Orbea have updated the Wild, their race-winning eMTB. The new version seems to be more performance-focused than ever. By getting rid of the door that allowed the battery to be easily removed or swapped out, Orbea say they've increased the stiffness of the front triangle by 52% while dropping around 900 g from the frame weight. Obviously, this will make it harder to swap the batteries or charge them off the bike, but you have a mechanic for that, right?
The geometry has been tweaked too - it's longer, slacker, and higher.
The Bosch motor has been updated, with a minimal remote on the bar and a controller on the top tube. You can get it with a 625 or 750 Wh battery and Bosch's regular CX motor or the new Race version
for even less weight and added overrun.
Orbea Wild 23 Details
• Fully internal battery (no door)
• 52% stiffer frame & 900 g lighter than its predecessor
• 160mm rear travel, 160 or 170 mm fork
• 29" wheels only
• Bosch CX motor (inc. Race version), 625 or 750 Wh battery
• 77.5° seat angle, 64° head angle
• 20.9 Kg (46 lb) claimed complete weight
• Price: $5,699 to $11,999
Motor & Battery
The Bosch motor seems to be the only option if you want a race-ready ebike. The latest Performance CX motor offers class-leading power and a good range with the 750 Wh battery. If you order from Orbea you can choose the 625 Wh or 750 Wh battery depending on cost, weight and range requirements. The smaller battery sits lower in the frame, giving the lowest possible centre of gravity.
The battery charge indicator and mode selector are on the top tube, with a small remote on the handlebar for quick mode changes.
Only the top-spec model comes with the Race version of the Bosch motor, which is 150 g lighter and has an extended overrun feature, meaning the motor keeps working a little longer after you stop pedalling. The idea is to help you get up and over trail obstacles where you have to pause pedalling. Hopefully, the unsolicited power won't send you off the side of an Alpine switchback.
The main update for the new bike is the intact downtube and the elimination of the door in the tube which allowed access to the battery. This does mean removing the battery involves first removing the motor with Allen keys, but the advantage of this approach is that Orbea were able to increase frame stiffness while saving around 900 g compared to the older bike. In fact, the bare carbon frame (with no shock, motor, battery or wiring) is said to weigh just 2,675 g - only 70 g more than the equivalent Rallon enduro bike. This helps Orbea achieve a claimed full-bike weight of under 21 kg (46.3 lb), which is very impressive for a full-power e-bike.
There is an alloy version too, but there's no word on how much that weighs.
Like so many modern bikes, the cables run through the headset. Orbea say this is to "reduce visual distractions, noise and cable movement while ensuring the cable entry and exit points are fully sealed."
As for the concern of extra maintenance, Orbea claim that "thanks to the design of this system it is as easy as ever to change a cable, stem or handlebar. The only time extra work would be required would be to change the headset bearings, and to make sure that doesn’t happen very often the upper bearing is made from stainless steel to give the longest lifetime."
The headset, along with the stem, also acts as a steering limiter to stop the fork or controls from hitting the frame in a crash (much like Trek's Knock Block). A bumper on the downtube acts as a failsafe or an alternative if you choose to run a different stem.
Suspension-wise, the kinematics are similar to the old bike, except the leverage curve is slightly less progressive. Orbea say there's still plenty of ramp to complement a coil shock, though all models come with air.
The geometry has been tweaked for more speed and stability. The 448 mm chainstay is 7 mm shorter, there's 25 mm more reach (size M), the head angle is 1.5° slacker, and the seat tube is 1.5° steeper. This adds up to a 44 mm longer wheelbase. The bottom bracket is 5 mm higher for extra pedal clearance and the head tube is 20 mm longer for a taller front end, which, along with the shorter back end, should make it easier to loft the front wheel. The longer, slacker and taller front end should make it feel much more stable at speed.
Models and specifications
There are four models in carbon and three in aluminum
. Specifications are customisable on Orbea's website using their MyO ("My Orbea") program. Top models get Orbea's new in-house Oquo
Orbea say the new Wild will arrive at the beginning of 2023, but it's already possible to reserve a bike through Orbea's Rider Connect service.