Orbea Wild FS M10 rear tire

Orbea Wild FS M10 eMTB Review

ALL-MOUNTAIN “ENDURO” AWARD WINNER

By Drew Rohde | Photos by Dusten Ryen
Charged by RISE BREWING

As soon as we pulled the Orbea Wild FS eMTB out of the box we knew it was going to be a fun bike. We didn’t know it would go on to take the vote as the most versatile, All Mountain Enduro eMTB Award at our 2020 eMTB Roundup, but after months of testing and tons of miles, sometimes our initial impressions are on the money. For our 2020 ebike shootout we broke the bikes into two travel categories (Trail and Enduro) and then selected three standouts from each class.

Read on to see why we selected the Orbea Wild FS as the bike we’d recommend to the most riders and if you’re a good candidate for this eMTB.

Devinci DC GX 11S eMTB Review

THE LAB
The Orbea Wild FS boasts 160mm of front and rear wheel travel, a fully carbon fiber frame and a variety of specs and customizable paint options through Orbea’s My O program. Our model comes spec’d with a Fox DPX2 Performance Trunnion Comp shock and a Fox 36 Float Performance Grip 3-position fork. The fact the bike impressed all of our testers enough to win without needing top of the line suspension is quite impressive and shows kinematics and geometry can be more important than Kashima coatings.

Drivetrain spec on the Wild FS M10 is mostly Shimano with four piston XT brakes, a 12-speed XT rear derailleur and a Shimano SLX shifter. We’re happy to see 160mm cranks spec’d on the Wild and think Orbea may be on the cutting edge of offering such short arms on their ebikes. E*thirteen Plus alloy crank arms mate up to Bosch’s Performance CX Cruise motor. A 625Wh Bosch Powertube battery offers impressive range and is easily removable. Orbea also specs the Wild FS with a Bosch Kiox Black display unit. The display unit is fairly large, and no doubt expensive to replace if it were to break but it offers a lot of great data for tech geeks.

Devinci DC GX 11S eMTB frame

Geometry on the Orbea Wild FS is a bit of a double-edged sword for some, but is no doubt a major reason that our riders gravitated towards this bike on 90% of the trails we were riding. Our testers were mostly 5’10”- 6’1”, with one tester measuring in a 5’9”.

We’ll get into our thoughts on the geometry measurements in the dirt section and leave this section for the black and white numbers. Our size large sports an effective top tube of 612mm and a 455mm reach. Stack height is 630mm and standover is 740mm. On the somewhat steep, yet agile side, the Wild FS has a 65.5-degree head tube angle and a 76-degree seat tube angle. The overall wheelbase is 1,232mm and the Wild has 455mm chainstays with a 345mm bottom bracket height.

Orbea Wild FS M10 eMTB downhill

THE DIRT
It goes without saying the Orbea is an all-around slayer, it didn’t win our most versatile, All Mountain Enduro eMTB award without a fight. Some may wonder how a bike with “2018 geometry” could ever win? Well, we want to be clear, this bike didn’t win our All Out Shredder eMTB Award, that honor is taken by the much more aggressive, YT Decoy. However, the same thing that makes a bike like the YT Decoy so good on the gnarliest and steepest descents, is the same thing that makes it sluggish, heavy-feeling and overkill compared to the Orbea Wild FS on everything else.

In a time when brands are chasing that PNW mentality of having the longest front ends with super-slack head tube angles, we applaud companies that are still willing to produce bikes that will outperform those gravity sleds on what we’d venture to say, most mountain bikers ride.  The Orbea Wild FS is that bike. Our testers all agreed this would be the ebike we would recommend to most riders after we asked them about their local terrain, riding style and demands.

Orbea Wild FS M10 eMTB uphill

Let’s get into the weaknesses of the bike first. The Wild FS has a short reach and steep head tube angle. For our nearly six-foot tall test riders, the bike was comfortable but felt short compared to many of the new-school bikes in the category. It was something that made it so much fun on the ups and flatter terrain but left us feeling a little bit skittish on the rowdiest, high-speed descents. We wouldn’t go so far as to say it slowed us down, but we had to mentally force ourselves to stay off the brakes and let the bike work.

Conversely longer and slacker bikes like the Giant Reign E+, Commencal Meta Power and Norco Range VLT allowed us to just point and shoot. We debated on whether an XL would have been a better option, but after looking at the numbers realized, that while we would have gained stability and confidence on the flat out DH tracks, we would have lost the lively, playfulness that we loved about the Wild everywhere else. Ideally we’d like to see the Orbea Wild FS with a 170mm fork and/or 65- to 64.5-degree head tube angle.

One of the major standout features our riders pointed out when it came to riding the Orbea Wild FS was the Bosch Performance CX Cruise motor. Boasting 75Nm of torque and up to 340% assistance, the Bosch Performance system offers an incredible on-trail experience. Combined with the Orbea’s geometry, climbing even the steepest, most technical switchbacks became doable. Hill climb challenges are a new favorite thing of ours and we’d be lying if we didn’t say all our testers felt like whoever was on the Orbea (or other Bosch bikes) had a serious advantage.

Orbea Wild FS M10 eMTB power

The Bosch system offers their smart eMTB mode, which automatically takes input from your speed, cadence and torque to deliver the right amount of boost to conserve battery or save your bacon. Our riders liked the quick but smooth engagement of the system as it comes on naturally, it doesn’t linger on too long as some motors do, and it really does encourage you to try and climb just about anything.

Our one critique of the Bosch systems is the Kiox display. While it is a beautiful and information-filled unit that techies will enjoy, the fact that your bike will not turn on if the unit is not powered could mean the difference between a great day and a nightmare.

The screen is designed to break away quickly in the event of a crash, however we’ve already broken one personally and heard stories of others hitting the display with their knee, or forgetting to take it off and putting in on a bike rack, or fixing a flat and flipping the bike over on the seat and handlebars and breaking the display off.

If the connection to the docking terminals is in any way damaged, the unit will not power on, and that means your bike won’t power on. So a gnarly crash in the backcountry could mean your painful ride out just got a heavy dose of salt on your open wounds.

Orbea Wild FS M10 riding

Moving on from the Bosch system we’ll get into the amazing suspension and handling of the bike. Orbea did a great job of creating a well-rounded bike that does it all. It rides light and lively on all sorts of trails. It snaps around corners, pops over obstacles and handles bigger hits quite well. A volume reducer may be needed in the shock and fork if you’re regularly finding yourself hucking drops, but most riders should get along fine without one.

If you spend your time riding multi-use trails that are tight, technical and have lots of engaging features, the Wild FS is absolutely going to be your ride. That is of course if you’re looking for something with 160mm of travel. If you need less for your local trails, check out our Trail Category winners here.

Before we even took the Orbea to Palm Springs we spent a lot of time riding it in Bend, Oregon and some of our favorite PNW trails. We hit everything from tight, twisty singletracks through the pines, to steep DH tracks with back to back drops into catch berms. As we mentioned above, the slightly short reach and steepish head tube left us wanting a little bit more, it still hung with the best thanks to the impressive suspension and snappy handling. What it lost on the all-out DH it more than made up for everywhere else.

Orbea Wild FS M10 eMTB in action

The Wolf’s Last Word

We learned that picking one overall “Best Bike” for the masses doesn’t really do everyone justice, so this year we decided to pick the top three bikes from two travel categories that we felt answered the call of each genre of rider. The Orbea Wild FS has earned the hard-fought title of being the most versatile All Mountain Enduro eMTB in our 2020 eMTB Roundup.

While it’s not going to be the best for the self-shuttle downhillers looking to power through the gnarliest chunder they can find (although sizing up and a 170mm fork would do it), this is the bike we would recommend to the highest percentage of riders we encounter on the trails asking our advice. It will handle the rough stuff with ease, it is incredibly capable on the up hills and the downs, it looks good, and is truly a blast to ride. It isn’t the best at everything, but it does the most things better than the rest in its category, and for that reason it is our top recommendation for riders looking at a well-rounded 160mm eMTB.

Price: $7,299
Weight: 53 lbs
Website: Orbea.com

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE ENDURO ROUNDUP VIDEO
Orbea Wild FS M10 eMTB POV

CHASSIS
Frame: Carbon 160mm
Fork: Fox DPX2 Performance Trunnion Comp Adjust Evol LV custom tune 205x65mm
Shock: Fox 36 Float Performance Grip 3-Position, 160mm

POWERPLANT
Battery: Bosch PowerTube 625
Drive Unit: BOSCH Performance CX Cruise

COCKPIT
Brakes: Shimano XT M8120 Hydraulic Disc
Handlebar: Race Face Aeffect 35 20mm Rise, 780mm
Headset: OC Key Holder
Saddle: Selle Royal Vivo
Seatpost: OC2 Dropper 31.6mm
Shifter: Shimano SLX M7100 I-Spec EV
Stem: Race Face Aeffect R 35mm

WHEELS
Wheels: DT Swiss H-1900 Spline 30c TLR
Tires: xxx; 29×2.6”

DRIVETRAIN
Cassette: Sun Race CSMZ80 11-51t 12-Speed Metalic E-bike
Cranks: Ethirteen Plus Alu 160mm
Derailleur: Shimano XT M8100 SGS Shadow Plus

We Dig

Playful
Great Suspension Feel
Lively
Great Geo for Most Riders
Bosch Performance CX
Batery Range
Looks Good
Great All Arounder
MyO Custom Paint Options
Beat Bikes That Cost Thousands More

We Don’t

Kiox Display is a Vulnerability
Litte Short/Steep For High Speed Chunder
Conservative Geo for Downhillers

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