Gravel bikes may be the latest trend in cycling but do they make sense along the Wasatch Front where true gravel rides are far and few between? The answer is yes. After taking out Orbea’s highly anticipated Terra on a ride that combined trail, dirt and gravel all within a short radius of Bonneville Shoreline and Emigration Canyon, I am sold.
We carry a number of great gravel bike options at the shop but the Orbea Terra piqued my interest. Yes, I have been a fan of the brand for a long time but this model in particular excites me. Orbea nailed the aesthetics of the frame which always is a plus. Additionally, the weight of the Terra frame and fork comes in lighter than most of the other gravel framesets. But ultimately it all boils down to ride quality. After taking out a demo bike for a solid ride, we are ready to add the Terra to the Littlefield quiver.
First, the geometry worked. More relaxed than my road bike but more aggressive than my mountain biked combined into a comfortable position for me to do a little bit of everything. Second, the bike handled solidly. The front end was nimble climbing and I was able to descend with confidence. Third, I was comfortable. Sure some of this is from geometry but it is also due to Orbea’s engineering of the carbon layup and molding of the frame. No I wasn’t as fast on a road descent and I wasn’t as quick through the switchbacks on the trail but who cares! When I can combine both into one ride, I’m happy. The only downside I found to the Terra was that the top tube was pretty beefy. Yes, there was a little bit of thigh rub. But hey, I guess that is a motivator for me to get out on the Terra even more.