Orbea's new Terra Carbon chassis looks to be an awesome choice for a high-end 'cross racer - but unfortunately, it won't be available until late in the season.
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Terra trio offers beefed-up features
Orbea designers apparently haven't taken a break in 2010; not only has the company launched a new road bike, 29er hardtail, and full-suspension enduro machine, but the company's trio of cyclo-cross platforms will include two all-new models for 2011 - the full-carbon Terra Silver and the alloy Terra A.
The Terra Silver mixes attributes of both the Orca and Alma, including the distinctively angular tube shapes, BB30 bottom bracket shell, and 'four point' rear triangle that supposedly lends an extra measure of comfort to the back end.
'Cross-specific features include a unique asymmetrical top tube designed to better distribute load across the rider's shoulders during run-ups - at least assuming the bike is carried on the right side.
Cables are run along the top and right side of the top tube to shield them from mud and debris while a further evolution of Orbea's Direct Cable Routing system - developed in conjunction with the folks at Gore Ride-On Cables - seals the lines completely and also eliminates a couple of sections of housing for notably reduced friction.
Other details include a neatly integrated seatpost collar to preserve the clean lines and a tapered front end for more surefooted handling.
Typically, the more stoutly reinforced head tube and fork crown would also be a good way to combat brake chatter, though in the case of the Terra, Orbea has gone one step further by tacking on a crown-mounted housing stop, too. Another aluminum housing stop is found out back riveted to the seat stays.
Claimed frame weight is 1,250g and the matching fork will add another 550g. Orbea will offer the Terra Silver frame in five sizes and on three models with build kits ranging from Shimano Dura-Ace to 105.
For more budget-minded 'crossers there's also a new Terra A alloy chassis, built with double-butted aluminum tubing, a straight 1 1/8" head tube, a standard high-mounted front brake housing stop, and more conventional top tube routing. Claimed frame weight is 1,450g and the matching fork will add another 650g.
As appealing looking as these new models are, however, Orbea unfortunately won't have them available until late in the season. Consumers can expect to see them in stores around November or December.
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