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Meet Orbea's All-New 2022 Rallon 13

In-frame storage, tool integration, all the right geo adjustments, and one million custom build options. Grab your fork and bib, it's time to dig in!

Meet Orbea's All-New 2022 Rallon

Looking at the 2022 Orbea Rallon, one would be forgiven for thinking this is just a small update. After all, the frame lines are familiar and the suspension layout looks virtually unchanged. Of course, the Rallon has already proven itself a darn fast bike in our last long-travel 29er Test Session. As they say, if it isn't broke, don't fix it. With all that said, Orbea's Rallon wasn't perfect and the geometry was getting dated by today's Enduro standards. Most recently, Orbea updated the linkage and bumped up the travel, giving the Rallon a more progressive feel. With these patches in place and Orbea's continued presence on the Enduro World Series, it was a given a new Rallon was on the way. Enter this latest rendition of Orbea's long-standing enduro bike.

Highlights

  • Full OMR Carbon frame
  • 29-inch wheels or 29/27.5-inch wheel option
  • 170mm front travel
  • 160mm Advanced Dynamics rear travel
  • Internal cable routing
  • Threaded bottom bracket with ISCG05 tabs
  • LOCKR In-frame storage
  • Integrated multi-tools
  • Boost 148 rear spacing with 12mm through-axle
  • 29er link offers two geometry settings
  • Four build kits, each are customizable
  • Custom color options through MyO
  • Available in sizes small through x-large
  • Rallon M-LTD with Mullet option - $9,000 as tested


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What's New

We'll get to the geometry updates in a bit since readers already know what they entail. The devil is in the details with the Rallon and it would seem that Orbea is listening to not only their racers but the general public as well. In-frame storage entered the market a few years ago and had riders feverishly stuffing all they could into their downtubes. Those without such an option were melting keyboards any time a new bike came out in which such storage was left out. Orbea now gives riders the LOCKR system, the cornerstone of which is a trap door in the downtube. Using a lever, locking system, riders can release the door that features a small rubber strop to hold their CO2 or whatever. Neoprene sleeves will drop into the small cavern to keep tools and accessories accessible when needed. Admittedly, the Rallon's downtube is not the largest, but the storage is there and we are keen to have it.

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Orbea has also integrated several tools into the Rallon. Stored in the upper linkage pivot is a small multi-tool featuring 2.5, 3, 4, and 5mm Allen wrenches that is held in place via magnets. Lastly, in the rear axle is a 6mm Allen and a "Why not" bottle opener. With bikes becoming so competitive (see also: darn good) it is the small features like this that may set apart bikes like the Rallon from the competition.

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Pull the lever to reveal a 6mm Allen and pop the top to a beverage.

Moving on from Bluetooth audio and backup cameras, Orbea has incorporated some thoughtful touches for durability. To start, the Rallon features single-sided hardware throughout. When digging into the pivots, Orbea included some very robust sealing methods. Using what resembles a fork oil seal/wiper, Orbea effectively put all of the Enduro bearings out of harm's (and water's) way to increase the time span between bearing swaps. The guided internal routing pops out of the downtube prior to re-entering the chainstays. When exposed, the brake line and shift housing are routed through a flexible, protective sleeve much like what is on the Orbea Rise. As we should all expect of new bikes these days, there is ample molded frame protection on the chainstay/seatstay and bottom bracket/downtube regions.

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Orbea prides itself on the Rallon's race pedigree and is pushing the narrative of speed with this new Rallon. There is life outside the tape, however, and Orbea is willing to recognize that. Every Rallon will ship with a second shock yoke that will allow it to run a 27.5-inch rear wheel. Of the four builds, one of them (M-Team) comes standard as a mixed-wheel setup but will still ship with the standard 29er link that features two geometry positions. Running a 27.5-inch rear wheel does lose the ability to adjust the geometry of the bike but gives the same head angle and BB drop as riding the Rallon in the "lower" full 29er setting.

When Orbea performed timed testing, the time differential between the full 29er and mixed-wheel configuration was negligible. Orbea's team riders had subjective feedback of how the bike felt but in the end, the clock didn't care which wheel was on the back. Most frequently, testers noted a bit rougher ride through the roots with the 27.5-inch wheel. During long weekends of racing, we can only imagine the larger wheel will be present as fatigue may play a role. Regardless, it was cool to see the research Orbea put into this arena and has made as an option for riders.

Suspension and Ride

Orbea tweaked the suspension with the 2022 Rallon. Compared to the 2021 model, the new platform is slightly more progressive and does so in a more linear fashion. A higher beginning leverage rate starts at 22% and progresses to 33% in a linear fashion. A more rearward axle path helps keep the suspension more supple off the top. Anti-rise and anti-squat have been tweaked as well. The goal was to make the Rallon stay composed, pedal efficiently, and offer traction when racers needed it while keeping the bike usable for everyday riding.

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Beyond suspension tweaks, Orbea took to changing their carbon layup as well. Orbea sought to find a balance between a bike that won't flex too much in corners but won't beat up riders through the rough bits. Utilizing different layups and field testing, they've revised the Rallon's carbon weave to offer flex and help riders maintain better traction.

Geometry

In a move as predictable (and welcome) as any, the Rallon gets a longer reach, steeper seat tube angle, and a slightly more slack head tube angle. What Orbea did not do was go wild with these numbers. There are points of diminishing returns and Orbea seemed to have stopped at the modern level before things got too far into the experimental realm.

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Our size medium test bike in the mixed wheel configuration sports a 455mm reach. This same bike with a 29er rear in the lower setting has a 460mm reach, a 30mm growth over the 2021 version. The 64.2-degree head angle is .3-degrees slacker than before while the seat angle steepens by 2, to 77-degrees. Orbea lengthened the chainstays from 2021, the 29er Rallon now has 440mm across all sizes and the mixed-wheel has 438mm.

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One feat Orbea is rather excited about is the Steep and Deep seat tube. The name may draw visions of glorious powder days but in actuality, it's all about fitting the largest droppers possible into almost any size frame. With an uninterrupted seat tube, Orbea can offer clearance for a 200mm FOX Transfer to be fully inserted into a size small Rallon frame.

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Model Line

At first, it seems the 2022 Rallon line is simple. There are four models to choose from, each of them in three color options. Every model of the Rallon uses the same frame and travel numbers. However, each of these four models can be customized via Orbea's MyO program. For example, our test bike is an M-LTD, the highest tier offering from Orbea. But, because we selected the mullet option, our wheels changed from the carbon Race Face Next-R31 to the alloy Race Face Turbine-R 30, which will reduce the price by $999. No matter the build or wheel choice, every bike will ship with both links to accommodate the full 29er or mixed-wheel setup.

Essentially, riders can select the base build (drivetrain and brakes) they desire, then customize the suspension and wheels. On some models, the brakes and handlebar can be swapped. There will even be the option to bump from the stock EXO+ casing to full Downhill casing from Maxxis. The M-Team and M-LTD are only available with the FOX Factory 38. Every model can be ordered in a mixed-wheel setup on the same Turbine R-30 wheels. To really dig in, we suggest going to Orbea's website and playing with the configurations and prices for yourself.

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Orbea Rallon M-20 - $4,999

Riders will get a FOX Float X Performance 2-position rear shock mated to a FOX 38 Performance 3-position fork. The drivetrain and brakes are Shimano SLX, with an option to upgrade to XT brakes. Wheels are Race Face AR 30c and come wrapped in Maxxis Assegai and Minion DHR II 3C Maxx Terra EXO+ rubber. Riders will have their choice of 125mm-200mm dropper from OC2.

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Orbea Rallon M-10 - $5,999

The Rallon M-10 runs the same suspension as the M-20 but sees the drivetrain change to SRAM GX Eagle with Shimano XT brakes as standard. The wheels get a bump to Race Face Turbine-R 30 while keeping the same Maxxis rubber and other bits.

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Orbea Rallon M-Team - $7,299

At this point, FOX Factory suspension is the default with a 38 fork and a Float X2 rear shock. The M-team has a full Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes with an option to upgrade to XTR brakes. The only non-XT parts are the carbon Race Face Next-R cranks. The seat post is now the FOX Factory Transfer in a range of drops (125-200mm). The M-Team comes default as a mixed-wheel bike but can be ordered as a full 29er if desired, either way, Race Face Turbine-R 30 is the wheel of choice here.

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Orbea Rallon M-LTD - $9,999

Welcome to baller country. Our default suspension will be a FOX Factory 38 fork and FOX Factory DHX2 coil shock. Riders will find a full Shimano XTR build kit mated to Galfer rotors and Race Face Next-R cranks. Race Face is once again on carbon duty with its Next-R31 wheels and Next R handlebars.

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First Ride Impressions

The new Orbea Rallon is one of the six bikes we have slated for our fall Enduro Test Sessions, starting next week. We're looking forward to putting this one in the mix as we get four testers together to put all the bikes through the paces and see how they all hold up.

Prior to launch, we did have the chance to visit Bellingham, Washington for a few days and get the shakedown on how the new Rallon rides. During this time we tested the bike in both the mixed-wheel and full 29er configuration. Ultimately, we decided for our (and other testers) size and proportions, the mixed-wheel made the most sense. More on this topic later.

Bellingham has two types of riding zones: the ones you know and the ones that if you know, you know. Ya know? In the more public zones, riders get mellower fire road and singletrack climbs followed by some very fun descents. In other zones, riders get punched in the face by a wall of ascent and just prior to completely giving up, reach the top and are rewarded with very steep, technical descents. We were happy to have the Rallon under us for it all.

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Closing the climb switch on the FOX DHX coil delivered a firm and efficient ride up the hill while not being overly harsh in the more technical and rooty bits. In swapping between wheel sizes, the only difference in climbing that we noticed was in the final gear ratios. In brief and on our first impression, the Rallon is a very happy climber.

That said, we were first introduced to the Rallon with shuttle laps and our very first impression was made by blasting downhill where we made fast friends with the Rallon. At the close of our three-day ride extravaganza we held very high expectations for how the Rallon will perform in our Test Session. We did make some adjustments to the compression damping on the DHX rear shock to help keep our flat-pedal feet planted through rough bits. Even still, the Rallon strikes a nice balance of lively handling and brutish confidence.

To learn more about the new Orbea Rallon and play with its one million different configurations, head to Orbea.com


View key specs, compare bikes, and rate the 2022 Rallon in the Vital MTB Product Guide.

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