When the original Orbea Alma 29er debuted at Sea Otter in 2006, it was the first production monocoque carbon 29er anywhere.Â Some four years later, they’ve completely redesigned the frame, and it’s gorgeous. This time, the new bike is making its world debut at the Mellow Johnny’s Classic this Memorial Day weekend.
Billed as a 2011 model, the new Orbea Alma 29 takes a lot of the carbon frame technology from their similarly shaped Alma 26″ hardtail, like the Size Specific Nerve (SSN), which means each frame size has a different carbon layup and structure based on the different rider weights and strengths likely to be on various sizes.
They worked with Gore to develop DCR Cable Routing, part of which is the sexy machined cable guides you see on the headtube in the photo above.
Performance-wise, the new frame uses a BB30 bottom bracket, tapered headtube, shortened chainstays and a curved seat tube.Â All that, and they dropped 150 to 200g from the original frame (depending on size).
Make the jump for full specs, builds and pricing…plus closeup and full bike photos…
Click on any pic to enlarge to Giant size.Â The 2011 Orbea Alma 29er will be available in three sizes and two paint scheme, white and black, as shown here.Â Additionally, there are four build kits.Â Specs and geometries are at bottom of this post.
No word on a single-speed version at the moment.Â Note the alloy cable guides on the seatstay (above) and top tube (below).
Even the seat collar is fast!
Xavier, Orbea’s product designer, explained the design: Notice how the chainstay lines up below the axle and the seatstay lines up over the axle…if you drew a line along them, they would intersect behind the axle. Then notice the bend in the top tube.Â These changes serve more than just cosmetic purposes. It allows for larger separation between the chainstay and seatstay, which creates a laterally stiffer bike and, because it creates a slacker seatstay angle, it provides a more comfortable ride.Â On the front end, the design actually contributes to front end stiffness as well.
The downtube has a ridged shape on the bottom, curving inward in the middle, that comes down to almost the full width of the BB30 bottom bracket shell.Â Massively tall chainstays, the extremely fat downtube and tapered headtube should make for a very, very stiff bike.
Four complete bikes will be offered, specs above.Â Orbea has not released pricing on the complete bikes since they’re still waiting on final pricing and availability of 2011 components, but a frame-only option will have an MSRP of $1,799 and should hit dealers mid-July.Â 200 units are in production now.