Orbea Occam 2016: First Look

Jun 26, 2015
by Paul Aston  
Orbea Occam 2016

2016 sees Orbea release its latest incarnation of the Occam, as well as celebrating the Basque country brand's 175th anniversary. The 160 employee strong company from Mallabia, Spain, originally introduced the Occam range in 2008, followed by a revamp in 2011, and the addition of a 29" wheeled machine in 2012. For 2016 we see twelve models spread across a range of 27.5" or 29" wheels with 140mm or 120mm of travel respectively, alloy or carbon frame options and prices starting from $2,199 USD and peaking at $7,999. Bikes will be arriving in August/September and the full range will be on display at Eurobike if you want a closer look. Orbea.com

Orbea Occam 2016
  The Occam's evolution over the last eight years.

Range Overview

Orbea market the Occam towards the trail sector, and while there is some debate as to what 'trail' means to different riders, product manager Xabier Narbaiza says that these are the bikes their customers are asking for, a majority of which are based in Spain, France, Italy and the USA. This lightweight shredder gives riders a choice between the Occam TR - a 120mm travel 29er, and the Occam AM which sports 27.5" wheels and 140mm of travel.

Orbea Occam 2016
All models of the Occam have internal cable routing.
Orbea Occam 2016
The top tube is formed to partially house the shock.
Orbea Occam 2016
Moulded chainstay protectors on all models.
Orbea Occam 2016
Alloy Occam TR 29".

There are options of carbon or alloy frames, dependent on how much money you decide to part with and various build kits. The budget, alloy Occam TR H50 comes in at $2,199 USD up to the flagship M-LTD models at $7,999. The full carbon M-LTD models come lathered in Shimano XTR, RaceFace Next and DT Swiss XMC 1200 carbon wheelsets. The 27.5" AM M-LTD weighs in at an impressive 10.95kgs / 24.1lbs. All Orbea bikes are assembled to order in the Basque Country, which means customization through the 'MyO' is a reality. MyO allows customers to choose the base model, then change parts to their preference including paint finish, and have their unique bike delivered within two weeks.

Orbea Occam 2016
  Xabier Narbaiza, the main behind the Occam revamp.


Geometry

Following current trends, the Occam gets longer at the front, shorter at the rear, the bottom bracket drops, and the head angle slackens. Orbea have moved to Boost hub standards as this helped with tire clearance and chainline issues allowing them to achieve super short chainstays. Orbea suggest that you should choose your bike dependent upon your riding style and height. Taller riders, or people looking for a more cross country biased bike should opt for the TR with its 29" wheels. Shorter riders, or those looking to attack tougher trails should shoot for the AM 27.5". In Orbea's own words the"Occam TR is for trail riders who love the efficiency and speed of 29” wheels – those who prefer long days in the saddle, craving a balance of downhill speed and lightweight stability," and the Occam AM "is the choice of riders who want more travel and maneuverability – those who are looking for a bit more fun on the descents and want a bike with a rugged specification."

Orbea Occam 2016
Occam AM.
Orbea Occam 2016
Occam TR.

The main numbers for the TR 29" are a 68 degree head angle, 435mm chainstay, 340mm bottom bracket height and 431mm reach for a medium size. To reflect their thoughts on sizing, TR models are available in medium, large or extra large, if you need a small frame Orbea suggest you should go for the smaller wheels. Vital statistics for AM 27.5" are a 67 degree head angle, short 425mm chainstays, 340mm bottom bracket and the same 431mm reach as the AM. Whereas the AM was missing a small size the TR excludes an XL, if you have outgrown the large frame, then you need to opt for the bigger wheels.


Orbea Occam 2016


With reach and stack numbers becoming a more useful and widespread means of determining bike size and fit, Orbea realised that some manufacturers don't consistently change reach and stack numbers through their size range. Often two different frame sizes share the same stack with a different reach meaning that choosing the correct sizing can be confusing or misleading. 'Linear reach and stack' should simplify this and get more people riding correctly sized sleds.

Suspension Design

The main feature of the Occam suspension platform is the UFO Flexion seatstays, which were developed on the World Championship winning Oiz cross country bike. The flexible stays means the pivot that would normally be placed close to, or around, the rear axle can be eliminated. The benefits of this? Orbea say it drops 140 grams from the structure, adds lateral stiffness and takes away bearings that are placed in the firing line of hoses or pressure washers. They were also keen to point out that flexion doesn't mean stiction, as the force required to flex the stays is a fraction of the force needed to compress the shock. The alloy models don't have built in flex, instead they use a 'Concentric Boost' pivot which rotates around the Boost 148mm rear wheel axle.
Orbea Occam 2016


Orbea Occam 2016


The suspension is designed to be regressive until the suggested 25%-28% sag point. This makes the bike supple at the start of the stroke, then becomes progressive shortly after the sag point, to offer mid-stroke support and then bottom out resistance. High-end models are supplied with custom tuned FOX DPS shocks with EVOL air cans to beef up the bikes' capabilities. The EVOL shock can be further tuned using volume spacers.


Ride Impressions

Orbea Occam 2016

I took a short ride on the AM and TR versions in Ainsa in the Spanish Pyrenees. Being just over six feet tall, the large sized AM bike felt small even matched with a 70mm stem, but I was more comfortable on an extra large TR. Weighing in around the 11kg mark, the light weight was instantly noticeable on both bikes when climbing, with the stiff, short chainstays directly putting the power into forward momentum and making it easy to lift the front end. In my opinion, the Occam definitely falls on the cross-country side of 'Trail', and didn't quite have the stability I'd expected at higher speeds or when things got fast and choppy, even though the head angle and bottom bracket numbers on paper suggest more potential in this area. By the same token, the stiffness and light weight allow for quick climbing and snappy acceleration, handling traits that for some riders are more important than a bike's manners on the descents.

Orbea Occam 2016



105 Comments

  • + 91
 can anyone say stumpjumper.
  • + 18
 I honestly thought that would of been the #1 comment
  • - 12
flag bdjbradley (Jun 26, 2015 at 12:27) (Below Threshold)
 uglier than a stumpjumper
  • + 2
 Looks like one with marins isotrack concept for suspension.
  • + 10
 I thought the same thing except it is missing that critical pivot.
  • + 3
 Nope try again , its not Horst link
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 26, 2015 at 15:13) (Below Threshold)
 There is nothing better than jerking off by spending tons of cash and time on tinkering with latest shocks, compression tunes and getting carbon layup in the way of compression and rebound - whining like a btch and winning like Charlie Sheen. But you do so skip replacing two bearings and Spec owners know the pain of two tiny bearings put through biggest side loads there are on a bicycle
  • + 4
 Who cares about the occam? Show us the rallon!
  • + 7
 So it's just a singlepivot linkage driven shock with flex stayhs, right? Like the ASR C.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns - I just did (...replace the rear axle pivot bearings on a 2013 Enduro - and there's 4 of them), and it isn't a pain. Every once in a while you take everything apart anyway, unless you don't like to keep your bike in good shape. One more pivot isn't a deal breaker. And after that, you can get the new bearings at every hardware shop for chump change, and the replacement itself is a half-hour job at your local bike shop (or your home, with the right tools).

I have, on the other hand, broken the rear "triangle" on a bike with a missing pivot - like this Orbea - on the exact spot where I would have expected it to snap. And I was far from giving it the best (or worst - for the bike) that I'm capable of. Now *that* is a real nuisance: claiming a warranty (or, even worse, buying the part yourself), waiting a month for it to arrive, then ride like a pensioner because you're afraid it's going to break again.
  • + 1
 Stumpjumper and a Mondrakar had a baby.
  • + 1
 The Stumpy doesn't rely on flexible seat stays. Which btw, doesn't anything that flexes significantly over time weaken and eventually is susceptible to cracking or breaking? especially on a 'trail' bike?
  • + 3
 @motard5 Not necessarily. Carbon has pretty good fatigue resistance so if it's done right it can be a perfectly safe and reliable design.

bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/1356/road-bike-carbon-fiber-frame-life-span

Yeti's been doing this for what a decade, and the carbon flexstays aren't breaking left and right.
  • + 3
 Yeti is not a good example when it comes to swingarmd from carbon. Everything is great when done properly, too bad everything can be done poorly as well and badge is only a badge
  • + 2
 I went through 3 yeti carbon swingarms in less than 6 months then moved on to another bike
  • + 5
 Occamon. You can't be serious.
  • + 1
 @supermike306 yikes man! So I'd guess you don't endorse flexible stays
  • + 1
 @motard5 to be fair I don't think the flexible stays had much to do with it but it's just yeti's lack of strength lots of people seem to break them. Shame as they look and ride amazing!
  • + 3
 I was told the following by one bike manufacturer: if it's not the robot welding your frame, then the stress tests are just for marketing, as quality of welds depends on at what day of the week was it made. If you got a frame from Monday, then the quality and durability of your frame is proportional to how long and hard the party was on the weekend. Imagine that with carbon, where it is even harder to pick out problems on quality control
  • + 2
 @wakidesigns I would bet good money that much of the cost of carbon frames is to cover all these warranty issues. I run carbon cranks, carbon wheels, carbon saddle, and have ran a carbon bar for years but I am skeptical about frames
  • + 2
 Supply and demand mate. Pricing according to what people are willing to pay, bearing little relationship to manufacture cost
  • + 1
 I think it's not as simple as that. You have to factor in cost of warranties or you have a seriously bad business model. I'm thinking that the amount which is factored in has gone up or at least is stopping carbon becoming more affordable. £3k for a yeti sb6c frame for example is crazy. They would sell way more if it were reasonable.
  • + 2
 People said that about aluminium in 1992, now steel is 3x the price. Carbon will come down as the market becomes saturated and they figure out the next big material
  • + 1
 Completely agree dude, I am not against carbon at all, I have hoops, cranks etc carbon but they need to get the quality right on the frames. Ali frames used to break too. I remember snapping a trek yglide around '98. Titanium is the ultimate for me, a beautiful material. My next bike for will be a ti hardtail for trail duties.
  • + 1
 I like your style. I would love a titanium bike too. Just the sound it makes when you brush your fingers up the tubes. That along with the colour and the knowledge that it will literally last forever.
  • + 1
 That's the thing carbon doesn't have in most instances - feel. Fk me, it rarely has the looks. It's plastic - like bags at the super market. You need some serious ideology to get over it. Titanium on the other hand, has it all: weight, feel and looks.
  • + 2
 I love the look of carbon. That's the main reason I want it. That, and all the commercials telling me I need it in order to fully enjoy mountain biking.
  • + 1
 But most carbon things don't show the weaving. When I see a Ti frame I think of Samurai sword, when I see the latest Nomad I see Little Pony doll of my daughter. The beauty of carbon lies in that black shiny weaving under the surfa ce, you get an inpression of depth, of hidden treasure. But when it is covered in paint, matt in particular, it looks crap.
  • + 2
 I take your point. It looks like mass produced shiny plastic toys, made in China, which in most cases it is. I just love the organic form. It's not very manly though is it? Comparing a baby blue carbon frame with pink graphics to brushed titanium... Hmm
  • + 1
 Ah now I get what you mean. Yes organic shape of carbon frames is sweet indeed! I always loved intense frames for that matter. My friend has Tracer in raw alu, holy Beezus, I get moist over that one. As to manly things well... Nicolai frames are very manly, I am just not sure if I want to ride a bike or two wheeled replica of Tirpitz. I made my HT curvy and looked for someone who could make an updated version in steel, some frame builders were really weird - meh... it is unnecessary to bend tubes and we are not sure it looks good either.

As awlays, thank you for an entertaining chat Big Grin
  • + 1
 Yeh Nicolai... up close they are beautiful, but at a distance... horrible. All straight tubes and sharp edges. About as manly as it gets though hey. Too industrial for me. Give me hydroformed tubing any day of the week.
  • + 54
 That bike is epic, it specializes at jumping over stumps on off camber...
  • + 29
 Does it have smooth ground control, or is it more of a butcher?
  • + 34
 It's rumors, you have to go for a demo to find out
  • + 27
 Unless your all about enduro tho
  • + 41
 I don't Crave this one due to the lack of Rockhopping abilities. If one were to hit a Hardrock, then one could get Pitched over the bars quickly. At that point, and with poor overall health Status, laziness would transform one into a Fatboy.
  • + 19
 C'mon guys, use your brain and demo the bike before you fast trak your opinions!
  • + 15
 Anyone know how this bike would handle on the Tarmac?
  • + 20
 seems like it can take some pretty big hits
  • + 0
 Now seriously, this bike will be Orbea's Crux and they know it. They will now go on with same old lame Pitch, that we heard a million times before, with all sorts of VPP designs: just because it looks almost EXACTLY the same, it does not mean that it is the same Razz
  • + 2
 @aoneal: Instant classic. LOL!
  • + 1
 This thing looks like it's kicking up a storm in purgatory..
  • + 0
 once you demo the bike you will probably go awol.
  • + 33
 You know the world is ASS backwards when the voices in my head say, 8 Grand for an XTR , carbon wheel FS bike...good deal...what is wrong with me
  • + 19
 USD my Canadian friend, that will be $9,860.80 CAD at the current exchange rate + exchange fees.
  • + 1
 yeah, gone are the days when we were at parity. gotta hold on for a little bit more to see how it all pans out.
  • + 4
 That's not the first time I have read this type of statement recently on PB from Canadians. Is CAD in a state of flux or USD?

Would it be worth it to make a run for the border and drive back with your new bike?
  • + 1
 Champ, I was going to suggest the exact same thing. That said the bike looks beautiful and incredibly qualiticious.
  • + 2
 As a canadian if you buy it in the states or in Canada you are still at the mercy of the exchange rate which took a dive this year with the rebound of the american dollar and the biggest reason the CAD is down is energy prices being down. Canada's economy is seen as a resource and energy based one.
  • + 3
 @ChampionP You'll end up paying the tax on the bike as duty when you come back across the border.
  • + 5
 @ChampionP when a state is in the process of quantitative easing, it puts downward pressure on the currency, compared to other currencies that are seeing a lesser level of easing, all things being equal. So when the US was printing money (QE), the Canadian currency appreciated (because Canada's QE program was lesser as a % of GDP and National Debt), same thing happened earlier this year when the European Central Bank was printing money during their round of QE - that's why the Euro is so cheap to Americans right now.

As the rate of quantitative easing decreased, the currency turned towards other supporting economical factors to value. Remaining economic factors could not justify the valuation of the dollar, consider the falling price of oil (Canada is a strong high volume producer), and a slowdown in Canadian domestic manufacturing = a weaker Canadian dollar.

The long term outlook for many economists is that the Canadian dollar will settle between $0.77 and $0.80 US (currently at $0.81).

For a while the Canadian dollar was stronger than the USD, and for a longer period than that, about an year and a half, it was at parity. During that time, Canadians were rejoicing because our purchasing power was straightened, especially internationally, and everything including bikes appeared to be cheaper as these were priced in USD and on conversion to Canadian, they felt cheap.

(this is only a high level summary and is not meant to take into consideration all the factors that affect currency valuation - which include: GDP, unemployment levels, forward looking statements by the central bank, overnight lending rates, trade deficit, national debt, and whether a butterfly is being pimped by Kendrick Lamar).
  • + 1
 Presumably, the reason why this seems like a good deal is that Orbea is Spanish based, and they would have set pricing in Euros which are cheap right now, compared to their historical high due to the Euro Bank's economic policy.
  • + 2
 @mayel, I'll read that a couple more times. It's bound to make sense to me eventually.

If you go on vacation/holiday they run your serial numbers on your bike when you come home? How would they know you purchased the bike in the US and not Canada?

Also, if an American wishes to enter Canada for the first time, would a DUI from year 2000 keep me out?

Answer all these questions and I'll load the bike rack up and bring you all your new bikes this fall lol.
  • + 4
 Sweet! Bring some good mexican food too!
  • + 1
 Some bikes are priced way cheaper here in Canada vs USA. It might really be worth a trip north for you.
Giant's whole line is priced like this:
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-ca/bikes/model/reign.27.5.1/20511/80084 $5,299 CDN ($4,301 USD)
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/reign.27.5.1/18766/76218 $5,975 USD ($7,360 CDN)
  • + 1
 Those are last year prices. When the CAD was still doing really well vs. the USD. Try to buy at those prices in CAD right now and unless you get really lucky you can't. There will be a big correction on pricing this year. SUCKS>
  • + 1
 I was recently at a Giant Store... these are the prices they're going for. Check them out or give one a call. There are deals out there.. you just need to act when you see one. Cheers!
  • + 1
 ChampionP , if you go on vacation how will they know you purchased the bike in the us and not canada, well, they have photographic evidence of you entering each country so they can check that way, also they can check your banking history and credit card history. As some of my friends have found out, NEVER lie to border patrol, EVER! also never admit to past drug use if this question is posed to you.....just an fyi DUI- you will not be allowed in the country until you get some paperwork, contact the border agencies and get it sorted out before showing up at the border, also be prepared to acknowledge all of your past arrests and whatnot, ie. drunk and disorderly etc. misdemeanors are not grounds for not being allowed in but lying about them is. DUI is not a misdemeanor in Canada. Their history also goes back to when you were a minor as well, best to call ahead and be prepared.
  • + 1
 I called every giant dealer with in driving distance to get a '15 trance sx or reign. No one had ine and no one could get one.
  • + 1
 Thanks @brownstone, I have emailed the U.S. Embassy in BC so hopefully they will be able to guide me through the proper paperwork. My friend is turning 40 this fall and wants us all to ride Whistler together. I would have vacationed there already, but I was always worried that it would be a waste to make the drive there.
  • + 6
 The welds on that alloy frame are fantastic. I thought it was bare carbon; I did a double-take when I saw the caption. I wonder how much that build costs - 120 29ers are my cup of tea.
  • + 2
 If you're talking about that group of 4 pictures, all except for the lower right ARE carbon.
  • + 1
 I am in fact talking about the lower right picture. Smile I admit I was confused for a minute, though; the similar paint colors in those four pictures threw me off.
  • + 1
 Just double pass welded, something Cannondale has done forever.
  • + 3
 After about a month on my Occam TR 29 carbon I can say that it's the best trail bike I have ever thrown a leg over. I don't have mine set up like the factory spec because honestly I didn't like it as much. I'm running a mix of XO1 and XX1 for the drive train, Chinese carbon wheels, a nice short 60mm stem, RF SIXC 785mm low rise bars, and I have my 2016 Fox Factory 34 FIT4 set at 130mm which is much better than the stock 120mm. I think the HA is about 67.5° which allows me to decend some steep fun stuff. I had the previous model Occam 29 carbon and the new frame is much stiffer in large part because of a solid rear triangle. The rear wheel was plenty stiff in a 142mm width and doesn't feel any different with the new boost 148mm other than that I get heel strikes on the chain stays. Hell a lifetime warranty on an actual 100% Spanish made frame is pretty awesome. The old frames were made in Asia but assembled and painted in Spain. The way I have the bike setup now feels very similar to the new Ibis Ripley LS only stiffer on the back end.
  • + 6
 Kg of mass Newtons of Force
  • + 2
 I don't know anything about Orbea... I've never seen one, none my frieds have one.... but this is a badass looking bike and the 650B wheeled 67 degree head angle short stem version sound really good... that's where it's at for me... I would ride the hell otta this bike!
  • + 5
 Leverage curve doesn't exactly match the description.
  • + 3
 I agree. I scrolled to the comments to see if anyone else noticed.
  • + 3
 Me Too! Looks very purposeful in orange and black.
  • + 3
 Exactly. The description is the exact opposite of what the graph suggests. Wonder if the blame is on marketing for flipping the numbers or the engineers for being oblivious?
  • + 3
 Been thinking about this and wheel rate is definetly progressive over the first 50mm then turns regressive, where's the bottom out resistance?
  • + 2
 yup. it's progressive, then regressive. So it's backwards from what is claimed: "supple at the start of the stroke, then becomes progressive shortly after the sag point, to offer mid-stroke support and then bottom out resistance" when it's more like "feels firm at first and then wallows through travel past the sag point". Were you just repeating the Orbea rhetoric @paulaston ?
  • + 1
 I was really happy to see a leverage ratio curve on a bike review, but when I read the description... wtf ?!
  • + 1
 Come on guys. I'm sure everyone knows that pretty much every bikes looks the same. They all got 2 wheels and a frame. Suspension technology and bike geo is what makes a bike different. And if all the bikes look the same, why everyone are shoping bikes and most of the time hesitating between a spech, a trek, a yeti or else. Hey man they're suppose to all look the same! Razz Stop whinning about a bike looking like another one, buy the one that fits you and ride it. Geo is what's gonna make it different... and the dude who's riding it Wink
  • + 1
 250 kg to fully compress the shock? That's like a Nomad v3. Considering a 160 lbs rider, with 60:40 rear to front weight distro, that would take a 551/96 = 5.74 g force, or 3.44 g if all weight were on the rear. Not what I'd expect from a leverage ratio curve like a Pivot, made to straighten out a typical air spring curve, unless the air volume on that shock is very low. In contrast, a Bronson and Enduro 29 take about 140 kg to fully compress the shock, but I think they're more interested in maximizing traction than pleasing huckers.
  • + 4
 Undeniably sexy. Holy cow that orange looks hot...
  • + 4
 does it come with a SWAT stash box in the downtube?
  • + 4
 If I can't fit two baguettes in the frame, I'm not interested.
  • + 1
 @AllMountin -- you win.
  • + 4
 THIS BIKE TURNED ME INTO A POTATO
  • + 2
 I look fowrard a couple years when all these goodnesses (Orbea, dune C, Newmad) will be on the buysell at a reasonable price
  • + 3
 This is a beautiful bicycle.
  • + 2
 I don't get it. Where's the SWAT door on the carbon?
  • + 1
 I just got my Occam TR 29 carbon frame and it's quite nice. I hope to have it built up by Monday.
  • + 2
 Revamped to look identical to my 2015 Sworks Epic!
  • + 3
 Looks like ORBEA ^^
  • + 1
 I don't work for them but I do enjoy their products.
  • + 1
 with the BTO options i may have to get one in the future.
  • + 1
 8 grand for a 19 pound fatbike sure! but not another dumb trailbike lame!
  • + 1
 Looks like an update is in my future.
  • + 1
 Looks like a Specialized to me and that is not a bad thing. Wink
  • + 1
 Those DT Swiss logos look sharp!
  • + 1
 Looks like a.......
  • + 4
 Occam
  • + 3
 Enduro. (Obviously different though with those flexing stays. And is this "Boost Pivot" on the aluminum bikes somehow different than Dave Weagle's Split Pivot?)
  • + 3
 Spot on
  • - 2
 Commencal Meta V4
  • + 1
 xprezo magic carpet
  • + 1
 One of those crazy bike things the kids are doing now a days.
  • + 0
 Hopefully that "MyO " will be available to Canadian customers
  • + 1
 Damn right it does
  • + 1
 LLAS
  • + 0
 Nice Stumpjumper.
  • - 3
 Looks like a specialized epic but worse.

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