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2022 Orbea Rallon M-LTD Bike

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2022 Orbea Rallon M-LTD
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Vital Test Sessions - Orbea Rallon

The one mountain bike, bike.

Vital Review
Vital Test Sessions - Orbea Rallon

Orbea's new Rallon was among the brand-new bikes we had earmarked for Test Sessions before it was ever launched. When we started reaching out to brands at the start of the year, Orbea told us they would "have something" to submit. Fast forward through the bike madness that was this year and here we are with Orbea's latest and greatest rendition of the Rallon. It proved itself a capable performer in our last long-travel 29er test, was it up for a repeat performance?

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Strengths

  • Pedaling efficiency
  • Easy to get along with
  • Versatility is the name of the game
  • Customizable builds
  • Urges riders to go faster
  • Not easily unsettled

Weaknesses

  • Rear suspension could be a bit less harsh
  • The grips are hard and uncomfortable

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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Yes, the Rallon LTD is the most expensive in our test and far beyond what we expect most riders to shell out. Aside from being the only model available, we were comfortable presenting this bike to Vital readers because of the build options that Orbea puts out there. Riders can simply select the Rallon Team for $7,299 and swap the FOX X2 air shock for a FOX DPX2 coil found here. We recommend visiting your local Orbea dealer to see about builds with an even lower price that can be upgraded from the factory. Beyond the drivetrain, every part is the same. When it comes to measuring performance on the trail, it is the frame, suspension, and wheels that matter most. To us, the drivetrain is tertiary.

Orbea's update to the Rallon gives it the predictable geometry changes as well as a few surprises. To start, the Rallon is offered as both a 29er and mixed-wheel setup. After testing the bike in both configurations prior to launch, we decided to run a 27.5-inch rear wheel. Every Rallon will ship with the necessary hardware to run either wheel configuration. In the mullet arrangement, our medium Rallon had a 455mm reach and 64-degree head angle. Chainstay length is 438mm, resulting in a total wheelbase of 1230mm, the shortest in our test. The top tube length on our Rallon was right in the mix of all the other bikes and uses a 77-degree seat angle.

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Some of the nicer touches included with the Rallon are the ability to fully insert a 200mm dropper, in-frame storage, and integrated tools in the pivot and rear axle. Even without these nice add-ons, the Orbea comes ready to rip with a very nice build kit.

As mentioned, our Rallon was the top-shelf offering from Orbea and has all of the parts to match the price. A full Shimano XTR build kit is accentuated by Race Face NextR carbon cranks and Galfer rotors. When riders select the mixed-wheel option, the wheels default to the Race Face Turbine R wheels. While our test bike used Maxxis EXO+ tires, riders will have the ability to select the more appropriate DoubleDown casing for an additional charge. It's a FOX Factory party for the Orbea with a Factory 38 fork, Factory DHX2 coil shock, and Factory 175mm dropper post.

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Rider Setup

Our testing team fussed with their settings during testing. The numbers below represent where they settled in the end.Compression clicks all started at the factory recommended settings and moved on from there. For simplicity sake, here are the highlight numbers that each tester used.

Casey Coffman

  • 5-foot, 9-inches
  • 180-pounds
  • Fork - 95psi, 2 reducers
  • Rear shock - 500#
  • Front/Rear tire - 24psi, 26psi

Andrea Napoli

  • 5-foot, 8-inches
  • 140-pounds
  • Fork - 75psi, 2 reducers
  • Rear shock - 400#
  • Front/Rear tire - 20psi/22psi

Ryan Lummis

  • 5-foot, 8-inches
  • 160-pounds
  • Fork - 90psi, 2 reducers
  • Rear shock - 450#
  • Front/Rear tire - 25psi/26psi

Brad Howell

  • 5-foot, 9-inches
  • 165-pounds
  • Fork - 90psi, 2 reducers
  • Rear shock - 450#
  • Front/Rear tire - 24psi/25psi

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On the Trail

For some of our testers, the Orbea defied expectations and was a top performer right out of the gate. All of our testers found the Rallon to be very easy to ride and a very fast read before being fully comfortable on the trail. Whether it was the brutally steep terrain or high-speed wide-open trails, the Rallon was a top performer in any condition.

When it comes to attacking a trail, confidence is king. All of our testers hopped on the Rallon and felt comfortable within the first mile. The geometry on the Rallon isn't too extreme in any one direction and we have to think this centrist approach allowed testers to get right to the good part. Orbea chose a more middle-of-the-road approach here and it would seem that paid off. All of the highlight measurements are longer than before but not at the fringe like some of the other bikes in our test. The same can be said for all the popular angles.

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Mirroring the geometry, Orbea also takes a sensible approach to suspension. There's a bit of progression to keep riders from getting bogged down in rock gardens and nasty roots. That same mid-stroke support will help you load up and jump those sections you'd rather not navigate. Taking on consecutive larger hits will start to show the limit of how compliant that suspension is and can get a bit harsh. Riders can't have it all and this is the price to pay for support. We do have to think this harshness would be amplified with an air shock.

Our riders were already wanting to take the Rallon out for some big rides of their own. The Rallon's affable nature makes it easy to get along with and instills a desire to get out and ride. Climbing with the Rallon wasn't anything special. Which is to say, it climbs quite well. Orbea's design may not be on par with the Banshee but it was splitting hairs for us. Yes, this is a 170mm travel enduro bike but it can easily serve as a do-all bike and scores one point for the "over-biked" crowd. Between the downhill performance and efficient climbing nature, we see no reason to run anything other than a coil on the Rallon. Call us greedy but if Orbea is cooking, we'll have our pie and eat it too.

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Vital did have a chance to try the Rallon with both the 27.5-inch and 29-inch rear wheel options prior to launch and Test Sessions. We found that in the 29er configuration the Rallon took more input to lay over in corners. When dropping into super-steep sections, we also got a bit of butt buzz. Neither of these things are exclusive to the Rallon, just 29er life in general for many of us. To that end, we decided to run the Rallon as a mixed-wheel bike.

The more we ride them, a common theme we are finding with mixed-wheel bikes is the ability to more easily punch a turn through our feet. It was just as true with the Titan as it was with the Rallon and other bikes. This particular technique is useful in the soft, sandy conditions where keeping the front tire up is crucial to maintaining speed. Weight distribution is quite important in these scenarios. More than any other bike, the Rallon makes this process almost intuitive.

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Build Kit

Shimano XTR brakes are darn good and deliver a ton of power. Traditionally, we don't go for tons of modulation so the on/off feel of Shimano brakes is generally welcome. Orbea outfits the Rallon with Galfer rotors which to us, gave the Shimano brakes a touch of modulation. Because of the extremely loose, dry conditions we were riding, we actually dug the feel. We've tested with Galfer rotors in the past and like their performance in a variety of conditions.

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We have very little interest in finding out how the Orbea Rallon would feel with an air shock. FOX's DHX2 coil is darn good, we can't imagine any real gains other than marginal weight savings. The Orbea has excellent pedaling manners, which keep the coil under control. However, flipping the climb switch is a very effective way to keep this bike motoring up the hill with zero complaints.

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Our Maxxis EXO+ tires surely helped the all-around nature of the Orbea, much as they helped keep other bikes in our test scooting along. We would be curious how a heavier duty tire would impact the Rallon. Perhaps with more stout rubber, some of that harsh feeling testers spoke to would diminish. Double Down or Downhill casing is an easy way to add some cushion to your ride. Orbea does make the tire upgrade an option and we would recommend going this route to give the Rallon a little more bite.

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Test Session Take

In case you missed the full Test Session article and landed here, the Rallon was the single bike that every single tester said they would take home if they could. Three of our testers called it outright while one tester added the caveat if they could only own one bike, this would be it. We rode a variety of terrain during testing and there wasn't a single element that tripped up the Rallon. This bike is simply that good. If long travel is the name of the game, riders cannot miss with this bike.

Head here to catch the full 2021 Enduro Test Session Feature

Learn more about the Orbea Rallon head to Orbea.com

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Specifications

Product Orbea Rallon M-LTD Bike
Model Year 2022
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
S, M, L, XL View Geometry
Size S M L XL
Top Tube Length 572 599 626 653
Head Tube Angle 64°, 64.5° 64°, 64.5° 64°, 64.5° 64°, 64.5°
Head Tube Length 90 100 110 120
Seat Tube Angle 77.5°, 77° 77.5°, 77° 77.5°, 77° 77.5°, 77°
Seat Tube Length 415 415 435 460
Bottom Bracket Height 343, 336 (28, 35 drop) 343, 336 (28, 35 drop) 343, 336 (28, 35 drop) 343, 336 (28, 35 drop)
Chainstay Length 440 440 440 440
Wheelbase 1202 1231 1260 1290
Standover 737 737 754 774
Reach 435 460 485 510
Stack 619 628 637 646
* Additional Info Multiple values for 'Low' and 'Lower' geometry positions via flip-chip in rear shock link
Measurements with 29" wheels, listed in mm unless otherwise noted
Mullet geometry with 29" front/27.5" rear wheels included in images above
Wheel Size 29", Other (Mullet)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details Orbea Monocoque Race (OMR) Carbon with manipulated carbon weave to control flexibility and strength, balancing front and rear triangle stiffness
Rear Travel 160mm
Rear Shock FOX DHX2 Factory, 2-position adjust, SLS spring, 230mm x 60mm
Option: FOX FLOAT X2 Factory, 2-position adjust, Kashima coating
Fork FOX 38 FLOAT Factory, GRIP2 damper, Kashima coating
Fork Travel 170mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered
Headset ACROS alloy, 1-1/8" to 1-1/2", integrated
Handlebar Race Face Next R, 35mm clamp diameter, 20mm rise, 800mm width
Stem Race Face Turbine R, 35mm bar clamp
Length: 40mm (S-M), 50mm (L-XL)
Grips
Brakes Shimano XTR M9120
Brake Levers Shimano XTR M9120
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters Shimano XTR M9100, 12-speed
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR M9100, 12-speed, SGS cage, SHADOW+
ISCG Tabs ISCG05
Chainguide e*thirteen
Cranks Race Face Next R, 170mm length
Chainrings 32 tooth
Bottom Bracket
Pedals N/A
Chain Shimano CN-9100
Cassette Shimano XTR M9100, 10-51 tooth, 12-speed
Rims Race Face Next R31 29" TLR wheelset
Option: Race Face Turbine R30 TLR 29" or 29" front/27.5" rear wheelset
Hubs Race Face Next R31 29" TLR wheelset
Option: Race Face Turbine R30 TLR 29" or 29" front/27.5" rear wheelset
Spokes Race Face Next R31 29" TLR wheelset
Option: Race Face Turbine R30 TLR 29" or 29" front/27.5" rear wheelset
Tires Front: Maxxis Assegai 2.50" 3C/MaxxTerra/EXO+/TR/WT, 120 TPI
Rear: Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.40" 3C/MaxxTerra/EXO+/TR/WT, 120 TPI
Saddle fi'zi:k Taiga Kium rail
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory Kashima dropper with Shimano SL-MT500 I-SPEC EV remote
Travel: 150mm (S-M), 175mm (L), or 200mm (XL); 125mm option available
Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm
Seatpost Clamp Single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions Boost 12mm x 148mm
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes
Colors Gloss Metallic Mulberry/Matte Black, Gloss Jade Green Carbon/Matte Stone Silver, Golden Sand/Matte Black, or Orbea MyO paint customization
Warranty Lifetime frame
Weight N/A
Miscellaneous
  • Mullet compatible with two included shock extenders
  • 'Low' and 'Lower' geometry positions via flip-chip in rear shock link
  • Revised suspension kinematics for a more progressive suspension curve with a more rearward axle path
  • Design optimized for long-travel dropper seatposts
  • LOCKR downtube storage with two sealed bags for tube, tire levers, and space for two C02 cartridges
  • The main pivot and rear axle are fitted with designed tools held securely with magnets
  • Fully sealed bearings
  • Custom co-molded plastic frame protectors
  • Internal cable routing with internal cable guides, improved silicon plugs at the frame entry and exit points, and conduits linking the front and rear triangle
  • Price N/A
    More Info

    Meet Orbea's All-New 2022 Rallon

    Orbea website

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