While Orbea does not produce a DH bike of its own, we have spotted something potentially new at the Lourdes World Cup.
Previously Martin Maes had told us
that he would be racing the DH World Cup, but we did not know what bike he would use. Now at the first round of the World Cup we have a better look at the Spanish brand's bike for Martin Maes.
We don't have any information on what exactly this bike will be, it does appear that it could just be the brand's Rallon enduro bike
with a dual crown fork (it's worth noting that the production version of the Rallon is not approved for use with a dual crown fork).
While this could be the start of something new from Orbea, riding an enduro bike with dual crown forks is definitely nothing new for Maes. To make his GT Force
ready for the rigours of a downhill race Maes swapped out the standard 170mm fork for a 190mm Fox 40 with the standard 160mm of rear travel remaining the same.
We previously asked Martin about racing DH on the GT Force, and he said, "It was not the best idea to be honest! I gave it a go because my enduro bike had a newer geometry than the downhill bike. However after a couple of training runs, I soon realised that the stiffness of the frame wasn't adapted to the need of DH racing. It was rough & tough especially with the blown out conditions that we had."
It sounds like adapting an enduro bike to race a World Cup level downhill wasn't exactly what he wanted, so it will be interesting to see how he finds the Orbea this weekend.
Following us spotting the bike at Lourdes, Orbea sent us this: