Ever since its introduction to the world of triathlons and time trials, the Orbea Ordu has been a popular fixture out on the course. Years later, with a lot of manufacturers already having made the leap to fully integrated aero designs, Orbea has shown their hand with the all new Ordu. Even better, Orbea has stepped up to the plate with a model of the new bike equipped with Shimano’s all new Ultegra Di2 TT group which brings electronic TT shifting down to a new price level and even includes some upgrades over the current Dura Ace Di2 TT.
When it came time to redesign the Ordu, Orbea had three specific areas for improvement- fit and ergonomics, aerodynamics, and ride quality. The finished product speaks for itself, but it does leave a few interesting questions – like “why use a standard front brake?”
Get the answer to that and everything else to know about the new Ordu after the break!
Upon seeing the bike in pictures, it seems everyone’s first question for us is why use a traditional front brake when everyone else is going integrated? After all, integrated brakes look really trick and do have some aero benefit over a standard caliper, but Orbea determined after extensive wind tunnel testing that the benefit was not great enough to justify the increased complexity of proprietary integrated brakes. Ask most mechanics who have set up more than one TT bike with the hidden brakes and they’re sure to tell you it is not an easy task – and that’s coming from the bike shop. Many consumers have training/racing wheelsets that can have different width rims, which means it’s better in the long run for easy brake adjustments.
On top of that, running a standard brake caliper allows for the consumer to make a much easier and less expensive switch between the included 4:1 fork and the optional 3:1 UCI compliant fork to keep things legal for sanctioned TTs. Obviously, Orbea’s pro teams will be running the 3:1 model which simply has narrower legs with a more aggressive taper towards the front axle. The fork is the only part on the stock Ordu that is not UCI legal.
However, more interesting than the lack of an integrated front brake was the amount of time Orbea has devoted to testing disc brakes in the wind tunnel. Yes, disc brakes. One of the more intriguing findings of these wind tunnel sessions was that with just a disc rotor installed (no caliper), it actually decreased drag at a yaw angle of 10 degrees. Unfortunately, the state of design for disc calipers throws any current aero benefit out the window, but Orbea is thinking that when more aerodynamic calipers are introduced that discs could be the future.
Regardless, the new front of the Ordu has definitely received the aero treatment with an all new integrated structural nose cone that turns with the fork to improve frontal aerodynamics. The fork turns on a standard straight 1 1/8th steerer that sits directly behind the nose cone. While these bikes lacked any kind of steerer stop to keep the nose cone from damaging the frames carbon if the fork is turned too far, Obea says the are working on a solution for the final bikes. Underneath all the aero garb is essentially a standard headset configuration with a compression cap that is hidden under the cable guide. All said and done, all of the aerodynamic refinements to the Ordu resulted in a total drag reduction of 11% compared to the previous model with tests run at various yaw angles at 30 mph. With the greatest improvement at 10 degrees yaw, Orbea claims the new bike can save a rider up to 30 watts which could add up to real time out on the course.
While the front of the bike can run any road brake you please, out back it’s a little different story. On the back of the Ordu, a semi-integrated brake did make a big difference, but more so due to frame design aerodynamics than the brake itself. Relocating the rear brake caliper to the new position of the TRP TTV on the chainstays, meant Orbea’s composites engineers were able to bring the whole seat stay/seat tube junction lower and closer to the center of the bike to increase aerodynamics. In addition, moving the brake allowed engineers more freedom to massage as much comfort as possible out of stays, which include the use of Orbea’s Attraction damping design also found on the Orca. This, in conjunction with Orbea’s top of the line Gold Carbon fiber results in what Orbea claims as the best ride quality of any Ordu yet – something pretty important when you’re riding 112 miles between a big swim and a marathon. In order to make the TRP TTV even more aerodynamic, the Ordu will feature a fairing cap that will protect the brake from the wind, and protect the cabling from the elements. As all of the bikes shown are near-production samples, not everything is final spec. The red Ordu shown above was the only bike with a brake shroud and it is only a rapid prototype part for demonstration. The actual parts will be here soon, and will have a much more polished look.
On that note, cable management as a whole was a high priority for the team at Orbea. Everyone who has worked on a tri bike has likely struggled with fishing kinked cables through impossible agles, or cable guides filled with energy product residue that closely resembles pine tar, so a system that is easy to install, and keep functioning is of utmost importance. The super clean aero cable set up is accomplished with one of two cable guide caps that bolt above the headtube. Every bike will ship with both guides, with one for electronic drivetrains with 2 slots, and one for mechanical drive trains with 3 slots. Each slot is laser engraved with the proper wire or cable, so there is no chance of mixing things up. Once the cables enter the frame, they travel down through the headtube into the downtube and exit through the large opening just in front of the Pressfit 86 bottom bracket. From there the cables are routed into a guide, and then to their final destinations. The front derailleur cable channel through the carbon features a stainless steel insert to keep things running smoothly over time. Finally, Gore cables are also employed to keep things running smoothly regardless of how many Gatorades you spill on your bike leg.
Thanks to the new E-tube equipped Ultegra Di2 SW-R671 TT extension shifters, Di2 wiring is cleaner than ever. With a junction box hidden inside one of the extensions, wires are kept to a minimum and then enter into the frame through the cable guide cap. The battery indicator is neatly ziptied to the aerobar extension, and the battery mounts to the non drive chainstay. We’ll have another post soon specifically on the upgrades to various Di2 bits, but there are a lot of exciting improvements coming like increased ability to program shifters and update firmware, the ability to charge the battery without removing it from the frame (Shimano said they will have a seatpost battery soon), and more.
With the cable guide cap removed you can see the headset compression bolt as well as the tunnel through the frame for the cables under the cap.
One of the biggest challenges Orbea faced with the new Ordu was increasing the range of fit that the bike could accommodate but without making things overly complicated and a drawn out process to change. Drawing inspiration from the Monolink seatpost design (also found on the bike), the Monolink stem allows for an extreme range of adjustment with just two allen wrenches. The stem itself is comprised of two plates that are joined at the front with a one piece cap, somewhat similar to many DH direct mount stems. All new Ordus will ship with four separate stem lengths with a 75, 90, 100, and 110mm version that all accept a standard 31.8mm base bar. The Monolink system is incredibly easy to adjust, and should save a good amount of time for anyone when fitting the bike.
The Ordu is still available in only 4 sizes, the smallest of which is built with 650c wheels, but the sizes have been tweaked to fit even more riders.
As mentioned, the Ordu will ship with a Monolink saddle rail seat post, but it will also include adapters to run a standard dual rail seat if you prefer. The Monolink design though, thanks to its additional fore/aft adjustment compared to that of a traditional saddle, allows the Ordu to reach a total effective seat post angle of 76-80 degrees with its actual 78 degree seat tube. This is slightly less than the previous Ordu’s 74/76 and 78/80 degree setups, but it is accomplished with only one seat post. While the seatpost will have a few centimeters of adjustment, the post will have to be cut for most riders. It should also be noted that the seat post clamp is affixed through a Torx bolt, not an Allen bolt.
For 2013 the new Ordu will be available this October in 5 base models with an Ultegra mechanical, Ultegra Di2, Sram Red, and Dura Ace 9000 Di2 and mechanical model (when DA 9000 & 9071 are available) with prices starting at $4,499 and up. There will also be a frame only option, that will include the seat post with adapter, both cable caps, headset, and the rear brake for $3,499. The new Ordu will also be available for custom builds through Orbea’s My O custom program. We keep referring to it as the new Ordu, due to the fact that two of the old Ordu models made from Orbea’s Silver level carbon will be carried through to 2013 at lower price points.