A Little More Insane Than the Rest: Zach and His 2018 Orbea Rallon
Review written by Zach Ovard about his experiences on his new 2018 Orbea Rallon M10. I'll start by letting you know that it's been a while since I've been on a bike that I disliked. I've been demoing a lot of new bikes lately and have enjoyed nearly every one. Manufacturers have honed in on great geometry and suspension design. It's my personal opinion that all bikes are insane. However, the 2018 Orbea Rallon is a little more insane than the rest. I live a mile away from Corner Canyon, so naturally, about 80% of my rides take place there. When Ryan put my order through to Orbea I had a few second thoughts while I waited for it to come in. "Will this bike be overkill?" The short answer is, NO it is not. I'm not going to give the cliche bike review that says, "An enduro bike that climbs like a goat and descends like beast". This bike is not as fast up hills as my (Cannondale) Scalpel was, but it weighs in at 31.5 pounds the way I have it built. Now, it isn't a boat anchor like some of the other bikes I've recently been on from this category, but if keeping up with your friends who are on 19 pound hardtail mountain bikes is what's important, you might look elsewhere. For my needs, i.e. 50 mile back country rides, it climbs great and is very manageable. The Rallon M10 doesn't feel dead or numb when pointed down on the same XC trails. It's lively and reactive to rider input, which is something I've found other long travel 29ers to be found wanting. I spent the first few months riding it on relatively smooth trails and had a blast. Then I took it to Southern Utah and was stupefied. There's no question that the Rallon is at home in the chunk. It's not that its not a good fit for smooth, easier trails, it just excels when the going gets rough. The Rallon had no problem holding a line down Grafton Mesa or hitting (most) the features on Nephi's twist (I walked the massive roller because I'm a wimp). I honestly can't remember the last time I had more fun than lapping these two technical descents, even though there are few tracks I would feel the need for a bigger travel bike. I hear a lot of reviews saying one of two things about bikes in the enduro or all-mountain category. One is that it hugs the ground and has great traction, the other is that its playful and "poppy". Orbea seems to have struck a balance between the two because I feel both when I ride this bike. The 44mm offset fork is a standout feature of the bike, which alters the way the bike handles (Transition uses this as well). Another standout feature is the steep 76° seat angle, which puts the rider in a comfortable position when climbing. Clearance for a water bottle, even with the Fox X2 shock, is a huge bonus. The 2018 Orbea Rallon M10 comes with a killer build and offers about as good a value as you can get on a bike these days. This is, without a question, the best bike I've ever owned or ridden. Maybe that's confirmatory bias or maybe the bike is just that good. Thanks to everyone at Contender Bicycles for being the best shop around. Even when a customer is as big of a pain as I am, they still do everything in their power to make you excited about your bike and about riding.