Orbea Mountain Bike Buyer's Guide

Built in the Spanish Basque Country, Orbea mountain bikes are podium contenders for everything from World Cup XC to the Enduro World Series. Here's how to pick the right bike for you and your trails.

Orbea mountain bike guide

Written by
Bruce Lin

Published on

Posted in
Guides

Orbea has been building bikes in Mallabia, Spain for over 100 years and it has been racing them for nearly as long. Its mountain bikes have won some of the world's biggest races, including Olympic gold, and its current crop of bikes are top contenders in any off-road discipline. If you’re looking for an Orbea mountain bike, this guide will cover the differences between each model so you can pick the bike that’s best for you.

Contents:

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Orbea MTB models explained

Aluminum vs. carbon models

Orbea carbon vs aluminum frames and OMR vs OMX carbonInspecting a line-up of Oiz OMX carbon frames.

The Alma, Oiz, Oiz TR, Occam, and Occam LT are offered with either aluminum or carbon fiber frames. Orbea’s aluminum frames use lightweight hydroformed and triple-butted aluminum tubing while carbon frames use Orbea’s OMX or OMR carbon fiber. The OMX/OMR moniker refers to the carbon layup of the frame. OMX is the lightest and highest quality. OMR carbon is slightly heavier and marginally less stiff, but it’s more affordable. 

OMR carbon frames are 500-600 grams lighter than aluminum frames. OMX carbon frames are another 200-300 grams lighter than OMR frames. Most carbon Orbea mountain bikes use OMR carbon. Top-end (M Pro, M Team, and M LTD) Alma and Oiz models switch to OMX carbon to save additional weight. 

Aluminum and carbon models can be identified by the letter following the model name. “H” designates aluminum models and “M” designates carbon models. 

Model hierarchy 

Orbea model names are accompanied by a number indicating the component build level. Numbers will range from 50-10. Lower numbers indicate that a bike is built with nicer components. Top-of-the-line models will use “pro,” “team,” or “LTD” instead of a number. 

Example hierarchy:

Model

Frame material

Components

Oiz H30

Aluminum

Entry-level

Oiz H20

Aluminum

Mid-level

Oiz M30

OMR Carbon

Entry-level 

Oiz M20

OMR Carbon

Mid-level 

Oiz M11

OMR Carbon

Top-level

Oiz Pro/Team/LTD 

OMX Carbon

Top-level

29” vs. 27.5” wheels

All Orbea mountain bikes currently use 29” wheels. 27.5” models have been offered in the past, and small and medium-size XC bikes like the Alma and Oiz used to be available with 27.5” wheels. The previous generation Occam also had a 27.5” option. For the foreseeable future, however, Orbea has committed to designing all of its bikes around 29” wheels. The one exception is the Rallon enduro bike, which can run a 29”/27.5” mullet set-up.

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Orbea Alma

Orbea AlmaFrame material: Aluminum or Carbon
Wheel size: 29”
Rear travel: Hardtail
Fork travel: 100mm
Head angle: 68° 
Seat angle: 74.5°
Reach: 426mm (M) / 448mm (L)

The Alma is a lightweight XC hardtail and the choice of elite racers who demand the most efficient bike. Aboard the Alma, XC legend Julien Absalon took his second Olympic gold medal in 2008 and Catharine Pendrel won the XC world championship in 2011. The latest version has kept up with industry trends, slacking out the headtube to a confidence-inspiring 68 degrees. 

Orbea AlmaWho it's for: XC riders who want the lightest, most efficient bike, or who ride less-technical terrain.

Orbea Oiz

Orbea OizFrame material: Aluminum or Carbon
Wheel size: 29”
Rear travel: 100mm
Fork travel: 100mm
Head angle: 69° 
Seat angle: 75°
Reach: 435mm (M) / 456mm (L)

The Oiz (pronounced like “Oy-eth” — the name is Basque in origin) is Orbea’s full-suspension XC race bike. It features a rear shock that is neatly recessed into the top tube to create a sleek silhouette and free up space to fit two water bottles. It also has an impressive race pedigree with several World Cup XC wins and a win at BC Bike Race.  

Orbea OizWho it's for: XC riders looking for a light and efficient full-suspension race bike.

Orbea Oiz TR

Orbea Oiz TRFrame material: Aluminum or Carbon
Wheel size: 29”
Rear travel: 120mm
Fork travel: 120mm
Head angle: 68° 
Seat angle: 74°
Reach: 425mm (M) / 446mm (L)

The “TR” or trail version of Oiz adds 20mm of travel front and rear to make it more capable on descents. It can be considered Orbea’s “downcountry” bike, a cross-country bike that balances downhill performance and pedaling efficiency. It will hold its own in fast XC races, but it’s versatile enough to satisfy trail riders doing big rides on technical terrain.

Who it's for: Marathon XC racers and riders looking for an efficient but capable “downcountry” bike.

Orbea Laufey

Orbea LaufeyFrame material: Aluminum
Wheel size: 29”
Rear travel: Hardtail
Fork travel: 140mm
Head angle: 65.5° 
Seat angle: 74.5°
Reach: 426mm (M) / 448mm (L)

The Laufey is Orbea’s basic aluminum trail hardtail. With a 140mm fork and a slack 65.5-degree headtube, it’s ready to tackle steep and gnarly downhills that would scare less-capable hardtails away. The robust aluminum frame and affordable builds make it a great choice for newer riders building their confidence and skills on the trail. 

Who it's for: Trail riders looking for a fun, inexpensive, easy-to-maintain hardtail trail bike.

Orbea Occam

Orbea OccamFrame material: Aluminum or Carbon
Wheel size: 29”
Rear travel: 140mm
Fork travel: 140mm
Head angle: 66° 
Seat angle: 77°
Reach: 450mm (M) / 474mm (L)

Occam’s razor is a theory that favors simplicity. Orbea’s do-it-all Occam trail bike is aptly named. For most riders, it’s the only bike they will need, a machine that’s equally capable uphill and downhill and designed to suit the widest range of terrain. If you’re looking for a quiver-killer bike, the versatile Occam should be high on your list.

Orbea OccamWho it's for: Trail riders looking for one bike to handle everything from XC to technical downhill trails.

Orbea Occam LT

Orbea Occam LTFrame material: Aluminum or Carbon
Wheel size: 29”
Rear travel: 150mm
Fork travel: 150mm
Head angle: 65.5° 
Seat angle: 76.5°
Reach: 426mm (M) / 448mm (L)

A lot of riders will be best-served by a quiver-killer trail bike, but some tend to favor the descents more than the climbs. To tackle tougher downhills, the Occam LT (long travel) hops up the standard Occam by adding 10mm of travel front and rear along with beefier downhill-oriented fork and shock options, blurring the line between trail and enduro.  

Orbea Occam LT

Who it's for: Trail riders who want a do-it-all bike with a bit of extra travel to take on the downhills. 

Orbea Rallon

Orbea RallonFrame material: Carbon
Wheel size: 29” or 29”/27.5” Mullet
Rear travel: 160mm
Fork travel: 170mm
Head angle: 64.5°/64° (High/Low)
Seat angle: 77.5°/77°
Reach: 460mm (M - High) / 480mm (L - High)

To tackle steep and gnarly trails, the Rallon (pronounced “Ray-on” — named for a Spanish peak in Navarre) is equipped with long and slack geometry and plenty of travel. It’s a pure enduro race bike designed to compete against the world’s fastest riders on the toughest trails. If downhill speed is your top priority, the ultra-capable Rallon will have your back.  

Orbea RallonWho it's for: Enduro racers and riders looking for the most downhill capable bike that can still be pedaled uphill.

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No matter which Orbea you choose to ride, you’re in for a good time. Having trouble deciding which bike is right for you? Contact our expert Ride Guides at rideguides@theproscloset.com or call (866) 401-9636. They can help you understand all the pros and cons, and find the right bike for you. Do you already own an Orbea mountain bike? Let us (and other cyclists) know in the comments what you love about it!

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