Orbea’s lightweight aero disc brake bike with clearance for 32mm wide tyres, the Orca OMX, blends aerodynamic technologies, flexible ergonomics and style for a ride that claims to do everything and master any route.
“We may not compete but we love the feel of a racing bike – an Orca that is light, fast and beautiful,” Orbea says.
“To fit the widest range of riders, we offer unique bar and stem fitting solutions because not all of us are seeking the same riding position, we want the fastest bike that fits.”
Orbea works with engineering specialists at Mondragon University in the Basque Country to analyse and test its aerodynamic concepts.
By ovalizing and subtly flattening the downtube, seattube and seat stay sections, the OMX saw a 10% drag reduction over the previous iteration, according to Orbea.
Then there’s the new wider Freeflow fork which is said to reduce airflow pressure and turbulence around the wheel.
“Aerodynamic forks are typically designed to perform like aero frame tubes – optimised for directional movement through the wind.
“But the forward rotation of the spokes and today’s wider rims and tyres approaching from behind the fork (against the flow of wind as the wheel spins) creates a high pressure/high drag zone.
“Normal directional aerodynamics remain unchanged but the bike gets faster because the airspace inside the Freeflow fork blades is less chaotic,” Orbea explains.
By lowering the seat stays and optimising the carbon structure, Orbea says this makes the Orca a comfortable ride.
“The natural flex patterns created by the carbon layup and minimal bulk of the top tube and seat stays deliver a dynamic, smooth ride that feels like floating over rough roads,” Orbea says.
The OMX is said to blend high modulus fibres and high strength fibres exclusively, to produce a frame that weighs in at a claimed 833g (size 53).
“Prepreg carbon sheets are laser cut to minimise excess materials and overlap, and hours of premoulding is done to ensure optimal compaction with the smallest amount of carbon,” Orbea says.
A full EPS mould and latex inserts are said to be used to eliminate wrinkles and imperfections.
The head tube, bottom bracket and chainstay joints have been optimised for improved torsional strength.
The D-shaped seatpost of the OMX frame improves aerodynamics and so does Orca’s hidden seat post clamp that is integrated smoothly into the frame.
Some neat touches include the internal battery plug which tucks away a Di2 battery and a rubber collar that protects against the elements as well as a refined finished look.
The internal cable routing is said to be easy to install and low maintenance. It is compatible with both mechanical and electronic setups.
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.