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2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail lets you get mischievous with 29er or 27.5+ wheels

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2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

Named after the Norse god known as a tricky shapeshifter, the new Orbea Loki makes the bold claim of being “perfect for everyone.” It’s a capable 29er hardtail. It’s also fun, slack 27.5+ trail bike. Either way, you’re getting 120mm of travel up front and a high end alloy frame that’s ready to rumble.

The design is called Double Duty, referring to the ability to switch between the two wheel sizes. The rear end uses Boost 148 spacing, and regardless of wheel size, they’re using the same Boost hubs and mostly 110mm spaced Boost forks. It’s not the first bike to offer the swappable wheel sizes, but it’s among the first to make it very affordable while still offering good spec and top notch features. That makes it a perfect do-it-all second (or fifth) bike or a great first mountain bike for those just getting into it…

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

The Loki uses Orbea’s skill at hydroforming metal to give the bike a high end platform on which to shred. It’s the same level of alloy manipulation found on their Rallon and Occam bikes, but in a package that starts at just $1,200.

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

The cockpit is stretched out, ending with a short stem to give you good control but with a longer, more stable wheelbase to inspire confidence on the downhills.

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

The frame gets internal routing for stealth dropper, and the top model gets a Reverb Stealth. Mid-range models get Orbea’s brilliant new Digit Seat Post, which makes manual seat height changes quick and easy, helping you return to the same position at the top every time. By using a channel on the back of the post and upper and lower limit set screws, you simply open the quick release collar and slam it up or down. The slotted channel keeps the seat facing straight forward, and the set screws ensure it goes only as low as you want and returns to the correct height. Depending on the amount of insertion your frame allows, it’ll give you up to 200mm of drop in 50mm increments.

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

Shifter cables and rear brake hose run through the downtube, and there’s room in the exit ports for the stealth dropper seatpost cable, too, which then re-enters at the base of the seat tube.

The bikes use Race Face cranks with direct mount chainrings that have that brand’s standard 51mm chainline, which ends up working just fine with Boost spacing. It has ISCG05 tabs and a removable front derailleur mount, which is compatible with standard, Sideswing and Di2 front derailleurs.

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

Rear derailleur uses Shimano Direct Mount designs.

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

Post mount direct mount rear brakes do away with adapters and parts if you’re running a 160mm rotor. The thru axle is tooled to maintain a clean, sleek appearance.

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

Tire clearance with the plus sized (3.0″) tires is adequate, and outside rotating diameter is the same as a 29×2.2, which would have clearance for days.

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

Spec includes 110mm-axle boost compatible forks on all but the lowest level, which gets a 120mm Rockshox Recon Gold with 29×2.4 tires…which might could fit the 27.5×3.0 Maxxis Chronicle if you’re not too concerned about clearance (do so at your own risk).

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels geometry chart

Geometry has a long reach with short stems, a low bottom bracket and 430mm stays. Combine it with a 67º head angle with the recommended 120mm fork, and you’ve got the makings of a playful bike. All the figures stay the same for both size wheels when using 29×2.2 or 27.5×3.0.

2016-Orbea-Loki-trail-hardtail-H-LTD-275plus-final

 

Four models will be offered, leading with the H-LTD 27.5+. It’s spec’d with the Fox Float 34 Factory 27.5+ fork, Race Face Affect SL with 28-tooth single chainring. The bike, like many other Orbea’s for 2016, will also ship with the 26-36 double chainring setup in case you want to add a front shifter and derailleur at a later date. XT shifter rear derailleur and 11-42 cassette pair with BR-M506 hydraulic brakes, Fizik saddle and Modus/Rodi wheels with 40mm wide rims running the Maxxis Chronicles. This one is sold in 27.5+ format only, both bikes below come sold as complete bikes with either wheel size.

2016-Orbea-Loki-trail-hardtail-H10-275plus

Next down is the H10 27.5+ and comes with SLX shifters and Sideswing front derailleur (picture is not reflective of actual spec), XT rear mech, HG50 10-speed 11-36 cassette and BR-M506 brakes. Fork is the new Fox Float 32 with Boost, and it gets the Digit seatpost, Orbea handlebar and Race Face stem. Maxxis Chronicle TLR tires wrap around the same wheels as the H-LTD, or Maxxis Ardent 29×2.4 on the 29er version.

2016-Orbea-Loki-trail-hardtail-H30-275plus

The H30 steps down to Deore shifters and SLX front/rear mechs, the same cassette as above and BR-M425 brakes. The 27.5+ bike gets a Suntour Raidon LO-R (lockout/rebound) Boost fork, while the 29er comes with a Rockshox Recon Silver fork with standard axle spacing. On this one, we’d recommend going with the 27.5+ bike if only for the more future-proof fork standard.

Prices are TBA, but the base level bike starts at just $1,200.

FIRST RIDE IMPRESSIONS

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

I’m a full suspension kinda guy, but will admit this was pretty fun. With the wide, soft tires, I had traction for days, which made for some spirited riding. The geometry of the bike worked well for everything from climbing to gnarly technical descending to whipping through tight, tree-lined singletrack.

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

The Chronicle’s EXO casing did an admirable job of fending off the abundant rocks in the Spanish Pyrenees. The low profile knobs would be better suited for dirt, but they did pretty well on the trails except when there was a lot of loose scrabble on top of the rock. At the risk of flatting since they weren’t set up tubeless for our test rides, I ran pressures as low as 13psi to soften the ride and take full advantage of the plus sized tires.

2016 Orbea Loki trail hardtail mountain bike for 275+ or 29er wheels

Orbea’s pitch is one bike for any type of rider, and it comes close. I’d still opt for the Rallon or Occam if you’re going big, but the Loki quite capable of keeping up with those two on many trails. We rode old sheep trails through the woods, past ruins that were older than America, up long fire roads and down techy, rocky singletrack. The Loki ate it up, and having the extra cush of the tires made it easier to clear some sketchy climbs and toned down the harshness usually transmitted through the pedals to my feet on drops. If you’re a hardtail kinda guy (or girl), Orbea’s Loki has all the right features at a very good price.

Orbea.com

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16 Comments
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Matt
Matt
7 years ago

Great concept. I want.

von.kruiser
von.kruiser
7 years ago

Beautiful… 27+ or 29er w/ FT Der ability.

JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

So manufacturers coming to realize that very few can justify, yet alone afford, $4k+ trail/fun bikes?

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

JBikes…pretty much everyone makes OK trail/fun bikes under $2,000-2,500. Some are even carbon but not at the $1200 range

von.kruiser
von.kruiser
7 years ago

JBikes, yep you’re on it for sure w/ brands not having tough, fun XT level bikes at lower prices. It’s about time. Hardtail alloy frame, fat tire/rims w/ relaxed geometry. Funny thing is everyone is realizing they do not need so much suspension. Looks like there are more FS bikes coming out with lower travel (trail) as well. Enduro is a great bike and all but not for all regions. Good for Norwest, Arizona, etc… but most other places do not need it. Love the large grippy tires for just enough suspension on a hard tail. Throw on a 29er wheelset for more speed and longer rides if needed. Looking forward to Interbike dirt demo this year.

Tim
Tim
7 years ago

Me like! People complained a lot about Boost when it was first announced, but I think now that we can say what it allows builders to make- short chainstay bikes that fit big tires and/ or big wheels and that are adaptable for multiple purposes. The bikes in this article are even affordable to boot. Bravo bike industry and bravo Orbea. (But bottom brackets should be threaded and front thru axles should be 20mm+)

mateo
mateo
7 years ago

@Tim – beat me to it. I was waiting for the wailing and moaning about Boost.

Antoine
Antoine
7 years ago

I agree it was time for such a bike, it’s finally there 🙂 I know what i’ll recommend to people wanting to get seriously in mtb now.

Antoine
Antoine
7 years ago

The trek stache looked promising but the pricing does not look justified at all, and this orbea confirm.

A
A
7 years ago

Sounds like a Specialized Fuse

r1Gel
r1Gel
6 years ago
Reply to  A

The 51-mm firm offset makes up for the slack head angle, contributing to the longer front-center, helping with keeping the front down on climbs. As the writer/tester said, the bike climbed quite well.

Tim
Tim
7 years ago

I do wonder about the climbing ability of these bikes- it seems like there is very little weight on the front wheel, and the short stem requires a lot of muscle to control the bike. In other words, these bikes seem choppered out. That’s not a criticism, mind you, just a question about what this new type of bike is suited for.

Tim
Tim
7 years ago

@mateo- true dat, the mistake is not Boost, it’s the fact that they didn’t go to it immediately from 135, creating instead the neither here nor there 142×12 standard, whose total lifespan may end up being only a couple years and is likely to leave behind some rightfully disgruntled users.

Izzy
Izzy
7 years ago

Bike weight?

Simen
Simen
7 years ago

Which frame size is on the photos? XL?

relicxdude@yahoo.com
relicxdude@yahoo.com
6 years ago
Reply to  Simen

I have the extra large and it weighs 31 lbs. with pedals. The bike climbs as good as my Scott Scale 29er, and it descends like a full suspension bike. I run 10 psi air with tubes.

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