First Look: Orbea's New XC Race Hardtail - the Alma

Jul 23, 2020 at 5:51
by Daniel Sapp  
2020 2021 Hardtail Check Out

Orbea's Alma is a bike that's been in their line for well over a decade. Having last been updated in 2017, the Alma was due for a bit of a revamp, especially coming into what would have been an Olympic year. The Alma gets a major overhaul this go-round, with a number of new features aimed at making the bike more comfortable, quiet, and faster.

Orbea now have three different frame constructions in the Alma line. The top-of-the-line OMX, the OMR, and a hydroformed aluminum option. The new OMX frame uses a blend of high modulus fibers in a unique layup that allow Orbea to tune the weight and stiffness for each size. That weight comes in at 830g for a size medium. The OMR frame is also carbon and uses a more standard layup and weighs 1,100g. The hydroformed aluminum frame utilizes tubes of varying thickness and shape to net a weight of 1,650g in size medium.

2020 2021 Hardtail Check Out


Frame Details
The Alma utilizes a 27.2 seatpost because Orbea feel that it gives the appropriate stiffness to weight ratio for that bike. The bike's carbon layup is tuned for what they think is the optimal stiffness to weight ratio for a bike in this category. There is a new internal cable routing system designed for both cable and electronic shifting systems. The cable guides use a dual compound expanding wedge system that locks the cables into place to reduce wear or rattle.

On the OMX and OMR frames, there is a Blocklock headset feature that prevents the handlebars from turning too far where they or a fork could impact and damage the frame. The Acros Blocklock allows 164-degrees of steering and has been designed to reduce stack height and improve the cockpit integration on the monocoque carbon models of the Alma.


2020 2021 Hardtail Check Out

Chain retention is available through a chain security system designed specifically for the Alma. The guide cinches around the BB shell and provides a top roller for added security and can be easily removed for those who don't want to take the small weight penalty.

The Alma also utilizes flat-mount brakes and carries over the same OC headset/spacer/stem design that's found on the Oiz. The stem system also has an optional computer mount that is compatible with most major computer brands.

The bike uses a Universal Derailleur Hanger, PF92 bottom bracket (carbon models), can accommodate 2.4" tires, and comes with a lifetime warranty. Certain models feature a 27.2mm OC 2 dropper post and all frames accommodate two water bottles.



Spirit Fork
Orbea's Spirit fork is designed for those looking for the lightest weight and most simplicity possible. The fork is tuned to work as a system with the Alma but it's compatible with most any bike with a tapered headtube. It's also available in Orbea's "MyO" program for riders who also want to tune up their color selection.

The fork weighs 500g including parts and features full internal or external brake housing to allow for a clean look or easy fork swaps. It utilizes a post-mount 160 for the brake and has a unique rubber fork end protection to keep the fork safe. Axle to crown height is 501mm to replicate a fork at 20% sag.



Geometry and Kinematics
The Alma has a head angle of 68-degrees, seat angle of 74.5-degrees, and a 426mm reach for a size medium. The chainstays are 430mm across all sizes.

Geometry for the OMX/OMR Alma frame.
Geometry for the Hydroformed Aluminum frame.


New Graphic Personalization and Build Options
The new Alma OMX has several new graphic options along with a fourth finish option of Matte/Gloss. There are additionally scores of color combinations available utilizing their 'MyO' program.

Paint schemes and options are abundant with the Alma.

There are a total of ten different build options between the three frame levels. Additionally, each frame level, the OMX, OMR, and Hydroformed Alloy have different builds to choose from.

Sizes available are S-XL. Prices start at $1,099 USD for the Alma H30 and go all the way up to $7,999 USD for the Alma M-LTD.




84 Comments

  • 63 1
 Damn, that's one clean looking bike.
  • 9 0
 I concur. clean, simple, effective!
  • 11 0
 Cables all in to one side of the headtube, skinny tubes and simple lines... love it
  • 32 0
 Could never ever ride this bike, my Mom’s name is Alma!!
  • 131 3
 Sadly for you, lots of other people will.
  • 16 0
 @tobiusmaximum: probably already have
  • 9 0
 @tobiusmaximum: simple pleasure in life: finding comments with sexual innuendo and 69 upvotes.
  • 5 0
 @nvonf: good point. i downvoted just to get it back to 69.
  • 7 0
 I plan to get MyO with Alma
  • 17 0
 Spec with the rigid fork can as well include drop-bars and something like 700x40 tires to completely wash out difference between modern XC and CX bikes.
  • 7 0
 Isn't that a gravel bike then?
  • 5 0
 Agreed gravel bike, not CX. Top tube is too low to be easily shouldered. Not saying you can't use it for CX.
  • 2 0
 Also, max chainring could be an issue for CX or Gravel. You want to be in the 40-44 tooth range for 1x, most MTB frames with boost spacing are limited to 36 or so.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: I've never heard of anyone running a 44 for CX. 38 - 42 is the most common range.
  • 1 0
 @whitebirdfeathers: gravel riders will almost all be 41 or greater. But I digress, since a 38 may clear in a frame like this, but be so close you'll be fighting chain suck especially in a sloppy CX race. I think Nino's Scotts are custom to accept 38s. I tried a 36 for a distance ride on my Chromag, and the clearance was way too tight. They claim a 32 max, but a 34 fits with a tiny amouny of room, but I do think chain suck would be an issue.
  • 5 2
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Gravel riding and CX are completely different disciplines.
  • 2 0
 @whitebirdfeathers: I ride my cyclocross bicycle for gravel riding, I tell ya having a dedicated frame for more relaxed geometry would help so much, but so far it's doable on the CX machine
  • 1 0
 @lehott: Me too. My cx bike is actually quite comfortable for long gravel rides. But yes I'm sure the new relaxed gravel rigs are great.
  • 1 0
 @milkdrop It's not that easy, drop bar specific bikes are pretty much always shorter to offset the extra reach that drop bars add. That's why drop bar MTB conversions usually don't work (for some people they do).
  • 1 0
 @whitebirdfeathers: Oh man, there are a lot of people coming from the road side to gravel who think they need a stupidly high gear. Every time a 1x vs 2x discussion comes up in a gravel group, you'll see a bunch of comments like "1x means you'll spin out everywhere".

@lehott Throw a higher angle upright stem with a riser drop bar on your CX bike. It will make a massive difference. Smile
  • 2 0
 @HollyBoni: or the road people have better fitness than mountain bikers and can actually spin out a 1x
  • 3 0
 @clink83: Maybe a few of them, but most of the time they just don't really understand gear ratios and they think they are going to be holding the same kind of speeds with wider, knobby tyres at lower pressures as they do with their road bikes. Also in the road world there is still this macho thing where people feel like they need to flex with high gearing, although it's changing a bit.

I've had this conversion a few times. After I give the "you'll spin out everywhere" guys some numbers, we usually agree that a 1x11 setup that comes on most gravel bikes would give them a high gear that's more than enough.
You also see a lot of "how to get lower gearing on my gravel bike" forum posts after people start to ride their gravel bikes off road. Smile
  • 1 0
 @whitebirdfeathers: my only drop bar bike is a Boone, which works everywhere just fine. I just change the tires based on what I'm riding. Most of the time I just use 700x28s set up tubeless and for my commuting, which is on road/gravel they work great unless it's really wet.
  • 1 0
 In the mountainous terrain around here I would want gearing that allowed me to ride anywhere from 4-40mph, which pretty much would require a 2x setup with a wide range cassette.
  • 1 0
 @clink83: Sure, there are people who might need a wide range 2x, but as I mentioned a lot of people simply won't run the numbers yet still say stuff like 1x doesn't have enough range. I was talking with a guy who was thinking about going 1x, but he was afraid that it wouldn't give him enough range. It turned out he was riding an ancient road drivetrain which had less range than most 1x11 setups.
Also, personally I don't care if I can pedal on a downhill at 35-40mph, I just don't see the point. I care about low gears more. But we are all different.
  • 1 0
 @HollyBoni: thanks I'll look into those parts!
  • 12 0
 Having a full picture of the spirit fork would be cool.
  • 8 0
 Oh noez a 27.2 seatpost!
  • 15 2
 More flex and more comfort. If the track requires a dropper post, you better with a full suspension bike. So going with a 27.2 seat post makes more sense.
What about a good old gravity dropper and some Spd sandals lol ?
  • 7 0
 @Euskafreez: And if you really want a dropper post on your flatbar gravel bike, KS makes some 27.2 options, and Gravitydropper does too actually!
  • 10 0
 I have a Specialized Chisel that also has a 27.2 mm seatpost. Finding a dropper wasn't that hard and you can get 100 mm or 120 mm of drop. I don't think you need more than that on an XC hardtail. I got a KS E-ten that has bee flawless.
  • 1 0
 ..
  • 6 0
 @evildos: Orbea offers 27.2 dropper for the Alma!
  • 1 0
 @Euskafreez: I know everyone was freaking out about the new BH hardtail having a 27.2 seat post. Seems intuitive to me but what do I know.
  • 1 0
 @Argalario: There was a mistake in my original message, that's why I edited it to this Smile
  • 4 1
 @Euskafreez: If the track requires you to be sitting down most of the time you're better off on a drop bar bike.

Droppers make even more sense on a hardtail
  • 1 0
 PNW makes a nice 27.2 dropper.
  • 5 0
 I'd put a dropper on this. IMO if a bike can justify a suspension fork, then it can justify a dropper post.
  • 3 0
 @tremeer023: I can always justify a dropper post. I won't ride a bike without one.
  • 1 0
 @mnorris122: the 27.2 droppers that feel nice when new, feel like crap in a matter of months. KS, PNW, rebranded ones. The gravity dropper...well we know what those feel like. Yes you can get a dropper, but you will be compromising on feel and durability compared to larger diameters. I have personally witnessed all of the ones I mentioned feel terrible after less than a year of riding.
  • 5 0
 I'm digging the Blocklock headset design. Hope more companies make something like that, so there is more options.
  • 4 0
 Agreed. I have a new bike with a horrible looking protection setup on the top tube to avoid a strike from the brake levers and shifter. This is a problem that should be solved by now.
  • 3 0
 People keep ragging on Trek's Knock Block, which probably discourages other (likely smaller and less influential) manufacturers from trying the same concept.
  • 2 0
 @MaplePanda: I like the Trek Knock Block, but this headset Blocklock is just a more elegant design. Completely stealth. I just don't want it only to be proprietary product so I can get one aftermarket with a headset company.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: I also like my trek knock block. But isn't it possible to use after market headset bearings with same dimensions? Or knockblock has its proprietary bearings also?
  • 1 1
 @Vyckinis: Neither use the bearings as the blocking mechanism. Knock Block uses the top headset cover and block built into the frame as the blocking mechanism. From the looks of it, Blocklock uses the upper headset cup and top headset cover as blocking mechanism, but just speculating.
  • 4 0
 Hardtails are wild fun, been riding the hell out of mine lately.
  • 3 0
 I ride a hardtail a lot but it is VERY different bike compared to this.
  • 3 0
 I like that the comment section for a hardtail is all positivity coming from Euro folks (while the Americans sleep).
  • 1 0
 I check in at 3am locally just to hear some steel frame love too.
  • 6 2
 Why won’t press fit BBs die and go to hell where they came from?
  • 6 2
 Because they are a better system as long as the bike maker isn't incompetent.
  • 2 1
 Because they are way better longevity wise - in my experience anyway.
I ride in an area of wet, sandy grit. I road ride in an area where highway maintenance is inspired by rock gardens.
My 2016 full sus ridden twice a week at least has just crapped its first pressfit BB. A plastic shimano one I locktite’d in.
My 2016/17? road bike went the same way recently as well.
My hardtail has gone through 2 external XT ones in the last 12 months.
I put it down to them going in perfectly versus potentially inaccurate threading of shells.
I have always had to replace them regularly.
  • 1 0
 I don't get the pressfit/threaded debate. I destroy all bottom brackets seasonally, Springtime means new bb, and chain and tires.
  • 1 0
 @ilovedust: that totally hasn’t been my experience. I mean, I need to replace BBs periodically but I’ve had more random stuff happen service-wise with pressfit BBs in the last couple years than I have with threaded BBs in the last 20.
  • 1 0
 @DrPete: Is that with 30mm or dub cranksets?

The only issues I have had is BBs that the shell was out of spec on my scott, and RaceFace's shit single row PF92 bearings for their cinch cranksets. Thats not really a pressfit issue though.
  • 1 0
 @clink83: They’ve been 30mm, mostly Rotor BBs.
  • 3 1
 So as usual, BBInfinite or Hambini BB replacement will be needed after the first ride?
  • 3 0
 Nice to see 68 head angle.
  • 3 0
 X1900 wheels for 3.900 euros, not so nice...
  • 3 0
 I like that chainguide.
  • 2 0
 NICA shredders rejoice, your new whip is here.
  • 3 0
 like it a lot
  • 1 0
 So much is right about this bike. That paint, the bar stop, would make a great ss...
  • 6 5
 Better geo than their full-sup xc bike(Oiz).
  • 1 0
 this has a 68 degree HT but the Oiz is a 69?
  • 6 0
 Head angles are exactly the same when you sit on the bike and only the fork sags.
  • 2 0
 Edit because I was being stupid.
  • 2 0
 @kclw: yes exactly - I think this is the slackest among the new breed of XC hardtails to date. Specy Epic Hardtail is 68.5
  • 3 0
 @kclw: I understand, but 69 degree HT angle is so 2019 Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Are we going to see a new Rallon in this years Orbea lineup?
  • 1 2
 probably not; then again, let them take all the time they need. I want my Orbea enduro to be better than a Spez enduro, not just a copy-paste affair.
  • 2 0
 @eugenux: rallon was released 6 months before stumpy btw...
  • 1 1
 @m3ggi:

I know from a big distributer the fact that no new Oiz or Rallon will be relased next spring; beyond that, we will see.
  • 1 0
 I reckon 2022 we will see a new Rallon. The current one is on par with the newer released enduro bikes so no need to update it.
  • 1 1
 @Teepee146:

Did you ever ride the current Rallon?, on par with current enduro bikes?, that's a joke. It didn't even is on par with my Reactor 290 RS; even the occam offers a better overall geometry.
Testing back to back my reactor(size M with 5mm reach enlargement head-set), the occam size L M10(with the 150mm fox 36 in front and 40mm stem) and the rallon size L also M10..., well, the rallon felt most trail-bike-ish from the 3.
Shorter wb and reach than the occam, less heavy-footed/planted/stable at mach speed than my reactor...it had/has a very poor performance IMO; and the reactor and the occam are trail-bikes. If you start comparing it with real enduro bikes, it will fail miserably; also, the suspension never feels competent enough for fast AF through rock gardens or really hard section of a trail; it feels out of depth very soon...trail bike soon.
So.., I am sorry if you think the bike is good or it is still contemporary from a performance pov. In fact of the matter is, it isn't. The new one can't come fast enough. They are already missing out a whole lot of sales.
  • 1 1
 Those fancy custom paint jobs still won't take away from that ugly-ass far-protuding left-side cable-port.
  • 1 0
 If dreams only could come true..
  • 2 5
 nothing against xc bikes at all but can we get a dh bike test sometime please? totally get they are not a big seller anymore but it would still be rad to learn about what's on offer. this bike doesn't even register as a mob to me.
  • 2 0
 looks like a lama
  • 1 0
 Where's biggy smalls?
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