Razor Reloaded: 2020 Orbea Occam First Look
University classes can often be a source of overthinking, as I've come to learn. My first-ever math class was where I perhaps overthought the most, despite the phrase "remember Occam's Blade" plastered all over the first lecture. Being me, I looked up what Occam's Blade meant as to not be out of the loop when someone brings it up. For those who have yet to encounter the phrase, the principle states: "If you have two equally likely solutions to a problem, choose the simplest." This didn’t help me in the class, as I overthought everything I did, often to my detriment. But applied to the new 2020 Orbea Occam trail bike, it makes perfect sense. The Occam is more focused than ever, with one simple design that manages to be better at just about everything a good trail bike needs to be when compared to its predecessor. Previous Occam bikes were confusing, with myriad build kits, wheel sizes, frames, and focuses. It made for an entertaining game of figuring out which bike was best, but the Occam was essentially two bikes under one name. This new model goes back to the drawing board, combining the long rear wheel travel of the previous Occam AM with the efficiency of the Occam TR. The end result is a 29er-only bike with 150 mm/140 mm suspension travel that goes toe-to-toe with myriad bikes, from the Cannondale Habit to the SCOTT Genius to the Santa Cruz Hightower. There are two Occam frames: an alloy frame with polished welds and a carbon frame, which feature’s the brand’s OMR carbon to bring frame weight down to 2300 grams sans-shock. This design uses a four-bar Horst link with a concentric pivot rear-end like that of the Orbea Rallon, and all said and done is said to make for a more progressive rear end, with much greater small-bump sensitivity at the sag point. There’s also a striking asymmetric stay between the shock link and down tube that strengthens the high-stress area and helps to lower suspension forces. There are myriad solutions one could take to improve suspension performance, but Orbea went with the simple choice in the name of focused suspension performance. This Occam in question is the 2020 Orbea Occam M30. It represents a ton of value for the money as an easy answer to whatever may lie ahead on the trail. There’s not a lot of flashiness here: the 140 mm Fox DPS rear shock and Fox 34 Performance are more substance than style. The new Shimano SLX/XT 12-speed drivetrain (fantastic!) and DT Swiss XM1650 wheelset (also fantastic!) blend in and straight-up work well, particularly for the pricepoint. Attention to detail is a point of strength with the Occam. You’ll find a built-in chain guide, internal cable routing, a threaded bottom bracket, and rubber frame protectors around the bottom bracket and on the chainstays. The paint is well done, with the area around the water bottle cage painted in matte black, accentuated by matte logoing and the grey gloss with just a hint of sparkle. Orbea took the broad appeal of the two previous Occam and simplified it to adhere to the Occam’s Razor principle. The new Occam is sharper than ever, and we’re all the more fortunate for the myriad trails we have around here. Prices for the Occam H30 start at just $2699, with the full carbon Occam M30 starting at $3999 and going all the way up to $7999 for the 26-pound Occam M-LTD. We finally have the Orbea Occam in stock! Contact us any time by email, or give us a call during business hours with questions.