Orbea Rise M-Team Lightweight eMTB Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup



Photos by Max Rhulen & Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles / Treeline Cinematic

Following our Dissected feature on the Orbea Rise soon after its release, we logged good time on both the M-Team carbon model and more recently, the H10 alloy bike. So, when we were planning our first “eBike Light” SL eMTB Shootout, we knew Orbea’s unique Shimano-powered offering needed to be in the mix. Orbea’s updated 2023 Rise’s weight reductions and improved integration were sure to improve its chances of stacking up well. It turns out, the Orbea Rise is still a solid all-around eMTB that can either create a serious buying dilemma or offer the perfect option for your application.


• 140mm Linkage Driven Single Pivot Suspension
• 29” Wheels
• Shimano EP801RS Motor
• 540Wh Battery (Upgrade)
• HTA 65.5
• STA 76.5 (effective)
• REACH 474 (Large)

Price: $5,299 (H30) – $11,499 (M-LTD)
Website: Orbea.com

2023 SL EMTB SHOOTOUT SERIES – The Orbea Rise M-Team was one of the eight eMTBs we tested in our inaugural lightweight eBike group test. We’ve seen a rapid and impressive growth in this category and after fielding so many requests and comments in our well established, annual full-power EMTB SHOOTOUT series, it only seemed natural to give this category the attention it deserves.

This group review was made possible thanks to the amazing support of Schwalbe Tires and their brilliant new Tacky Chan tires, which we outfitted each and every bike with for a consistent test platform.

We’d also like to thank Ninja MTB and Glade Optics.

Our crew did plenty of testing around Central Oregon before heading down to one of our favorite places to ride, Klamath Falls, Oregon. Thanks for the hospitality Discover Klamath and the beautiful Running Y Resort.

2023 eMTB SL Group Review: Logo List


The Orbea Rise is a mid to lightweight trail eMTB that relies upon an “RS Tuned” Shimano EP801 RS motor for its drive, effectively adding a 60Nm drive unit to their Occam trail bike with minimal clutter to give as close to a “normal bike” experience, but with the extra power to extend your rides.

DRIVE UNIT AND ELECTRONICS | Orbea continues to work with Shimano to power their Rise eMTB, with the Shimano EP801 motor given the “RS” treatment, with a custom tune to increase range and focus on providing a natural feeling when pedaling. This limits the maximum torque of the EP801 drive unit to 60Nm, but otherwise delivers the consistent performance of the Shimano motor, which can be tweaked further using the Shimano E-Tube mobile app to tailor each of the two preset profiles.

For the latest Rise, Orbea is offering the choice of a 360Wh or 540Wh battery on both the OMR Carbon Fiber and Hydro Aluminum frame, letting you tailor your preference of light weight or range. This can be boosted by the 252Wh Range Extender to extend your ride and increase the versatility of your setup. A 4A charger will recharge the internal battery in quick time, or the Range Extender at a slightly slower 2A rate.

Part of Orbea’s RS philosophy is delivering a ride that is less “E” and more Mountain Bike, so they made efforts to minimize the clutter that can often accompany an eBike cockpit, with a new Wireless Shimano EN600 remote on the latest version which foregoes any wires and removes the need to fit a power button into the frame. There’s no display or LED’s on the bars as standard, but there’s the option to add the EN600 display through the MyO program if desired, or Garmin users can connect using the RS GARMIN IQ app, displaying Support Mode; Assist Level; Cadence; Range and Speed on their Garmin device.

Orbea Rise M-Team Lightweight eMTB Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup

FRAME AND FEATURES | Orbea offers their Rise SL eMTB in the choice of Hydro aluminum (reviewed here) or OMR carbon fiber frame materials, with the same details and options shared between both frame materials including the choice of battery size, aside from the EP6 RS motor featured on the more affordable H20 and H30 alloy models. The OMR Carbon frame receives some upgrades over the alloy frame further to its reduced weight: the cable routing is managed by the SIC (Sealed Internal Cables) System, which routes the cables through the headset to reduce noise and bar clutter; and there’s a two-part linkage which is hollowed out to accept their FLP multi tool.

Both frame materials receive an upper chain guide and generous chain slap protection on the rear end. The battery is fixed within the frame, requiring the removal of the motor to access it. The suspension layout offers up enough space within the front triangle for a generous bottle, letting you stay hydrated or fit a range extender.

SUSPENSION | In keeping with the rest of their full suspension lineup, the Rise uses Orbea’s Linkage Driven Single Pivot suspension system with Concentric Boost rear axle pivot to deliver its 140mm of rear wheel travel. This suspension system is configured to produce 21% progression; and at sag there’s roughly 100% Anti Squat in all gears with a low 56% Anti Rise.

Orbea Rise M-Team Lightweight eMTB Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup

GEOMETRY | The Orbea Rise has fairly conservative trail geometry, which gives it a well-rounded nature that retains a healthy amount of agility. The wheelbase is tied for shortest on test, tied with the Specialized Levo SL. The bottom bracket height is lowest on test, giving a good “in the bike” feeling but with reduced pedal clearance as a consequence.

BUILD SPECS | With their MyO program, the choices for configuring your Orbea Rise are endless. However, they offer a series of standard build kits to form the base for each MyO custom build, ranging from the $5,299 Hydro Alloy-framed H30 to the $11,499 OMR Carbon-framed M-LTD.

We tested the $9,475 M-Team, featuring the OMR Carbon frame, but with the spec adjustments to the larger 540Wh battery and the cheaper MC32 Team alloy wheelset. The standard M-Team build kit features Fox suspension in the form of the 36 Float Factory 150mm fork and Float X Factory 2-position shock and are matched by the Fox Transfer Factory dropper post in your choice of 125-200mm lengths. There’s a Shimano XT Di2 system in place for the gears, which is powered directly off the motor and features the FREE SHIFT and AUTO SHIFT technologies to add some extra user-friendliness to your gearing. Braking is provided by Shimano’s XT 4-pot brakes to round out the package.

As standard the Orbea Rise M-Team build comes equipped with their in-house OC Mountain Control Carbon bar and Alu SL stem, with the rolling duties handled by their wheel brand OQUO’s Mountain Control MC32LTD Carbon wheels. We were instead provided with the Alloy MC32 Team wheelset for our test. As standard this bike is equipped with a Maxxis Dissector EXO+ tire combo but MyO offers multiple different choices for more or less aggressive tires. For this shootout we partnered with Schwalbe Tires to run their new Tacky Chan tires in the Super Trail casing.

Orbea Rise M-Team Lightweight eMTB Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup


SETUP | Getting the Orbea Rise ready for our first ride was pretty simple. The Shimano STEPS drive unit doesn’t require you to do anything you don’t want to, you can simply charge the bike, get on and go.

Suspension is pretty straight-forward but it’s worth noting that there is a slight window that will either give the Rise a very plush, pillowy feel or will give you a firmer platform with a bit more feedback. The upside to that is you can have a versatile bike that rides differently on rough and rowdy days where traction is scarce, or you can air up for a poppier feel on the flow trails and groomers.

ELECTRONICS & INTEGRATION | Depending on what you choose from the MyO program, you can either have a minimalist setup or have the Shimano display, which we’re personally fans of as it gives us some easy access to vital information. The charge port cover, power buttons and other integrations are pretty solid all-around however we find that the downside to the Orbea RS system is the size of the drive unit. It’s not a huge issue when it comes to performance, but it’s certainly a bit heavier than smaller, lightweight drive units and for those riders who want an SL for stealthy reasons may take issue with the full-size of the EP801 RS.

Orbea Rise M-Team Lightweight eMTB Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup

MOTOR POWER & RANGE | With the largest battery in the roundup, the Orbea Rise M-Team is the easy winner when it comes to max range and vert. Of course, weight weenies may not select the 504Wh battery and in which case, you’ll have a 1.5lb lighter bike with a more comparable range to other bikes in the mix. When it came to evaluating battery consumption on our test rides, we found that the number of Watt Hours consumed was on par, so it’s not that the EP801 is more efficient by a drastic percentage, it just has a larger fuel tank. Power is solid and at 60Nm, is close to the Fazua but offers a bit more of a natural feeler, if not a tad slower.

CLIMBING | Despite the looks, most of our riders really enjoyed the Selle Italia saddle found on the Rise, though we realize saddles are highly personal. Focusing on the rest of the bike, the Rise is a capable climber in most scenarios. The lower bottom bracket can and will be an issue for some. If you’re climbing super techy trails with lots of rocks, roots or in ruts, crank arms and pedals will regularly find the ground, especially if you’ve got a softer suspension setup. Outside of the low BB height, the geometry puts you in a comfortable position, the bike tracks well and navigates switchbacks and steeps well.

Orbea Rise M-Team Lightweight eMTB Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup

DESCENDING | With most of our riders sitting in the 5’10” – 6’2” range the 474 reach was comfortable but not overly spacious. Different riders have different preferences from comfort and playfulness on the descents and we’d say that Orbea is not out of line with this reach and overall geometry for general trail and all mountain riding, mostly. The head tube angle is one area we’d like to see updated by ½ or a full-degree as our testers felt it was a bit steep when hitting the steeper and faster trails the bike is more than capable of handling.

As we mentioned above, something that we liked about the Rise was that you could get a very different feeling bike on the trail depending how much air pressure you ran in the shock. Some trails would have us running a bit lower pressure to keep traction and compliance high while tackling loose rocks and chunk. We could then air up 10-15 PSI and have a stiffer platform and poppier bike that handled the flow and jump trails much better. Most riders will likely find a compromise in the middle and in this zone the Orbea sits squarely in the pack as a solid performer. It’s not the best in any one category but also had very few areas that polarized our testers, which is a good recipe for making a bike that pleases the masses.

FINISH AND VALUE | Orbea always has beautiful-looking bikes and depending on your MyO preference, you could get something that is truly unique and eye-catching. We love the colors of this Rise and while we did notice some paint chipping around the rear dropout from impacts with rocks, it seems that most of the finish and hardware are nicely executed.

When it comes to value, we usually take a neutral approach as we realize people have much higher and much lower budgets than we do. What we can do is evaluate component spec compared to ride quality, which for us is worth more than componentry sometimes. Orbea usually does a pretty solid job of offering bikes at a range of prices that are comparable to other offerings on the market and we think this Fox Factory Kashima-equipped eBike with a 540Wh battery and Shimano XT Di2 12s is pretty darn competitive.

Orbea Rise M-Team Lightweight eMTB Review | 2023 eMTB SL Roundup

The Wolf’s Last Word

Aside from the attention-grabbing paint job there wasn’t much on the trail that really wowed our test riders about the Orbea Rise, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The lack of major standouts means that the Orbea Rise M-Team is an eMTB that does everything you ask of it without many drawbacks. Occasionally we felt the rear end buck up when hitting sharp edges at speed and our more DH-biased riders wouldn’t have minded a slightly slacker head tube angle, but for the most part, when it came time to riding this 140/150mm bike on all the different test trails we threw it at, the Rise was regularly one of the top picked bikes. Its versatility and neutrality meant it would be predictable across the board and we knew exactly what to expect everywhere we rode it. If you aren’t looking for a “tip of the spear” sort of bike but instead would prefer something that will just do what you want just about everywhere, the Orbea Rise lineup could be worth considering, especially since you can customize several key aspects to make it your own.


We’d say the Rise is for riders who want a more planted, and dependable mid-power, lightweight eMTB. It doesn’t have any truly polarizing traits or numbers, can be easily customized at the factory and is currently priced to move! Overall, it’s a solid, versatile eMTB.

Price: $9,433 (M-Team as built)
Weight: 43.3 lbs (large)
Website: Orbea.com


Frame: OMR Carbon | 140mm
Fork: Fox Factory 36 Grip2 | 150mm
Shock: Fox Factory Float X 2-pos | 210x55mm

Motor: Shimano EP801-RS | 250W | 85Nm | 2.6kg
Battery: Orbea Internal | 540Wh | Integrated | 2.7kg
Display: Shimano EN600
Remote: Shimano EN600-L | 3 Buttons

Brakes: Shimano XT M8120 200F/R rotors
Handlebar: OC Mountain Control MC10 Carbon | 20mm Rise | 800 W
Stem: OC Mountain Control MC10 Alu SL | 50mm Length
Headset: Alloy | Black Oxidated Bearing
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory | Choice of 125mm-200mm Length
Saddle: Fizik Taiga Kium

Wheels: OQUO Mountain Control MC32 Team
Front tire: Maxxis Dissector | EXO+ | 29″ x 2.4″
Rear tire: Maxxis Dissector | EXO+ | 29″ x 2.4″

Cassette: Shimano XT CS-M8100 | 10-51T
Cranks: Shimano Steps EM900 | S/M: 165mm, L/XL: 170mm
Shifter: Shimano M8150 Di2 | 12s
Derailleur: Shimano XT Di2 M8150 | 12s

We Dig

Customizations through MyO
Neutral and versatile
Can be ridden everywhere
Planted feel makes it feel safer

We Don’t

Can ride a bit heavier than the weight suggests
Not a stealthy motor, easy to tell it’s an eMTB
Steepish headtube angle


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.