Orbea isn’t one of the big brands on the tip of the tongue when thinking of a capable long-travel 29er bike. The Basque brand has always made bikes with climbing and descending mountains (paved and unpaved) in mind, which makes sense seeing that the Pyrenees are in their backyard. The newest generation of the Orbea Rallon mountain bike seeks to reset expectations, not just of what a typically European brand has to offer to this genre of bike but to expand it’s capability.
Longer, lower, slacker! That has been the marketing battle cry that those looking for a new mountain bike have heard over and over for the past four years, and the Orbea Rallon follows the charge. What exactly does “long, low, slack” mean? Long refers to 10mm additional reach and a 30-40mm increase in wheelbase compared to the previous Rallon, which allows the rider to move around more freely on the saddle without disrupting the bike’s weight balance as much. Low refers to the bottom bracket and standover height; a lower bottom bracket height keeps weight lower to the ground. This helps the Rallon feel more planted on descents, and with the choice of Low and Lower flip chip settings, bottom bracket height (and consequently, seat tube and head tube angles) is adjustable to rider preference. Slack refers to the head tube angle; at 65-65.5 degrees and combined with lower fork rake, it is a model of reliability on descents.
Each of the three models (the M10, M-Team, and M-LTD) are built around a Fox-supplied 160mm travel fork and 150mm travel shock. The rear shock is built around an asymmetric frame, which uses a non-drive side strut to tie the frame ends together, lowering frame stress. This striking asymmetric design places the strut in a straighter position, which makes the bike stiffer with lower weight. As a result, the frame and shock are able to be built in a smaller space, lowering the top tube and allowing for a water bottle mount.
Within this category, bikes tend to fall in between aggressive trail bikes tuned with slightly more travel, or baby downhill bikes. Both have their advantages as well as disadvantages. As Operations Manager at Contender Bicycles, Chris pointed out in the video, the Rallon splits the difference between the two. It excels in steep terrain, handles all-day epics with aplomb, and even works well at the bike park. Perhaps most importantly, point it down the fastest line possible, keep your hands off the brakes and the Rallon offers a sense of stability that everyone craves in an ideal relationship. It’s a willing partner all over the place, and is equally playful when the trail (or you, the rider) calls for corners.
Most advancements in the bike world are an a slight tweak from what’s already proven. Rarely does a company start over in making their dream of the latest and greatest. Orbea has done just that with the new Orbea Rallon, a bike that pushes forward the lower, lower, slacker agenda, but maintains an excellent balance between climbing and descending. We are extremely excited to carry this newest long-travel 29er mountain bike in the shop and hope to share the excitement with you all.
Itching to get your hands on the new Orbea Rallon? Give us a call during shop hours at 801.364.0344, or send us an email anytime to email@example.com for any questions.