Orbea Rallon M-LTD 19

Orbea Rallon M-LTD 19

Words by Sourpatch | Photos by Troy Knight & Drew Rohde

Orbea Bicycles have been producing bicycles since the 1930’s, making it one of the oldest bicycle manufactures in the biz, although their manufacturing roots run much further back than that. Founded in 1840, the company, originally name Orbea Hermanos or Orbea Brothers (later Orbea Brothers and Co.), got their start making and selling handguns to the government. With the lessening demand for guns and a peacetime weapon restriction in place following World War I, Orbea Brothers and Co. decided it was time to get out of the gun business and utilize their steel tubing expertise in other markets. Thus, Orbea Bicycles entered the picture. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s, over 55 years later, that Orbea would begin producing mountain bikes. Just a few decades later and here we are.

The last Orbea I rode was the first Rallon, which was the brand’s attempt at an enduro/all mountain rig. It showed some promise however it just didn’t quite leave a lasting impression. Last fall Orbea reached out and offered a brand new Rallon to throw a leg over and I am glad they did.

Orbea sent over their Purple M-LTD 19 which is their top of the line Rallon, but downgraded with DT Swiss wheels and a Fox Float X2 rear shock. Straight out of the box, with zero “tuning” this bike is a beast, easily earning the nickname, “The Purple Creature Eater.”

Orbea Rallon M-LTD 19

Clean, sculpted lines succinctly describe the Rallon’s 150/160 asymmetrical OMR (Orbea Monocoque Race) carbon frame. Orbea’s Monocoque Race frames use a blend of high modulus fibers and high strength fibers while using as little carbon as possible. They accomplish this by laser cutting carbon sheets to minimize excess materials and overlap. The asymmetrical/offset design also offers it’s own advantages, like increased stiffness while decreasing weight, but also offers unobstructed access to damping controls on the rear shock.

Geometry The Rallon uses what Orbea refers to as “pure enduro geometry”. They define this as having a long wheelbase (1,217mm), long cockpit (reach of 455mm) and short chainstays (435mm), in High mode. Match those numbers with a balanced headtube angle (65.5 degrees), steep seat angle (76 degrees), a low BB height (343mm) and you have yourself a bike that offers great stability at speed in the rough while supplying optimum balance and weight distribution. By flipping the rear shock bolt and putting the bike in Low, the Rallon gets slacker by .5-degree (HA 65 degrees, STA 65.5 degrees) and drops the bottom bracket 7mm to 336mm.

Orbea Rallon M-LTD 19

Orbea employs their concentric Boost suspension on the Rallon, This platform seeks to optimize pedal efficiency, small bump sensitivity, suspension progressivity and focus on the rear-end stiffness to weight ratio. The squishers on our Rallon are a Fox 36 Float up front complimented by a Fox Float X2 in the rear. A Fox DHX2 is also available if you’re inclined to run a coil.

The Rallon M-LTD is outfitted with a complete SRAM drivetrain. Climbing is made possible thanks to SRAM’s ever-so-sweet Eagle 12-speed while a pair of Code RSC brakes provide the stopping power. A Maxxis Aggressor/Minion tire combo wrap the DT Swiss wheels. A Selle Italia XR Trail saddle is bolted to the Crank Brother Highline dropper post, which is not pleasant to install, and didn’t have the return speed I’d like.

Say you don’t like the standard color options Orbea has to offer, well, you’re in luck. Thanks to Orbea’s MyO bike builder, customers have the ability to customize their bike from the factory. Orbea currently has 22 colors available on their palette that can check the main, secondary, frame detail and Rallon logo boxes. Meanwhile the remaining logos only have black, greys, and white color options. Customers also get to decide whether they want a gloss or the ever-so-popular matte finish. Once the colors get dialed in, customers get to change out some of the spec on their ride, though the options are dependent on which model you start with and the options are few. On average, MyO orders take six to eight weeks to be completed and delivered. Though I didn’t get to order our test bike through the MyO builder, I have spent quite a bit of time playing the builder on more than one occasion.

Orbea Rallon M-LTD 19

My usual test rides take me straight out of the lot and into some massive climbs. While the Orbea is certainly not e-bike enjoyable on the way up, the Rallon certainly makes light work out of climbing to the top of the trail. Especially for a longer travel bike, it can certainly take the power and transfer your energy to forward motion in an impressive way.

The reach and seat tube angle help keep the front end on the ground when climbing up steep sections of trail. The 29” wheels and head tube angle make rolling up and over any rocks and steps rather easy without getting hung up. Pedal strikes do happen occasionally due to the low BB height but it’s usually paired with an improperly timed pedal stroke. Overall at 6’2, the large size frame put me in a comfortable and efficient position while seated and I felt confident when I dropped the saddle out of the way.

Orbea Rallon M-LTD 19

Given the Rallon’s enduro pedigree, it only makes sense that it prefers to go down hill just a wee bit more than it likes to go up. The Rallon eats up any and all terrain in its path. It especially likes steep, raw trails and thanks to the long top tube and wheel base, the Rallon stays stable at speed while remaining playful.

Steep, raw trails aren’t the only thing the Rallon likes to eat, the Rallon also likes to devour tall berms and lofty jumps in the bike park. The Rallon provides loads of confidence in the park, picks up speed quickly and floats over jumps with ease.

Where the Maxxis tire combo faulters on loose, steep ascents, they make up for on the descents. The grip they provide around large berms and flat corners is unreal. They really allow you to lean the bike over all while keeping your feet on the pedals and giving the ability to commit. I was worried that stopping would eventually become an issue over the months of testing, SRAM, but I’ve been riding the bike for the last five months and the brakes still work like the day I built the bike. It’s quite a welcomed surprise because I am a fan of SRAMs brakes and love the way they feel…when they work.

Orbea Rallon M-LTD 19

The Wolf’s Last Word

As media, we often ask, or get asked the almost unanswerable question, “If you could only own one bike, what would it be?” For myself, i can honestly say that Orbea Rallon is that bike, so much so that I have been having that internal debate of should I buy it or not. It’s made from a near perfect recipe; long wheelbase, short stays, aggressive geometry with a competitive build. Having the option to order a custom painted (using their specified colors) frame straight from the factory for no additional cost is a bonus that not many other manufactures are offering.

The Rallon is a bike that inspires confidence, has the ability to crush anything in it’s path and can still climb decently well. It does however like to spend more time with the forks pointed down the trail versus up. So if your someone that likes to spend time in the bike park, shuttling, or are surrounded by trails that utilize shorter climbs (or have downhills that are worth the effort putting in for the climb), than the Rallon may be for you.

Price:$7,251 (As Tested)
Weight: 31.4 lbs
Website: Orbea.com

Orbea Rallon M-LTD 19

Frame: Orbea Monocoque Race Carbon, 150mm
Fork: Fox 36 Float Factory Grip2 RC2, 160mm
Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory 2-Position Adjust, Custom Tune

Brakes: SRAM Code RSC Hydraulic Disc
Handlebar: Race Face Next R 35, 20mm Rise
Headset: Acros Alloy Integrated
Saddle: Selle Italia XR Trail
Seatpost: Crank brothers Highline, 150mm
Shifter: SRAM XX1 Eagle Gold
Stem: Race Face Turbine R, 35mm

Hubs: DT Swiss
Rims: DT Swiss E-1501 Spline 30c TLR IS
Tires: Maxxis Aggressor (r), Maxxis Minion DHF (f) 2.50″ 60 TPI Exo TLR

Bottom Bracket: SRAM
Cassette: SRAM XX1 XG-1299 Eagle 10-50t 12-Speed
Cranks: SRAM XX1 Eagle Dub Black Boost 32t
Derailleur: SRAM XX1 Eagle Gold

We Dig

Downhill Performance
MyO Custom Builder
Balanced Feel

We Don’t

Crankbros Dropper Post

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