- Bike Checks
Orbea? Ring a bell? Best known for their cross-country and road bikes, the company is turning heads with the introduction of the new Rallon enduro rig, and they've got our attention. This bike was first raced in Finale Ligure at the last round of the Enduro World Series.
Now in its fourth edition, the bike is lighter, slacker, lower, and longer than the previous generation. Developed and tested with Simon Andre of Orbea Méribel Enduro Crew fame, it looks as though the brand has finally discovered modern "aggressive geometry." Featuring adjustable geo by simply rotating the front shock mount pin, things start off with a 66.5-degree head angle and can be slackened to 66-degrees. The bike is one inch longer in the reach department than its predecessor and has a 40mm longer wheelbase. The seat angle is still quite steep at 75/74.5-degrees, with the intent of making it easier to earn your turns. The bike also adopts 27.5-inch (650B) wheels along with an extra 10mm of travel, bumping it up to 160mm. Frames are made with triple butted and hydroformed 7000 series aluminum alloy, and come in 300g less than the old model.
The Rallon uses a high pivot point combined with a concentric "C9·12" pivot at the rear axle. This is said to stiffen things up considerably compared to their old linkage system. The bike continues the use of cartridge bearings in place of bushings at the swing arm end of the shock to improve small bump sensitivity.
Notably, the leverage curve has been toned down a bit to allow the consistent use of more travel. It gets progressive in the last bit of its stroke to limit bottom out forces.
Suspension tuning was done in partnership with BOS, as you'll see in this video:
All told this rig is three years in development. Four build versions will be available in January, 2014.
We'll be giving the new Rallon a good thrashing during our 2014 Test Sessions. Stay tuned for our first ride impressions, and be sure to hit up www.orbea.com for more details.