BRAND NEW Orbea Orca – First Ride And Full Details

BRAND NEW Orbea Orca – First Ride And Full Details


This This is now officially the new Orbea Orca. We have seen one being ridden in the Tour de France with a stealth paint job, but details were sketchy. Now though, here it is in all its glory. Actually this is even better than all its glory, because this weighs 700 grams less than the bike being ridden in the Tour de France. They have given us the super pimped out version This is just 6.16 kilo’s, the lightest bike …
I’ll have ever ridden. So this is actually the fifth generation of the Orbea Orca. The first was released back in 2003. And that you will be familliar with I’m sure, because it was ridden to great acclaim by the Euskaltel–Euskadi team particularly by guys like Iban Mayo. And then latter generations used by Samuel Sanchez for example, to win the Olympic gold medal in the road race in Beijing. And Matt, very kindly, did a little research on a recent video to find out exactly why it’s called the Orca. And it turns out it has actually nothing to do with killer whales No; It’s because the “OR” is the beginning of Orbea, and the “CA” is the beginning of carbon, so ORCA. Shame they didn’t call their first aluminium bike the ORAL, isn’t it. But anyway. Oi, stop snickering at the back. Now when Orbea set out to design this new generation of the Orca, they wanted to make, they said, the most efficient bike. Because they say efficiency will get you from A to B the quickest. And so an efficient bike is one that does everything well, but yet doesn’t necessarily sacrifice any of the others in pursuit of one goal. So, for example, it’s not so aerodynamic that it becomes heavy; it’s still lightweight. But it’s not so light that it loses stiffness, and then it’s not so stiff that it loses comfort. And it’s a pretty solid theory; if you got one bike, you want it to do everything well. And perhaps that is where the optimum handeling and feeling kind of bike lies. Sorry, Got a bit carried away there. You wanna hear about the bike. Let’s go over those aim then shall we? First up: weight. Orbea have managed to get this down to 795 grams for the frame. And the fork is just 315 grams. So, pretty darn impressive. The disk version is slightly more: 840 grams and 335 grams respectively. And one of the ways they have done it, aside from manipulating tube shapes and so forth, is actually in the carbon manufacturing process. So the way sheet of carbon are cut are so accurate, they can actually minimize wastage when the frame is layed up. So there is essentially a minimum amount of overlap needed to make the frame. What about number two then, areodynamics. Well I will forgive you, from this angle the frame doesn’t look excessively optimized for aerodynamics. Apart from perhaps the smoothing over the seat collar there and that really nice looking built in seat clamp that does look like a knod to aerodynamics. But actually when you take a look at the front of the bike, head on, which is where aerodynamics really are most important, you can see that an awfull lot of work has gone into it. The fork has been totally redesigned. And so it has borrowed a lot of technologies from Orbeas time trial bike, the Ordu. And basically, what they have done is the fork legs stay wider for longer. And that essentially minimizes the turbulence between the fork legs and the spokes and the rim. And they say it saves 4 Watts at 40 km/h. So that is a significant saving and it does mean that is is infact aero optimized. Now we still haven’t finished with the fork quiet yet It’s now also semi integrated in the frame so that’s gonna improve aerodynamics as well. And it’s also shorter, it’s 5 mm shoter than the previous. So that is gonna drop the stack on the bike as well. So for those of you who like to get long and low, that’s gonna give you that. Stiffness, well the previous Orca wass pretty darn stiff. But this one apparently in the lab tests even stiffer than that at the bottom bracket. But again, coming back to that front fork which has seen a considerable redesign that is now 26% stiffer latterly and 20% stiffer frontally. Now that might not sound like a good thing, but it is. Because one of the big factors governing how your bike handles is the stiffness at the front end. And a lot of that comes from the fork as well. So the confidence to carve through corners or the reassurence you get when you are sprinting really hard So a stiffer fork is a better fork. And what about the last one then, comfort. I haven’t got any figures to bamboozle you with, but from riding it very briefly and also from just looking at it, you can tell that quiete a bit of work has gone into that as well. Particularly the seat stays which are now pencil thin, and that is a really really important factor governing the comfort of a frame. So what else have we got then? Well the Orca is moving with the time, so clearance for tires has increased quite significantly. So you could, I would imagine, quite comfortably put 28cc tires on there. And that is what Orbea recommends as well. So I guess you could probably squeeze 30’s on, because manufacturers tend to be quite conservative. And then, one nice little upgrade which I think is particularly cool, is the fact that the reach and stack measurements across all the sizes have been aligned. So actually whereas previously they might have chopped and changed a little bit, now there is a consistency. And actually all sizes will have a proportional reach and stack. And also even the handling, so the trail of the bike has also been tweaked as well across all the sizes. So, no matter wether you ride a 48 or a 59 you will get the same feel from your bike. This being 2016 there is ofcourse a disk brake version of this bike, already mentioned that in the weight section but it’s getting really interesting to find out when or indeed if that bike is gonna to be able to be ridden in the World Tour and the pro peleton. Fingers crossed it will. Oh, and if you are wondering what is it like to ride a 6.16 kilo bike? The answer is, it’s really fast. Like, serious bonkersly fast. I’m quite excited. Anyway, that bike that is being ridden in the Tour de France, by Geoffrey Soupe that I mentioned earlier, if you wanna see the pro bike, the full version of it, you can click just up there and get through to that video. Or to see Matt actually ride first generation, the 2003 Orca, which he got to do down in Pyrenees, not so long ago, click just down there. Otherwise make sure you subsribe to GCN. To do that, just click on the globe.