Coming up with geometry numbers that work well in a wide range of situations without making too many compromises can be tricky, but the Wild seems to hit the sweet spot. The 63.5-degree head angle (with a 170mm fork) is slack enough for the steepest steeps, and the 448mm chainstays provide plenty of stability without feeling unwieldy on tighter section of trail.
The concept of e-bike racing still seems silly to me, but after my time on the Wild I'd put this electric machine on my short list of bikes I'd want to roll up to a starting line on. It feels incredibly composed at higher speeds while descending, where the tall front end and slack head angle put the rider into a secure, ready for anything position.
There's a punching bag-like quality to the way the Wild absorbs obstacles – it seems to relish high-speed smashing, and can withstand some serious hits without getting hung up or knocked off line. Bigger jumps and drops didn't pose any problems, and even when I used all of the travel there wasn't any unwanted clanking or harshness at the end of the stroke.
I didn't ride the previous version of the Wild, so I can't comment on the frame stiffness difference between the two, but I can say that this model feels extremely solid, in a good way. It doesn't feel quite as plush or bottomless as the Ibis Oso, but it does strike a great balance between being soft enough off the top to take the edge of chattery sections of trail while retaining enough support to avoid using the travel too quickly. It's the sort of bike that makes you want to go fast, just to see what'll happen, one of my favorite traits in any bike, motorized or not.
The Wild doesn't feel overly heavy, even though its actual weight is a few pounds heavier than Orbea originally claimed when it was first released – I have a hunch that 46-pound weight was for a size small with carbon wheels and silly light tires. In real life, the 50 pound weight with DH tires and aluminum wheels for the version I tested feels appropriate, and it's in-line with bikes like the Santa Cruz Bullit, Transition Repeater. What's the Best Value?
If I was on a budget I wouldn't be shopping for an eMTB, but that doesn't mean it's not worth considering which models present the best value. Personally, I'd be looking at the aluminum Wild H10, which is $7,034 USD. The parts spec is solid, with a 160mm Fox Performance fork and Float X shock, Shimano SLX cassette, XT derailleur, and Deore 4-piston brakes. I'd spring for the DH-casing tires and call it good, although I'd also consider budgeting an extra $100 or so for a 170mm air spring, or treating myself and adding $369 to the price to get the bike equipped with a 170mm Fox 38 Grip2 fork.