Orbea Oiz vs Oiz - How Ryan and Joseph Built Their Cross-Country Bikes
New bike day might just be the best day of the year. But as fun as a new bike day can be, sometimes it isn’t enough to choose just any bike. That was the case for Joseph and Ryan, both of whom recently built new Orbea Oiz mountain bikes.
The experience that informs my choices comes from racing cross-country bikes, tearing up the trails all over Utah, and one of our specialists at Contender. Ryan’s experience needs little introduction as one-half of Contender Bicycles’ ownership.
Here, you'll see why we both bought an Orbea Oiz, why we chose the builds they did, and how we made our bikes into their vision of the ultimate short-travel mountain bike.
Why Did I Choose an Orbea Oiz?
After a year on my Yeti ARC and over a year removed from my SCOTT Spark RC, the time had come to mix it up and go all in for the Orbea Oiz TR. Of course, I was looking for something light and responsive (after all I rode the Spark for years). In my opinion, the Oiz was the most similar bike on the market to my SCOTT yet it felt like it had a little something different. Needless to say, it was an easy decision to get the Oiz.
I also decided to go with the Oiz because I was looking for a lightweight mountain frame that I could do everything from aggressive mountain bike trails to some gravel super loops. I felt the Oiz had all versatility I wanted. Ryan also recently bought an Oiz and it was seeing his bike that convinced me to order one. Both Ryan and I have custom-painted Orbea Oiz frames as our go-to mountain bikes. Other than the frame, however, our bikes could not be more different. And is one better than the other?
Drivetrain: Ryan chose to go with the new-fangled electronic SRAM XX1 AXS rear derailleur and shifter paired with a Shimano Cassette and Chain. I, on the other hand, have gone with the old-school mechanical Shimano XTR 12-speed with the Shimano chain and cassette. Ryan has the Shimano XT alloy crankset and I have the RaceFace Next SL carbon crankset.
The biggest question asked on this is “How does Ryan’s bike shift with the combination of SRAM and Shimano?” We have tried this setup many times and the combo does not affect shift quality compared to a normal full SRAM setup. If anything, the increased ramping from the Shimano cassette and chain improve shift quality even further.
Brakes: Ryan and I run different brakes. He has the Shimano XTR two-piston brake set. This is Shimano’s highest-end and lightest weight brake that they offer for the mountain side. I am running the Shimano XT two-piston brake set which is the single step down from Ryan’s build. I personally prefer the XT brakes to the XTR, even though they are a little heavier and lower on Shimano’s lineup. I prefer the brakes because they have a lever adjustment that you can use to adjust the reach for the brake lever without having to use a tool. This allows me to tweak my bike as I ride.
Wheels: The wheels are a key difference between our two builds. Ryan has the 25mm internal width Syncros Silverton SL wheelset. This is Syncros’s highest-end carbon wheelset available on the market right now. These wheels are ultra lightweight and stiff to give the bike a responsive feeling. Ryan has set these up with a 2.6” Schwalbe Nobby Nic tire in the front and a 2.4” Maxxis Forekaster in the rear. These tires give the bike a lot of grip and make it more capable on the descents.
I have the Orbea OC XC Team wheelset with a 30mm internal width. OC might be a relatively new brand, but they do a great job with the details. The slightly larger internal width gives the tire a better profile that makes it better for descending while keeping the weight low. The wheels also use DT Swiss hubs, a reliable choice with plenty of build options. I have my wheels set up with the Maxxis Rekon Race tire in a 2.35 width. These have been my go-to tires for the past 2 years and I love the way they roll without sacrificing too much grip in the corners.
Suspension and Seatpost: The next main difference between our two builds is our forks. Ryan has gone with the Rockshox SID Ultimate without a remote lockout, and I have the Fox 34 Stepcast fork that has a three-position lockout, allowing me to lockout front and rear suspension. Ryan can only remotely lockout the rear shock. We both have the same FOX Factory I-Line rear shock, with a three-position lockout.
Ryan also has the Fox Transfer SL dropper seatpost to add a lightweight dropper post to the bike. My dropper post is the Bike Yoke Divine SL 80 post, which weighed in at only 350g with the cable included for the entire seatpost. I know weight and grams are not everything, but this setup took off over 150 grams compared to the stock setup.
Cockpit: Ryan went with the Syncros Hixon IC SL which combines the bar and stem together to provide a lightweight, strong handlebar. I have the Orbea OC cockpit with its alloy stem and a carbon handlebar. The handlebar and stem will probably be changed but right now I do not know what I want, but I am just looking for a lighter-weight stem.
Custom Paint: Was It the Right Choice?
Needless to say we both opted to use Orbea’s MyO bike custom paint option. This was an incredibly slick process that allowed me to paint the bike how I wanted without expecting a long delay. Orbea sets aside MyO products for Contender so we have the option to custom paint bikes through them without having to wait a long time to get the bike.
The customization process itself is super easy as you can just go on their website and customize the bike. It even allows you to do a few swaps for the brakes, saddle, and wheels to get an even more customized bike. The paint process overall is super easy and convenient. Both of our bikes use this customization option to get our bikes painted exactly how we wanted them.
Ryan went for a two-tone paint job with the pink main-frame color and then purple for the secondary color. He also chose to do the Orbea logo in the same purple color to give the frame a nice finished look. Ryan went with a gloss finish to give the frame that extra pop he was looking for, and don’t tell him I said this but his frame looks great.
For my paint job I also went for two-tone paint with black as my main color and maroon as the secondary color. One thing I added to it was a marble look on top of the secondary color. It gives the frame just an extra bit of contrast that makes the colors pop. Orbea offers a few options for customizing the look of the secondary color, including a gold leaf effect, which gives you another option to make the bike completely unique to you. There is also a way to add your name or anything you want under 20 characters on the seat stay of the bike.
Differences In How They Ride
Let's get down to what matters. How do they ride? Our setups are very different from a component perspective but also in regards to fit. I went with a size medium frame with a more standard cross-country cockpit which gives my bike a more aggressive race-style feeling. The short wheelbase on the medium frame provides me with a very responsive bike which was what I was looking for. The bike feels as if it is just as home on fast descents as it would in a cross-country race.
Ryan’s bike is a large frame with an enduro bar stem combination. This gives him a longer wheelbase which provides extra stability at higher speeds, and a more stable ride. This gives the bike a much more all-around trail focus on riding, making it an extremely lightweight trail bike that has the capability to ride most of the trails in the Wasatch Mountains, where lots of bikes with more suspension struggle.
When asked for three words, Ryan describes his bike as “Light, Flashy, and Fast.” These three words describe Ryan’s Oiz perfectly, as it was built to stand out in the store and on the trails. The three words I would use to describe mine is ”Cooler than Ryan’s.”
If you are someone who is interested in a great bike for all types of riding I would check out the Orbea Oiz. There are many different set-up options to go with to choose from, allowing you to customize the bike and have it dialed for your needs. Whether you get the custom paint, or just customize one of the stock colors, you cannot go wrong with the Orbea Oiz and its many configuration options. Both of our bikes ride a bit differently than the others and that is just how we like it.
Contact us if you have any questions regarding the availability of the Orbea Oiz. We would be happy to help you find your next great bike.
Words by Joseph Bonacci. Images & video by Carter Hall.