- - Orbea Prioritizes Weight over Aero with New Orca

Orbea Prioritizes Weight over Aero with New Orca

Lightweight or aero, and never the twain shall meet, has been a consistent dilemma for bike brands when attempting to develop a one-design fits all. In the case of the new Orca, Orbea has decided to forego cheating the wind in favor of a lightweight design that excels when the road kicks up.

“This is why increasing the weight of a light bike in exchange for aero features doesn’t make any sense. On the climbs, the lighter the bike the better, and at high speeds, the more aero the better. The middle-weight bike with aero features doesn’t win anywhere,” explains Joseba Arizaga, Road Product Manager at Orbea.

Tipping the scales at a feathery 750 grams, the top-tier Orca OMX frame is the result of Orbea’s due diligence when it came to redefining its fabrication process, reducing the amount of overall carbon by the careful use of prepeg sheets that limit the number of overlaps, thus saving weight while also eliminating defined corners and edges that increase drag.

“Our tests suggest that the 500g reduction in frame weight for a lightweight bike over an aero bike will save around three watts at a gradient of 5%, or six watts at 10%,” says Orbea.

When it comes to geometry, Orbea says it left the angles largely the same as the previous generation bike, albeit with slightly shorter chainstays in order to reduce the wheelbase, while still leaving enough clearance for 32mm tires.

Elsewhere, the new Orbea features a range of seatposts that can accommodate saddles with various types of rails, as well as lighter hardware and a new paint process that sees a reduction in weight by 20 grams and 15 grams, respectively.

The new Orca OMX is offered in a number of guises, with prices ranging from $5,999 to $11,599, while the lower carbon modulus-spec’d OMR ranges from $3,599 to $6,899.

You can learn more about the new Orca by visiting Orbea’s website here.

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