Orbea has thrown its hat into the aero road bike segment with launch of its new Orca Aero, which not only cheats the wind in every manner possible, but pushes the boundaries of cockpit integration as well.
Taking full advantage of the UCI’s newly relaxed 3:1 ratio, which stipulates that the measurements of a frame’s tube dimensions cannot exceed a minimum thickness and maximum height of 1cm and 8cm, the Orca Aero capitalizes on the Basque brand’s decade-long know-how, to create a bike that’s lighter, stiffer and slipperier than any previous model.
The Orca Aero’s new Freeflow fork is perhaps the greatest benefactor of this rule change, which has allowed Orbea to increase the depth of the fork blades substantially. As a result, the company claims a 4 watt savings over previous versions.
The new fork also features direct mount brakes, along with a newly designed crown, and tire clearance up to 28mm.
In addition to the Freeflow fork, major changes in the way of tube shapes and profiles have had a profound effect on the bike’s aerodynamic properties as well.
For instance, truncated tube profiles are now used on the down tube and rear seat stays, while the top tube and seat tube feature a new oval shape profile for even more aerodynamic benefits. Moreover, a huge down tube featuring double radius flattened sides, also adds to the Orca Aero’s improved air flow.
Other features that punctuate the Orca Aero, include a new oval shaped aero seat post, which is offered with a choice of two setback options, as well as internal battery storage for Shimano Di2 groupsets.
As mentioned, integration is a key feature with the Orca Aero’s cockpit as well, which uses a newly developed stem and aero handlebar combination that routes both mechanical and electronic cabling through different ports along the top of the down tube, for a nice clean look.
Orbea says, the Orca Aero will be offered in seven sizes ranging from 49 to 60cm, along with six different “builds”. In addition, customers can also take advantage of Orbea’s MY O custom color program at no extra charge.
Pricing will start at $3300 for the Shimano 105 equipped M30Team, all the way up to the range topping $8500 M11iTeam, which features SRAM Red eTap groupset, FSA Metron bar and stem, and 65mm deep carbon DT Swiss PRC1400 wheels.
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