ORBEA RISE H10 REVIEW

EBIKE LIGHT GOES METAL

Review by Drew Rohde / Photos by Dusten Ryen

Following up on the success of their pinnacle lightweight eMTB – the Rise M – Orbea Bicycle’s aluminum-framed Rise H could be the better option for many riders comparing the two, and we’ll tell you why. We’ve been lucky enough to test and review both the Orbea Rise M20 carbon and the Orbea Rise H10 alloy reviewed here. While there is no denying that the weight savings and performance of the carbon M20 model we Dissected and reviewed last year are impressive, the larger internal battery and significant financial savings while retaining impressive ride quality make the conversation feel more like a tug of war. Let’s get into how the aluminum Orbea Rise H10 performs and who we think this 140mm travel 29-inch wheeled eBike light suits best.

THE LAB

Last year we released a long-term review and Dissected feature aboard the Rise M, so we’ll link that here, as much of Orbea’s RS philosophy and ethos applies to the Rise H and remains pertinent. RS stands for Rider Synergy and is essentially the foundational block of the Rise line. Orbea partnered up with Shimano to use their EP8 drive unit, however they took it a step further, and custom tuned the unit to offer a different feel, using less power and offering a more natural feel to extend the range of the smaller battery.

QUICK HITS

  • 140mm Linkage Driven Single Pivot Suspension
  • HTA 65.5 (150mm fork)
  • STA 76.5 (effective)
  • REACH 474 (Large)

Price: $5,699 /£4,899 /€5,299 (H30) – $7,999 /£6,399 /€7,099 (H10 – tested)
Website: Orbea.com

Orbea Rise H10 eMTB Profile Shot

As Orbea states, the goal of the Rise was to have a bike that was less “E” and more Mountain Bike. The custom-tuned Shimano EP8 drive unit puts out a reduced 60Nm of torque which allows for the use of standard mountain bike components and is optimized to deliver the most efficient support between 75-95 RPMs. Of course, as with other Shimano EP8 drive units, you can use Shimano’s E-Tube app to customize the two Ride Profiles and obtain the power delivery, ramp up and assistance levels you find best.

The Rise H uses Orbea’s Hydro aluminum frame with their Linkage Driven Single Pivot suspension (with rear axle pivot) delivering 140mm travel. One of the things we like about the Rise H is the larger internal battery, compared to the lighter and more expensive carbon models. Carbon Rise frames house a 360Wh battery while the alloy versions pack a 540Wh battery under the hood. It does make for a slightly larger downtube and heavier weight, but we like being able to keep this bike in Boost longer. Also new is the 252Wh range extender, which gives riders the option to have nearly 800Wh of juice in a lightweight eMTB.

Orbea has a really cool custom program called MyO, which allows customers to work with their favorite shop or test build their new bike online for a custom flair. Everything from build options to custom paint colors help make the bike your own and enhance the buying experience. The Orbea Rise H is available from the factory in three standard models from $5,699 (H30) up to $7,999 (H10, tested). The H10 and H30 models come with 140mm of front and rear wheel travel, however we prefer opting for the 150mm fork upgrade option that is standard on the H15. Along with some extra bump-eating suspension, that 150mm fork slackens out the head tube angle half a degree, which we find a bit steep for aggressive or steep riding styles at 66 degrees stock.

Orbea Rise H10 eMTB Motor
Orbea Rise H10 Geometry

The rest of the frame’s geometry is competitive with a slightly steeper headtube angle compared to many bikes on the market. Although some shorter chainstays could make it even more fun for riders who live to snap the rear end around, the flip side of the 445mm rear end is that the bike remains a bit more stable at speed, offsetting the twitchy 66/65.5-degree head tube angle. It also makes it a climbing machine, but we’ll get onto that next.

Orbea Rise H10 Action

THE DIRT

Compared to the last crop of mid-power eMTBs, or eBike Lights as we call them, Orbea has led the charge when it comes to outright power. With 60Nm of torque coming out of the Shimano EP8 RS drive unit, the Rise H climbs every bit as good as the more expensive carbon model and leaves other lower-powered eMTB’s in the dust. It’s not quite enough to keep up with a full power eBike in Boost/Turbo mode, but if you’re a fit rider and push hard then you won’t be too far behind.

What is cool about the Orbea Rise RS platform however is that it allows riders to co-mingle with unassisted, mid-power or full power riders quite naturally. Although we enjoy the reduced weight of mid-power eBikes, traditionally, these eBike Light category bikes have not had enough battery power to make us consider ditching our full-power eMTBs. The Rise H certainly has a lot more battery range and we do like the extra downhill laps the larger battery affords over the lighter “M” models. Granted this bike isn’t really built to be a self-shuttling enduro rig – it’s designed to be a well-rounded trail bike that makes uphills, downhills, and flat hills equally fun to ride. And with the larger internal battery, the Rise H is ready for even more fun.

Moving beyond the climbing and range capabilities of the Orbea Rise H10, the handling and downhill performance come into view. As we said above, the Orbea Rise was designed to be an eMTB offering for discerning trail riders and those who don’t need massive amounts of travel or want big bulky down tubes with overly powerful motors. That intention carries over when it comes time to descend the Orbea Rise. As former downhill racers and riders who seek out the steepest and chunkiest downhills possible, we are admittedly not the ideal consumer for this bike. That’s fine however, since not everyone will be looking to ride the same type of terrain and will be pleased to know that although the Rise gets a bit nervous on the steepest and fastest of pitches, it still came out the other end with all its nuts and bolts.

Orbea Rise H10 eMTB Review

Orbea’s MyO program allows for some customization beyond just paint and looks, which is how we ended up with larger brake rotors, some burlier wheels and tires and a longer travel fork. If you are also an aggressive rider, you’ll likely want to take advantage of that option as well, and we’d suggest getting a rear shock with a reservoir. The Rise H in our spec rode quite well and when we started pushing it hard it handled the hits, however we had to air up the rear shock quite high to keep it from bottoming out, and the downside of that high air pressure meant the bike was a bit stiff off the top on mellower trails or slower speeds. Some volume reducers and the larger volume shock will help combat the issue, but we felt it pertinent to address in case you own this bike and are having some similar feedback.

Even with our longer travel fork up front, the 65.5-degree head tube angle meant the bike was snappy, agile and very lively on the trail. We rode this bike on our PNW test trails, drove it all the way to Bentonville, Arkansas for the Bentonville Bike Festival, and had a great time riding everything in between. It really excels on the fun jibby types of trails, jumps well, and is also a speed demon on your general mountain bike trails. We have a ton of fun on this bike and so our only real criticisms are that it has some loud cable rattle in the downtube and that we wish there was a 160mm version for more aggressive riding. Orbea does have the Wild FS, which we also love, but it’s a full power eMTB in a different category, so for now your maximum eMTB light capabilities must be served by the Rise.

Orbea Rise H10 Action

The Wolf’s Last Word

Orbea designed the Rise to be a capable and well-rounded trail shredding mid-power eBike. Everything from the geometry to the 140mm of rear wheel travel point to this being the case. It is incredibly fun and packs a ton of power and a respectable range for its category thanks to the relatively large battery size. Riders looking for a lightweight eMTB that can pedal, play, and still have some fun on the downhills will enjoy the Orbea Rise H and we certainly feel like the value of the aluminum frame combined with the larger battery make it our recommendation in the Orbea Rise line. Combine that with the ability to customize the colors and build in Orbea’s MyO program, and you can really have some fun with this bike before you even get it dirty. While the Orbea Rise has been leading the charge in the eBike Light category for quite some time and is undoubtedly a solid option, it does look like some competition is finally on the horizon, and we look forward to seeing how those bikes compare to the Orbea Rise M and Rise H. 

Price: $7,999 /£6,399 /€7,099
Weight: 45.8 lbs
Website: Orbea.com

VISIT ORBEA TO GET YOURS!

SPECIFICATIONS

CHASSIS
Frame: Orbea Hydro aluminum; 140mm
Fork: Fox 36 Float Factory 150 Grip2 Kashima (as tested)
Shock:  Fox Float DPS Factory 3-Pos Evol Kashima custom tune 210x55mm

ELECTRONICS
Motor: Shimano Steps EP8 RS | 60 Nm
Battery: Orbea Internal 540Wh (Optional 252Wh Range Extender)
Display:  Shimano EW-EN100 Junction

COCKPIT
Brakes:  Shimano XT M8100, 180F/R rotors
Handlebar:  Race Face Next R 35mm| 780mm| 20mm Rise
Stem:  Race Face Aeffect R 35mm | 50mm Length
Headset: Acros Alloy Tapered Integrated
Seatpost:  OC MC20 Dropper, 31.6mm, S:125mm; M/L: 150mm; XL: 170mm
Saddle:  Fizik Taiga S-alloy rail

WHEELS
Wheelset: Race Face TURBINE-R30 TLR
Front tire: Maxxis Dissector Exo 3C MaxxTerra TLR, 29″ x 2.4″
Rear tire: Maxxis Rekon Exo+ 3C MaxxTerra TLR, 29″ x 2.4″

DRIVETRAIN
Cassette:
Shimano CS-M8100, 10-51t
Cranks:  e*thirteen Plus Alu, 170mm
Shifter: Shimano XT M8100 I-Spec EV; 12s
Derailleur: Shimano XT M8100 SGS Shadow Plus; 12s

Orbea Rise H10 eMTB Chainstays

We Dig

Impressive power for category
Reasonable range
Agile trail feel
MyO customization

We Don’t

We still love full-boost eMTB
Not the most confident descender
Downtube cable rattle

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