First Ride: 2019 Orbea Oiz

Jul 23, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  

For 2019, Orbea have updated their 100mm Oiz World Cup XC bike. The last update in 2017 was a big redesign with internal cable routing, Boost spacing, and thru axles. For 2019, there's a completely new 100mm frame with the option to swap out the shock, fork, and tires along with adding a dropper post to make the Oiz a more capable 120mm travel ride.

The Oiz has been Orbea's best selling bike for some time. To keep with ever progressing trends of World Cup XC bikes, the 2019 Oiz has a longer reach, steeper seat tube, slacker head tube, and shorter chainstays. There is space for an extra water bottle on medium through X-large size frames, and the 120mm marathon version also brings a more aggressive parts spec, something increasingly common on XC bikes. The size small frame is offered in both a 29" wheeled version as well as a 27.5" build. Orbea say they wanted to accommodate
Orbea Oiz Details

• Intended use: XC race/marathon
• Wheel size: 29" (Small also offered in 27.5")
• Rear wheel travel: 100mm/120mm
• Boost 12x148
• 100mm and 120mm option
• 1x specific
• EPS Carbon frame
• Two water bottle mounts (sizes M-XL)
• Size: S through XL
• Weight: 21 lbs (9.6kg) LTD build
• Price: $4,999 - $8,299 USD
• Available this fall
more riders with this option, but maintain that 29" wheels are the best fit for all but the shortest riders. The top of the line LTD build in the medium size (with no cages, pedals, or tire sealant) is claimed to weigh below 9.6kg (21lbs) built. The frame without a shock is reported at 1.6kg (3.5lbs).

Photo Jeremie Reuiller
The Oiz in 100mm XC mode - the dropper isn't standard, but I opted for one. You can pick and choose your parts to customize the bike and order any number of color combinations through Orbea's "MyO" program.

If you are acquainted with the previous generations of the Oiz, the updates on the new version won't be drastically different at first glance, but the new bike is much refined. The cable routing on the frame is cleaner and fully internal. The lock-out for the shock uses Orbea's "Inside Line" technology, keeping everything tucked out of the way inside the top tube. The flex-stay swingarm design works more smoothly and with less resistance than the former dropout pivots. That, coupled with a higher shock-leverage ratio, should make the suspension smoother than before.

Photo Jeremie Reuiller
The flex-stay design feels more efficient than the previous Oiz.
Photo Jeremie Reuiller
Orbea's "Fiberlink" weighs a mere 59g.

Frame Details

Integrated chain retention: While it's not necessary most of the time, it's nice to see top guides included on XC bikes. A small and lightweight integrated chain guide can be the difference of winning or losing a race. For most people, it's keeping the chain on the bike and the grease off their hands and not looking like a Jabroni who doesn't maintain their bike.

Cable routing: The last generation of the Oiz had some complaints with cable rattle. Now, everything is inside and cables are taut to prevent rattling. The routing was carefully thought out and cleanly executed. Orbea also has their patent pending "Inside Line" system that hides the cables for actuating the remote shock lockout.

Photo Jeremie Reuiller
Chain retention - minimal and effective.
Photo Jeremie Reuiller
Fully internal, clean, and rattle free - at least in my experience.

Modern Geometry: The Oiz has 435mm chainstays and a longer reach - 435mm in size medium, with the 100-mm travel models sporting a 69-degree head angle and a and a 75-degree seat tube angle. (120mm travel bikes are one-degree slacker (68-HA and 74-SA).

Remote Lock-out: The remote lock-out system has been revised for 2019. In collaboration with Fox, Orbea managed to get the shock tucked up under the top tube and the lock-out cabling is nice and hidden. The lever is opposite from previous models, with the long throw and greater push unlocking the suspension and the push/release button locking the suspension out. This was done so that the suspension can be smoothly engaged/locked even with force on it, which was not previously the case. The long-throw lever also takes significantly less pressure to engage.
Photo Jeremie Reuiller
Cables for the remote rear shock are neatly hidden.

Two water bottles: The Oiz has space for two water bottles on all frames, except for the small, and you can run a full-size bottle on all frames which is a plus.

Photo Jeremie Reuiller
Cabling up front is a little busy, due to the remote shock routing, but Orbea say they were more focused on performance than this one aesthetic.
Photo Jeremie Reuiller
Carbon rocker link and tucked-in shock mounting.

Frame Options / Build Kits

The Oiz is available in four different build kit options and two different travel options. The builds start at $4,999 USD (4,599 EU) for the M10 kit with a mix of SRAM GX and X01 Eagle for the drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes, and Mavic Crossmax Elite TL wheels. The top of the line M-LTD build features a SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain, SRAM Level Ultimate brakes, and Mavic Crossmax Pro Carbon TL wheels. All bikes have a Fox Float Factory 32 fork, a Fox DPS Factory Evol shock (custom tuned to the Oiz), an FSA stem/handlebar combination. The 100mm XC versions have Maxxis Ikon tires by default.

For those looking for a little more suspension and more of a trail/marathon package, Orbea offers the option to swap out certain parts for a nominal price. The fork moves up to a longer travel, 120mm Fox 34 Float Factory, and while the shock is the same, the stroke is longer (the 100mm bike's internal travel-reduction spacer is removed). You can also add a Race Face Aeffect dropper seatpost and a Maxxis Forecaster/Ardent tire combination. The up-charge for the fork and shock together is $129 EU, the seatpost is $59 EU, and the tires can be swapped for no additional charge.

All of the bikes are customizable from the start with Orbea's "MyO" program. There are a near infinite number of color selections to choose from. You can also add in a custom message or name on the seat stay and, as far as parts exchanging goes, you can have your bike in either 100mm or 120mm travel, with or without a dropper post, and with either of the Maxxis tire options.

Orbea Oiz 2019 geometry

Geometry / Kinematics

Orbea is going with the longer-slacker theme that we've seen a lot of brands adopt with their XC bike. It's well suited to modern XC riding or racing and the bike is more versatile, especially when coupled with the optional 120mm travel setup. With the optional 120mm fork, the stroke length of the shock is increased to match the additional travel. The fork sits higher, which slackens the bike out a degree up front to 68 and it puts the handlebar a little higher. Orbea say that makes the bike more capable on steeper and more technical trails and also more comfortable for long days in the saddle and marathon-style racing.

The suspension kinematics have also been refined, with a low-sag design that has more anti-squat, and a much more progressive shock tune. Orbea said that they found the core customer of the bike put too much pressure in the suspension in order to have better pedaling efficiency to the detriment of the suspension's performance. The higher leverage of the new suspension has less stiction and is much more progressive, especially at the end of the shock stroke. Orbea claims, and I can validate, that a harsh bottom-out on the bike is difficult to achieve. The anti-squat of the bike has increased quite a bit from before. It was at 102%, and it's now 114% with a 34-tooth chainring.

Between the 100mm and 120mm suspension set-ups, there are some key differences in the shock. While both shocks look similar, the 120mm uses a different piston, has a longer stroke, and is more linear - standard trail/all-mountain philosophy here.

The original plan for us was to spend time riding the Oiz in Andorra, a micronation bordered by France to the north, Spain to the south, and home to the Vallnord round of the UCI MTB World Cup. With the World Cup happening the weekend before, and the Masters World Championships the week after, it threw a kink in that plan, so we ended up about an hour away outside of the town of Bellver de Cerdanya. Situated in a valley amidst the massive mountains of Northern Spain, the riding there is rugged and diverse, home to a few lift-assisted bike parks and some absolutely great trail riding.

The south-facing mountains above the valley were hot and dry, baking in the sun and giving nearly desert-like riding conditions, while on the opposite side of the valley the mountain slopes offered more diversity, with everything from high alpine, above-treeline singletrack and a bike park with jump trails, to lush, densely wooded forests. We had a morning of rain the first day, so the trails were in pristine condition for riding.

PC Mangler
Daniel Sapp
Location: Brevard, NC, USA
Age: 31
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 152 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @d_sapp1

Photo Jeremie Reuiller

Climbing: We climbed a few thousand meters of vertical over the course of a couple days, less than I would have thought, but enough to get a feel for the bike. The Oiz frame is stiff. It has a very apparent transfer of power from the pedals to the ground. With the suspension open, as I usually had it, the bike climbs well. With the suspension set as Orbea recommends, the bike doesn't want to wallow in its travel, even in steeper sections of uphill trail. I had the opportunity to ride both the 100mm XC and 120mm TR versions. Each bike is distinct in the way it climbs. The 100mm is certainly more efficient, but that's not to say the 120mm isn't. They both feel well supported, uphill and down. I found myself rarely using the suspension lockout - only on the few long paved road transfers we encountered.

The bike seems to have plenty of traction uphill when it's needed. The suspension feels firmly planted on technical rocks and roots and it performed as I would expect an XC bike of this nature should. I found that the lockout was easy to accidentally engage when using the dropper post. That wasn't ideal, but it didn't take long for me to sub-consciously avoid that careless slip of my thumb.

With most of the climbing occurring on smoother pitches, I spent a good deal of time on the saddle. There is one thing that I don't agree with on the spec. The Oiz is sold with a 131mm wide Selle Italia Kit Carbonio Superflow S saddle, which is pretty darn narrow. A medium width saddle, one that fits most people, is generally around 140mm. If your sit bones aren't on the saddle in the correct spot, you can run into all sorts of problems, from general seat discomfort to musculoskeletal issues and circulation problems in your grundle. Back in the day and unfortunately, still, a lot of people believe that a narrower saddle is faster. It can be lighter in weight, but we're trading a few grams saved for big sacrifices in comfort. Saddles are a very personal thing and while the 131mm Superflow S may fit some people, I'd argue that it doesn't fit most. I swapped it out for a wider saddle at the start of the second day and was immensely more comfortable.

Photo Jeremie Reuiller

Descending Descending, the Oiz is certainly up to the task. For the first day, I was committed to the notion that we were going to do a 2000 meter climb up to the top of this mountain someone had pointed out and then descend from above treeline back into town. That changed when a helicopter showed up to give us a lift. Now, I know what is going to be said...something along the lines of, "you did a heli-drop with an XC bike?" - yeah, we did. You would too, heli-drops are rad. I mean, who doesn't like taking in some sweet views from a helicopter? The bike was set up at 120mm for this ride and we still did a generous amount of climbing throughout the day as the ride was much more a point-to-point than one big descent.

Above the alpine, we descended for quite some time, first through a bike park on machine-built flow trails. Continuing down into the trees, we found up and down, loamy, rooted, rocky, flowy singletrack. It was one of the more diverse rides you could picture - complete with some sketchy wooden bridges across creeks. I was following Orbea's Simon Andre, who knows how to ride a bike quite well and had previously ridden the trails. For me, it was blind, somewhat reckless, but highly entertaining speeds for most of the day. The Oiz was confidence inspiring. It felt as if it had more than 120mm of travel out back. It was easy to jump, turn, and pump through technical sections. It was more playful than I imagined a bike that can do double duty on a World Cup XC course could be, and that's not a bad thing.

The 100mm version: I also did a substantial amount of descending on the Oiz set up at 100mm. It stays composed and transitions seamlessly from up to down, as a solid XC bike should. We rode trails that were loose and raw, with plenty of sketchy bits and natural root-to-root doubles. I kept the dropper on the bike (I think most bikes, even XC race bikes, should have droppers in many situations). Even with the reduced travel, the bike handled well in more aggressive sections of trail. The Oiz had much more of an XC race demeanor at 100mm but it still rode well. I would attribute a lot of that feel to the Maxxis Rekon and Ikon tires used on the 100mm bike, as opposed to the more aggressive Forekaster/Ardent Race combination on the 120mm version I had been riding most of the session.

First Impressions:

Orbea's new Oiz handles very well and is extremely capable in both the 100mm and 120mm set-ups. The 120mm bike offers some additional capability comfort for more diverse trail offerings and longer days in the saddle, while the 100mm bike is completely ready to toe the line of a World Cup XC race, out of the box.

Photo Jeremie Reuiller

Author Info:
danielsapp avatar

Member since Jan 18, 2007
476 articles

  • 22 2
 Yet another xc bike review by a trail rider... aint worth my time if hes not wearing spandax!
  • 5 1
 Is seriously ridiculous please pinkbike get a shaven legs obsessed with watts claded in spandex kind of guy to review this bikes
  • 3 0
 @fercho25: Levy's their XC guy, and then they put him on a 27.5 bike and he complains that the bike should be a 29er...
  • 15 0
 "MyO program" is something I'd expect to come across on some websites, but not ones selling bikes
  • 2 0
 Someone tagline the other day was the "Passion Assassin", to your point, belongs on another website.
  • 4 1
 Oprah Winfrey rides MTB?
  • 10 0
 Nice bike. Lots of good xc/trail weapons out now.

I did heli drop to the ER once after a high speed endo. Definitely not rad...
  • 10 0
 Really liking this bike, I would love a comparison test with oiz new canyon lux and spark rc
  • 2 0
 I would like to see the same. They all look very good.
  • 5 0
 "The fork moves up to a longer travel, 120mm Fox 34 Float Factory, and while b>the shock is the same/b>, the stroke is longer (the 100mm bike's internal travel-reduction spacer is removed)"

" there are some key differences in the shock. While both shocks look similar, the b>120mm uses a different piston, has a longer stroke, and is more linear"/b>

So which one is it?
  • 10 4
 I Love the idea of a light weight ripper. The reality for me is I would break it in pieces. "intended use".... blah blah blah.
  • 3 2
 You'd be surprised what a 22lb xc/trail bike can do, and take. In Norcal the top10 Strava spots on a lot of gnarly trails are XC / lightweight "downcountry" bikes.
  • 6 0
 Imagine bringing to work a doctor's note for "circulation problems in your grundle." Also diagnosed as "restraint of the taint."
  • 2 0
 Strangulation of the scranus
  • 1 0
 I'd be interested in a long term review to see if others are having problems. I have the OIZ 29 M10 TR and after 4 months of riding the pivot points for the rear triangle had a lot of play and the bike was flexing. Brought it back to the store where I bought it and when they took the frame apart to inspect the press fit bearings, they fell out they were so loose. Orbea won't commit to a time fix and says the parts have to come from Spain and don't know if they are in stock. I like the bike and hope it is a one off. But so far the quality and the customer support experience have me regretting buying an this bike.
  • 5 1
 @danielsapp you rode the Epic Evo as well. The Oiz is a bit more expensive, but which do you think offers a better value?
  • 15 0
 While the Epic only has the option of 100mm out back, with its geo, it handles similar to the Oiz. I think that the Oiz could be a great choice for the rider not interested in the Brain platform from Specialized. It also comes at four different spec levels where the Epic EVO only has two options. I rode the top of the line package on the Oiz, hence the higher price.

The cockpit of the Epic EVO is a lot less busy with no lockout cables and at stock, a lot more upright/less "raced out". Both bikes are dialed, I think the biggest thing is going to come down to the matter of personal preference since you can build them into a similar package at a similar price.
  • 5 1
 The Oiz doesn't have the ridiculously unreliable (and unnecessary) brain. That makes the Oiz way better in my opinion.
  • 8 4
 "Frame without shock reported at 6 Kg". I don't think so Wink
  • 2 0
 I heard 1600g for frame w/o shock.
  • 5 0
 Take my money
  • 3 0
 Time to smash the piggy on my dresser. 120mm shredder bike sounds perfect to me.
  • 1 0
 I take physical harm towards animals EXTREMELY seriously. please do not use that horrific metaphor anymore. If any pigs were to be harmed I will call PETA within minutes. Frown
  • 1 0
 @Joelukens00: PETA just stands for People, Eating, Tasty, Animals. My race HT is clapped and it is time for a replacment, and the XC version looks sick. Thank god they sell it with no dropper though. Droppers are great for some races but those are a lot more rare than smooth fast ones.
  • 2 0
 I'd throw a 130mm Fox 34 on it with a 125mm dropper and wide bars for a fun fast trail rig. It's pretty much replacing the current Occam TR.
  • 4 2
 Orbeas look as amazing in person as they do on paper. From a brand making bikes for Garda Festival crowd, to the forefront of AM and Enduro. Time for a DH bike maybe?
  • 2 0
 I’m not an XC fan but I have to say damn that looks nice. Really clean lines and I like the pivotless / flexing seat stay
  • 10 7
 Brevard rider- YAY! Spain...bleh
  • 4 3
 i'm just wondering preach, have you ever been to spain? beautiful place, great food, wine, astonishing architecture, beautiful people (not so many fatasses as NC), so, what's your problem?
  • 3 3
 @upchuckyeager: 'Merica, f*ck yeah!
  • 3 5
 @upchuckyeager: so I’m a Spanish teacher.... and yea it pails compared to nc for many many reasons
  • 3 0
 @preach: it’s pretty spectacular there but you know, NC is home and there’s no place mine home.
  • 6 2
 Don't be a Jabroni
  • 9 8
 "LTD build in the medium size (with no cages, pedals, or tire sealant) is claimed to weigh below 9.6kg (21lbs) built."

so a 21lb bike you can't ride.
  • 2 2
 You still can't ride yours going by your videos
  • 2 1
 @Fadgadget: yawn - so I'm an average bike rider. no body cares particularly with a post that is almost a year old. That's pretty sad for you TBH. Your wife and children must be so proud of your school boy bully comments.
  • 3 1
 I’d love to see 2 of these on the trail so I can shout like Deakinator “Oioi(z)”
  • 1 0
 For everyone worried about getting loose and breaking the frame, you can rest assured that Orbea's lifetime warranty and frame replacement is solid.
  • 3 0
 An Oiz and Raillon would not be a lousy quiver.
  • 3 1
 Narrow saddles make my grundle grumble.
  • 1 0
 So you are saying it's hungry for more? Please message me, I can help.
  • 1 0
 I would likely never buy one, mostly $$$$$reasons. But damn I would like to throw a leg over one for a few days.
  • 1 0
 Press fit or threaded BB?
  • 1 0
 @danielsapp You took a helicopter to the top of a bike park?!?!
  • 7 0
 Sure did, a good bit above the top. We were a ways away from the park and did a long point to point traverse after dropping down.
  • 3 2
 I want to take an E-bike with a helicopter to top of the bike park because I like to watch the world burn.
  • 1 0
 You sure know who your “saddle call” is
  • 7 7
 Is it wrong that I don't want a bike from a company that also makes e-bikes? Feels like they're traitors to the sport.
  • 6 2
 I dunno if there is many companies left in the anti-ebike segment...
  • 2 0
 Santa Cruz or Transition. And I'm sure a few others that I drool over less frequently.
  • 2 0
 Orbea is on fire!
  • 1 1
 I haven't had a carb since 98'. I live with this 6pack every day. This bike was made for me.
  • 1 0
 Does the Head Angle stay at 69 in the 120mm version?
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Orbea bikes just look damn right in yellow
  • 4 4
 A degree slacker and it'd be perfect. That'll be the next Spark.
  • 1 0
 As expected.
  • 2 1
 Clean looking bike
  • 3 4
 Looks like a Scalpel
  • 1 3
 Hey look another 29ers
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