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Orbea Road Bike Buyer's Guide - Orca, Avant, & Terra Explained

Built in the Spanish Basque Country, Orbea bikes are podium contenders for everything from the Tour de France to Unbound Gravel. Here's how to pick the right Orbea road or gravel bike for you.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Guides

One of the oldest brands in cycling, Orbea has been building bikes in Mallabia, Spain for over 100 years, and it’s been racing them for nearly as long. It’s no stranger to the top of the podium in pro races. Orbea bikes have won everything from Tour de France stages to Ironman World Championships to Olympic gold, and it’s that success that has helped it refine its bikes into world beating machines. If you’re looking to go fast on an Orbea road or gravel bike, this guide will help you pick the bike that’s best for you.

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Orbea Orca

Orbea Orca OMXThe Orca is Orbea’s flagship road bike, made to conquer fast, flat roads, monster climbs, and everything in between. It’s been made from carbon fiber since its inception (Orca is an abbreviation for “Orbea Carbon”) and has consistently been at the forefront of road bike technology. 

Orbea Orca OMXThe Orca was redesigned in 2021 to be more aero and more comfortable. High-end Orca LTD models use higher-modulus OMX carbon while Orca Team and standard Orca models use OMR carbon. OMX frames are about 200 grams lighter than OMR frames, but OMR is less expensive. 

OMX carbon Orca frames also use tubes that are ovalized and subtly flattened and a D-shaped seatpost to reduce aero drag by 10% over the previous Orca. OMR carbon frames use more rounded tube shapes and a traditional round 27.2mm seatpost to improve compliance and absorb 10% more vibration than OMX frames, making OMR Orcas ideal for a slightly smoother ride. Best of all, all Orca models can clear 32mm tires for extra comfort.

Category: Road race
Who it’s for: Riders looking for a lightweight bike for climbing, racing, and all-around road riding.

Orbea Orca Aero

Orbea Orca AeroThe Orca Aero has been fully revamped for 2022 to be even faster and more aero. Orbea partnered with Mondragon University in the Basque Country to analyze and test aerodynamic concepts. Thousands of hours of modeling, wind tunnel sessions, and field testing went into the new Orca Aero frame. It features aerodynamically efficient tube cross-sections, smoother transitions, and myriad other improvements that all provide a big reduction in drag. It features a new fork sculpted to work better with deep-section aero rims and a new down tube shape that is actually more aero with a bottle and cage. To carry spares and tools, there is also an aero toolbox integrated into the frame behind the front wheel. 

Orbea Orca AeroThe frame was designed for 25-28mm tires, but it can fit up to 30mm. Compared to the previous version, it has reduced drag by 15 watts at 40kph (24.9mph) and 28 watts at 50kph (31.1mph). Orca Aero frames only use high-modulus OMX carbon (there is no OMR version) and the lay-up has been refined to maximize its stiffness to weight ratio, making the Orca Aero one of the most efficient aero frames on the market.

Category: Aero road race
Who it’s for: Riders looking for maximum speed and aero gains, especially on flat and rolling roads.


Orbea Avant

Orbea AvantIn 2021, the Avant was converted into an affordable endurance road bike. It was previously carbon fiber, but now it’s aluminum to reduce cost. The tubes are hydroformed and triple-butted to minimize weight and increase compliance. It comes with disc brakes, internal cable routing, and clearance for wide 35mm tires, all at an impressively low price point.

The Avant is fast and efficient, but its focus is rider comfort. It has higher stack and shorter reach numbers for a more upright and comfortable riding position. The bottom bracket is lower and the head angle is slacker for more stability, especially on rough roads and dirt and gravel. 

Category: Endurance road 
Who it’s for: Riders looking for a fast, comfortable, and budget-friendly endurance road bike. 

Orbea Terra

Orbea TerraGravel continues to evolve. To stay at the sharp end, the Orbea Terra gravel bike received a major redesign for 2022 — more tire clearance and new geometry. Depending on your needs, it can fit 700c x 45mm for speed or 650b x 2.1” tires for comfort. And, taking inspiration from mountain bikes, the geometry has been tweaked to be longer and slacker for stability and control off-road.  

Orbea TerraTerra frames come in either OMR carbon (which is more compliant than OMX carbon) or aluminum. Frame rigidity has been carefully tuned, with extra material removed from the seat tube so the Terra can fly across rough road surfaces without losing composure or draining your energy. All frames are equipped with mounting points for fenders and three water bottles. Carbon Terra M models use Orbea’s new LOCKR storage compartment inside the down tube. Hidden behind the water bottle cage, a door opens to reveal a large space to securely store spare tubes, tools, or snacks. For the adventurers and commuters, aluminum Terra H models add rear pannier mounts. 

Category: Gravel race
Who it’s for: Riders looking to tackle pavement, gravel roads, and singletrack trails on the same bike

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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 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 road bike? Let us (and other cyclists) know in the comments what you love about it.