First Look: the 35-pound Orbea Rise eMTB

Written by Contender Bicycles, on March 03, 2021

Every year the bicycle world seems to come up with the next big thing. Hyperbole rules each of these new product launches. At Contender Bicycles, we are confident that the Orbea’s Rise full suspension eMTB will truly be a game-changer.

First, the days of 50 pound plus eMTB will now be officially numbered. The first thing we noticed on Orbea’s Rise is that it is light. The flagship model, the Rise M-LTD, checks in at 35 pounds which is only a couple of full water bottles heavier than most full suspension bikes we see out on the trails these days. Influenced by the Orbea Occam’s suspension design, the Rise has the newest Shimano EP8-RS motor combined with Fox suspension (150mm front / 140mm rear travel) to deliver a bike that not only looks deceivingly like the Occam but also has the same playful-yet stable ride characteristics. While being extremely light is clearly the stand-out attribute, there is a whole lot more behind this bike.

Orbea approached the Rise from a few unique perspectives. To make an e-mountain bike that rides like a modern trail bike, there is very little room for compromise that usually comes in the form of added weight and alterations to the geometry. In addition, it’s arguable that most mountain bikes with electric assist are unrefined. Frequently a 50 pound plus weight makes for sluggish handling on most terrain, while the drive unit offers up too much power at low speeds to compensate, making an eMTB feel more like a blunt tool. And while there are undeniably e-mountain bikes that are still super fun to ride, many leave you wanting for a bit more agility and precision.

The Rise changes up the formula and delivers on making not just a great eMTB, but an all-around great bike. How did Orbea pull it off?

Several years in the making, the Rise was destined not to be just another eMTB. Through a proprietary modular battery system combined with unique programming of Shimano’s new, lighter EP8 motor, the Rise can rely on smaller-than-average batteries and subsequently be much lighter while offering plenty of assist. Orbea calls it the Rider Synergy (RS) Concept. The philosophy is to fine-tune the motor’s output in response to the rider’s needs or more specifically in response to a more experienced rider’s needs. The Rise is less likely to waste power by lurching forward or surging at low speeds. Unlike the other well-known lightweight eMTB, the Rise can match any of the Bosch or Shimano bikes going “full-gas” uphill.

Orbea utilizes a 360wh battery on every model of Rise. Through the proprietary coding and the bike’s lighter weight, the battery is expected to perform similar to a 500wh battery. The fully integrated battery resides in a standard-sized downtube and can be combined with a 250wh extender for the monster rides. Orbea claims that the Rise can range up to eight hours and 4,000 meters of climbing in eco mode. Range should never be a problem.

Orbea keeps the aesthetics simple. In addition to a hardly noticeable motor and a battery that hides in a svelte (for an ebike) downtube, the Rise doesn’t clutter up the frame or handlebars with gadgets or displays other than a simple remote on the left side of the handlebar to change the assist levels. Bluetooth connectivity to Garmin computers and watches allows for customizable data display.

Speaking of aesthetics, the Orbea Rise is gorgeous. Based on the Occam and Rallon frames, the Rise is a pure trail bike. Built on an Orbea Monocoque Race carbon frame, the Rise delivers a solid mountain bike look and feel. With a 150mm travel fork and 140mm shock, the bike can tackle tougher trails while still delivering a speedy cross country experience with the 29-inch wheels. While each model in the Rise family shares the same carbon frame and swingarm, depending on the model the groupsets range from Shimano XTR to Shimano SLX.

The Orbea Rise comes in four models. The top-spec Rise M-LTD is for the rider who demands and expects nothing less than the very best - and comes with a $10,500 price tag indicative of such standards. While pricey, it’s significantly lower than the other high-end, lightweight eMTBs and delivers ride feel unmatched by most every other eMTB out there. The entry point to the range is the Rise M20 at $6,999 that still weighs in at just under 40 pounds and retains a reliable build kit. Pictured is the Rise M10, with a Shimano XT drivetrain and Fox Factory 36 suspension, which might just be the sweet spot of the Rise lineup.

Few bikes have sparked as much excitement among the Contender Bicycles staff or garnered as many calls from customers asking about availability quite like the Orbea Rise. We’re stoked to have them in the shop and see them continue to arrive. Look for a more in-depth Orbea Rise review and a deeper dig into the technical and ride characteristics of the bike soon.

If you have any questions about the all-new Orbea Rise electric mountain bike, don't hesitate to give us a call at 801-364-0344 or email us anytime at


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