Now, they’ve finally sent us big, beautiful photos and it’s impressive.Ã‚Â Not only is it far better looking than the original design, but it’s coming to North America for the first time.Ã‚Â Originally, Orbea only planned to release 100 of the 500 Rallons planned for production in 2010 into the U.S., but Orbea USA sales manager Ronnie Points says they can likely coax them to release 150 or so if the demand is there.Ã‚Â Based on the specs and price points, I’d say there’ll be demand.
Designed around 150mm rear wheel travel, the Rallon will come in three trim levels with front suspension ranging from 150mm to 160mm via various Fox forks. Ã‚Â The frame works with traditional and Hammerschmidt cranksets and prices range from $3,159 to $5,469.
Step behind the curtain for full specs and lots of photos…
Orbea’s goals with the new Rallon seemed to be a contradiction of terms: lightweight and raceworthy combined with freeride, all-mountain durability and versatility.Ã‚Â Weights for the various models range from 12.5kg (27.56 lbs) to 13.5kg (29.76 lbs), which are just on the lighter side for bikes of this category and right in between full-on freeride/DH bikes and XC bikes.Ã‚Â The top-end Rallon 10 comes with a Crank Brothers Joplin lever activated adjustable seatpost.Ã‚Â If you don’t use it for what it’s worth, swapping it for a Thomson or similar would shave 2/3 lb (300g) off the bike’s weight with no loss of durability. (Update: U.S. bikes will ship with Joplin with remote, which weighs 594g…the cable guides on the top tube are for the handlebar mounted remote.)
The Rallon’s frame is hydroformed Tricone aluminum.Ã‚Â Other than the seat tube, each tube is heavily shaped to increase strength and stiffness while managing its weight.
The Lambda Link suspension was designed using Orbea’s Advanced Dynamics to take into consideration all of the forces acting on a suspension.Ã‚Â The results, they claim, provide very active small bump sensitivity that progresses to a very linear mid-stroke platform for predictable performance.Ã‚Â At the end of the stroke, the design firms up while still allowing for full movement through the shock’s stroke. Here’s the chart:
This chart shows that the leverage ratio is regressive during the first 40mm of travel, meaning it’s actually getting softer throughout that movement.Ã‚Â What that translates to is a more spring-like feel during the initial movement, which is what soaks up the small stuff quickly and easily.Ã‚Â During the mid-stroke, it ramps up like most air shocks to provide a progressively stiffer suspension.Ã‚Â What sets the Rallon apart is that at the end of the stroke, it regresses again to soften the blow if you’re moving through the whole 150mm of rear wheel travel (whereas most bikes only end up using about 135 to 140mm of wheel travel because the air shocks ramp up too much).Ã‚Â It does this by changing the leverage ratio at the end of the stroke, essentially letting the frame muscle its way through the last bit of stroke.
The new linkage design is much shorter and more stout than the previous model.Ã‚Â The Rallon comes with custom-tuned Fox RP23 shock with Boost Valve.
On the downtube, Orbea created a “cable highway” with custom alloy cable guides to keep everything inline.Ã‚Â Their design allows for either standard derailleurs or HammerSchmidt, which comes standard on their top-of-the-line Rallon 10.
The shaped, tapered headtube uses an inset headset to handle the 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″ steerer tube.Ã‚Â Head angle is 68Ã‚Âº with a 150mm fork and 67Ã‚Âº with a 160mm fork.Ã‚Â These slack measurements highlight the bike’s downhill, speed-oriented intentions.Ã‚Â The seat angle is 73Ã‚Âº, which Orbea says puts the rider’s weight centered over the bike.
Chainstay length is a fairly standard 16.73″ (425mm)…standard for cross country bikes, and on the shorter side for such a long travel mountain bike.Ã‚Â This keeps the wheelbase shorter and should give the Rallon tight handling.Ã‚Â Dropouts are replaceable, and all pivots and links use sealed bearings.
Above is U.S. spec.Ã‚Â European spec is slightly different, and in our opinion, not quite as good on the 30 and 50.Ã‚Â The main changes are a SLX group (versus XT) on the 30 and Deore (versus SLX) on the 50.Ã‚Â The frame comes with a lifetime warranty.
The Rallon should hit our shores in April, talk to your Orbea dealer and have them order you one if you want it.Ã‚Â Orbea also has a demo program that lets you borrow a bike equipped with a GoPro camera.Ã‚Â Test ride it, then upload your demo video and review to their Facebook page.
For more info and to find a demo dealer near you, check out the dedicated mini-site for the Rallon here.