2015 Orbea Orca race road bike

The Orbea Orca was introduced in 2003 and has seen updates in 2006, 2008, 2010 and, now, 2014. Goals for the latest iteration were weight reduction, improved efficiency, better torsional stiffness and slippier aerodynamics.

The first one was accomplished in great fashion – they achieved a massive 20% frame weight reduction on the Orca OMR Race level frames.

To do that they went back to a standard round seatpost with traditional collar. The frame construction uses refined EPS molds inside the tubes that improve compaction, letting them use less material and resin without hurting strength and durability. They also minimized the number and size of alloy inserts. The new frame is 900g, down from 1132g. That’s about a half pound savings on a 53 frame size!

For the OMP Performance level frames, weights went from 1,230g to 1050g, a 15% savings.

That’s all well and good, right? But there are 700g frames on the market, right? Well, they bought a lot of competitor bikes, stripped them down and measured actual frame weights and found that 53cm frames were almost all over 900g. Even the ones that claim to be sub 800g…

2015 Orbea Orca race road bike

But weight’s only part of the story. The new Orca Race is 24% stiffer thanks to a bigger downtube, wider BB shell and massive chainstays. The Performance frames are 18% stiffer than prior models.

2015 Orbea Orca race road bike 2015 Orbea Orca race road bike

2015 Orbea Orca race road bike

One of the claimed features is power meter compatibility. Virtually every frame is, really, but the Orca adds magnet slots for a few of the more popular models to make it a little sleeker.

Comfort (aka Efficiency) is bumped up by 62%. That’s a bit of a fuzzy metric, but here’s how they did it: The entire top half of the bike (top tube, seatstays and seat tube) are made to flex together to allow the saddle to move up and down in response to bumps. The design and flex is borrowed from their Alma mountain bike hardtail. There’s a 2.8mm improvement in deflection at the saddle (up from 4.5mm to 7.33mm) in the new model.

That comfort improvement also makes the bike more efficient. By taking up the bumps and vibrations, the rider’s power output is better used for forward motion, particularly over rougher surfaces, and they’re less fatigued.

2015 Orbea Orca race road bike

Aerodynamics were enhanced with a new fork, similar to what’s on the Avant, giving the more important leading edge a better face. That was the only intentional change in reducing drag, and they say it gave the entire bike a lower drag number in the wind tunnel.

2015 Orbea Orca race road bike

2015 Orbea Orca race road bike 2015 Orbea Orca race road bike

Frames are electronic and mechanical ready. Several colorways are available, each with subtle graphics treatments hidden on the inner sides of the tubes.

Their hierarchy is OMR (Race) at the top, OMP (Performance) in the middle and OME (Evolution) at the bottom, and for 2015, the Orca comes in OMR complete bikes ranging from $4,999 to $11,999 and OMP from $2,799 up to $4,999.


2015 Orbea Avant OME entry level carbon fiber endurance road bike

Avant gains a new lower priced model that’s rim brake only. Introduced last year as an endurance model with a rim-or-disc brake compatible frame, the added model brings a more affordable, rim brake only option.

2015 Orbea Avant OME entry level carbon fiber endurance road bike

The new Avant Performance OME is the entry level carbon model that gets new seatstay shaping to make it UCI legal. The original’s seatstays kicked out at the bottom (much like the Orca’s, above) to accommodate disc brakes. Since this model is rim brake only, they could make them straight enough to fall within UCI guidelines.

Side note: The Orca bikes from a few years ago had a very dramatic angled kick at the bottom of the seatstays. Shortly thereafter, the UCI changed the design regulations, hence the less articulated design of the prior update and this latest model.

Also note the rack/fender mounts at the base of the seatstays.

2015 Orbea Avant OME entry level carbon fiber endurance road bike

The fork hides its fender mounts underneath, just behind the dropout.

2015 Orbea Avant OME entry level carbon fiber endurance road bike

The Avant has a taller head tube and longer wheelbase than the Orca, making it a bit more stable and comfortable over the long haul. Cable routing has also been reworked from the higher end models.

2015 Orbea Avant OME entry level carbon fiber endurance road bike

Claimed frame weight is 1,300g. Retail for the new $1,750 up to $3,700.



  1. Rather disappointed. Ever since the 2nd generation Orca was released in 2006, I’d been a big fan. The surfacing created by the industrial designer was stunning and really made the bike stand out from the crowd. The head-tube badge with integrated cable stops was a particularly nice touch. When the previous generation’s angular design came out, thought that was a nice progression. Seat-stays were particularly interesting. So between the Orca and Ordu, always thought Orbea was doing a great job with their designs.

    This one is just bland. It’s like they took all of the neat features of the last few generations and just threw them all away. Time for a reboot.

  2. I own an Orbea Orca 2014 (black edition) and love it, especially how light and responsive it is out of the saddle but the 2015 Orca just looks wrong in some way. Having seen the 2015 black colour way, I’m glad I have the 2014…..

  3. Hard to copy and paste the sheet but you get the idea

    47 49 51 53 55 57 60
    1. Seat tube
    410 440 470 490 510 530 560
    2. Top tube (EFF)
    515 521 538 549 564 576 590
    3. Head tube
    104 112 130 145 165 182 207
    4. Chain stay
    405 408
    5. BB drop
    6. BB height
    7. Wheel base
    970 977 987 985 996 1004 1013
    8. Head angle
    71o 71,4o 71,8o 72,1o 72,5o 73o 73,5o
    9. Seat angle
    73,5o 73,2o
    10. Standover
    708 726 751 771 791 807 835
    11. Reach
    365 372 380 385 391 398 404
    12. Stack
    506 515 533 552 572 590 616

  4. Orbea has thrown the towel in on the distinctive Orca design and visual cues. No more beautiful sculpted seattube clamp (actually wedge); no more twisted seatstays, that they claimed converted absorbed vertical energy to lateral energy (ya, right); no more teardrop aero tubing. Sorry to see the end of the Orca.

What do you think?