Review: 2024 Orbea Occam LT - Modernly Convenient

Apr 8, 2024
by Henry Quinney  
The new Orbea Occam seems to perfectly sum up where the brand is at. It's versatile, has all the mod-cons you could hope to see, and features a blend of XC-heritage and enduro-light characteristics. They do this in part by offering a 140mm SL version and the 150mm LT that's tested here. These bikes are paired to a 140 and 160mm fork, respectively. It seems more and more common to see brands try and offset the differing needs of trail riders, half of whom want a long-legged cross-country bike and the other a lighter enduro bike, by giving a bike that can go between both. However, this isn't so much about offering an aftermarket go-between and more about simplifying ranges and reducing costs by having one frame that can do both.
Occam LT Details

• Wheel size: 29"
• Travel: 150 frame / 160mm fork
• Carbon or alloy
• Head angle: 64 / 64.5°
• Seat tube angle: 77/77.5°
• 440 mm chainstays
• Reach: 430, 460, 480, 510mm
• Sizes: S - XL
• Large w/o pedals: 14.6kg / 32.2lbs
• Custom specs through Orbea
• Complete bike: $3,599 - $8,599 USD
orbea.com

Does this approach risk alienating both groups with a bike that is too heavy for some but a frame that isn't burly enough for others? That's surely a risk, but I also think it's worth noting that Orbea not only changes the shock stroke but also uses a different link. I'm sure you could make it slightly lighter, but I don't think the stresses going through a 140mm travel bike are worlds apart from those going through one with a bigger fork and 10mm more rear travel. The SL uses a carbon link that does not have geometry adjustment, and the LT uses a forged link that has geo adjustment and slightly different kinematics. I think this approach is a step removed from the simple cut-and-shut of all-mountain stroke reduction and calling it a whole new bike.

Both versions are available with either a carbon or aluminum frame. The various build kits can be customized using Orbea's MyO program, which offers everything from different tire casings to suspension components. The SL also features a lockout, should you prefer smooth climbs or a numbed crotch.

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A colourway for all seasons.



bigquotesYou can really carve turns on this bike, and if you're somebody who likes to square things off, this bike feels confidence-inspiring and very consistent.Henry Quinney



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I could never really work out exactly how I felt about the looks of the Occam.

Frame Details

The Occam has a slender, dare I say spindly profile. I think it's an okay-looking bike, but it exists in the uncanny valley of what a modern bike looks like. There are so many lines that are parallel to, yet also in conflict with each other.

There is a bracing arm on the drive-side of the front triangle. This asymmetric design is intended to give the rider the stiffness they require without the weight they don't want. The arm offset also means there is room for a full-sized 750mm water bottle, which is accessed with the rider's left hand. Underneath the bottle cage is a door that can access the downtube. The storage is impressive and adequate.

Although frame storage is nice, still having tool-carrying bosses on the underside of the top tube is always appreciated. If only because it means that you have more room in your downtube without the tube in there. With this setup, you can often fit a shake-dry showerproof jacket in there just in case you get caught out by the weather.

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I'm a big fan of Orbea's integrated tools.

At the front of the bike is one pleasant surprise and one less so. For data lovers (or DATA if you use the North American pronunciation) the Garmin mount headset spacer is both seamless and secure. It does feel somewhat loose, and I was concerned it would rattle, but it proved to be very quiet. The cable tourism isn't so hot, though. The gear line runs on the underside of the bar. I don't understand this approach. I'm not opposed to internal cables, but they should make the bike look better. Sometimes, the trade-off for worse sealing and harder maintenance is a bike that looks uglier from certain angles. This is such a raw deal. If a brand is going to do it, I think it should be so clean that nobody can argue with it.

On the frame, there is also a minimalist chain guide and a magnetic multi-tool that fits within the main pivot. Both these touches are so welcome and considered. The bike has a 6mm lever to slot into the rear axle to double up both as an installation and trail-side tool. That said, during testing, I could never torque the wheel tightly enough with the small lever, even when stepping on it, and it would often wobble loose. Using a full-sized Allen key before slotting in the lever remedied this.

There is very sensible frame padding and chain protection, which is great to see, plus a flip chip at the base of the shock to offer half a degree and angle adjustment. The flip-chip works with the axle lever so well. You can change the geometry in well under a minute, and you just have to unweight the wheel to go into the steep mode or rest the bike to go into the slack mode before retightening. This is honestly a wonderful feature and genuinely gives such a painless option of geometry adjustment that changing it to steeper for a single big day no longer seems like an unwarranted indulgence. The clever tools, solid storage, adjustment and ample frame protection will appeal to your core mountain bikers - maybe even enough to offset the dislike for the cable routing.

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Galfer, like Orbea, hail from Spain.



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Geometry

The geometry of the Occam LT represents some of the best of the new school and seems to be a real product of the things we've learned in the past half-decade. Everything sits very centrally to where people's expectations may lie. At 480mm for a large in the low mode, the reach is moderate and thanks to the 77-degree seat tube angle, the effective top tube is roomy without being cumbersome; in range without being cramped. The 440mm stays complement the 635mm stack well and give a bike that offers a decent balance for all-round riding, as well as something that can offer stability when things become rougher or faster.

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It really is as simple that - exactly how flip-chips should be.

The seat tube is also well-considered, a good blend of length and insertion depth (see you in the comments for the puns). All riders have the option of running a long travel dropper post – even the size small will work with a fully-slammed 230mm post. Although not the most exciting area of design on paper, in the real world, I think long droppers are one of the things that riders benefit from most, and it's great to see Orbea embrace this with a long, uninterrupted seat tube. The 77 or 77.5-degree seat tube is also right on the money for a bike that you want to canter on flatter sections while also being weighted with a planted front on steeper pitches.

The 440mm stays will please some in the middle of the range, but riders who chose the small or extra large frame might feel slightly short-changed.

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The water bottle access is left-handed only.

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Suspension Design

The Occam uses a linkage-driven single-pivot layout, with the rear pivot concentric to the rear axle. The bike does without a bridge over the seatstays, but the stout link that drives the shock yoke provides adequate stiffness for aggressive riding. The wing on the drive side of the front triangle no doubt plays a part in this, with its rearward end also being where the pivot is located. I imagine a lot of this stiffness is thanks to the support this wing gives the central pivot that sits just fore of the seat tube. The layout is great for mud shedding, with nowhere for water to catch and pool. There is also a small flap over the gap between the swingarm and frame to aid this further.

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The bike has quite a high anti-squat value throughout. At the start of the stroke 135%, reducing to around 125% at sag before lowering further to around 100% at the bottom out. This does make for a firm pedalling bike, even if one that perhaps doesn't flutter through small bumps on climbs. The average leverage ratio of 2.7 feels relatively linear when riding, and I ended up running a larger volume spacer to the shock to suit my preference. For any rider that wants to ride more aggressive, non-graded trails I would consider experimenting with volume reduction spacers almost immediately.

With anti-rise values of around 60% throughout the travel, the Occam offers good braking in high-grip situations while also being consistent and neutral on large repeated hits or on the setup into turns. Because of its linear-progressive leverage curve, it feels very consistent throughout its stroke, and the braking plays into this. Neutral, almost to a fault.

Specifications
Price $6499
Rear Shock Fox Float X Factory 2-Position
Fork Fox Factory 36 150mm
Cassette Shimano XT M7100
Crankarms Race Face Turbine 32t
Chainguide Built In
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT M8100
Shifter Pods Shimano XT M8100
Handlebar OC Mountain Control MC10 Carbon, Rise 20
Stem OC Mountain Control MC10
Brakes Shimano XT M8120
Wheelset Oquo Mountain Control MC32TEAM
Tires Maxxis Assegai / DHR2 Exo+
Seat ERGON SM Enduro
Seatpost OC Mountain Control MC21 Dropper


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The Fox 36 might not be the go-to enduro fork from the brand, but that doesn't mean it isn't seriously capable.





Test Bike Setup

The Occam is an extra-regular bike in most regards. Middle-of-the-road geometry, the ever-fantastic GRIP2 damper in a Fox 36, and Shimano XT meant that as test bikes go, this one was especially easy to get on and ride. I ran a .8 cubic inch spacer from Fox in the Float X shock. I tried the 1.0-inch size, and while it felt better in the initial stroke, it felt like the .8 was a better compromise. The bike has around 20% progression over the whole stroke, but it feels like a lot less.

Henry Quinney
Location: Squamish
Height: 183cm / 6'
Inseam: 82 cm / 32.5"
Weight: 79 kg / 174 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @henryquinney
Furthermore, when taking big hits and going deep into the travel, it felt like there was a lot of variation of speed on the rebounding stroke. I felt the .8 was just a shade more manageable in this regard and offered a more predictable character when riding this bike, particularly hard and fast.

This could probably be addressed with more high-speed damping, but that would also require revalving the shock. It was definitely within limits with its stock tune, but it is worth being aware of. The external rebound adjustment will throttle both low and high speed, but I enjoyed the grip that was available with it set up for the initial stroke, so I decided to bias my setting towards that.

There aren't many test bikes we get where I can say I truly wouldn't change anything, and maybe that's ironic considering how much Orbea have gone out of their way to offer custom parts configuration through their MyO program* . The stock bars have a nice shape and moderate 20 rise OC (Orbea's in-house brand) come in a wide 800 mm, which I cut down to 770 mm. The 200 mm seat post was reliable, and I am thankful that it's at least 200, but it is strange to be in the position where I've started to feel 200 is the absolute bare minimum that I would want. Thankfully, Orbea's custom program can let you swap this out at no extra cost.

*Side note - the Orbea site is one of the most bewildering mountain bike websites somebody could ever have the misfortune of using. It feels like you're stuck in a PowerPoint presentation from 2010. I genuinely resented it every time I wanted to gather information for this review.



Testing Info

Testing took place in Squamish, BC, over a five-month period. I started in the autumn and have been coming back to the Orbea. It's been fun to contrast its efficient nature with the all-trucking Knolly Chilcotin over the winter. Typically, I enjoyed riding flat-out trails on Diamondhead on this bike. Particularly those dark blues where you can throw caution to the wind, lower your weight and hope for the best.

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The seated position ensures a well-weighted front.

Climbing


The Occam is a fun and punchy trail bike. The seated position can feel somewhat longer and more stretched out than its middling 625mm effective top tube for my size large would suggest. It's definitely not too low or unwieldy, but it does feel more drawn out than some other trail bikes. How we measure effective top tubes isn't a perfect science, and I think this larger feeling is a consequence of that. This isn't to say that Orbea is wrong, but rather, across the industry, this is something that could be tightened up.

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There is grip to be had, but that's not to say the Occam doesn't feel somewhat sporty.

Riding the Occam, it's very clear that the higher level of anti-squat gives a firm off-the-top feeling, and, as a consequence, pedals very well. Like almost all mountain bikes in this day and age, the shock does have a climb switch, but I can't say I ever found myself reaching for it. On tech climbs, it's a bike that gets over things because it responds very sharply to acceleration and rider input, but it's certainly not a magic carpet. It's a bike that you tend to try to accelerate on smooth sections and then go lighter on technical steps or rougher sections. It can struggle to find grip when there are repeated square edges, especially with its stock volume reducer setup.

The weight distribution is very solid, though, and the planted front offsets the inherent instability of a firmer rear well through jankier sections of singletrack. Some bikes are so supple off the top they don't ever get pushed around by rougher sections on the way up, others feel sporty and direct enough to be able to temper any lack of grip with a bit of extra speed. While this isn't novel or particular to the Occam LT, it does mean a rider has to be a bit more active and choose their moments to surge and coast more.

On the flip side, on smoother climbs, be it fire roads or pavement, the Occam's sheer efficiency will win many over, especially those who have a somewhat more traditional expectation of what it means to be a well-climbing trail bike.

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On smoother trails is where the bike really shines.

Descending

Here's the headline - this bike isn't particularly exciting, but it is a safe pair of hands. In a world of weird, wonderful and sometimes outright concerning, the appeal of the palette cleanser shouldn't be understated. It's somewhat subdued and predictable, and although it doesn't feel like the most sophisticated suspension or a genre-defining take, it's a pleasant bike that is easy to get along with. But for those who don't have the opportunity to try many different bikes, what does that mean? And how does that feel out on the trail? This can be broken down into three key areas: stiffness and compliance, suspension and geometry. Let's start with the foremost.

Despite a somewhat slight-looking rear end, one that has the notable absence of a bridge between the stays, the Occam is a suitably direct and stiff bike. Not least, I imagine, due to that bracing arm that envelopes the water bottle. You can really carve turns on this bike, and if you're somebody who likes to square things off, this bike feels confidence-inspiring and very consistent. There is no lurching or flex that should undermine your confidence. It does this all while managing to be comfortable. How much flex is good is a complicated matter with no one clear answer, but the Occam is a really nice blend of stiffness and compliance. You know where it will be underneath you without being so stiff that it resists every and all twisting forces to its detriment. I think it depends not only on the rider's style and application but also on the character of the bike. This leads me to my next point - suspension.

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In some ways, the mild manners of the Occam are a testament to just how capable the modern trail bike is.

When you slam on the brakes, there is a degree of weight transfer into your hands, but overall, what happens to your weight is both reasonably consistent and easy to predict. If you want to pop and preload, the midstroke will handle it very well. Flat pedal riders might feel their feet threatening to get quite busy on rough, choppy trails under harsh braking and rough sections. The suspension and drivetrain feel very interlinked, and as a rider, this is something you will feel both in the sense that it inhibits tracking as well as the degree of fatigue on long, rougher runs.

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The bike is adequately stiff for dunking your rear wheel into ruts and hoping for the best.

The geometry of the Occam also blends well with these prior two characteristics. It's definitely slack, long and low enough, but it doesn't exaggerate one to the other's detriment. The bike is slack enough to hold its line but steep enough to be reactive. It is long enough to offer stability but short enough with a positive enough front to feel direct. These traits complement the poppy suspension and stiffness.

While the Occam might not be the most exciting bike or offer anything groundbreaking, it is direct, responsive and comfortable. In some ways, it's a really well-rounded bike for riders looking to get out there and have a predictable good time, as opposed to one that's aimed at core riders who want something to unlock that final tier of performance.





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Orbea Occam LT
Cannondale Habit LT review
Cannondale Habit LT

How Does It Compare?


Orbea aren't the only one with a refreshed staple in their lineup; last year Cannondale released the Habit LT. Similar to the Occam, it's a bike that shares some key elements with a short travel platform.

Although the Habit might have 10mm less travel, it feels like a bigger bike that tracks better. That said, it doesn't feel so sharp, which might be the reason you opted for a trail bike and not a 170mm enduro bike to begin with. The Habit is a better bike for rough trails and offers more grip, which you'll appreciate on rough trails whether going up or down. But for faster, slightly smoother trails, the Occam does feel that bit more responsive, as well as maybe slightly stiffer.

The rear end of the Habit just felt like it did so much more in terms of grip, albeit with less travel. It feels like a bike that wants to work for you, doing what it's told, whereas the Occam tends to push back a little more.

I really enjoyed the Habit LT. I don't know about better overall, but it's certainly a bike better suited to the trails I enjoy riding. For those that want something to ride wider, machine-built trails, through, the Occam has enough travel to handle the hits and enough support not to feel like you're wasting any energy.



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Prices in USD.

Which Model is the Best Value?


Although I deride it, one thing Orbea's website does allow for is their expansive custom program - MyO. Ultimately, this is a good, if not slightly bewildering thing. It means you can get the exact bike you want. This is particularly useful when it comes to dimensions. No more selling on that 170mm seat post as soon as you take delivery of your brand-new bike and shell out more money for one that actually fits. With MyO, you can simply choose.

With that in mind, I would probably get the H20 alloy framed bike, and then potentially upgrade the suspension and brakes. It seems like a solid base, though, and it means I can go without the things that I don't particularly care for (carbon bars) or get cheap options on the things I feel will break anyway (wheels) and then upgrade with time.

For reference, our bike was the M10 version.



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The small chain device seems like a no-brainer. Sensible and effective, just how we like it.

Technical Report


Fox Suspension: I have always enjoyed riding the Grip2, and I was thankful for the tunability of the air spring during the test. That said, for a bike that might see riders opt for a spring rate and curve so very different from the stock one, the ability to adjust high and low-speed rebound independently of one another would prove useful. Then again, bigger shocks weigh more, and this could prove unpopular. Overall, I think the Float X and 36 are both great options for a bike of this ilk.

Clever Tools and Storage: In a world where the differences between bikes is getting smaller and smaller, an easy win for any brand is giving you a bike that's easier to live with. Magnetic tools that secure themselves in the pivots, frame storage, axles and clever flip chips are all very welcome touches.

Dropper post: This bike will give a greater range of riders the choice of what seat post they wish to run thanks to its long and uninterrupted seat tube. This benefit is further enhanced by Orbea's custom program, which will give you the seat post travel you actually need.

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Pros

+ Balanced, proportional geometry
+ Supportive suspension lets you pump and drive the bike
+ Integrated tools and storage
+ Efficient and responsive climber
Cons

- Suspension lacks initial sensitivity
- Is biased towards support more than all-out grip
- Gives a lot of feedback through your feet when descending
- Internal headset cable routing




Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe Occam LT is a bike that most people will get on and simply enjoy, even if that means that the enthusiast might find it a little tame or uninspiring. It's comfortable, packed full of sensible features and has an efficient nature, both on the climbs and descents. That said, for those who want a 150mm travel bike to find grip whenever they need it and will encourage them to push harder, there are other bikes with the same amount of travel or less that induce a lot more confidence.

Henry Quinney


Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
336 articles

147 Comments
  • 215 9
 I was not sure how bad headset cable routing was until my wife got a new bike a month ago. The geometry was exactly what she was looking for so I figured that headset routing was worth it as a trade-off. I swapped brakes and I now have the direct experience to say that headset cable routing is terrible. Never again will I buy a bike with headset routing. I do all my own maintenance and upgrades and this makes any work that touches the headset or cables a disaster. It was so bad I had to close the garage door while I was working on the bike because I was cursing so much I was worried about disturbing my neighbors.
  • 141 0
 I would have paid $5 for a front row seat, on your driveway, to that debacle.
  • 18 5
 Just route the cable and hose outside the frame and ride happily ever after (without the cursing).
  • 21 2
 I've had the same experience on these new bikes... Kids, dogs, neighbors were all scared...
  • 16 2
 We tried to warn you!

Thats all I can say Frown .
  • 29 61
flag turtletim3 (Apr 8, 2024 at 11:53) (Below Threshold)
 Having owned two bikes with headset cable routing, I've found it significantly easier to change brakes compared to traditional routing through the down tube. With headset routing, there's no need to fish cables through tight holes – simply push the cable through to the headtube. Personally, I like the clean aesthetics and reduced cable rattle. While the ongoing debate is understandable, let's acknowledge the benefits from real-world experience. The negativity in the comments is getting overstated; in my view, it's not as cumbersome as some assume.
  • 6 0
 Epoxy or VHB tape on some plastic cable clasp things. Job done.
  • 7 1
 @turtletim3: I appreciate your input, as this is a point of view I don't see often here in the comment section. Unfortunately for you, I don't vote so you're still being downvoted I see. Regardless, I'm not one to guide cables internally whichever way. But I still appreciate your view.
  • 8 0
 A local outdoor shop is an orbea reseller. Seeing how poorly some the headset routing was done, it looked 10x worse than any routing I have seen on other bikes, and I'm not particularly bothered usually.
  • 26 2
 @turtletim3: Never, ever, try to say anything positive about headset routing or ebikes in the PB comment section. The only way to address either one is by posting "only ebikes should have headset cable routing".
  • 20 1
 @pinkbike can you put the headset routing detail in the very first “details” section so we don’t have to bother reading any more. Thanks
  • 31 0
 @turtletim3: Having serviced a whole swathe of bikes with headset routing, I definitely find it to be more of an overall pain, particularly when compared to the benefits it supposedly brings (ie none really, beyond cleaner aesthetics. Which is a subjective issue anyway).

And in exchange, the owner ends up with more fiddly brake / HS bearing changes (even stem changes, in some designs), plus the headset bearings themselves seem to be more open to contaminants thanks to the entry ports for the cables - it’s crazy just how poor condition some of these upper headset bearings are in, on 12-24 month old bikes, particularly when compared to even cheap zero stack or external cup headsets that have seen the same use / maintenance.
Plus, I’ve already seen some “interesting” wear marks from cables making contact with steerer’s and internal frame surfaces..

On TT bikes, when applied for an aero benefit (since apparently every watt counts in the upper tier of that niche market) it’s arguably an acceptable trade off.
When making MTB’s look fractionally more “pretty” comes at the expense of their durability and workability, I for one don’t think the trade off is worth it.
  • 8 1
 Here you go, this seems like a no brainer for anyone who doesnt like internal, or headset cable routing. easy install, thats essentially permanent (assuming youre not a muppet.
And you can choose your cable routing path, and how often theyre supported.

Why are you guys so bothered, when theres a perfectly easy solution

www.amazon.ca/Strong-Self-Adhesive-XIAOXI-Management-Organise/dp/B07YFFTSNM/ref=asc_df_B07YFFTSNM/?tag=googleshopc0c-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=335865322261&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16719879715852752139&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001471&hvtargid=pla-899520148275&mcid=b0655e4aab6430c982f6bf7244856d03&th=1
  • 2 1
 I love how they were very unclear with the photos to hide it.
  • 2 0
 @Mugen: I love my Rallon to pieces, but I just can't behind what Orbea is doing to the Occam. This seems to ruin an otherwise very cool bike.
  • 3 9
flag dsut4392 (Apr 8, 2024 at 20:29) (Below Threshold)
 Let me express an opinion almost as unpopular as supporting cable tourism. Unless they were broken, why didn't you just leave the brakes that came on the bike? I've been riding since the best MTB brakes were cantis, and even the worst hydraulic brakes on the market today aren't bad enough to be worth getting your knickers in a knot over unless you're racing at elite level. I'm running the widely derided Sram G2, and while I'm sure they're not as nice as the Hayes Dominion, TRP-DHR or even Code RSCs I've ridden on some of my friends bikes, I still find that whenever I'm hitting a limit with braking it's coming from my tires rather than my brakes.
  • 2 0
 @dsut4392: I haven't changed brake hoses for like 4 years, this is true. In the meantime however, I have installed a dropper and serviced upper headset bearing at least 4 times. And you also need to change cable housing for rear mech and a dropper from time to time unless of course you can afford wireless. Internal routing is already pain in the ass here, but when you have some cables already there, you can use them as the guides (sram even makes this cute red connector for brake hoses).
  • 3 0
 @dsut4392: Tell me you’ve never replaced a headset without telling me you’ve never replaced a headset.
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: cheap simple solution! outrageous!
  • 2 0
 @onawalk:This works for everything but the dropper routing. When you're limiting yourself to externally routed dropper seatposts, you have much less choice. For the rest I'm with you. If I ever get a MTB with headset routing I will definitely get creative with glue-ons. Hell, I already did that for my gravel bike which has 'normal' internal routing...
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: Thanks for sharing that!
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: I've tried similar stuff in the past and they went unglued. Having said that, just using regular electrical tape works well enough if you don't care about the aesthetics.
  • 2 0
 @Torbo24: NO sweat,
Quick suggestion. whatever ones you get, if they come with tape installed, remove it, and use alchol to clean any mold release agent thats on the clips. A quick soak, and wipe down works great. same with where youre going to stick on your frame, clean with alcohol.
Some good quality double sided tape should hold em on for quite sometime. If they pop off, rinse and repeat
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre:
Quick suggestion. whatever ones you get, if they come with tape installed, remove it, and use alchol to clean any mold release agent thats on the clips. A quick soak, and wipe down works great. same with where youre going to stick on your frame, clean with alcohol.
Some good quality double sided tape should hold em on for quite sometime. If they pop off, rinse and repeat
  • 2 0
 @Naero: Thats fair,
Youve usually got some options, but itll make you cringe a bit.

Bottom of bb, theres usually loads of material to make a small hole, same with seat tube, just above bb junction.
Makes for easier routing, better dropper lever feel, etc.
  • 1 0
 I just am afraid of the head tube!
  • 1 0
 @rich-2000: I probably replaced headsets before you were out of nappies, when they were still loose balls and the races would get damaged if the headset was a smidge loose. Last time I’ve needed to replace a headset bearing was more than 15 years ago, on a bike that got put away wet after a ride where it got fully submerged. Even though I ride in all weather, and tend to keep my bikes for 6-8 years, and wash them with a pressure sprayer on the rare occasions I bother, I just don’t have problems with headsets. My current MTB is a 2020 canyon strive with an Acros headset that everyone loves to hate. My commuter still has the FSA Orbit headset I put in it when I swapped from a threaded to threadless fork steerer in 1998. The bearings on my roadie are still fine, bought it in 2008 and rode it through an English winter on salted roads and country lanes that year.
  • 1 0
 @dsut4392: if only!
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: Big Grin
Cringe I did. Imagine throwing some thousands at a frame just to take the drill to it...
  • 1 0
 @Naero: It'll be fine,
  • 2 0
 @Naero: We used to cut down the seat tube on Norco VPS bikes, to get a more slammed seat for jumping. We used to weld gussets to steel headtubes to help reinforce them, and stop ovalizing.
I've drilled holes in seat tubes to better route dropper cables.
You prolly dont have to be so worried about things like that, BB shells are usually quite thick, and its a pretty low stress area.
  • 58 3
 DEAR BIKE MANUFACTURERS: Every time you bring a bike out with headset cable routing, you immediately exclude me (and many others I suspect) as a potential customer. This bike looks great, but I would never consider buying it when there are other great bikes available without this ridiculous headset routing idea.
  • 2 0
 Agreed. Because I’ve never seen it addressed on PB, why are so many manufacturers going with it? If maintenance is such a pain in the ass, what do they see as a benefit that outweighs this?
  • 8 1
 Someone needs to come out with a Pinkbike edition bike that checks every category required by us…oh wait Raaw already did.
  • 6 0
 @dstroud70: @dstroud70: It's about moulds , which cost a metric f*ckton.

Making it without the need for those ports all over is in theory making it cheaper ....not that bike prices are coming down but anyway

That's the main reason , saying it looks clean is just a cheap sensible excuse for them

I'm the same boat as you , I will never have a bike with that dumb bullshit
  • 1 0
 @dstroud70: maybe they dont read pinkbike
  • 40 7
 Over the weekend on Reddit MTB - someone posted a Orbea-warranty-horror-story with a Rallon. There were some people piling in on the comments suggesting this wasn't an isolated incidence.

I'm wondering if PB users have had similar warranty issues with Orbea, or this was just bad luck?

www.reddit.com/r/MTB/comments/1by60p8/warning_orbea_rallon_snapped_shock_strutmount
  • 43 8
 Search ANY brand and you can find “horror stories” about them.
  • 9 4
 @BermJunky: So true. Search for anything ever made and you'll find horror stories.

People love to slate things.
  • 41 10
 your first mistake was going to the jerry conference that is reddit
  • 23 0
 @Upduro: Yeah why go there when you can come here and watch people have trucks vs cars fights for two weeks.
  • 12 1
 @BermJunky: While I generally understand what you are getting at, brands like REEB, Starling, and Nicolai have pretty consistent track records of treating their customers well and some other brands just don't. You may find horror stories about a lot of brands, but I wouldn't hand wave those away especially considering what bikes cost.

It's pretty inexcusable what we pay for bikes to have failures like this and then just tell the customer they are SOL and have to pay for it, particularly when they designed a bike with known issues. It feels like you roll the dice with a lot of brands (incl some big component manufacturers ) when you submit a warranty claim, some go out of their way to find a reason not to replace or repair things, sometimes to the point it seems like they spent more trying to justify not replacing it than it would've cost to just fix it in the first place. Others go out of their way to be helpful and take care of you. It's inexcusable the first category exists to begin with, but there are a handful of brands in the second category that I've tried to prioritize in recent years and it is really nice not feeling like I have to roll the dice when something breaks.
  • 14 0
 I had the last version of the Occam for four years, got it just when they released it for the 2020-season. Really great bike to ride that I was very happy with overall.

But I'm not getting another one unfortunately. In general for much the same reason.

The rear wheel pivot decided to drop a bearing after a few months. It was just pressed in with nothing really keeping it in place. Fortunately it was possible to glue it in place since it took five months to get a new seat stay on warranty. The dealer where I got the bike had repeatedly failed to even register and then it still took several months after that was uncovered. But eventually I did get a new one.

Personal warranty experience from Bird and friends' from Transition, Canyon among others had us back riding within a week or two with either few questions asked or even for self-inflicted damages quick and reasonble crash replacement handling.

Also I wasn't very impressed with the robustness of the design of the last one. The frame pivots ground themselves to death since they would keep coming undone if not torqued way above spec. When I finally figured that out all the frame bearings had a terrible fit since carbon wears really fast. Rideable but prone to creaking. Didn't even try to get that one on warranty after the first experience. I asked a few other dealers but since I hadn't bought it there they wanted to charge me to even check if it's warranty. I get that they need to pay their rent but it's not good brand marketing to have your branded dealers send customers away without even looking, there has to be a deal to cover those situations in there.

And this last bit is something I'd really wish for someone to look at in the tech report: Will the frame hold up? There are bad designs out there, is this one of them? We already know the Fox 36 GRIP2 is a great fork but it's almost impossible to figure out if a frame design is well thought out or not from home.
  • 3 4
 This morning on Pinkbike, amongst hundreds of clickfarm accounts, Jeff Bezos signed up. I wonder if @JeffKiXuuM has a horror story about Orbea. I think you mean incident
  • 4 0
 I am riding an Occam frame has a very different story. Friend of mine was already thinking of replacing his alloy frame for a carbon one after three years of heavy use, when his frame developed a crack near a bearing seat. He got a brand new frame as replacement, which he sold to me for a reasonable price. No fuss, good service. I really like the frame, both the geometry and the construction. Paint seems a bit fragile but for the rest the finish is high quality.
  • 21 15
 @everythingsucks: To be fair trucks are pointless vehicles marketed to pointless people.
  • 18 1
 @L0rdTom: to be fair; without nipples, tits would be point-less
  • 13 1
 I follow many accounts of bike mechanics from Spain and the horrors posted there about Orbea and cable tourism are very bad. Looks like the piece who guide the cables inside the headset have many sharp edges that damage and cut all the lines inside the headset. Many owners posted warranty recalls and Orbea doesn't like to reply any. The fast solution was from a mechanic printing a 3D part with the same dimensions of the OE but removing all the sharp edges, it looks like is working fine, but nothing from Orbea. Also Orbea had a bad reputation of assembling the bikes with ZERO grease in the pivots and axles. It's posted by many mechanics.
  • 6 5
 Pretty sure r/MTB exists mostly as a sump for misinformation.
  • 4 0
 @initforthedonuts: So trucks are for tits without nipples. PB comment section is so informative
  • 2 0
 @everythingsucks: I understood that reference (was a comment on a different part of that thread and I swear I still get notifications)
  • 1 0
 @L0rdTom: my truck has many sharp points, and so do I.

Do they even have trucks in the Land of The Blunt?
  • 5 2
 @everythingsucks: Theres nothing to fight about, theres simply right (truck) and wrong (car)
solved it,
Super easy, hwats next?
  • 1 0
 @gnarnaimo: knowing is half the battle…
  • 3 1
 @BermJunky: Cool story, bro. But, when multiple people come into the picture saying the same thing, then there's this cool thing called a pattern.
What're you, Orbea in disguise?
  • 1 1
 @Allen82: Okay, Daniel Martinez
  • 1 4
 @nickfranko: hahaha get over yourself. If you can’t handle opinions then go somewhere else.
  • 1 4
 @nickfranko: says the guy riding an Enduro. Who are you, the big S in disguise? Lol
  • 3 0
 I broke a couple orbeas in the past few years. No problem with warranty.
Same with ibis and nukeproof (rip). No problem.

Canyon however was an absolute shitshow
  • 1 0
 @gnarnaimo: wait I thought the tit was the nipple ..
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: Had to Google Daniel Martinez. Still don't get the joke.
  • 2 0
 I can testify I had very positive experience with Orbea warranty. Although, I must give credit to the store/shop who handle it, which is Fly Ride bikes.
In less that two weeks I had a new chainstay for a 2023 Orbea Wild M-Team
  • 2 0
 @L0rdTom: They're not pointless at all, it's just that you either NEED one or you don't. If you don't need one, but you own one anyways, you're definitely compensating for some other shortcomings.
  • 1 1
 @borski99: My problem with Orbea is not the warranty. My problem is they break to begin with.
  • 3 0
 I ride a 2020 Occam M30 which has been a great bike, in my opinion an amazing climber compared to other trail bikes in the same category. When I took the bike in to have the shock serviced at my LBS the shock bolt was seized. LBS would not drill out the bolt as did not want to be liable for potentially damaging the frame and the closest Orbea dealer was a couple hundred miles away. When I reached out to the dealer he was aware of this bolt issue and thought he could likely get the bolt out and if frame was damaged he would then warranty the frame but he understood the logistics, cost and time of shipping the frame back and forth so after discussing with me and LBS he agreed to get the full frame warranty replaced with Orbea. Orbea would only ship to the dealer so I did have to pay to then have it shipped to the LBS but overall it was a smooth process and only took a couple weeks.
100% would get another Orbea bike (purchased from that dealer) though the headset routing on this latest model is a nonstarter.
  • 1 0
 @PJSANAB: I think this is the key with Orbea. At least in europe warranty is through dealers, they won't even answer at Orbea Spain. Good dealer - good service. Which is fine if you have a good dealer and stay put but useless if you don't or you travel a lot. I'd rather not be dependent on a specific dealer.
  • 30 3
 MyO how it would be nice if customization included elimination of cable tourism.
  • 6 0
 Thats the O-my god program
  • 1 0
 just go brakeless with AXS shifting and dropper, no more cable tourism
  • 1 0
 @vtracer: You would need the still highly experimental AXS brakes for that too.
  • 28 7
 I had a chance to demo the last version of this bike, and it was great. The headset routing ruins it for me though.
  • 14 0
 I own the 2022 version of this. I chose it as I decided to go down to one bike. Best all rounder I've owned. Glad I got it before the cable routing changed.
  • 9 1
 Fun fact. I have two bikes still.
  • 17 4
 Why is nobody complaining about how you can only use your left hand to grab the bottle? Feel free to post how much you hate it here:
  • 25 0
 Probably because compared to cable tourism, it's just a small nuisance.
  • 8 7
 @Mac1987: Interesting how you view something that affects you pretty much never as a greater nuisance than something that affects you every ride.
  • 6 0
 @warmerdamj: ok so it’s harder to take the bottle out when your bike is on the ground.

I guess I’m a weirdo and prefer left loading because I fiddle around with the bottle with my left hand while my right (dominant hand) controls the bike and rear brake. Seems better to me haha. However, not having the option to choose what side the cage loads is a downside for sure.

What’s wrong with left loading to you?
  • 2 2
 @warmerdamj is right, thats weird
  • 2 0
 I ride with a full face and am not coordinated/flexible enough to get my bottle out while riding, so left hand only bottle cage doesnt really effect me
  • 2 0
 I got the SL version of this frame in XL and I have managed to grab the bottle with my right hand, though it is a bit of a weird reach and not so nice. What I find even more annoying, is that my full size (750 ml) bottle more often than not flips the switch on the shock when entering and/or exiting.
  • 3 2
 @ak-77: I bet SRAM is going to sue you over that since it resembles the functionality of flight attendant.
  • 3 1
 I’m left handed. It’s great from my perspective. I always set bottle holders up side load left
  • 1 0
 Perfect for t-bog water bottle grab. IMO
  • 1 0
 You get used to it quickly. However the huge downside is that you can't use any fidlock water bottle because they release by turning clockwise.
  • 1 0
 @warmerdamj: The bottles I use are wireless, so I think you have a point there. If the switch was the other way around it would be more like it btw, because when I grab a bottle is usually in a smooth section, but then the switch opens...
  • 1 0
 Specialized has the patent on right-handed water bottle access.
  • 8 1
 this is the 74th time I'll post this: PB reviews should include videos of the bikes being ridden as they are supposed to. It would help a lot in showing the terrain caracteristics, the riding style, how big was the abuse the bike was submitted etc.

The best I've seen so far is few slo-mos during the field tests, impossible climbs and a huck to flat. I like to see suspension working (this article even shows an Industry Nine ad where a bike is being ridden before showing the shock being squished), but I like more to see someone actually riding a bike.

Sometimes I think we just gather here to speak about spoke tension or how thick grips should be, but none of us ride the bikes.
  • 8 0
 "The bike does without a bridge over the chainstays,"

I think you mean seatstays. It definitely has a bridge on the chainstays.
  • 5 0
 Great shout. Thank you.
  • 7 0
 'data vs. DATA' ..." I don't know about better overally, "
Thanks for the grammar lesson Henry.
From us North American plebs.
  • 2 1
 Haha!
  • 3 0
 He'll be moving onto how to spell colour next.
  • 9 3
 People who dont mid the cable tourism are the same people who let the autozone employees change their cars windshield wipers
  • 1 0
 You can't change your own wipers ?
  • 1 0
 @imbiker: I am pretty sure a majority of drivers have no idea wipers have to be changed to begin with. It is just a line in the yearly service invoice.
  • 6 0
 Everytime, when a cable goes through the headset a unicorn dies. Sad world
  • 4 0
 @henryquinney: Have you been on the new Ripmo? It seems another natural comparison point to a 160f/150r bike with a focus on pedaling efficiency (and I suspect a lot more people have experience than with the Habit LT).
  • 5 0
 I haven’t had the chance I’m afraid.
  • 17 2
 @henryquinney: Why are you afraid it's just a bike
  • 1 0
 It’s hard to beat a Ripmo. I have a 2023 Orbea Wild M-Team and my gut feeling is this bike is not going to beat a Ripmo.
  • 8 2
 Cable tourism detected, opinion rejected.
  • 3 0
 From my personal experience with the newest version of the Fuel EX, this seems like a very similar bike and possibly a better comparison than the Habit. Either way, it's nice to see such a well rounded rig being released.
  • 2 0
 I have Orbea OIZ with the new headset routing. After 400km the cables are so beaten up from the sharp headset spacer they're routed through that I'm worried about safety. Not to mention the amount of water and debree that gets inside the headset through the cables...
  • 2 1
 "I think this approach is a step removed from the simple cut-and-shut of all-mountain stroke reduction and calling it a whole new bike."

Got any examples of this? I can only think of bikes with the same model name but with an SL/ST/LT/etc or travel-number suffix when travel is changed with only a stroke reduction*.

* (Which I also think is dumb: just run it long, and if you want more "pop" or "XC-feel", then run sag around where it would be with the short stroke and still enjoy the extra travel when needed.)
  • 3 1
 Looks like a much worse version of the old X-wing spesh enduro. With the cable routing too, you couldn't pay ME enough to ride this bike. Anyone who buys one should feel bad about themselves for being so stupid.
  • 3 0
 Elaborating a bit further here, I actually hate myself a little bit now for even seeing a picture of this bike. Get rid of it.
  • 5 0
 Looks like an AI generated stumpjumper
  • 1 0
 “-Suspension lacks initial sensitivity”
Should have gotten the coil shock
“- Is biased towards support more than all-out grip”
Should have gotten the coil shock
“- Gives a lot of feedback through your feet when descending”
Should have gotten… also ride clipless.
- Internal headset cable routing
Okay, that one sucks.
  • 1 0
 Here's another unpopular opinion regarding cable tourism - my wife has a weird habit that when she crash she let go handlebar very quickly, which often leads to handlebar rotating 180' and making some damage to the cables, brake levers etc. Aluminum versions has no spinblock so that wouldn't help in that case. With headset routing cables basically stay in the same position despite position of the handlebar, which in this crazy particular case might be actually a big advantage. Let's see how this advantage will be superior to disadvantages of messy bike maintenance caused by cable tourism.
Btw we've ordered 2024 Occam LT for my wife basically 2 days after it was announced (it arrived just a few days ago though). We did that because she was riding previous generation Occam(MY 2021) and she loved it, bike was really solid, fun and helped to progress quickly. She rides more natural enduro-like trails than flow lines(but enjoy those too) so combination of Occam's agility with slack head angle providing stability and safety on steep sections looked perfect for her. Looking forward for some real shredding in the mountains Smile
  • 1 0
 Orbea: Hey, we have this bike called the Occam
Me: Oh cool! That's a great name for a bike! 'The simplest solution is often the best solution' Is it a hardtail then? Maybe it's just some sort of simple full rigid mountain bike?
Orbea: No, it's a full suspension with a linkage driven single pivot layout. It's available in several thousand different configurations which branch off of two main sub-models that use different links made of different materials to create different kinematics depending on what sub-genre of trail riding you might want. Also it has through headset cable routing, in-frame storage, and one of the shock bolts is a 70 dollar multi-tool
Me: ... Do the people that name the bikes talk to anyone else involved in the process?
Orbea: No.
  • 4 1
 happy to see the brands with corporate marketing making the decisions identify themselves with cable tourism
  • 4 0
 I wish more bikes were spec'd with Shimano. sigh
  • 1 0
 I think the 'same frame different target markets' is as much about the general goodness of frames vs the necessary requirement for fairly role-specific kit such as tyres. It's all good
  • 1 1
 "The water bottle access is left-handed only."

Is it "left-handed only", or just "with the left hand only"?

Because I'm left-handed, and it took a bit get used to only being able to grab the bottle with my left hand on a Stumpy, since I didn't prefer holding on to the bar with my only non-dominant right-hand. Indeed, I see most righties hold the bar with their right hand (also the rear brake on non-UK bikes) and grab the bottle with their left, if given a choice.
  • 1 0
 It means that if a right handed individual tires to take the bottle out Orbea calls the Mountain Bike Police who show up and arrest the rider.
  • 3 0
 Never in a million years did I think I'd say this, but......The Cannondale looks pretty good!
  • 2 3
 When I was shopping for bikes the Orbea website checked them off my list. It is a confusing mess of options that never seem to do what is expected. It felt like they saw Propain's site and tried to copy it while at the same time removing all the positive aspects of the Propain website.
  • 5 1
 Funny. I used MyO last year and found the website / selecting options to be easy as can be.
  • 6 3
 Not physically attractive
  • 6 0
 Bikes with a frame brace ruin what could be a nice looking bike.
  • 1 2
 "The bike has around 20% progression over the whole stroke, but it feels like a lot less."

Maybe that's because comparing just the difference between starting and ending ratios doesn't tell the whole story. Doesn't even tell half the story, since the ratio at sag is also very important, as is the slope of the curve at all points, and especially the slope approaching bottom-out. Overall ratio comparison alone is maybe 25% of the story, only really useful as a rule-of-thumb to decide if a coil shock could be viable (without Sprindex or similar), not telling much about actual ride feel.

It's almost like talking about single numbers in isolation is kind of meaningless.
  • 3 0
 Does Orbea just not have a logo for the headtube?
  • 2 0
 If someone is able to compare it with a similar ripmo, I would be interested! Thanks
  • 2 1
 Firmer off the top, not any more efficient, much worse brake hose routing. Kind of a slightly inferior Ripmo if you will.
  • 1 1
 Jeff Kendalweed might in his review since he compares everything to the Ripmo
  • 1 0
 Nice, I did not know this guy!
  • 3 0
 Left hand only water bottle? I am out.
  • 1 0
 headset routing on mtb seems to be a real European bike designers fetish. Why?

Scott, Merida, Orbea...

Is there something in the water over there?
  • 1 0
 lead maybe?
  • 2 0
 I wonder how the size small rides, seeing as the chainstay is longer than the reach…
  • 2 0
 Henry did you actually make that switchback climb? Your front wheel looks like it’s headed for the foliage.
  • 1 0
 33 pounds and change with pedals for a bike that clearly is not an agile or good climber in technical situations? No thank you.
  • 4 2
 occam's razor would suggest no cable tourism.
  • 1 3
 Simplest for who, though?

For mechanics and owners who do their own work? No.

For Orbea's marketing that can check off another bullet point and move on? Yes.
  • 2 1
 Sounds like a typical split pivot ride-which isn't a bad thing. Pity about the cable tourism.......
  • 3 4
 "The SL also features a lockout, should you prefer smooth climbs or a numbed crotch."

As a hardtail rider, I have opt for the latter to keep my hypermasculinity in check.
  • 2 1
 When will the Rise LT be revealed?
  • 1 0
 Put that arm on left side. I pull my bottle out of the right side.
  • 1 0
 The stem/headset area looks ugly.
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