Over the years, the Orbea Rallon has impressed us with its speed and stability, but about every two years the Spanish brand reinvents the model. Not content with minor updates, the prior iteration was a whole new animal than its predecessor. And this one is, too, getting a stiffer, asymmetric design with a meticulously laid up OMR full carbon fiber frame.
The most striking feature is the one-sided support brace running alongside the rear shock. It’s there to eliminate suspension-induced stresses, but leaves one side open for easy shock tuning and adjustment. Behind it is an oversized upper linkage, all leading back to their concentric axle pivot design from the prior model. But, the leverage ratio, brake jack and anti-squat are all improved. Oh, and it’s only coming in a 29er now…
Beyond the design, the most interesting change is that they’ve gone from 27.5″ only with the 2016 model to 29er only for 2018. They’re citing the obvious, like bigger tire contact patch for better traction, faster rolling, and better roll-over capabilities to maintain speed. All important things for enduro…and riding in general. This should come as no surprise now that even some DH bikes are coming out with big wheels.
Rear travel is 150mm, paired with 160mm Fox 36 forks.
Orbea has always had sharp tube shaping and they’re present here, too, to improve frame stiffness. They say the front and rear of the bike are tuned to have similar stiffness, but it’s tuned to work with the rider rather than be too stiff and unforgiving.
An oversized alloy upper rocker pairs with an alloy yoke to drive the shock, which can be any of Fox’s current models – DHX2, Float X2, or the new Float DPX2.
To make the design work, the shock is offset 12mm to the right. The strut running alongside it reinforces a high stress area, which likely reduced the need for massively overbuilding the other tubes. Orbea says they minimized overlap of carbon sheets, and the only frame option for now is OMR, which is their top “Race” level construction.
The yoke features their high/low flip chip, letting you tweak the geometry slightly. It drops the BB height 9mm and slackens the head angle half a degree.
Other features include an impact guard on the bottom of the downtube, threaded bottom bracket and ISCG05 mounts.
Out back is their concentric axle pivot to reduce brake-induced suspension activity. Front and rear are designed for 180mm brake rotors.
The head angle is a full degree slacker than before in both positions, and the BB height gets 2mm lower in both. On the last model, Orbea suggested most riders would want to keep it in the higher position because “Lower” is really, really low. Our test rides on that model proved that true, but the option’s there if you want to really drop that center of gravity and get gnarly. The size range continues with three options, but the spread grows, getting a little shorter for the S/M size, and a little longer for the XL.
Three builds are offered at launch, the M-LTD shown here with Eagle XX1, Avid Guide HSC brakes, Race Face cockpit and dropper post, Fox DHX2 shock and 36 Factory FIT fork, and DT Swiss wheels with Maxxis Minion DHF 29×2.5 3C EXO tires for $8,999 (€7,999 / £6,899).
Below that is the M-TEAM with X01 Eagle $7,999 (€6,599 / £5,699), followed by the M10 with the new SRAM GX Eagle $4,999 (€4,499 / £3,899). Full specs and details available on their website.