ORBEA OCCAM M10 REVIEW
Words by Robert Johnston
Photos by Adam Lievesley
After Orbea released their re-vamped Rallon platform with plentiful media acclaim, it was inevitable that the shorter travel, all-mountain conquering Occam would see a similar treatment. The separate Orbea Occam TR and AM models were consolidated into one; combining aspects from each, and the learnings from the development of the Rallon. The result is this 140mm travel, asymmetrical framed 29er intended for a rider seeking “the best bike for the widest range of conditions”.
Orbea supplied the M10 model of the Occam for three months of testing; during which time it was subjected to everything from bike park abuse, right down to bike-path blasting as the Covid-19 induced pandemic spread across the world and shut down non-essential travel.
Orbea offers the Occam at a wide range of price points, from the entry level Alloy-framed H30 model at $2,599, to the $7,999 bling-spec’d carbon M-LTD build. The H30 is built mostly with in-house components and a Shimano SLX drivetrain delivering good value and performance. The M-LTD features the carbon frame, a full Shimano XTR groupset and carbon DT Swiss wheels and leaves very little to be desired for those with a large chunk of cash burning a hole in their pocket.
The model tested was the Orbea Occam M10 – the second-from-top level, carbon-framed build. At $5,499, the M10 sees a full Factory level Fox suspension package paired with the excellent Shimano XT groupset, DT Swiss XM-1650 wheelset and a Race Face cockpit. A Fizik Taiga saddle is suspended by an in-house, OC2 170mm dropper fitted with a Shimano dropper lever to round out the bike.
Certainly a high-performance, purposeful kit, that combines to create a lightweight package that should still stand up to some abuse. Orbea offers optional upgrades to select components that allow the customer to obtain their desired spec. We opted for the $185 fork upgrade option and fitted a 150mm Fox 36 Factory Grip RC2 instead of the 140mm Fox 34 Float Factory Fit4 fork. For our riding style and terrain, adding to the capability of the bike and knocking half a degree off the head angle is a no-brainer. The Maxxis DHF/DHR Exo tire combo is an additional “upgrade” from the stock Maxxis HR2’s, providing the all-important connection to the ground.
For buyers looking to make their rig truly unique, Orbea offer the MY-O custom building service, with options to customize individual elements of the main and secondary frame colors; the graphics; and select upgrades to the spec of the bike. MY-O then generates an incredible render of the bike from many different angles to give an exceptionally realistic representation of the final look.
The Orbea Occam M10 is built using their OMR (Orbea Monocoque Race) carbon fiber frame, which blends “high-modulus and high-strength carbon fibers” to create a “combination of stiffness, low weight and durability that is unmatched”, in their words. This produces a complete bike that tips the scales at a very reasonable 13.9kg (30lbs), whilst remaining impressively stiff, given its intentions. The asymmetrical design allows for a bottle to be concealed within the front triangle, so long as the rider is happy to use a left-side entry cage.
Geometry on the Orbea Occam is quite average for a bike in 2020 – which is no bad thing – with the size Large tested sporting a 474mm reach and 627mm stack. There’s a 66° head angle and 77° seat angle across all sizes (slackened by 0.5° with the 150mm fork upgrade), accompanied by a 440mm long rear end and 35mm bb drop to create an all-round blend of capability and maneuverability.
It’s clear that Orbea have given a lot of attention to the fine details on the Occam, from rattle free and exceptionally clean internal cable routing (save for some sleeved external sections around the BB), through to the neatly integrated chain guide. The smooth frame lines and matte paint finish ooze quality, and the bike arrives fully built up (in what can only be described as a cardboard mansion) so you can get on the trail in a matter of seconds.