After years of hearing that “XC is dead”, we’re seeing a bit of a resurgence in the cross-country field. It is spearheaded by an industry push toward imbuing typically-twitchy XC bikes with enduro confidence, or by actual demand from the market, there are plenty of new mountain bikes on the market that are more versatile than ever. Bikes likes the all-new 2019 Orbea Oiz OMR (say “Or-bae-a Oh-eeeth”) are part of a growing trend of efficient pedaling XC bikes that don’t need to be tiptoed down technical descents. Hardtail-like efficiency and confidence-inspiring descending are no longer mutually exclusive. We are very excited to have the first 2019 Orbea Oiz in the country in stock at our Salt Lake City shop.
We’ve championed the Orbea Rallon as one of the very best long travel 29er mountain bikes on the market today since we had our first ride. It wasn’t just looks, though that helps more than anyone cares to admit. The bike is a great value out of the box, and the suspension kinematics make for a bike that was surprisingly active for how good a climber it is, and it’s pinpoint handling at the limit continues to impress. The Oiz falls in line in every regard.
At first glance, the all-new Oiz looks pretty similar to the outgoing bike. However, there are a number of key differences, all which point toward evolution rather than revolution. The rear shock lock-out uses what Orbea calls Inside Line, a patent-pending design with Fox that has the remote cable be run in and out of the frame with no bends no external wiring. In general, cable routing through the frame is much cleaner in appearance and quieter on the trail than before. Further, new Oiz frames size medium to extra large can accommodate two water bottles – a huge plus in our book.
Connecting the new shock is a one-piece carbon yolk they’re calling Fiberlink, which weighs just 39 grams. All in, the suspension kinematics are toward a much more progressive shock tune, and it turns back down at the end of the travel to ensure all of the suspension is used. They’ve also tuned in quite a bit more anti-squat (from 101% to 114%) to ensure that the shock feels plush and active off the top without losing much (if anything) in efficiency. The Oiz is still very much part of Orbea’s XC mindset of setting up their shocks with minimal sag, but the extra progressiveness of the tune is nice to see.
In fact, Orbea has designed the bike around 100mm (XC) and 120mm (TR) suspension setups, up from the previous single 100/95mm tune previously used. Suspension kinematics and geometry remain similar between the two bikes despite the travel differences, with TR models slackening about a degree in both the head and seat angle.
The suspension platform is the same on both the XC and the TR models, with only a longer stroke shock (45mm vs 40mm) allowing the TR model to get an additional 20mm of travel. The eye-to-eye length of the shock remains the same at 190mm, which means the geometry and suspension kinematics aren’t too different between the two bikes. Head angle is still 69° at 100mm (68° in 120mm), while the seat angle (75°) has steepened to put riders in a better position in climbing. Good to see that the new Oiz receives a more modern approach to geometry, but its still not a super slack machine by any means.
A lot of small changes, to be sure. And overall, it makes the Oiz much more of an evolutionary approach than revolutionary. That said, these small changes make a huge difference in the bike’s overall live-ability. Updated cable routing makes the bike much quieter on the trail than before. Progressive suspension kinematics make the bike much plusher off the top without losing the pedaling efficiency the Oiz is known for. And, with the choice between XC and TR models, the Oiz now has two demeanors. Choose the XC models for a World Cup-ready platform ready for ruthless efficiency. If you’re riding on a myriad of trails? The TR model looks killer. Its nearly as good a climber, but has much more to give when the trail is less than perfectly-groomed.
We’re hyped to have the 2019 Orbea Oiz cross country mountain bike in stock at our Salt Lake shop, and we’re excited to eventually get on the trail to compare it back to back with other XC bikes like the Scott Spark and Spark RC, the Santa Cruz Blur, Cannondale Scalpel-Si, and BMC Fourstroke. Prices start at $4999 for the new OMR-grade carbon frame, and it will be offered side-by-side with the current-gen Oiz.
Want a piece of the latest and greatest to come from Orbea? Come by our shops sometime to check one out. Otherwise, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us call during business hours if you have any questions.