All New Orbea Orca Road Bike Unveiled for Team Euskaltel-Euskadi (And You)

2014 Orbea Orca Euskaltel-Euskadi pro team edition road bike

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.

2014 Orbea Orca Euskaltel-Euskadi pro team edition road bike

All cables/wires now run internally, which clean up the air flow a bit, as well as the aesthetics.

2014 Orbea Orca Euskaltel-Euskadi pro team edition road bike

Fork legs are very thin with deep dropouts.

2014 Orbea Orca Euskaltel-Euskadi pro team edition road bike

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.

2014 Orbea Orca Euskaltel-Euskadi pro team edition road bike

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.

2014 Orbea Orca Euskaltel-Euskadi pro team edition road bike

2014 Orbea Orca Euskaltel-Euskadi pro team edition road bike

 

That’s the Basque flag on the monostay.

2014-Orbea-Orca-road-bike-models01

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).

Comments

D2 - 06/28/13 - 9:21am

I rode this bike at press camp. I was never a fan of Orbea before, but this bike rides like a champ. They really nailed it with this iteration.

Pancakes - 06/28/13 - 1:30pm

No more Monolink post?

velorider - 06/28/13 - 1:59pm

I’ve never ridden their bikes and as such have no opinion on them, but I have to say I see NONE in the amateur peloton. On social rides I see an occasional 25-30 year old steel or aluminum rig under a dude with a grey beard and wool jersey, but that’s it. Do they not have a good distribution system in the US? There are much smaller brands that I see more often (Storck, for one: baffling as they are just a China mold with this strangely boutique reputation) and yet Orbea is nowhere to be found.

Maybe someplace in the US they are popular and/or more available.

John - 06/28/13 - 2:22pm

Orbeas make great bikes, my opal was the ultimate crit bike and my orca had a great mix of flex and stiffness, great climbing bike.

Orbea does suck at distribution but pricing is competitive

Christophe - 06/28/13 - 8:25pm

Orbea is a great bike with long history and much tradition, like Colnago or Wilier. It is a choice of the heart. My local shop in MI carries the brand, so no concerns for me. It is a big company in Europe, they may not target that much the american high end market as some enthousiasts might like.

Holden Flabcock - 06/29/13 - 3:11am

Orbea have had to produce a new Orca because the previous model relies on the Gore RideOn cable system, that Gore don’t make anymore. Anyone with a 2011~2013 Orca are buying all the Gore systems they can find. What are Orbea doing to help existing customers? Nothing. I’ve been very happy with my Orca but it’s the last one I will ever buy.

mike - 06/29/13 - 3:19am

Felt make the aero frame some years ago….

Kenneth Stolten - 06/29/13 - 5:52am

Holden – SRAM has taken over the production of the Gore cables, so they’re still available.

sandro - 06/29/13 - 1:02pm

Horrible!!!!! I preference old paint Orange

LesB - 07/08/13 - 1:53pm

Here in SoCal I hadn’t seen any Orbeas at all until a few years ago. Now I do see them occasionally. Never rode one tho.

Hackman - 09/05/13 - 9:14am

Have to say that it would take a lot to get me to ride anything else other than Orbea. Am on my third Orca now in eight years and even though in that time I have ridden maybe hundreds of bikes (my job as an equipment reviewer for a sports publication makes it necessary to try loads of different bikes). I have many favourites for climbing, descending, or sprinting, comfort or handling, but when I go for a ride or enter a race, it is my Orca that I go for every time. The silver frame with Di2 and Dura Ace C35 wheels is my current configuration and it is an exceptionally comfortable ride with stunning acceleration and rail-like cornering. Apart from a minor cable rattle (internal brake cable – have found a simple fix for it) the bike has been flawless. I have over 3000km on this one and the worst thing that has happened was one puncture. I just received an Occam 29er MTB recently and have fallen in love with that too! They need to step up the marketing and distribution to really contest with the better known brands, but in terms of quality and clever technology, they’re all over it!

Peterman - 12/04/13 - 9:49pm

Great looking bike. I have a 2004 Team Maia edition frame. I know it is isn’t in the same category as any year of Team Euskatel, but does anyone know anything about it? How many made? I am considering selling it but don’t want to sell something that could be a collector’s item down the road.

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