A brand new Orbea Rallon is here. It is the 5th generation of this bike, and it is the most revolutionary one. Completely redesigned, the Rallon gets modern geometry with a number of very interesting details.
Over the last years, the previous generation of the Rallon was surpassed in terms of geometry and performance, and it was no longer the top tier racing machine it once was. A real change in the enduro bike category was needed for the Rallon if Orbea was looking for something that could do more than just fill a spot in their bike catalog.
Orbea Rallon Details
• Intended use: enduro
• Wheel size: 29"
• Rear wheel travel: 150mm
• 65º or 65.5º head angle
• Frame material: carbon
• Metric shock sizing
• Boost hub spacing
• MSRP: €4499 - €7999 Euros / $4999 - $8999 USD (complete bikes)
The revamped Rallon has been a long term project. Instead of copy-pasting their existing Rallon geometry and technology and launching an enduro carbon frame years ago, they decided to take a more challenging and more expensive route. They were looking for a unique new bike, one that would stand out among the ever-growing field of options.
The bike has been conceived to work as a dialed body, and every single detail has been taken into account. Orbea has teamed up with Fox for this project and it's been months of designing, testing prototypes and long-term discussions to get Fox tuned shocks that work at their best with the Rallon frame design and geometry.
Orbea has gone asymmetric in search of the best possible balance for shock performance, stiffness and driving forces handling.
The most striking feature of the new frame design is the asymmetric front triangle, with a tube running from the top tube to the seat tube on the non-drive side, leaving the shock exposed on the other side. Orbea has used their OMR carbon technology for the Rallon, which is their top of the line carbon construction, to construct the asymmetric frame. The full range features the same monocoque frame and the same carbon fibers.
Orbea was looking to build a gravity oriented bike, with a progressive shock performance. They opted for a higher pivot point than in their previous Rallon and their goal was reaching an optimal balance between brake and suspension performance while maintaining an efficient pedaling platform. Orbea has worked closely with Fox Shox to get a tuned performance with the three shocks they offer with the Rallon, claiming that every customer could be able to achieve his desired shock behavior without needing to buy an aftermarket shock.
Another Orbea partner in this new Rallon project is DT Swiss, with the renowned brand providing the 30mm wide rims on all the Rallon complete bikes. The Rallon frame features Enduro bearings, 180 mm post mount brake compatibility, internal cable routing, threaded bottom bracket and a 6mm thick downtube protector in a honeycomb structure.
A honeycomb structure is used for the downtube protector.
Both aluminum and 27.5'' wheels are gone. Orbea offers three builds for the Rallon: the M-LTD, the M-TEAM and the M-10. In every build Orbea offers several parts as an upgrade/downgrade that can change the final price for the complete bike. Some of the parts that are open to a change within the Myo program are are the shock, fork, brakes, wheelset and saddle.
Orbea has included the Rallon in their Myo program, which allows the customer to design his own paint artwork at no added cost, giving the chance of owning a unique frame. With the Myo program, available on Orbea's website, the customer can also change the aforementioned bike parts at a competitive price. The promised delivery time for a Myo complete bike goes from 15 to 45 days.
The fifth generation of the Rallon has seen a big change in terms of geometry. With a 65-degree head angle in the Lower geometry setting, and 150mm of rear travel paired with a 160mm fork up front, the Rallon sits firmly in the enduro race category. Thankfully, Orbea didn't forget that enduro racing / all-mountain riding includes climbing, and gave the Rallon a relatively steep 76/75.5º seat angle (depending on geometry position). The reach is longer than the previous version, measuring 455mm for a size large, but Orbea didn't go completely wild, saying that they believe in finding a balance for a better performance in different riding situations. The Rallon has been designed around 32mm and 50mm stems, depending on the frame size.
Faster is better. But faster, safer and playful is way better. This is how the Rallon felt during two days of riding in the demanding terrain of the Spanish Pyrenees.
Rough straight lines? Keep the right body position, hold your bars, don't touch your brake levers and trust your bike - you'll be amazed by how the bike gets the job done. Being used to riding 27.5" wheels on a daily basis, I was expecting the bike to feel like a big ship, as has happened to me with other enduro-oriented 29ers, but that wasn't the case, and when it comes to cornering this bike keeps up with the smaller wheel ones.
The frame offers two geometry modes, Low and Lower. You can easily change the position in less than five minutes with a small dedicated tool that Orbea supplies with the frame. I didn't feel the need to go to the lower setting, as the low already feels safe and aggressive enough, but it's nice to have the option go change things up for even gnarlier terrain.
As I was between sizes with 1.71m height, I got the opportunity of testing both the S/M and the L sizes. Initially, I felt good on the S/M size, although I found myself a bit too much on the bars, and ended up changing to the L size. The large worked really well for me, feeling stable and in control at high speeds while keeping a surprising maneuverability on tight corners.
I tested the Rallon with an air shock, the FOX Float X2 and also the coil shock FOX DH X2. Both shocks work really well on the bike, with the Float doing its job for the usual rides and the DH X2 coming in handy when we rode on extreme terrain and very long descents, setting off from 2700 meters altitude on rocky trails. Taking time to dial in the proper shock settings paid off, and it would have been even better with a longer period of testing. The rear shock kept the back wheel glued to the to the ground, providing plenty of grip and giving room to play with the bike while looking for more speed.
On the trails, the Rallon feels stiff and agile. This bike asks for speed, and rides true to its racing-oriented spirit. The climbing and general pedaling position make you feel comfortable without the feeling of fighting against the bike as with some other enduro beasts.
A couple of days of riding and testing, even in a demanding area like the Pyrenees Mountains, might not be enough for a final statement on the Rallon, but the first impressions are very positive.