Orbea’s new Orca Aero is exactly what you would expect from a modern carbon aero road bike these days – faster and lighter than ever, and fully integrated from tip to tail. But beyond deep tube shapes and full internal cable routing, the new Orca Aero also builds in some nice new features like a unique storage solution, plus updated geometry, more ergonomic adjustability, and size-specific Trail to create a speed, more stability, and predictable handling for all riders…
2022 Orbea Orca Aero carbon road bike
We got a sneak peek at a camouflaged version of the dramatically-shaped new Orbea Orca Aero back in August at La Vuelta España under the Euskaltel Euskadi riders. Now the details are in, and the bike is coming soon to a shop near you.
From a first look, the new Orca Aero strikes a profile that feels like a triathlon bike more than an aero road bike. Sure, with deeper modern aerodynamic tube shaping aero road, time trial & triathlon bikes have almost merged into one type of bike recently (ex. see Pride II). But it’s the Orca Aero’s integrated storage of the aero water bottle and that glovebox /toolbox under the downtube that really push it over the edge for me…
The focus of a bike with aero in the name is of course speed. Orbea says the new bike is the result of “thousands of hours of modeling, wind tunnel sessions, and field testing fanatically considering every single component” to come up with more drag reduction. And the result is a claimed 15W of free speed at 40km/hr vs. the old Orca Aero, or even 28W saved if you can get up to 50km/hr like some of the pros.
That comes about thanks to a revised horizontal toptube & chainstays, smoother transitions from fork & headtube into the downtube, new fork leg shaping tweaked for aero performance around deep-section aero wheels, revised downtube & seattube sections optimized for the air around larger 28mm road tires, and the revised horizontal vanes at the fork crown & seat cluster that better reduce turbulence. On top of that, a new aero cockpit gives riders the benefits of a one-piece setup using separately adjustable bars & stems that still provide full internal cable routing.
With a focus on ergonomic adjustability, the more conventional two-piece aero OC Cockpit allows for riders to mix & match from 28 bar & stem size combinations, plus be able to rotate their bars for the perfect individual feel.
The ICR Road stem includes an out-front computer mount and a lower shroud to guide the cable into the frame at the headset and is available in seven lengths (70-130mm). The narrow Aero Road handlebar has shaped aero tops designed to be rotated up to 15° while still hiding cables and includes 5° flared drops. The bar is available in four sizes (35-42cm wide at the hoods)
The big toolbox under the downtube isn’t needed to get you the core aero gains (and looks like it isn’t UCI approved). But for everyone not racing like a pro, it does smooth airflow over the frame to make you faster whether empty or full. And there’s no better place to carry your spare tube, pump & tool than low and in the center of the bike.
There’s an aero bottle & cage for the new Orbea Orca Aero too, and it is promised to make you faster. But a pair of standard bosses will fit two regular bottles as well.
Like many bikes we’ve seen that promise efficient power transfer & rider comfort, Orbea says the new monocoque OMX carbon frame relies on a stiff lower spine of the frame – headtube, downtube, bottom bracket & chainstays. That allows the upper half of the frame to be built lighter, with more flexibility to damp vibration before it gets to the rider through the seatpost.
Tire clearance is much like we expected – with room for 30c tires on modern wide rims. Lower rolling resistance will make you faster, and the new Orca Aero’s aerodynamics were designed around bigger 25-28c tires
The Orca Aero features a proprietary 50mm deep aero profile carbon seatpost with swappable 0/25mm setback in its one-bolt head.
Aero road geometry
In order to deliver a quicker but balanced ride, the new Orca Aero moves to a shorter wheelbase overall with shorter chainstays and increased bottom bracket drop. In addition to the lower BB, overall lower frame Stack helps keep rider weight low and frontal area in the wind down.
To maintain that consistent handling across all sizes, fork Trail figures vary with frame-size.
2022 Orbea Orca Aero – Pricing, MyO custom options & availability
There’s always Orbea’s MyO customization program, so anyone can get a bike custom painted. And while MyO usually adds cost to some bikes, Orbea has made custom paint free on the new Orca Aero. Get wild with it. Or stick with one of the three stock colors – gloss red wine, each over matte raw carbon,
Six standard bike builds are available, starting with the Orca Aero M20 LTD with mechanical Ultegra and Fulcrum Racing 400 alloy wheels for $4500 / 4000€. There are also Rival AXS, Force AXS Ultegra Di2 & SRAM Red AXS builds.
But if you want to go all out, the Orca Aero M10i LTD is the top-tier build with new Shimao Dura-Ace Di2 and new D-A C50 carbon wheels for $9999 / 9600€. Customize yours now!