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.
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.
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.
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.