Orbea Rallon vs Orbea Occam LT - Which Is Best For You? Four Things to Know
The new for 2022 Orbea Rallon and 2022 Orbea Occam LT were both released recently, and upon first blush, these two mountain bikes look fairly similar. Longer travel, big brakes, 150mm to 170mm suspension travel, and a whole lot of of features optimized for steep descents. But which mountain bike is best for you? That is a tougher decision to make.
In this Orbea Rallon vs Occam LT showdown, we break down how these bikes are different in four sections: geometry, kinematics, features, and value for money. With both available at Contender Bicycles, here is exactly why you would choose one Orbea mountain bike over the other.
The Orbea Occam is loved around these parts for how it feels ‘just right’ as a trail bike. The lightest Occam models rival that of the downcountry bike genre, but additional suspension brings a whole lot more traction for steep, loose climbs. As a trail bike, the Occam is on the sporty side of trail, with a bit more pop and agility when climbing. Its four-bar layout paired to a concentric axle pivot - where the suspension pivot rotates around the rear wheel’s axle - is similar to what you’d find from other companies like Trek or Devinci. In short, you’re going to get reliable, consistent suspension performance
What is the Orbea Occam LT, then? It is a new model that builds on a change many Occam owners wanted, namely stepping up to 150mm suspension. Sure, you could do that before through Orbea’s MyO customization, but the Occam LT makes it a dedicated model number. The dedicated model also adds 150mm suspension out back - 10mm longer than Occam - through a 5mm longer shock stroke. Together, the head and seattube angles are 0.5 degrees slacker, putting its numbers right in the heart of trail bike territory. In short, the Occam LT adds greater descending capability to a bike that is already nimble feeling on the trail.
Orbea Rallon M10 in Mulberry (Orbea)
Maybe you’ve heard that the 2022 Orbea Rallon is all-new, but you’d have a hard time believing it initially considering how similar it seems to the previous bike. But the new Rallon has every bit changed to bring it in greater competition in the Enduro World Series. In regards to geometry, the Rallon gets a longer reach - about 30mm in each size - slightly more slack head angle, a considerably steeper seat angle, and longer chainstays too. But perhaps the biggest thing Orbea seems excited about is what they call their Steep ‘n’ Deep seattube. In effect, Orbea’s use of a straight seattube allows for a low standover height and use of a 200mm dropper post to be fully inserted, even on the size small frame.
Geometry comparison, size L - Occam LT vs Rallon (Orbea)
The Occam LT has a geometry that is slightly different than the standard Occam, but the Rallon has a geometry that changes slightly too depending on whether you run it as a mullet or not. Yes, the Rallon is designed to accommodate a 29” front wheel and 27.5” rear wheel if you’re about it, and to do so with only very slight changes to geometry.
Which is best for you? If you tend to ride more singletrack and value pedaling ability, the Occam LT is your answer. The bike is simply more efficient of a pedaller and a lightweight trail bike in general, so it is easier to ride up long, technical climbs. Choose the 2022 Rallon for its longer wheelbase and reach measurements that add greater descending ability at the expense of feeling a bit more cumbersome on long, winding climbs.
Matching the Rallon’s updated geometry is tweaked suspension kinematics. The new Rallon sees a slightly more progressive leverage rate to the suspension kinematic, with a few other changes that position the Rallon as better-equipped to work with a coil shock. Orbea says the new Rallon should also feel more supple with an air shock. Overall, the Rallon doubles down on descending ability, just updated to include a little less pedal feedback when descending and a bit more grip under braking.
What about the Occam LT? Well, think of it as a classic trail bike with a little bit more wiggle room for when you take a bad line. Its suspension kinematics are almost exactly the same as the Occam trail bike, just with a little bit more anti-squat at the sag point that comes naturally from fitting a slightly longer shock. In short, the Occam LT suspension design fits neatly into Orbea’s goal of making the LT a bike you can pedal all day without feeling especially weighed down.
We had the opportunity to look at the Rallon earlier this year, and we were really impressed by how the Rallon feature set just kept on coming. Perhaps the most exciting feature for us was the integrated in-frame storage that Orbea calls LOCKR. Flip a lever that sits under the water bottle cage and you’ll have a compartment that fits a tube, tire lever, and some CO2 cartridges. The less we have to carry on our backs the better, and built-in frame storage is great to see. There is also a mini-tool that is integrated into the main suspension pivot, with more tools in the rear axle. In short, you’ll likely not need to bring tools with you on your next ride as the Rallon has it already integrated.
Downtube storage, Rallon (Orbea)
Both frames offer fully internal cable routing to keep the cables from rattling, and even when they’re exposed going from the downtube to the chainstays, they go through a flexible, protective sleeve. There is also ample chainstay and bottom bracket frame protection, though the Rallon’s chainstay protector goes just a bit closer to the bottom bracket area, thus protecting a little better from chain slap.
Additionally, bikes have that characteristic asymmetric frame design, with a strut around the shock that provides extra frame stiffness. In the case of the Occam, this means you can only grab your water bottle from the left side. There is no such issue with the Rallon, though your shock’s piggyback reservoir will likely mean that left-handed water bottle pulls will be easier than with the right hand.
Shock and suspension design, Occam LT (Orbea)
The Rallon also sees the addition of a mullet wheel option (27.5” rear wheel and 29” front) that is accommodated through a flip chip in the shock linkage. The Occam LT is 29” only, for better and for worse.
Value for Money
Bike prices seem to go up every year, but you’re also getting more with that money too. Orbea is positioned like a premium brand, but the pricing here is fairly reasonable, all things considered. The Rallon starts with the Rallon M20 model, which offers a Fox X shock, Fox 38 fork, Shimano SLX drivetrain, and an array of parts from Raceface and Orbea’s house brand, OC. It is everything you need to get going and has the same OMR carbon frame as the $10,000 Rallon M-LTD. Downside? No alloy frame option.
The availability of an alloy frame has to be the biggest argument toward the Occam LT’s value for money argument. Orbea smooths the welds around the headtube and upper seattube junction of the bike, giving it the same look as the carbon frame. This is best shown through the Occam H20 LT, which gets a Fox 36 fork and Float X shock alongside a similar complement of components from Raceface and OC. Really, it’s the same bike as the Occam M30 LT, just a little heavier due to the swap to an alloy frame.
Orbea Occam M10 LT (Orbea)
Orbea has a problem on its hands: both of their mountain bikes are excellent options on the trail. Which is best for you? Well, the Occam LT is lighter, and it’s geared toward being more manageable on long climbs where the turns and hairpins melt together. The LT option will offer greater grip through rooted trails than the Occam, but it seeks to maintain the sporty, lively feel of a trail bike. The Occam was designed with all-day rides in mind, and the Occam LT follows suit, just with a bit more leeway for mistakes. Honestly, if you’re riding trail bikes currently and are curious about more suspension travel, the Occam LT might just be the bike you’re looking for.
Orbea Rallon M10 (Orbea)
But if you like looking at the bottom of the mountain, pointing your bike at it, and holding on, then the Rallon is your choice. While the Rallon climbs well for a bike with 160mm suspension, the Rallon craves shuttle laps. Its longer wheelbase means it will feel more composed on steep, fast, and technical descents as well. You’ll be rewarded with additional plushness in the suspension compared to the Occam LT. And if you want to try out mixed-wheel option, the Rallon is your only choice.