The 2022 Orbea Rallon rolls out on 29″ wheels, or, a 27.5″ wheel in the rear with a 29″ wheel up front. That’s sort of two bikes for the price of one, given that they run the same frame; you just swap out the rear wheel and use the supplied shock extender to convert to a mullet without dramatically altering the geometry. Also new for this model year is the addition of frame storage, and it comes fully equipped with tools stored in the rear axle and main pivot.
2022 Orbea Rallon
- Intended Use: Enduro / Big Mountain / Park
- Frame Material: OMR Carbon
- Fork Travel: 170mm
- Rear Wheel Travel: 160mm
- Wheel Size: 29er or Mullet
- Starting Price: $4,999 USD
At first glance, the 2022 Orbea Rallon doesn’t look strikingly different to its 2020 iteration. The suspension layout is very familiar, still running that asymmetrical front triangle where the shock mounts at the top tube. It is still composed of Orbea’s OMR Carbon layup with a slight adjustment to the tune to give it a little more vertical compliance for traction over rough camber. Geometry is still adjustable too, with low and lower settings to choose from giving riders the option to switch between 64° and 64.5° head tube angles.
The big news for this model year is that Orbea are now supplying shock extenders with the purchase of each bike that will allows riders to switch out the 29″ wheel for a 27.5″ wheel to run a mullet configuration. Of course, you could have done this on the 2020 frame, but the addition of the shock extender allows you to do so without dramatically affecting the geometry.
The only notable geometry differences between the full 29er and the mullet would be the 5mm shorter reach, 2mm shorter effective chainstay length and decreased standover. Orbea don’t provide low and lower geometry figures for the mullet, stating a bottom bracket height of 343mm, the same as the 29er in its “low” position.
For the 2022 Rallon, Orbea are pushing their new “steep and deep” geometry concept which largely refers to the fact that the frame is now designed around a 200mm dropper post. The terrain gets steep, so you push the saddle deep… you get the idea. Permitting that are the (largely) shorter, steeper seat tubes, that are now straight and uninterrupted.
Taking the XL as an example, the seat tube is now 23mm shorter than that seen on the earlier iteration of the Rallon, measuring up at 460mm. The small is the only frame in the size range to see a longer seat tube for 2022, now sitting at 415mm, the same as the size medium. This is pretty long, actually, given that it isn’t unusual to see 380mm seat tubes on small bikes these days.
I almost forgot… those seat tubes are also considerably steeper, sitting at 77° in the “lower” setting, and 77° in the “low” setting (and on the mullet). That change is likely to improve the climbing characteristics of the bike, especially for riders of the larger frame sizes making use of ultra long travel dropper posts.
While the locations of the pivots haven’t changed dramatically, subtle differences have made for a more progressive use of the 160mm of rear wheel travel. The key takeaways here are that higher starting ratio for improved suppleness off the top, and the increased end-stroke progression for better bottom-out resistance. The kinematic changes likely make the frame better suited to the linear spring rate of a coil shock.
Orbea say they have made these changes to the leverage curve without dramatically impacting the braking and pedaling characteristics of the bike. “Anti-rise and anti-squat are kept largely the same because our racers love the way the bike remains active under braking and sprints out of slower speed turns” – Orbea. Taking a look at the anti-rise comparisons, seems to me the anti-rise changes, at least during the early to mid-stroke, are quite significant. Basically, anti-rise is a metric used to describe how well a bike’s rear suspension remains active under breaking. You can read about it in depth here.
Those subtle pivot location changes have also brought about a change to the rear axle path, allowing the axle to track a more rearward path to around the sag point, from which it then tracks forwards.
In-Frame Tool Storage!
Here’s the fun bit. The 2022 Orbea Rallon actually comes equipped with some tools, so you can ride out knowing you’ve not forgotten everything you need for basic trail side repairs.
Inside the main pivot is a four-function multi-tool offering hex keys from 3mm to 6mm. The lever of the rear axle is a tool too, and there’s also meant to be a T25 hiding somewhere.
In the downtube LOCKR zone there are two sealed bags, with tube, tire levers and space for two C02 cartridges. The lid is also home to bottle bosses, with space inside the rear triangle for a full sized water bottle.
Pricing & Availability
Pricing for the 2022 Orbea Rallon starts at $4,999 USD for the M20 model, topping out at $9,999 USD for the Rallon M-LTD. Head to the Orbea website for complete info and pricing and specs.