The Orbea Orca has been around for ten years, and this new version is the 6th iteration. The Orca was their first full carbon bike, named for ORbea CArbon, and it’s won some pretty good races, including the 2008 Olympics. This year also the 20th anniversary of their sponsorship of the Euskaltel-Euskadi team, and they’ll be debuting the bike at the Tour de France right about now.
Like the recently introduced Avant, they focused on stack and reach to improve the fit, particularly for smaller riders. The prior version didn’t have a very linear S&R curve, but this one’s is just about straight. It also has two different fork rakes depending on frame size, and the seat angle is now very consistent across the entire size range.
As trends dictate, they had to look at aerodynamics. When they were testing the new Ordu triathlon bike, they borrowed some of the testing time and data to develop the new frame and fork. The fork itself reduces drag by about 10g at common yaw angles. It’s rather petite, too, which came about thanks to the aero goals. They wanted it as narrow as possible, so it’s right at the UCI limit of 1cm thick, which means it can only be 3cm deep to meet the 3:1 rule. The layup and build was beefed up a bit to make the skinny legs perform up to Pro Tour standards.
All cables/wires now run internally, which clean up the air flow a bit, as well as the aesthetics.
Fork legs are very thin with deep dropouts.
The frame also gets stiffer and lighter. They went to PFBB86 to make it easier to work with any brand crankset. While the Avant gets Shimano’s internal seatpost battery, the custom shape of the Orca’s seatpost means Di2 models still need the external battery.
Lastly, it gets more comfortable. The twisted, bent and shaped seatstays aren’t just for looks. They help diffuse bumps and vibrations to keep the rider comfortable, particularly important since the frame uses a stiffer, shaped seatpost rather than a round 27.2.
That’s the Basque flag on the monostay.
They’ll offer two levels of frame, Race and Performance. The Race is the top level and will initially only come in team colors as a stock option. It’s stiffer and about 100g lighter than the Performance frames, coming in around 950g. There’s only one complete build shown for the Race bike, but you’ll be able to upgrade any model to the Race frame for a $500 upcharge…just order the frame and build configuration you want through your local dealer or on Orbea.com (fulfilled through a local dealer).