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ORBEA'S NEW E-BIKE. A RESPONSE TO THE SPECIALIZED LEVO SL?

Spanish mountain biking brand Orbea is known for producing high-end mountain bikes that are real works of art. Their enduro bike, the Rallon, and trail bike, Occam, are stunning machines that offer great performance in a lightweight trail package. With their new Rise eMTB, they have done really well to create a lightweight package with what sounds like some punchy on-trail performance. And it looks beautiful!



In terms of specs, the lightest version of the bike is the M-LTD model and that will come in at 16.5kg with a 360Wh battery and Shimano's new EP8 motor (2.6Kg) which delivers up to 60Nm of torque. The frame (without shock and motor) comes in at 2 300 grams which is on the lower end of the scales for this genre of bike.



Although the battery isn't the largest, you can fit a range-extender (approx. 1.4 Kg) in the bottle cage with a capacity of 252Wh which takes the overall capacity of the bike up to 612Wh.



Because of the Rise's light weight, the range you can expect from the smaller battery capacity compared to a traditional eBike is quite closely comparable. This is about 4/5 hours on the 360Wh battery which is similar to what you could normally expect from a 540Wh battery on a heavier eBike.



The Rise M-LTD model runs on a 140mm (front and rear) Fox suspension platform which should make for a good balance of forgivingness and trail feedback. The other models of the bike are specced with a 150mm fork and Fox Grip2 damper instead of the Fit4 damper. They have clearly compromised on performance to save weight on the LTD model which may work for some but we would personally prefer the Grip2 fork.



The gearing and braking are handled by the very lightweight and sleek Shimano XTR groupset. 180mm brake rotors are possibly a bit small for this bike. Rather take the marginal weight penalty of 200mm rotors and benefit from the better performance we'd say. Race Face Next SL wheels keep with the lightweight, high-performance theme of the Rise, and wrapped around those is a set of Maxxis Reckon tires in EXO+ casing. These could be a little slippery in rough conditions but generally fast-rolling and reasonably capable.



The RS motor interface is very sleek on this bike. Advancements such as this are going to be important as eBikes progress and brands seek to differentiate themselves through the user experience of the bike. The Rise uses a very small rocker switch to switch between power modes on the handlebars and can wirelessly broadcast battery and rider information to your cycling computer or smart watch.



Geometry numbers on the Rise look to be well balanced. 445mm chainstays are on the longer side and will give a stable ride paired with the 474mm reach in size large. 66 degree head angle is not too extreme in any direction in terms of today's geometry standards while the 77 degree seat tube fits well on a trail-oriented eBike. For more geometry details, have a look below.



In terms of the ride characteristics, by the sounds of things, this bike rips! Reviewers have said the bike delivers a "sporty" ride feel. It seems to be more on the agile side when it comes to handling. The smaller battery and less powerful motor haven't revised any complaints in terms of power delivery and range. The Orbea Rise appears to be a well thought out and put together package!



More and more of these lightweight eBikes seem to be popping up and it is going to be interesting to see where the trends go in the next while. Not everyone is a fan of them becoming closer to a traditional mountain bike, saying that they should rather remain the big powerful bikes we've seen over the years. We think whatever is going to work for someone to get them on two wheels and outside, tasting some adventure, is a good thing! The evolution of the eBike concept is going to happen so we say, keep the new machines coming!


Check out the launch video below or click here to check out the bike on their website.


Let us know in the comments what you think about these kinds of bikes and how the Rise stacks up!

Cheers,

J-Dogg

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