2022 ENDURO SHOOTOUT

ORBEA RALLON REVIEW

Photos by Dusten Ryen
Shootout Sponsored by Maxxis Tires & Fox Racing

For 2022 the Orbea Rallon enduro machine got a major overhaul. Seeking to push its performance back up to the top tier of the enduro market, the podium results tell us that the redesign has some merit. A major evolution opposed to a revolution, the new Rallon has been fully re-engineered to add capability all round and produce what Orbea reckons to be the ultimate enduro machine. Offered in their OMR carbon fiber only; packing 160mm travel with a 170mm fork, and a choice of 29” or mixed wheel setups, the Orbea Rallon promises to be a speed machine. We were excited to find out how it would stack up to the competition in our Enduro Bike Shootout.

We’d like to thank Fox Racing and Maxxis Tires for their support in making this series possible. Without their partnership these types of projects wouldn’t be possible, if you feel so inclined, offer them a thanks down below! And while you’re at it check out Fox’s new 2023 Product Line and Maxxis’ performance MTB tires here.

QUICK HITS

• 160mm Linkage Driven Single Pivot Suspension
• HTA 64
• STA 77 (effective)
• REACH 485mm (Large)

Price: $5,499 (M20) – $10,999 (M LTD)
Website: Orbea.com

THE LAB

Orbea’s Rallon frame utilizes their linkage driven single pivot suspension setup, featuring Orbea’s Concentric Boost (CB2) rear axle pivot. The feature’s goal is to mitigate the braking forces’ effect on the suspension performance. The frame is produced with Orbea’s top-tier OMR carbon fiber, optimizing the weight and stiffness throughout with a mixture of high modulus and high strength fibers, and coming with a lifetime warranty to boot. There’s heavy asymmetry to the design to allow for all the key features to work in harmony, with the shock being offset 12mm to the right side of the frame, allowing for the left-sided support to sit nicely.

Orbea Rallon M-Team Review | 2022 Enduro Shootout

Looking at the kinematics of the Rallon’s rear end, they added significant suspension progression, up to 32%. This allows it to work with a coil or high-volume air shock equally well, however we really prefer this bike with a coil as it’s a bit firm off the top. By shifting the main pivot further forward in the frame, the rearward component of the axle path has been increased to aid in the tracking of the rear wheel through rough terrain. Anti-rise is low at around 60% throughout the travel, allowing for the rear end to move freely during heavy braking. Anti-squat is quite high on the other hand, sitting at 110% in the largest cog and rising to 150% in the smallest cog. This should give efficient pedaling throughout the cassette, with the support increasing as forces increase in the harder gears.

As you’d expect from a high-end carbon fiber frame, cable routing is fully internal, apart from a portion around the main pivot where they pass through an external tube. There’s room for a large water bottle in the main triangle; a tool mount on the underside of the top tube, and a flip chip on the shock yoke to allow for quick and easy geometry adjustment between a “low” and “lower” position. The frame also features Orbea’s take on internal storage with their “LOCKR” zone, which is equipped with two sealed bags to contain a spare tube, tire levers and CO2 cartridges. In the main pivot and rear axle you’ll find tools neatly stowed away, offering quick access to hex keys from 3-6mm to make trailside fixes and adjustments a breeze.

Orbea Rallon M-Team Review | 2022 Enduro Shootout

Orbea’s MyO program allows prospective owners the ability to customize their ride. MyO offers color choices for the main frame and graphics, as well as component customization to tailor the build kit to your exacting preferences. It is one of the most comprehensive custom build setups in the industry. The Orbea Rallon M-Team build tested is the second-from-highest level standard spec offered and comes with a suite of high-level components to match the $7,999 price tag. A Factory level Fox 38 and Float X2 suspension combination offer a large amount of adjustment potential to get the Rallon dialed in. Race Face provides the wheels, cockpit and cranks, with their Turbine R alloy wheelset and stem, and Next R carbon fiber cranks and handlebar. The gearing is handled by Shimano’s 12spd XT system, and the brakes are the XT 4-pots. Rounding out the spec is a Fizik Taiga saddle atop a Fox Transfer Factory dropper post; and a Maxxis Assegai/DHR2 EXO+ tire combination.

Geometry on the Rallon is suitably modern, tailored to offer stability and composure for confidence on the racetrack. Using their “steep and deep” philosophy, the seat tube lengths are low across the board ranging from 415mm to 460mm and allowing for riders to choose between a number of sizes to obtain the desired fit, independent of the seat tube length. Across the size range in the “lower” geometry setting for the 29er wheel configuration tested, are a 64-degree head angle, 77-degree seat tube angle. The chainstay length remains a constant 440mm, and the BB sits low at 35mm below the axles. The size large tested has a 485mm reach and 637mm stack, with the wheelbase totaling 1,260mm. The geometry numbers are quite typical for what we’d expect from a modern enduro bike and should offer a good blend of straight-line stability at speed whilst retaining enough agility for the tighter sections of trail.

Orbea Rallon Geo | Enduro Geo Chart Comparison
Orbea Rallon M-Team Review | 2022 Enduro Shootout

THE DIRT

Over the course of our testing period one thing became very apparent when riding the Orbea Rallon, it wants to go fast! It rewards risky riding, hanging it out and a pilot who is pushing hard. The downside to that speed and capability is that it’s not the most comfortable ride when you’re having a recovery day or just wanting to cruise around casually. Of course, you could change your suspension settings, let some air out to help, but the bike’s already low BB would really hang up with more sag.

This low BB made technical climbing tricky at times, leaving us struggling for pedal clearance, however the Rallon’s pedaling platform and light weight made it ascend excellently when the terrain was slightly less chunky. The stiff frame and firm suspension platform have us convinced that a coil shock is the way to go if you’re riding hard, choppy terrain with lots of high frequency impacts. If you’re riding trails with lots of pedaling, flow trails, big berms and jumps with spaced out bigger hits, the air is a great option, as it’s light and offers lots of platform.

Orbea Rallon M-Team Review | 2022 Enduro Shootout

The Orbea Rallon was regularly one of the crew’s top picks when it came time to put in big pedal days or drop a race run heater, on shorter tracks. It’s definitely the best pedaling bike in the mix as the light weight and general stiffness mean your power is translating to forward momentum.

Creature comforts on the frame are a definite plus. Orbea did a nice job offering a quality user experience with their on-board tool storage, internal storage pouches and overall fit and finish of the bike. The Orbea Rallon very much offers a luxury bike experience.

Orbea Rallon M-Team Review | 2022 Enduro Shootout

The Wolf’s Last Word

Orbea set out to design an enduro race bike with the redesigned Rallon, and in that they succeeded. With countless podiums under its belt, the new Orbea Rallon should be on the list of bikes to consider for those looking to beat the clock, competitors or their personal best. Now, just because it’s fast doesn’t mean it’s the best bike all around or the ideal buy for you. The stiffness takes a toll on riders who may not be super-fit or find themselves on high-speed chatter with lots of high speed, high frequency hits.

We love the Orbea Rallon for long pedal days, when we have to drop a heater of a run down or want to shred and get loose. But, in the way that throwing the family in the back of a high-performance sports car for a casual drive down a pothole-ridden road in bumper-to-bumper traffic may not be the most fun, the Rallon will make you feel the trail beneath you.

Price: $7,999
Weight: 32.5 lbs
Website: Orbea.com

VISIT ORBEA TO GET YOURS!

SPECIFICATIONS

CHASSIS
Frame: Orbea Monocoque Race Carbon; 160mm

Fork: Fox 38 29 Float Factory | 170mm
Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory | 230x60mm

COCKPIT
Brakes: Shimano M8120, 200F/180R rotors

Bar: Race Face Next R 35 | 20mm Rise | 800mm width
Stem: Race Face Turbine R 35
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory | S/M:150mm | L: 175mm | XL:200mm
Saddle: Fizik Taiga Kium

WHEELS
Wheelset: Race Face Turbine R 30 TLR

Front tire: Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5″ WT | MaxxTerra | EXO+ Casing
Rear tire: Maxxis DHR2 29×2.4″ | MaxxTerra | EXO+ Casing

DRIVETRAIN
Cassette: Shimano CS-M8100 | 10-51t | 12spd

Cranks: Race Face Next R | 32t | 170mm
Shifter: Shimano XT M8100 | 12spd
Derailleur: Shimano XT M8100 | 12spd

Orbea Rallon M-Team Review | 2022 Enduro Shootout

We Dig

Fast as F
Likes to get loose
Looks exotic
On board storage and tools
Prefers a coil

We Don’t

Can beat you up
Low BB
Stiff off the top suspension

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