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New Orbea Terra Hydro: Alloy option added to the gravel range

An orange bike side on in some woodland with bikepacking bags attached
(Image credit: Orbea)

The original Terra was released by the Basque brand in 2017, and later received a significant overhaul in late 2021 with the release of the new ‘all terrain’ Terra. Until now, however, it was reserved for fans of plastic bikes. Fortunately for those of us with shallower pockets, or fans of metal bikes, Orbea has released the Terra Hydro. Aside from price the differences between the alloy and carbon versions are subtle, but not insignificant. 

Is this just a carbon-copy? 

Many brands offer their bikes in both carbon and aluminium options without adjusting the geometry. Aluminium is generally seen as the more budget friendly option but that doesn't necessarily mean a reduction in performance; our list of the best gravel bikes is almost entirely carbon, while our guide to the best budget gravel bikes features a mix of frame materials. The aluminium tubes for the Terra Hydro are internally butted and hydroformed, hence the ‘Hydro’ moniker.

In the case of the Orbea Terra Hydro the frameset is very similar to that of the carbon Terra. It is available in the same six sizes, from XS to XXL, and the geometry of each size is nearly identical. The head angle is the same, as are the BB drop, top-tube lengths etc. The wheelbase in each case is 10mm longer however, thanks to 10mm longer chainstays. This should make the alloy version slightly more stable (or slightly less ‘racy’, depending on your point of view), and may slightly improve its climbing ability over rough ground by effectively shifting the centre of mass forward. Given each size has an identical trail though the steering feel will be the same.

Both also share the same carbon fork, and make use of an asymmetrical chainstay design to improve tyre clearance and chainring clearance; the Orbea Terra Hydro can accommodate 700c x 45mm or 650b x 50mm depending on how rough your definition of ‘gravel’ is. It can also take 2x systems, or a single front chainring up to 34T.

The Terra Hydro also eschews the in-frame storage pod, as aluminium tubing doesn't take well to having giant holes bored into it without drastically compromising structural integrity. It does however handle additional bosses with aplomb, and the alloy version has an additional two neatly tucked inside the seatstays to take a pannier rack, in addition to the three sets of bottle bosses on the seat and downtubes.

The rear end of a copper coloured bike, highlighting two bosses inside the seatstays

A pair of bosses inside the seatstays add pannier capabilities (Image credit: Orbea)

Build options and prices 

The new carbon terra was available in a mixture of build options from both Shimano and Sram. The orbea Terra Hydro in contrast features only Shimano, with three different builds all based on Shimano GRX: two 2x options at Tiagra and Ultegra level, and a 1x option at 105 level, though none make use of a complete GRX build. All three builds are available in three colourways; Copper (brown), Mango (orange), and Night Black (black).

The most expensive Terra H30 (nominally Ultegra level) will set you back £2,299 / $2,799 / €2,299, the Terra H30 1X (nominally 105 level) comes in at £2,199 / $2,699 / €2,199, and the Terra H40 (nominally Tiagra level) costs £1,999 / $2,499 / €1,999.

A 3/4 shot of the single front chainring of a copper coloured bike, with mud splattered on it

Both 1x and 2x builds are available (Image credit: Orbea)

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Will Jones
Will Jones

Will joined the Cyclingnews team as a reviews writer in 2022, having previously written for Cyclist, BikeRadar and Advntr. There are very few types of cycling he's not dabbled in, and he has a particular affection for older bikes and long lasting components. Road riding was his first love, before graduating to racing CX in Yorkshire. He's been touring on a vintage tandem all the way through to fixed gear gravel riding and MTB too. When he's not out riding one of his many bikes he can usually be found in the garage making his own frames and components as a part time framebuilder, restoring old mountain bikes, or walking his collie in the Lake District.

Height: 182cm

Weight: 72Kg

Rides: Custom Zetland Audax, Bowman Palace:R, Peugeot Grand Tourisme Tandem, 1988 Specialized Rockhopper, Stooge Mk4, Falcon Explorer Tracklocross