Orbea launches time-trial-inspired Orca Aero road bike

Orbea Orca Aero
(Image credit: Orbea)

We first spotted what appeared to be a camo-wrapped Orbea aero bike at the Vuelta a España, and the Spanish company has finally verified this by dropping the covers off the new Orca Aero claiming it to be the "most specific aero bike it has ever designed." The brand used the Ordu time trial bike is the fundamental blueprint, and spent time modelling and testing in the wind tunnel to create the Orca Aero. 

By utilising a horizontal top tube and chainstay configuration, and optimising the downtube, seat tube and fork, Orbea has managed to create a wind-cheating form, that has been optimised to work best with 25-28mm tyres. The upper seat tube junction has been aligned with the airflow to create less drag around the rear wheel. In addition to an aero fork that's optimised for deep profile wheels, stem, and seat post reduce drag by two per cent. 

In a move which goes against the grain, the Orca Aero foregoes a one-piece bar/stem cockpit arrangement in favour of an adjustable stem/bar combo that Orbea claims is more ergonomic and aero - 28 size combinations are available.  

According to Orbea, the new bike gains 15W at 40km/h and 28W at 50km/h. 

The bike uses OMX Carbon, and each frame size gets its own specific layup. This creates a better stiffness-to-weight ratio, according to Orbea. 

The geometry of the bike has been designed with racing in mind. A shorter wheelbase and shorter chainstays lead to more responsiveness and acceleration while a lower stack and bigger bottom bracket drop lead to stability and control. The bike also has a specific fork offset for each frame size which also improves control.

In terms of weight, it's not the lightest bike around but many of the best aero road bikes tip the scales at 7kg an above.  The frameset as a whole weighs 1.1kg, with subtle variations in that number depending on paint which can be between 11-60g. The total weight of the range-topping Orbea Orca Aero M10iLTD comes in at 7.6kg without pedals.

Orbea Orca Aero

The Orca Aero is Orbea's new aerodynamic road bike for racing  (Image credit: Orbea)

UCI illegal storage system

The bike gains decent storage too, including in-house-developed aero bottle cages and frame storage below the downtube that can be removed depending on whether the event is UCI-sanctioned or not. The bottles and toolbox were developed together with Ordu and benefits from the same gains - a three per cent aerodynamic improvement using this system over a regular bottle cage system.

Everything from frame colours and graphics to component selection can be customised when ordering a bike, but Orbea offers six stock builds starting at £3,999/$4,499. 

At the entry-level is the Orca Aero M20LTD model which uses Shimano Ultegra R8000 gearing and Shimano R8070 hydraulic disc brakes. The bike sees Fulcrum Racing 400 DB wheels with Vittoria tyres.

The top-level spec is the M10iLTD, which costs £9,599/$9,999. The model uses Shimano Dura-Ace R9250 Di2 gearing and Shimano R9270. In addition to Orbea's aerodynamic cockpit components, the bike gets Shimano R9250 C50 Disc Carbon TL CL wheels and Vittoria Corsa Competition G2.0 TLR tyres.

Owing to delays pertaining to the new Shimano Dura-Ace R9200 groupsets, the first Orbea Orca Aero bikes will hit showroom floors will feature SRAM builds.  

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Ryan Simonovich has been riding and racing for nearly a decade. He got his start as a cross-country mountain bike racer in California and quickly learned how fun road cycling can be. He has dabbled in road, criterium and cyclocross racing as well. He lives in Durango, Colorado, where there are endless mountain views and hilly gravel routes.