We take the Orbea Orca B M50 through its paces in our Four Ride bike review
Orbea Orca B M50
We’re fans of the Orca’s angular looks and this year’s £1,549 base price makes the standard wheel package better value – though the tyres are a bit basic. Orbea also offers a range of upgrades via its website so you can choose how it’ll be supplied to your local dealer. We opted for Kysrium Equipe S wheels, and an FSA cockpit, which added £229 to the price but was immediately shown to be a good choice on the road.
The Orca really impressed us with its cleverly comfortable, yet thundering performance. It’s smooth-rolling and sharp – happy thrashing along at sprint speeds or barrelling down descents. It’s a bike that’s brilliantly balanced no matter what it’s tasked with. The upgraded Kysriums represent the higher end of wheels in this price range and make a useful contribution to transforming the ride.
The Orca B M50 is as at home on the climbs as it is descending or sprinting. The only surprise we found in the spec is the lack of a compact chainset in favour of the FSA Gossamer triple, which offers a 30/39/50 range, complementing the 12-28 cassette. The triple is a little bit overkill for most UK climbs, but we could see a use for it on the super-steep slopes in the heart of Basque country where Orbea are based.
With huge box-section chainstays and the monostay seatstay having similarly large dimensions, the big surprise is that the big back end is perfectly supple over coarse surfaces, adding smooth rolling to long rides on the UK’s rough roads while feeling taut enough to match the totally planted feel up front. The Mavic wheels come with 23mm tyres as standard but 25mm would make the ride even friendlier.
Frame: Bronze level carbon
Weight: 8.64kg (57cm)
Gears: Shimano 105, Tiagra front mech
Wheels: Mavic Kysrium Equipe S
Finishing kit: FSA Wing compact bar, FSA Gossamer stem, FSA Omega chainset, Orbea carbon post, Selle Italia XP saddle, Mavic Yksion tyres