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Fast and flowy; Orbea Alma 29er on test

The Orbea Alma 29er

The Orbea Alma 29er (Image credit: James Huang)

Orbea's Alma 29er is a big-wheeled offshoot of the company's race-ready Alma carbon fiber hardtail, currently piloted by the Luna professional team. With all of the hype surrounding its introduction, James Huang finds out if the Alma 29er lives up to its high expectations:

Orbea made a big splash earlier this year with the announcement that it would be making a 29er version of its high-zoot Alma carbon fiber hardtail. Sure, there were lots of lightweight XC-specific 29" hardtails already available (including Orbea's own aluminum version), but the Alma 29er was to be, and still is, the first one crafted from carbon fiber.

If its aluminum 29er was the proverbial toe in the water, this new model is, by comparison, a veritable cannonball. Unlike aluminum which can easily be cut, mitered, and welded in whichever way necessary, the Alma 29er's true monocoque construction requires a major commitment involving expensive molds and associated tooling. Two-niner advocates are undoubtedly thrilled with the Alma 29er's 1300g final production weight (for a medium frame), but will Orbea's gamble pay off in what is still a relatively nascent segment of the mountain bike market?

Read the entire Orbea Alma 29er review here.

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