Orbea Rise M-Team Long-Term Review


Photos by Dusten Ryen

Since our first ride on the Orbea Rise eMTB just about one year ago, we’ve been fortunate enough to pass it around to several of our testers and ride it in a wide variety of terrain. Built around Orbea’s RS (Rider Synergy) philosophy, the Rise eMTB was designed to offer a new riding experience for mountain bikers who didn’t want to pay the weight penalty of a full-powered eBike but also felt underwhelmed with the lower levels of assistance found on bikes like the Specialized Levo SL. If you’re wondering how these two bikes stack up in a head-to-head format, you’re not alone! We’ll be releasing that review and a fun video very soon, so be sure to stay tuned.


  • e-MTB Light
  • HTA 66° / 65.5°
  • STA 77° / 76.5°
  • REACH 474 (Large)

Price: M-Team Build Starts at $9,999
Website: Orbea.com


If you missed our Dissected Feature a few months back, check this link here. We dove deep into the Ride Synergy concept with Orbea staff, interviewed them on development and laid out a ton of information, so we’re going to keep this review a bit shorter and focus on ride experience and highlights.

One of the phrases we kept hearing at the Orbea Rise launch was “It’s a bike that rides less like an eBike and more like a mountain bike.” While that certainly is true while coasting on flat or downhill trails, the impressive 60Nm of torque the Shimano EP8 RS drive unit delivers is leading the charge in the eBike Light category. Compared to the 35Nm of torque found on Levo and Kenevo SL bikes, the Rise has almost double the power and it feels like it. Orbea worked with Shimano to custom-tune the new EP8 drive unit and firmware to give the desired RS experience. This is a service Shimano offers any brand should they wish to modify power delivery and rider profiles. It will be interesting to see how this capability of custom drive unit tuning plays out as people’s demands for what an eMTB should be evolves, but props to Orbea for being ahead of the curve and taking advantage of the EP8’s capabilities.

Orbea Rise M-Team Long-Term Review

The Orbea Rise packs a 360wh internal battery that was developed with Panasonic and is claimed to offer assistance up to 3,900-feet (1,200 meters) of climbing in Boost mode. We certainly did our best to drain that battery and our 170-175lb testers were able to get nearly 5,000 feet of climbing done in a variety of power modes, with a bias for Boost and some Eco and Trail towards the end of the ride when we needed to get back to the van. If that’s not enough for you, Orbea offers an external range extender offering an additional 252wh, which they claim is good for another 2,600 feet, or 800 meters.

Customers can get the Rise in a wide range of price and build offerings and one of the coolest things about Orbea’s bikes is their MyO program. It’s easy to customize everything from part spec upgrades to custom paint colors. Our Orbea Rise has a few upgrades that make it a little better for our downhill-biased riding style. We chose to go from a 140mm Fox 34 to a 150mm Fox 36 and upgraded the rear shock to the DPX2 for better performance on longer descents. One area we didn’t upgrade, and we wish we would have is the wheels. Our test bike came with a 28-spoke Race Face Turbine R wheelset, which is not stiff enough and a bit too XC for truly rowdy and big G-Force riding. Their weight and ride quality will be appreciated by lighter-duty trail riders however, so they do have their place.

We also chose the burly tire and brake option, which gave us a stiffer sidewall and more aggressive tread pattern and larger brake rotors since we were less concerned with weight savings and more interested in downhill performance.

Orbea Rise M-Team RS Motor

Geometry on the Orbea Rise is squarely in the aggressive XC to Trail bike category. Even with the longer travel fork, the Rise is snappy and fast. Reach on our size large is 474mm with 445mm chainstays. The 336mm bottom bracket height made pedaling over obstacles easy and only added to the climbing prowess the bike possesses. Adjustable geometry lets you take the head tube angle from 66- to 65.5 degrees and the seat tube from 77- to 76.5 degrees.

The numbers aren’t going to have you blindly charging down EWS courses at full tilt, but this bike isn’t really designed for that. It’s a 140mm trail shredder that is designed to be a scalpel on a wide variety of trails. And for that reason, it’s going to be a much better of a bike for many riders.

Orbea Rise M-Team Action


Over the course of our testing, we took the Orbea Rise on mellower trail rides on flat, pedally trails to trail center jump lines and everything in between. Our testers have really grown to love the Rise on most trails and feel it’s a big jump in the direction of where eBikes hopefully go in the future. It is a lightweight, snappy, and poppy bike that you almost forget has a motor and battery.

Of course, the steepish 65.5-degree head tube angle has a part to play with the snappy and fast handling. For most riders, those who aren’t regularly charging very steep downhill trails at Mach speeds, the geometry is going to make this bike feel spritely. Quickly changing directions, threading the needle between obstacles, and climbing technical challenges are all effortless aboard the Rise. The 60Nm of torque certainly help make this bike climb quite a bit better than others in the category as well.

The downside to the responsive feel is a slight lack of confidence at super high speeds when trails are super steep. It’s not enough to really bother us, but it will force you to make a conscious effort to stay off the brakes and be a bit more focused. It was plenty capable, and we could still hang with the pack on gnarly trails, however we did notice it has a stiffer suspension feel than some of the plusher bikes on the market. The feedback is felt in the feet and hands however it translates to a more engaged ride experience and makes pre-hopping, pumping, and accelerating on the backside of transitions even more fun.

Orbea Rise M-Team Action

When directly compared to the Levo SL, which we’d say has a relatively soft, “In the travel” sort of feeling, the Rise is very different. Closest thing we could relate it to is coming off a luxury sedan or a sports car. Neither product has “bad” suspension, they just have different users and demands. A luxury sedan (Levo SL) offers a smoother, more relaxed ride that lots of people will enjoy whereas a sports car is going to have a stiffer suspension tune, which could make it a little more uncomfortable driving over potholes or rough sections of freeway, but when you decide to put the pedal down and hammer through the canyons, you’re going to be very happy. The Orbea Rise is that sports car.

While we do like a lot of things about the Rise, we have a few points to address. The wheelset is probably worth evaluating depending on your weight and riding style. Of all the riding we did on this bike, we’d say that about 10-15% of the time we had it out we realized the wheels were a bit to squeamish for us. Big compressions, especially in berms or while landing long sends resulted in some disconcerting squirm that took us a while to pinpoint. If you’re not riding black diamond jump lines with massive berms or sending little trail gaps 15-20 feet to flat, then you’re likely not going to even notice the issue as we really didn’t notice it on most of our riding. In fact, the compliance was very appreciated on wet, rooty trails or while scrambling for traction on dry and rocky desert trails.

Second, we didn’t love the selection of the Shimano EW100 Junction box over a more traditional EM800 computer display. The junction box is part of the minimalistic, RS philosophy we understand, and you can always pull out your phone to look at your Shimano Steps app, but in reality, we don’t want to look at our phone to know how much battery we have left. The junction box shows green until 20% battery is left and then it changes color. The lights in the box are very small and while you may be stoked that you’re still showing green and want to head back for one more lap, you could quickly find yourself in the red with only 20% of battery left. For a $119 upgrade, Orbea will ship the bike with a display, and we think it’s a worthwhile upgrade to get more info on the fly…If you want to spend another $119 on your already expensive new bike.

Orbea Rise M-Team Action

The Wolf’s Last Word

Orbea have done a very good job with the Rise. In many ways they are leading the eBike Light category and we think it’s one of the best options for those looking to buy an eMTB that isn’t a full-weight, full-power e-beast. While we had a couple issues with spec, Orbea’s MyO program easily lets customers customize the bike from changing brake rotors, tire spec or even paint colors. If we were to buy an Orbea Rise with the Shimano computer display instead of the junction box and upgrade to some stiffer wheels, we’re not sure what we could have complained about though, so there is that…

The Rise is a fast-handling, fast-pedaling eBike Light with a stiffer suspension platform that will translate some feedback and energy to the rider. This gives an engaged ride experience and makes you feel even better when you connect and are pumping transitions, snapping corners and pre-hopping rollers to gain speed on the trail. It will require a bit more tuning if you’re the type of rider who wants a soft, plus feel and like to stay parked in the saddle. If you’re looking for an eMTB that pedals like a full-power eBike but floats and moves like a traditional mountain bike, the Orbea Rise could be the one for you. For our crew, we’re pretty much converted to fullies, so we’d likely pull the Orbea Wild FS out more often than not as we love Boost and lots of steep, self-shuttle days.

Price: Starting at $9,999
Weight: 38.8 lbs
Website: Orbea.com


Frame: Orbea Rise OMR 2021 140mm | 29″ C-Boost 12×148

Fork: Fox 36 Float Factory 150 Grip2 RC2
Shock: Fox DPX2 Factory 3-Position Adjust Evol

Motor: Shimano EP8-RS
Display/UI: Shimano EW-EN100 Junction
Battery: Orbea RS Internal 360Wh

Brakes: Shimano XTR M9120 180/180

Handlebar: Race Face Next R 35 20mm Rise 780mm
Headset: Acros Alloy 1-1/8 – 1-1/2″ Integrated
Saddle: Fizik Taiga Kium rail
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory Kashima Dropper 31.6
Shifter: Shimano XTR M9100
Stem: Race Face Turbine R 35mm

Wheels: Race Face Turbine R

Front Tire: Maxxis Rekon 2.60″ 120 TPI 3CMaxxTerra Exo TLR
Rear Tire: Maxxis Rekon 2.40″ FB 60 TPI Dual Exo TR

Cassette: Shimano XTR M9100 10-51t 12-Speed
Cranks: e*thirteen e*spec Direct Mount 32T Boost
Derailleur: Shimano XTR M9100 SGS Shadow Plus

Santa Cruz Bronson V4 CC Rear Forward Link

We Dig

More power than other eMTB Light Offerings
Fast, nimble and lively
Looks good
Rides like it’s 35lbs

We Don’t

Wheel spec for gnarly riders
Junction box instead of Shimano display
Not cheap


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