Catherine Pendrel Wins World Cup XC on Prototype Full Suspension Orbea – UPDATE: It’s 26″

catherine pendrel wins mont saint anne world cup xc on prototype orbea 29er full suspension mountain bike

As we were watching the women’s XC World Cup race at Mont St. Anne today, we noticed something peculiar about Canadian Catherine Pendrel’s race bike. It may have been a 29er 26, or even a 650b, but it was definitely a full suspension and it was an Orbea.

UPDATE: Just received this from Orbea USA managing director Tony Karklins: “That prototype was built with 26 inch wheels. We have some new 29 inch product launching next month and we are still analyzing 650b”

We’ve heard rumor (and even seen a prototype mule) that they’ll be launching such a bike this summer, and now it looks as though they’re wrapping up a little race testing before we see something (likely) in August. Beyond the newness of the bike, the photos we captured show the Fox/Di2 electronic remote lockout working the suspension’s settings…

catherine pendrel wins mont saint anne world cup xc on prototype orbea 29er full suspension mountain bike

The electronic compression control box is very clearly visible on the bottom of the shock. Just in front of it is the Di2 battery.

catherine pendrel wins mont saint anne world cup xc on prototype orbea 29er full suspension mountain bike

On the drive side handlebar grip you can see the narrow slide control for the electronic lockout.

catherine pendrel wins mont saint anne world cup xc on prototype orbea 29er full suspension mountain bike

This shot gives a better profile of the complete bike. The prototype we saw earlier this year led us to believe it was a slightly longer travel 29er version of the Occam, which is their 26″ light trail bike introduced last fall. That bike uses the rear axle as the pivot point, something Orbea calls Advanced Dynamics, and it worked pretty well in our test rides on the Occam. It’s hard to tell from these photos if that’s the case on this bike, or if the pivot is just above the axle like on the Rallon. This bike, despite the graphical attempts at camouflaging the frame, looks a little sleeker. Could just be that it’s a very small frame. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but at certain angles it looks like it could be a 29, others maybe something smaller like a 650b. Perhaps she is just running bigger tires than the rest of the ladies, but her wheels just look stockier than the other 29ers in the field…

More when we have it.

catherine pendrel wins mont saint anne world cup xc on prototype orbea 29er full suspension mountain bike

Comments

Sam - 06/23/12 - 10:52pm

Call me crazy, but that looks remarkably like the Scott Spark 29 (which Kabush was riding, also with the electronic lockout).

enrique - 06/23/12 - 10:58pm

that looks way more like a 26″ with high volume tires or 650b than a 29er. just sayin’…

Glummox - 06/23/12 - 11:02pm

26″

Cam - 06/23/12 - 11:07pm

Call me crazy but I actually think its a 26er.

tram - 06/23/12 - 11:36pm

Catharine Pendrel is 5’5″. That certainly does NOT look like a 29′r…particularly the bottom pic. If it was the wheels would look huge on her.

Ripnshread - 06/24/12 - 12:13am

Me too Cam. But I don’t think its a Scott. at all

Tyler (Editor) - 06/24/12 - 12:33am

Cam – yeah, depending on the photo, it does look like a 26″. We’re digging a bit, but being late on a weekend night, it’s a little tough to do some followup calls. More as we get it, and if you see something anywhere else, please throw a link in the comments.

Sam – The frame shapes, pivots and more are very similar to the Occam. Look at the bends near the headtube, the clamps for the lower shock pivot and the stays.

JP - 06/24/12 - 12:45am

In the broadcast, when you saw her near another rider on a 26′er, it sure looked like she was riding a 29′er. And those like the new version of the C29ssmax, but I guess a lot of Mavic’s 26″ rims look like that.

Glummox - 06/24/12 - 2:44am

Your subsite sucks

jimmythefish - 06/24/12 - 4:06am

Looks like they might be 650s.

Bryan - 06/24/12 - 8:03am

It’s definitely a 26″ bike.

DeeEight - 06/24/12 - 11:05am

So is Orbea licensing the DW split-pivot patent, the trek ABP patent, or just trying to claim they hit on an axle-centric pivot independantly at the same time as others ?

Johnson - 06/24/12 - 5:40pm

definitely a 26″. You won’t catch Catharine on anything else.

Jones - 06/25/12 - 6:13am

Looks like a 26″ with big Icon tyres and a single pivot very close to the rear axel. Rear brake on the chain stay. Pretty good picture here: http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/uci-world-cup-xco-5-dhi-4-2012/elite-women-cross-country/photos/228143

Grinder - 06/25/12 - 7:08pm

Regardless of wheel size, it looked like Catherine made the right choice wtih a full suspension bike. There were some pretty technical rocky and rooty sections on the course. Despite a slow start she came from behind to take the lead in the second last lap. At the end she looked much stronger and fresher than any of the other racers, – pretty sure the rest of the top ten were on hardtails.

olll - 07/04/12 - 11:03am

I saw the bike in person at MSA world cup, and the wheels are 26 inches

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