Undoubtedly the leading Spanish bike brand, Orbea Bicycle Company is famous for debuting in the 1934 Tour de France and winning the Beijing Olympics in road racing and cross country categories. But are Orbea bikes good?
Orbea bikes are good because they are high-performance bikes. They are defined by innovative frame technologies like Monocoque carbon, DCR, and 4×4 that set them above the rest; high-end components, quality customization, diverse choices, and lifetime frame warranty.
So, if you are looking for a top-end professional cycling bike, especially a road race bike, cross country bike, or triathlon bike, you cannot overlook Orbea. Orbea meets the needs of the modern pro cyclist, and that has seen it grace the biggest cycling stages in the world.
Note, however, that Orbea bikes have their fair share of drawbacks, such as high bike cost and maintenance. On that note, we’ll review the good and the bad of Orbea bicycles to help you decide if to settle for the Spanish bike brand or not.
But first, let’s consider its history.
In a rush? Check out our most recommended Orbea bicycles on the hotlist below!
8 Best Orbea Bikes
- Orbea Orca: Best Orbea Race Bike
- Orbea Avant: Best Orbea Endurance Road Bike
- The Orbea Terra: Best Orbea Gravel Bike
- Orbea Occam: Best Orbea Trail Bike
- Orbea Oiz: Best Orbea Cross Country Bike
- The Orbea Rallon: Best Orbea Enduro Bike
- Orbea Ordu: Best Orbea Triathlon Bike
- Orbea Vector: Best Orbea Urban Bike
Orbea is a Spanish bike brand originating from Mallabia, Spain. The company was founded by the Orbea brothers (Juan, Casemiro, and Mateo Orbea) in 1840 in Eibar, Spain, initially as a gun manufacturer.
However, the company switched to making bicycles in 1930, and four years later, Orbea was debuting at the Tour de France. At the time, celebrated Spaniard cyclist Mariano Canardo was the brand’s face.
1969 saw the Orbea family sell off the company to a cooperative founded by its employees. The newly established cooperative moved from Eibar to the town of Mallabia, where its head offices are currently located.
Upon moving to Mallabia, the company built its first bike factory. A few decades later, the company was producing and selling leisure bikes in Europe.
Orbea would then return to pro road racing in the 1980s, gracing the Tour de France, with Spaniards Pello Ruiz, Pedro Delgado, and Jokin Mujika spearheading the team.
2008 saw Samuel Sanchez win the road race event at the Beijing Olympics with an Orbea Orca bike as Julia Absalon took gold in the cross country category, riding an Orbea Alma.
Later that year, in 2009 and 2011, Craig Alexander won the Ironman World Triathlon Championship with an Orbea Ordu. So, Orbea is a world-beater, and its dominance is in the road racing, cross country, and triathlon bike sector.
5 Reasons Orbea Bikes Are Good
Judging by its participation at the Olympics, world triathlon championships, and the Tour de France, there is no denying that Orbea is a high-performance bike brand. They prove that through the following:
1. Breakthrough Technologies
Orbea sets itself apart from other bikes through these three bike technologies:
a. Monocoque Carbon Technology
Monocoque technology makes high-end carbon frames without seams (seamless). Their one-piece seamless design eliminates possible weak spots, making the frames more robust and more reliable than other carbon frames.
As a result, Orbea carbon bikes can take on rough usage and are less susceptible to snapping or breaking. Moreover, Monocoque promises sturdier and more stable bikes.
b. Direct Cable Routing (DCR)
DCR is a cable design technology that eliminates cable turns by running the brake cables through the bike frame. The advantage is that it reduces friction between the cables and the bike frame and boosts their life.
The other thing that DCR does is that it improves the performance of the bike brakes as the cables are never loose. And if the cables are not loose, the bike feels extra lightweight.
c. 4X4 Technology
4×4 is a frame-design technology that aims at improving the bike frame rigidity, handling, flexibility, and reliability. In this case, the bikes become more comfortable on challenging terrain. Plus, the technology transfers pedaling power to the wheel, making pedaling much more efficient.
2. High-End Components
Orbea doesn’t just employ high-end carbon frames, but the components are just as high-end to promise better performance and reliability. That includes SRAM eTap and Shimano Dura-Ace, RockShox suspension forks, puncture-resistant tires, dropper posts, among others.
3. Quality Customization
Through the MyO bike customization, Orbea allows you to design your dream bike. You get to pick the model and bike type, color scheme, individual components, to name a few.
4. Bike Diversity
Orbea makes a variety of high-end models for each bike category to reach a wider audience. For example, the Orbea road bike is available in enduro, race, gravel, and all-around choices.
5. Lifetime Frame Warranty
All Orbea bike frames come with a limited lifetime warranty that covers them against breakage –relating to the manufacturer’s fault.
Here are the two concerns that come with Orbea bikes:
- High Cost of Purchase – Most Orbea bikes average $6,000 and above, and there are only a few options costing under $3,000. So, they are genuinely highly-priced.
- High Cost of Maintenance – Orbea bikes’ high-end specs require regular servicing, often costlier.
Orbea Bike Range
Orbea currently makes these five major bike categories:
- Road bikes
- Mountain bikes
- Triathlon bikes
- Urban bikes
- Electric bikes
Are Orbea Road Bikes Good?
Orbea makes four types of road bikes and has a name for each. The Orbea Orca represents the racing bike, known for its lightweight and stiffer Monocoque carbon flame with internal cable routing that promotes speed. This bike family is suitable for professional racers.
The Orbea Orca-Aero, on the other hand, represents the aero road bike. This road bike is more aerodynamic than others to promise massive drag reduction. Thus, it’s best for riding against the wind. It also enjoys good balance, low weight, better handling, and power transmission.
Besides racing and aero-road bikes, Orbea also makes endurance and gravel or all-road bikes. The Orbea Avant represents the endurance road bike family, while the Orbea Terra represents Orbea gravel bikes (also known as Orbea all-road road bikes).
Both bikes are known for their stamina, good tire clearance, and adaptability even off-road. However, the Orbea Avant is a better racer on-road, while the Orbea Terra dominates the gravel surfaces.
Are Orbea Mountain Bikes Good?
Orbea makes three mountain bike types with different abilities; trail, enduro, and cross-country.
The Orbea Laufey is the most versatile trail bike, known for its clever and adaptive geometry that promotes fun riding on all terrains. The trail bike is not expensive but generally feels exclusive. It suits typically recreational trail riders.
Those looking for a professional riding trail bike should get Orbea Occam. This do-it-all trail bike is perfect for trail riding and light enduro racing and is reputable for its exceptional climbing, descending, and sprinting potential.
And when it comes to the enduro category, the Orbea Rallon is built for the racecourse. This enduro mountain bike is best for the biggest bumps and suits the speed-focused mountain bikers. The bike comes with a unique geometry that promises good balance, traction, and general strength.
However, the dominant mountain bike category is the cross country family, where the Orbea Oiz takes center stage. This championship-caliber cross country is the most lightweight, efficient, and stiffest cross country bike on Orbea’s lineup. The Orbea Oiz rubs shoulders with the fastest XC bikes in the world.
On the other hand, its sister bike line, Orbea Alma, suits the speed-obsessive and creative spirits. It’s also a competitive cross-country bike.
Are Orbea Triathlon Bikes Good?
The Orbea Ordu triathlon bike line is everything you want from a top-performing triathlon bike. This bike comes with a multi-sport geometry that makes it suitable for triathlon and time-trial (TT).
Build-wise, this triathlon bike is lightweight, strong, and rigid. Its low weight and rigidness make it speedier, while its strength enables it to endure rough usage.
The bike also has a free-flow fork that reduces wind drag, and a tapered headtube boosts its stiffness and speed. Furthermore, the triathlon bike is adaptive and features quality specs.
Are Orbea Urban Bikes Good?
The Orbea Urban bike line, popularly known as the Orbea Vector, suits urban commuters and everyone who plans to ride on the streets. This bike line is the most affordable by Orbea but promises much more than what you get from budget brands.
The bike comes with puncture-resistant tires and powerful disc brakes to bear the aggressiveness of the tarmac roads.
Though this bike is not the most lightweight because it features an aluminum frame instead of carbon fiber, it’s pretty maneuverable. Overall, the Orbea Vector is one of the most versatile bikes by Orbea.
Are Orbea Electric Bikes Good?
Note that all the above Orbea bikes come in electric options, which promise more speed and ease of riding. These bikes come with powerful motors to promise more mileage and usually feature high-end components.
They also come with lightweight frames to promote comfort and maneuverability. So, yes, Orbea electric bikes are good, even though they cost more than other bikes.
People Also Ask
1. Is Orbea a Good Road Bike Brand?
Orbea stocks high-performance road bikes, some of which have competed at the Tour de France, world tours, and Olympics and won some of those competitions. That is proof that Orbea is a good road bike brand.
2. Where Are Orbea Bikes Made?
Orbea makes its high-end bikes in China and the less expensive options in Portugal.
3. Which Is Better Orbea or Trek?
Orbea and Trek are arguably two of the most innovative bike brands that are a top consideration for pro cyclists. Both employ different technologies, which sets them apart, which means choosing between them is never easy.
However, while Orbea wins in assembling the fastest racing bikes, Trek takes the crown when assembling the most high-end specs.
4. Are Orbea Bikes Heavy?
Orbea employs Monocoque carbon on its high-end bikes, and the frame material promises a low weight. Even its aluminum frames are pretty lightweight. So, no, Orbea bikes are not heavy.
In Conclusion, Are Orbea Bikes Good?
Orbea bikes are high-performance bikes. Their build quality is undeniable, and so is their use of advanced technologies. So, if you are looking for a top-level, competition-oriented professional cycling machine, you cannot overlook Orbea. They are that good!