Who gives a toss about climbing manners when you're on a bike made to smash through all the things on the way back down? Alright, I care, and maybe you do as well, but this section of the review is what really matters. If you forced me to sum up the Rallon's descending abilities with a single word instead of the twenty thousand that I usually barf out, it'd have to be 'versatile.'
While some enduro-type machines can feel slow and bogged down on any trail that doesn't look vertical on a topo map, the Rallon was a surprising amount of fun on all sorts of low-grade flow terrain that's insidiously replacing trails that call for skills. I'd usually avoid such terrain when on a bike like the Orbea with the same enthusiasm that I use to avoid our daily Skype PB work meetings, but I didn't need to this time. Flow trails, I mean, not the meetings. The Rallon's efficiency helps, surely, but it also has a light, sporty feel to it, and the rear of the bike refuses to sit deep into its stroke like the bean bag chairs that many enduro bikes are. The lightweight DT Swiss wheels and relatively light Maxxis rubber help as well, no doubt, and it makes for a machine that could nearly be mistaken for a long-legged trail bike if you were blindfolded and managed to not pedal into a tree right away.
I was immediately at home on the Rallon when rolling down steep lines.
The angles are there for when you want to see what you can get away with on gnarlier terrain as well. These days, a skilled rider can make any bike look good, but the Rallon might make some less skilled riders look pretty good on nasty, steep, rough ground, and I'd argue that a big part of that is its reasonable reach and wheelbase that don't feel overwhelming. This is a bike that's easy to move around, and while some of these new limos don't feel like an extension of your body until you've either hit mach chicken or are pointing straight down a damn cliff, the Rallon always gave me the impression that it wanted to do exactly what I wanted to do. That's a good feeling.
Simply put, the Orbea is an easy bike to throw around any type of corner, off any type of jump, and at any speed. It's also an easy bike to manual and generally be a hooligan on, which is of the utmost importance.
You can choose either an air or coil-sprung shock for the back of your own Rallon, and I went with the latter for my test bike despite some feedback from others saying that its suspension is too linear to play nice with a steel spring. Part of my reasoning is this: If a customer can order a Rallon with a coil shock despite it not being ideal, I better try it out as well.
Due to a tendency for me to eat my feelings, I managed to gain 15lb between the time I ordered the Rallon and told them I weighed around 160lb so they could put the right weight spring on it. That's probably a good thing, though, as the 450 in/lb spring that came on the X2 shock ended up being bang-on for me when it comes to sag, and it would have probably been a touch over-sprung if I was still not eating a family-size bag of Nibs for breakfast most mornings. The bike's good amount of anti-squat helps, but the back of the Rallon also has plenty of support in the mid-stroke, too. That said, with 30-percent sag, I felt bottom probably a few more times than I expected to, and on smaller impacts than what should be gobbling up all of the X2's stroke.
It wasn't a critical smash, bang kind of thing ever, but more of a,''Oh, that was all the millimeters,'' a bit too often. With an air-sprung shock, you'd be able to get more ramp-up in the later part of the travel, which would likely also let you run a bit more sag, too.
It also didn't feel overly supple, however, even with the coil-sprung X2, which is the flip-side to that great on-power performance. I felt like there was a bit more feedback coming up through the pedals than I expected, even with the shock's compression damping backed out, but it's not harsh enough for me to use that word - harsh - to describe the action. Instead, I'll call it a bit less active than some, but not all, enduro bikes.
With plenty of anti-squat, the Rallon is more of a sporty, playful bike than a boring ground-hugger, and that makes it fun nearly anywhere.
And speaking of shocks, I do have one important gripe: the fact that it's offset to the drive-side by 12mm and exposed to my right leg meant that the anodized blue pedal-assist switch stuck out enough so that my leg actually fliped the lever to full-firm on many occasions. And it happened even more often when I was wearing knee pads. My feelings about cheater switches aside, I don't think that it's a stretch for me to call this a serious issue - I mean, who wants to be halfway down some rowdy descent and have their bike feel like it's being held up by a piece of wood? That exact scenario happened multiple times but, having asked around, it seems I'm the only one with this issue. So maybe it's just me.
I also found myself losing the front-end more than a few times on quick corners, and especially when traction was questionable. I know, of course things are going to slide when there isn't neverending grip, but it happened a bit too often for my liking. That's odd because the Rallon's handling is sublime and intuitive 95-percent of the time... except for the 5-percent when the front tire wanted to tuck on me. I tried a few different tires, tinkered with stem height, and also replaced the 32mm stem with a 50mm unit to see if that worked in tandem with the 455mm reach. The last change helped, as expected.
Without a limo-ish wheelbase, the Rallon is happy to poke its way through slow-speed technical sections.
The good news is that you can pick your stem length if you set up your Rallon through Orbea's MyO program, which is pretty cool. The bad news is that I should have been less endur-bro and gone with the 50mm stem out of the gate instead of the stubby one I chose.
Better uphill (steeper seat angle, longer reach, same weight), downhill (longer wheel base, slacker head angle, better damper (had a monarch)), maybe the HT was a little bit more playfull but the Rallon is really poppy and feels more balanced to me. I am 190cm tall and the Hightower in XL was too small and the slack seat angle has put me too far on the back of the bike. That position was sucking the energy out of my legs.
I do agree with him concerning a certain harshness or rather excessively firm. I took mine with a DPX2 and regret it. I didn't feel it so much with the X2 of the test ride. Now I just received an X2 in 230x65 5instead of the standard 60, it fits, no issue at all, even in lower setting), hopefully it's better, and those extra 5mm on the shock (and my lesser tendency than Levy to jump big stuffs) should significantly reduce my "chances" to bottom out.
Also if they make an XXL I'll take it. Or I'll try a 50mm stem too.
- Hold it for God sake hold it ! (spesh before launching their latest stump...)
This would probably drive serious Premium subscriptions. And each filter/sort refresh would drive an ad impression
Seriously, in 2018, who is making bikes with internal cable routing where the cable has to pop out of a housing-sized hole with no guides inside the frame? Like, really? The clearance issues around the shock with knees and bottles is another big problem.
I wish engineers were forced to build and ride the bikes they design so they could realize how poorly they do some things.
I agree with everything else you say though. I had high hopes for this bike but the rear centre is too short (see Levy's loss of front grip) and the leverage rate isn't progressive enough. It's also got too much antisquat at sag which kills small bump.
Real shame as it's a great looking bike.
I wonder why so much recent designs follows this path. Maybe the linear LR is there to balance in some proportions the PK effect in diminishing the amount of compression-resisting forces ?
It's a struggle to get a lot of progression out of a toptube mounted shock with this linkage design.
One of my riding buddies has a rallon but with a Fox DPS2 shock rather than the x2. He has had no issue with catching the shock lever or fitting a bottle (fabric cadgeless).
I wouldn't rule it out because of the above, if you want to run a coil shock maybe with the position & orientation of the levers on the x2 coil it is not best suited to the bike for the details above but there could be a cane creek, dvo, ohlins, alternative that is as good or better with a different layout that resolves those issues.
The bike my mate has is awesome fun to ride.
antisquat is indeed a bit excessive, not so sure about the progression though. I think it comes down to preference, i personally ride my bikes without much sag and for this progressive bikes tend to feel harsh. If you run 30 % sag and hit hard you will need a more progressive bike than the rallon.
Now this review sheds more light validating my decision. But Brian at BKXC loves his, the video in Spain jamming down loose rocks under a thick layer of wet leaves sold me on the Rallon's stability in the rough.
Look at the geo of the new Stumpjumper and compare it to the new Stumpjumper Evo. The latter is built for shredders who want a pinned front end.
And that's just grip balance. There's loads of other negatives with short rear centres like how sensitive body placement is to predictable suspension response. The more centred the rider is, the more balanced the spring rates are. Standing on the rear axle means if you hit something big or a jump and your body is in the right spot to preload the suspension you'll get bucked as you'll be running a huge rear biased spring rate differential.
Whereas in motocross if you wanted to go out and buy the same bike as the pros, well for starters you can’t. Second of all if you could you would probably be spending $50-100k on it. All a matter of perspective
Your argument falls apart more when comparing Moto trials bikes to mtb. They cost about 1k less than an Enduro (Moto) bike. They sell only a few hundred in the US per year. Yet you get a bike that is the same as a pro trials rider for less than this mtb's bike's MSRP. So please tell me about economies of scale when when you take this into account?
Bottom line: MTBs truely are a rip off. That's why nobody pays MSRP for a bike and they go on sale 9 months after they're released for half off. They are a rip off, without a doubt.
Why does a good fork cost me the same as a set of 4 Fully rebuildable, 32 way adjustable coil over struts with custom springs for my Prelude?
I don't want to hear about economies of scale. It's bullshit in this instance.
But if you want to get into the economics of pricing there are two main reasons dirt bikes like a KTM 300 are so cheap when compared to a enduro mtb like the one in this review.
Number one, off the showroom floor dirtbikes are made up almost entirely of house brand components which cut down alot on the overall cost. Whereas 95% of a top of the line mountain bike is made up of third-party components which costs the manufacturer of the bike more, in turn costs us more.
Number two: the volume of dirtbikes produced is at a much higher level than that of mountain bikes. Which again has an affect on pricing.
If you’re looking for a mountain bike thats made up entirely of house brand components and is mass produced it will probably fall in the sub-$3000usd range. Not $8000+.
If its your opinion that $8000 bikes are a rip off then I guess its a good thing that nobodies forcing you to buy one and that there are much cheaper options out there. So long as your having a good time you’re winning.
Any bike with Eagle XX1 and XX0 is insanely expensive. The GX bikes on the other hand are actually decent buys. And in reality the $5000 build works just as well and last just as long as the $9000 build.
If we were OK with bikes being 5lbs heavier we would have a lot cheaper rides. But we are not, because climbing on heavy bike sucks.
In the grand scheme of things even a $9000 bike is not wild particularly when compared to other sports.
Generally I keep a bike for 3 years, at the end of 3 years of a lot of riding I can see that bike for about $3000. I take good care of by bikes and do all the maintenance my self. Generally over the life span of a bike I put about $1000 into it.
Average cost is about $2300 per year. I ride approximately 500hrs per year, so cost to ride my bike is around $5/hr, make that $6/hr with all the other gear.
Even if someone gave you a motor cycle you are not riding it for $6hr, or skiing, or golfing.
At the end of the day we just pay the amount we want to and can personally justify
Things are way worse when it comes to cars. For instance, my wife's VW got hit in a parking lot this years and the front left light was broken. Cost to replace 1 head light, $5000. Or two head lights for $10,000 about a 1/3 the cost of the car.
a nice damper runs $1000+ per CORNER. even the low-end Ohlins stuff @ $2800+ a set is made in Taiwan and overly simplified.
ho not again this type of comparation
there is no comparation.
a bike is stratospheric expensive compared to a motorbike
run a same spec bike same as the pros for us mortals problably it feel to stif or to rigid
on motorbikes theres is the same ideas of reducing weigh every year - just read test for a new MX motorbike the manufactures each year trie to shave grams everywere 200 gr on suspesion 70gr on new plastics etc etc
please dont compare the cost for R&D and making testing etc just for the engine that make a bike goes 0 to 100 km in the same time as a half a milion lamborgini
and must cumplies with all restrictions of emissions regulations around the world etc etc
for a bike frame it needs a mould, one for each size
now imagine how much muoulds must exist just to make an engine?
bikes are very expensive period
Second, a supercross bike, while having a lot of aftermarket and bling parts, isn't all that much different between OEM and what the pro's are riding. What exactly makes you think they're $50k? You don't need annodized green rims to ride faster, but it does cost money and it is on a pro's bike, so in that regard they're more expensive, but not significantly different from a performance standpoint.
Lastly there are no "house brand" components in mtb. Just frames. Since only a couple companies have 90% of the market in suspension (fox/ rock shox) and drivetrain (sram/ Shimano) the prices should theoretically be cheaper still.
People are just brainwashed to think these prices are reasonable. Pinkbike has no financial incentive to raise light to the fact that in Moto (trail riding is very very similar to mtb) you get way more for your money. It would expose the stupid prices and I think if people realized how similar the sports were, a lot of people would trail ride Moto's instead! I'm seeing that movement in the pnw at some of the ORV areas.
In addition, for pro moto, $50k at least. I've know many people in the MX industrie and other that frame, plastic and engine block, almost nothing is stock in those bikes. Not to mention the amount of pro tuning.
Not saying bikes are crazy prices right now. But ......
The trials thing was an example. A trials bike still costs less than this mtb. A 300XC costs a grand more. I'm not convinced Sherco, Ossa, and other trials brands sell anywhere close to what an even medium sized mtb brand sells in volume. They are seriously scarse (and not just in America). And that's also why when mtb's go on sale you can get over half off. Because the profits are literally that much. Even at half off they're not sold at a loss for a middleman (online).
Mtb's are a rip off. If you ever get an Enduro bike (Moto) it becomes glarinly obvious. I just hate that people make up all these false narratives trying to justify the price. No, economies of scale isn't a valid reason, and even though it's a fun sport it doesn't excuse it being a complete rip off.
Evil have created a trail smashing monster with the Insurgent. It'd be easy to call it 'a downhiller's trail bike,' but that's fast becoming a tired cliche, and I'd say that the Insurgent is actually more than that. This is a bike that's capable of making a rider wonder if they even really need a DH bike, especially since it can be pedaled to the top of gnarly trails without too much fuss. There are a few quibbles, including the lack of water bottle mounts and the tight chain clearance, but the Insurgent's brilliant handling on the descents makes them fade into the background. - Mike Kazimer, Nov 2015
Handlebar width is a personal preference but I think 740-760 is not far off for the majority. I'm running 740 on my XC bike, 760 on my enduro and 780 on my ebike. 760 is my sweet spot but the Commencal Meta Power is a beast and 780 is more suitable to muscle it.
Any thoughts on the short offset fork (RIPMO, Sentinel, S-150 also using)?
Maybe just a small detail or something that drove the need for the longer stem?
I ran it on the front this spring for a couple months and liked it. Coming from a 2.5 DHF the 2.35 Martello won’t eliminate chatter as well or grip as well in the looseness but if you’re used to 2.3ish tires already and don’t see a need to go bigger it may be worth a shot. I’d assume it rolls faster than the DHF but for me it can be hard to feel the difference on trail, at least with a front tire. Plus the DHF was well worn so already rolling faster than when new.
I’m gonna try the Martello on the rear next once the Morsa wears out. I’m running a 2.6 Butcher up front now and will likely find my way back to the 2.5 DHF eventually. The DHF 2.5 and e13 TRS are my fav front tires for afro trail/AM riding.
Anyway. The Martello worked. Looks great. Casing isn’t too lightweight nor too burly. It’s just a different design and not quite as hard charging or biting as a DHF, Butcher, TRS, or schwalbe MM.
Like @chachmonkey my experience was on the 1st gen TRS a while ago and I really liked it. Not much time on the Butcher 2.6 yet but I can’t think of any reason why it’s better than a DHF 2.5..... probably because it’s not. Nothing wrong with it tho. Next front tire will either be back to the TRS or DHF but that’s still a ways off. Both are great options but I don’t have a technical analysis. Want to try big get the Butch. Cool with something a little smaller/heavier but very aggressive get the TRS.
But that’s just me.
Swingarms - single pivot (wheel pivots in arc) with / without linkages driving shocks.
Linkages - almost everything else (including Yeti SBs) - axle path is not in a simple arc.
Then there is the Repack... www.pinkbike.com/news/First-Look-Breezer-Repack-Eurobike-2013.html (Mid Linkage).
I think you should have opted for an air sprung at the back, an XL frame and a cheaper set.
Got my rallon for 4 months now, already went trough a full whellset and 3 tyres.
Always been riding on raw downhill and enduro trails, but not once on a bikepark, and I can say confidently that I put the bike trough a lot of miserable pain!
-I actually only found once my front wheel losing traction and it was absolutely my mistake, the traction is unremarkable on both wheels on every condition! The bike is an absolute beast on descends!
-I never climb up so easily up the trails, even comparing to my cheap 27.5 hardtail, and I ride with DH casing up front + DD on the back + inserts + Ex511 rims, so I got some weight on it, this is because the pedal position is really comfortable thx to the seat angle, and pedal assist on DPX2 works 5 starts. I do 1200m climb in 3-4hours ride no problems.
-The back could be more progressive? yes... But just put a token on the shock and adjust your air pressure, and clicks dude! The whole point of buying top of the line material is to have the ability to search and find the sweet spot perfomance for your riding style and trails you ride. This review sounds like the bike should come fit 4 u out the box...
You want cons? yes there are: for example a small part of the paint finish on the seat sucks and the mate finish on the frame has a very thin layer.
The 485mm reach of the XL is too long for me, even with a 32mm stem. Ideally, I'd like to see the large be 465mm or something, but that's personal preference.
Agree with you on the steep seat angle helping matters, but having ridden roughly one zillion bikes at this point, the Rallon ain't no star on difficult singletrack climbs. Not even close. It's all about perspective with these enduro bikes as many people riding them don't care much how it performs on the climbs, just as long as they eventually get there. I'd say that I expect more than just eventually getting there, though. Also, everyone's climbs are different, so what works well for you on your trails might turn out to suck balls on my trails.
The bike definitely doesn't suck, so I think you got the wrong impression there. In fact, I'd say that it really suits me and what I want in an enduro bike: Playful, efficient, and versatile. With big wheels, proper geo, and 150mm of travel, I'm not going to go any faster down a rowdy trail on a different bike, but I will have more fun on the Rallon than I would on something with less anti-squat and longer, slacker angles.
I have also never understood why one would want a very long reach in the steeps. When I struggle to put less than 60% or whatever weight on the front, why would I want to put even more weight on the front with the longer reach? I mean chainstay length is the other big factor here, but I still wonder why a lot of reviews imply, that a long reach is especially beneficial in steep terrain. I find it the limiting factor for how long one can go.
@WAKIdesigns : Having recently gone from a short bike to something longer (375mm reach with 50mm stem to 460mm and 35mm respectively), I feel getting the front wheel up didn't get much harder. Higher stack (which the Orbea seems to offer too) helps with the leverage and once the front wheel has lifted, that extra reach geometrically adds to the effective stack at that point. Now I can't sustain a proper manual yet, but getting the front wheel to take off definitely isn't an issue. I suppose with these bikes with rear suspension, putting in a proper stomp lowers the bb too so that (rotating the front triangle) might also help turn some reach into stack.
Nothing is more confidence inspiring that getting better at riding, and I can go fk myself with that gospel, I know.
I do agree with @WAKIdesigns that being a good rider allows you ride better on any bike. I personally prefer not to have to you use my skills to compensate for poor bike geometry and instead use it to enhance a good geometry.
Long reach bikes with long wheelbases coupled with longer chainstays also provide more grip which allows you to climb better as well as descend with more confidence.
I always recommend testing before making up your mind. Somethings on paper seem one way and in reality aren't true at all!
Now as for descending, I don't know about percentages actually. I haven't found it hard to shift my weight back on the descends. But how the balance is. Theoretically, as long as you have less than 100% on the front wheel, you still have some weight over the rear wheel so you won't go over the bar. But that's statically, of course. You want some margin to play with. But yeah if descending still feels scary and a lower saddle and maybe a slacker headangle (through an adjustable headset) don't help, you may indeed be better off with a shorter reach bike. But remember that if the reach is short and the front center is still long for descending (through fork travel and angle) it may be hard to properly weight the front for climbing and cornering.
@mikelevy If so, you could maybe also try an oval ring. The chainguide does accept that (I'm using that one too) and it may make the bike even more versatile. Maybe even try 36t oval if it fits the bike (it does fit the chainguide).
Any one know how these are being spec’d on the shop floor? Are shops ordering them “custom” at all?
Like everyone else, I am intrigued by his bike. On paper it looks to be perfect. But the reality seems like it’s let down by a few nagging details. Sounds like they were going to go full enduro and then at the last minute decided it was going to not work for the average rider and backed it off a bit. The coil shock sounds like it works for most people but not the ones really riding it hard. Those people will have an X2 with all of the spacers in it or something custom.
coming from a 27/5 capra w/ a 180 lyrik and a vivid air, this was definitely a change.
The bike picks up speed really fast, but I definitely noticed the extra liability of the rotational effects of the 29er wheels that require you to really pay attention to your high speed line choices.
I also noticed the front tire wanting to tuck on more than one occasion.
climbing was good, but wandered more than I was expecting for a 150mm fork and 485 reach (i had the XL).
the bigger wheels are a pain in technical climbs, and definitely didn't feel as agile.
I have a big inseam (35cm), and the 150mm dropper was grossly inadequate. I either had to run in 4in out of the frame so I could climb, or slam it so I could jump. The XL frame needs at 170 dropper like the sentinel, as it basically handicaps the bike for tall riders (i'm 6'2).
I really wish I could've tried this bike with better suspension, as I couldn't get the fork to do a good job of soaking up the bumps. The 36 elite just kept trying to kick back too much, and I had the rebound turned way down compared to what I run on my lyrik.
On the plus side, this bike LOVES to drift and really helped me improve my drifting skills.
Thats why it is often better to stay on the saddle and put some wheight on the back wheel... So yeah, this is a problem on that bike
The bike with a progressively of 10% definitely suits an shock to get some bottom out resistance - for comparison is the yt Capra's progressively is around 70% and mk3 nomad 50%)
Very surprised by the slightly negative sounding review - this bike is the best thing I've ridden to date!
Anyone from a larger size as myself have any suggestions on a 29er and does Orbea really have a lifetime warranty really?
Located in NC,USA and I would pay to demo one any time however there are no dealers near me...as usual.
uhhh, minus the new stumpy now!
$4k just for the frame/shock.....ooOOOOOook. i'll just got and light my money on fire.
That being said, past $4000 new, the law of diminishing returns ramps up like a progressive spring rate
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
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Great review this seems like the real deal.
..just depends on inseam and ur reach.
actually its because it doesn't say 26 on the side or continental prokekt baron but I digress