another case of someone not understanding that you don't eat dinner with a spoon, a knife, and a "forks".
  • + 1
 Actually the 2 models below this look like they'd offer a whole lot of performance and minimal or no upgrading.
  • + 1
 I think this Bos fork is a 26" one. The clearence is marginal but ok. I have a 26" Bos one also and it can take a 27,5" wheel with 2,35" tire...
  • + 0
 shredjekyll do you want a pat on the head or a gold star ?

Get a life dude , you know full well what I mean you are just trying to be a try hard ( and making your self look like sad case while you are at it ).

I think I might just buy two pairs of forks for my one bike , yeah.,.

Deduction is a great skill
  • + 1
 He is such a f*cking tool it hurts. "I want to buy these forks" makes sense. "I want to buy these fork" does not. "I want to buy this fork" makes sense. It all depends on what you put before fork. But seriously he needs to get a life. He's almost worse than WAKI.
  • + 0
 Thanks for clearing that up, you must have a degree in English or something...
  • + 1
 That's a pretty sick color scheme.
  • + 1
 More feedback on the BOS shock please Matt?
  • + 1
 That'll come in the in long-term review.
  • + 1
 Could not find the long term review. Is it on the forum?
  • + 0
 Pretty Sweet looking ... to bad there isn't a 26 version ... I would never buy a 27.5 bike
  • + 1
 Those mavics should be green. Great bike anyway
  • + 1
 Vincent Galo is so broke he has to test-ride mountain bikes for money
  • + 1
 Wow we like look good and fast.
  • - 1
 I wonder if they're gonna get sued too hehe. "concentric rear dropout pivot suspension"
  • + 1
 I wouldnt be surprised if they cant sell their bikes in countries where the split pivot and abp patents are based. I cant see how this bike doesnt breach those patents. Also their claim about having the highest pivot with this suspension layout is a bit ambiguous. Devincis bikes all have very high pivots but it is unclear what oreba are referring to in terms of suspension method.
  • + 1
 Looks like they filed their own design, which means it is done differently. Probably with the pivot, rocker and shock locations. Trek mounts it's shock to the lower swing arm and uses a rocker link. Divinci uses a frame that's very similar in design to Trek, with a rocker and vertical shock mount. If Obrea sell a whole bunch, then they will be sued. Haha.. The USA has the biggest issue with patents. KTM bikes aren't allowed here because of the suspension designs. Shame, cuz they look to be affordable and are pretty cool looking.
  • + 2
 The patent only refers to the rearmost pivot so you're probably correct that if they sell a whole lot theyll be sued. However the overall layout doesnt change any breach of the patents
  • + 1
 Looks really good. Nice.
  • + 2
 I see a bit of a Mondraker design in there which I really like. Not too keen on Concentric pivots after riding my Uzzi a lot.
  • + 1
 4 please Smile
  • + 0
 Don't be a 29er, don't be a 29er, fuck it's a 650b.
  • + 1
 OMG .....
  • - 3
 if they ride anything like their road bikes ill pass.
  • + 6
 Going by the geometry and spec, it will ride EXACTLY a road bike.
  • + 1
 oh yeah just like how the venge and demo 8 are exactly the same handling, gwin would've won if he used a venge Wink but no seriously don't diss the orbea orca, that bike handles like none other, it holds it's line and allows you to be super aggressive, what else could you want? you're the problem not the bike if you can't ride an orca properly
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