No, this isn’t a new aero road bike from Orbea, it’s an update of its Orca, which it’s claiming is now lighter, and more comfortable with improved aerodynamics. And thanks to the MyO function on Orbea’s website, you can also improve its looks and performance by choosing from a variety of part sizes to better suit your needs – such as stem length – as well as create a custom paint job. It’s an impressively in-depth service that can help you create your ideal bike.
On the road, the new Orca feels like a bike built for aggressive riding. It’s particularly impressive on the descents, where it’s incredibly agile through the bends, being quick to turn but secure. Comfort is also good.
Although its front end doesn’t quite match that offered by the other bikes on test you certainly wouldn’t describe it as uncomfortable in anyway. If you wanted to improve it, however, then swapping to a thicker bar tape or changing from the reasonably narrow diameter handlebars would likely help a great deal.
One big plus for us was that the bike comes as standard with both tubeless-ready wheels and tubeless-ready tires – something which is not as common in the industry as it might be. Just add valves and sealant, neither of which are expensive, and the benefits of a tubeless set-up with improved comfort and lower risk of punctures is, for us, a no-brainer.
The Ultegra Di2 groupset, meanwhile, performs well and despite SRAM AXS being the new kid on the block, it still has its advantages, namely faster shifting, all while being smooth, reliable and offering a very long battery life. Gearing is also customizable via the MyO service, and our test bike came fitted with compact 50/34 chainset and 11-28 cassette – a set-up which will suit most riders.
TheVision wheels look the part with a 40mm depth and stealth finish but can’t quite match the performance of the others on test, weighing in at 500g more and being a little more susceptible to crosswinds. As an aero wheelset, however, we’d be fibbing if we told you they did anything other than a great job.
Neat internal cable routing – Tucked inside the stem and headset equals a cleaner look.
Tubeless-ready – More comfort and less punctures!
MyO custom design – Offers endless options to change component sizes and paintjobs.
Not so good
Computer mount – Broke quickly. Just not up to the job.
Heavier wheels – Less snappy when accelerating and more susceptible to crosswinds.
Comfort – Smaller diameter bars and relatively thin bar tape were a drawback.
Considering the new Orca is designed as an all-rounder, it still retains plenty of aero credentials. It can’t quite mate h the others on test for weight, but still offers an impressive performance that puts it well inside superbike territory. An extremely well-designed machine.
Size: 53 cm/7.8 1kg
Frame: Orbea Orca OMX
Fork: Full carbon
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8050
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra R8070
Chainset: Shimano Ultegra R8000,50/34
Cassette: Shimano Ultegra R8000,11-28
Bars/stem: Orbea0C2 Road Carbon/ Orbea ICR
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Boost Superflow
Wheels: Vision40SC Carbon, tubeless-ready
Tires: Hutchinson Fusion 5 all-season TLR, 700x25c