Beautiful Bicycle - A Pared-Down Orbea Alma OMX
The average mountain bike has become a whole lot more capable over the years. A traditional cross country mountain bike is effortlessly capable. They grip better on more technical climbs, with geometry that lets you ride as fast as you'll allow it. The downside? The flowly, low-stakes singletrack we love can sometimes feel boring. Enter the humble hardtail, reminding us all just how much you can do with a whole lot less.
The custom build in question here is based around the Orbea Alma. Specifically, this build is based around an Alma OMX frame. This custom painted bike was done outside of the traditional MyO paint program with a satin finish and just a hint of blue and white.
If you're an avid mountain bike rider, chances are that you've noticed how much more capable bikes have become. Some find that the slower, smoother trails that are often boring on a trail bike are a bit too much on something like a gravel bike. That's where a hardtail bike comes in: lightweight, easy to maneuver, and with a just-right amount of suspension, a hardtail feels more tactile and responsive. And importantly, all of those extra vibrations from a lack of rear suspension adds to the sensation of speed. If your local trails feel tame, a hardtail mountain bike might be your answer.
The other advantage of a hardtail mountain bike? Low weight. The Orbea Alma OMX frame in a size M weighs in at a quoted 830g. That's lighter than most gravel bike frames, much less lighter than almost any other hardtail MTB frame. This specific build goes even deeper, using a Syncros Silverton SL wheelset that weighs just 1250g. Further, the Syncros Fraser iC SL SE integrated bar and stem weigh just 225g. While we were not able to get the build on the scale before it left our shop, we estimate the build to weigh in at 8.5 kg or 18.8 lbs.
Custom paint is the name of the game here. While Orbea offers a custom-paint program called MyO, this frame started with a stock paint scheme. It was then stripped and reimagined to create this. We love the diamond detailing that transitions between blue and black which adds just a bit of crispness to what is an otherwise back-to-basics paint scheme.
Is a hardtail mountain bike the right choice for you? It depends. Lighter and less complicated than full-suspension mountain bikes, a hardtail mountain bike like the Alma OMX is an easy way to make boring trails far more exciting. While not as obviously capable as a full-suspension bike, it does make the trail a whole lot more exciting, regardless of where you ride.
|Frameset||Orbea Alma OMX - Size M|
|Fork||Fox 32 Stepcast Factory - 100mm suspension - FIT4 Remote|
|Drivetrain||SRAM XX1 AXS shifter, XX1 AXS derailleur|
|Crankset||SRAM XX1 170mm - Quarq DZero XX1 PM|
|Gearing||SRAM Eagle 32t chainring, SRAM XG1299 10-52t Copper|
|Chain||SRAM PC-XX1 Eagle - Copper|
|Wheelset||Syncros Silverton SL 30mm, DT Swiss EXP internals|
|Tires||Maxxis Ardent 29 x 2.40", EXO TR|
|Brakes||Shimano XTR M9000 Race calipers, XTR brake levers, SRAM Centerline X 180mm F/R rotors|
|Handlebar||Syncros Fraser iC SL Special Edition|
|Saddle||Selle Italia Boost Superflow Kit Carbonio - L3 (145mm) width|
|Seatpost||Easton EC90 SL - 27.2mm, 0mm offset|
|Accessories||Deity Knuckleduster Grips - Blue|
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Words by Alvin Holbrook. Images by Carter Hall.