2023 EMTB SHOOTOUT
ORBEA WILD M-TEAM REVIEW
BACK WITH A VENGEANCE
Photos by Max Rhulen & Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles / Treeline Cinematic
Rejoining our eMTB Shootout for 2023 is the updated version of a previous award winner for the “Most Versatile All Mountain” eBike. Back in 2020 – the Orbea Wild was a far cry from what it is today, but it still left our testers and countless owners stoked with how fun and playful it was. Last year the completely redesigned Orbea Wild was released, with little carried over aside from the rough silhouette and the tried-and-true Bosch drive system. After covering the new 2023 Orbea Wild extensively in our Dissected feature several months back, we were well aware that it would be a contender in this year’s eMTB Shootout, so we were excited to have it in the mix. As suspected, it held its own, and then some. Read on to see what our crew thought of the new and improved Orbea Wild M-Team.
2023 EMTB SHOOTOUT SERIES – This bike was one of 13 that our staff thoroughly tested with absolute objectivity in mind. From different types of riders to terrain, our goal is to present the best and most honest information possible to help you make your best decision. Of course, we’d love to thank Fox Racing and Schwalbe Tires for being invaluable partners to this series and making it happen.
• 160mm Linkage Driven Single Pivot with Concentric Boost Suspension
• 29” Wheels
• Bosch Performance Line CX Motor
• 750Wh Battery
• Fixed Geometry
• HTA 64
• STA 77.5 (effective)
• REACH 480 (Large)
Price: $5,699 (H30) – $11,999 (M-LTD)
As we’ve covered the Orbea Wild in detail in the Dissected feature, we’ll keep this write up a little more brief and instead focus on the ride impressions and how it stacks up to the other bikes in the shootout.
FRAME AND FEATURES
Touching on the key details of the Wild, there’s a 160mm travel rear end paired to a 160mm or 170mm fork, and a pair of 29” wheels. Orbea backs up their Wild bikes with a lifetime warranty to the original owner.
DRIVE UNIT AND ELECTRONICS
The power is provided by a Bosch Performance Line CX or CX-R motor depending on the spec chosen, with a choice of a 625Wh or 750Wh battery to power it and the latest Smart System with Mini Remote and System Controller nestled in the top tube.
The geometry of the Orbea Wild is very well rounded, and sits solidly in the middle of the spectrum for just about every measurement in the Enduro category. This yields a certain amount of versatility, but there’s no denying that this is a bike built for descending hard when you’re riding it.
Orbea offers a choice of alloy framed “H” spec bikes beginning at $5,699, through to the “M” spec carbon fiber framed bikes from $7,299. These are all customizable with Orbea’s MyO program, allowing for tweaks of select components and the frame colorway. We tested the M-Team build: the second-from-top build retailing for $9,599. The OMR Carbon frame is equipped with the standard Bosch Performance Line CX motor with the same mini remote and top-tube mounted system controller. There’s a Fox Factory 38 and Float X2 pairing; a Shimano XT brake and drivetrain, and e*thirteen crank aluminum and chainguide. The rest of the components are handled by Orbea’s in-house brand OC, and sister brand OQUO wheels.
As standard the Orbea Wild M-Team comes with a pair of 29×2.6” Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR tires with EXO+ casings. For this year’s shootout, Schwalbe supplied their Magic Mary and Big Betty Soft Super Gravity tires, allowing us to maintain consistent and dependable tire performance across the fleet of bikes in the shootout.
SETUP | It took the crew a little time to get the setup on the Wild dialed in, with the stiff frame and carbon bar requiring some increased compliance from the suspension to damp the trail. Once the setup was dialed in though, the Wild was a very easy bike to hop on and attack the trail.
ELECTRONICS & INTEGRATION | The latest Bosch Smart System, with the discrete wireless Mini Remote on the handlebar and integrated System Controller in the top tube represents some of the cleanest integration on the market right now, with no extra wires on show or bulky displays to get in the way of your knees when pedaling. That said, some of the crew find value in having more information presented to them on a screen, so some of them would likely add the optional display to the system if they were to purchase the bike for themselves. Around the rest of the bike, Orbea has done an excellent job at delivering clean looks, well-finished edges and avoiding any notions of noise when riding, aside from the whirr of the Bosch motor when delivering its power. Of course we can’t talk integration without talking about the hotly contested headset cable routing. Most of our crew were pleased with how tight and well it’s executed on the Orbea but Robert fought us on that ‘til the end. What we can say is that we’ve ridden this bike in snow, mud, sand, pouring rain and everything in between. These rides were followed with daily pressure washes or hose-offs and we’ve yet to discover any rust, noise or gritty feelings from the bearings inside the head tube.
CLIMBING | Between the mid-length rear end and mid-height BB; the reasonable pedaling support; and the nicely centered seating position thanks to the relatively steep effective seat tube angle, the Orbea Wild M-Team is a very competent climber that left none of the crew with any complaints. Steep pitches were tackled effectively and techy sections cleared without issue thanks to the well-delivered power of the Bosch motor and the bike’s geometry and suspension platform allowing the power to be harnessed.
DESCENDING | Onto the descents, and it’s clear that e-Enduro racing was on the mind of the designers when creating the new Orbea Wild. Intuitive handling, great support from the suspension and a stout but not overly harsh feel overall had all testers going hard from the get go. The balance and poise of the Wild is truly spectacular, and from the desert rocks to the rooty coastal loamers, everyone was in agreement that the Wild is a descending animal. When it came to comfort on the longest and roughest tracks, some riders mentioned increased fatigue by the end of the run, so riders who value the most terrain-ironing sensitive machine may be better served by an alternative, but many will appreciate the Wild’s direct feel. It is a bike that excels when pushed and ridden hard, but will still reward the average Joe in most situations.
FINISH AND VALUE | When we’re talking about a bike at nearly $10k, it’s hard for us to say it’s a great value purchase. That said, the component spec on the Wild M-Team leaves very little to complain about, especially when the finish quality is taken into consideration. We’d likely opt for one of the more affordable models if we were to put our hands in our pockets, perhaps even selecting one of the alloy-framed “H” models. That said, if you have deeper pockets than we do, it’s unlikely that you would be unhappy with your purchase of this incredibly capable carbon-framed beauty.
The Wolf’s Last Word
The Orbea Wild is a bike that our whole crew enjoyed. One that inspires brave and bold riding on the downhills and facilitates efficient climbing up technical ascents thanks to its geometry and ground clearance. The Orbea Wild M-Team is a bike we highly recommend and undoubtedly put down some of the fastest and fun laps during our shootout. It is an absolute pinner.
WHO’S IT FOR?
A rider looking to buy into the peak of aggressive descending eMTB performance, without losing every last bit of playful character. The Orbea Wild excels across the spectrum of terrain, and climbs extremely well too, so unless you’re looking for the absolute most terrain-ironing bike, the Wild will likely suit you well, as it did our entire crew.
Price: $9,600 (M-Team)
Weight: 52 lbs
ORBEA WILD M-TEAM SPECS
Frame: OMR Carbon Fiber ; 160mm
Fork: Fox E-MTB 38 29 Factory | 160mm
Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory Trunnion 2-Position
Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX | Bosch Smart System | 85 Nm
Battery: Bosch Powertube | 750Wh
Display: Bosch System Controller
Brakes: Shimano XT M8120 | Galfer rotor 203mm/203mm
Bar: OC Mountain Control MC10 Carbon | Rise 20 | Width 800
Stem: OC Mountain Control MC10 Alu SL
Seatpost: OC Mountain Control MC20 | S:125mm | M:150mm | L:170mm | XL:200mm
Saddle: FIZIK Terra Aidon X5
Hubs: DT Swiss 350
Rims: OQUO Mountain Control MC32TEAM eBIKE
Front tire: Maxxis Minion DHF 29×2.60″ | MAXX TERRA | EXO+
Rear tire: Maxxis Minion DHR 29×2.60″ | MAXX TERRA | EXO+
Cassette: Shimano CS-M8100 | 10-51t
Cranks: e*thirteen Plus Alu | 160mm
Shifter: Shimano XT M8100 | 12spd
Derailleur: Shimano XT M8100 | 12spd
Bosch Motor Power
So fast and confident
Not the most comfortable bike
Stiff frame can be issue for some on very loose terrain
LEAVE A COMMENT | WIN FREE STUFF
Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack and get the latest news and read the latest reviews on the top mountain and electric mountain bikes.