Orbea unveils 2021 Orca

Orbea unveiled the newest iteration of its top of the range Orca road bike on Monday, the latest update on the model first released back in 2003.

Described as a bike for riders "who demand the lightest bike with the best combination of technologies and flexible ergonomics", the Orca is a bike which combines the lightweight characteristics of the best lightweight bikes with the stiffness and aerodynamic features of the best aero bikes.

All 12 models of the Orca have been updated, from the £1,799 ($2,199) M40 up to the £7,999 ($9,399) M11eLTD, and there are improvements through the range.

The five models at the top end (named LTD and primed for racing), which all come in Orbea's refined OMX construction it claims as the "pinnacle of carbon fibre bicycle manufacturing", see a three-gram weight reduction, meaning a mere 830g claimed weight for the frame. Meanwhile, the OMR frames (named TEAM and suggested for all-rounders and endurance) on the five cheaper models weigh in at 1030g.

The OMX frame, introduced in the last iteration of the bike, comes with a claimed 10 per cent reduction in drag compared to the 2019 bike. It's stiffer too, at the headtube, downtube and chainstays – a full 15 per cent improvement is claimed.

Dig into the specs on the OMR frames, meanwhile, and compliance is the name of the game, with vibration absorption a claimed five per cent improvement on the previous OMR frame, and 10 per cent higher than the stiff racing OMX frame.

The differences between the OMX and OMR don't end there, though with the OMX getting a proprietary d-shaped aero seatpost and thicker chainstays, among others.

Both frames do, however, feature hidden seatpost clamps for that extra aero touch, as well clearance for 32-35mm tyres, perfect for riders to take on some light gravel or dirt as well as everyday tarmac riding. Quick-release thru-axles are standard throughout the range.

Aero is also the name of the game, with a clean front end on the new Orca aided by internal cable routing, with brake and gear cables routing into the stem at the front, rather than into the frame at the headtube.

Renewed attention has been paid to the geometry, of course. Orbea says that the new Orca features a shorter wheelbase and size-specific fork offset to increase responsiveness and control in handling the bike. Shorter chainstays are in, too, to aid acceleration.

For the 'TEAM' range of endurance-focused models, there's a handlebar redesign too. The OC Rise bar which features raised contact points for a more relaxing ride on the neck and shoulders. A shorter cockpit adds to the focus on comfort in an endurance position while still producing a quick and responsive bike.

There are 12 models available, with varying frame and groupset options – from SRAM Red eTAP and Shimano Dura-Ace 9150 Di2 down to Shimano Tiagra. It'll be no trouble finding an Orca in your size either, with models ranging from 47cm up to 60cm in 2cm increments.

There's also further customisation available, with Orbea's MyO platform, which lets customers tailor paint, graphic and component options to their heart's desire – check out the funky fork on the model below, for example. 

Orbea Orca 2021 range

Orca M11eLTD: SRAM Red eTAP, OMX disc frame

£7,999 / $9,399 / €8,999

Orca M10iLTD: Shimano Dura-Ace 9150 Di2, OMX disc frame

£7,599 / $8,999 / €8,499

Orca M21eLTD: SRAM Force eTAP AXS, OMX disc frame

£5,399 / $6,299 / €5,999

Orca M20iLTD: Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8050, OMX disc frame

£5,299 / $5,999 / €5,899

Orca M20LTD: Shimano Ultegra R8000, OMX disc frame

£4,399 / $4,999 / €4,899

Orca M21eTEAM: SRAM Force eTAP AXS, OMR disc frame

£4,199 / $4,599 / €4,499

Orca M20iTEAM: Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8050, OMR disc frame

£3,899 / $4,499 / €4,299

Orca M25TEAM: Shimano Ultegra R8000, OMR disc frame

£3,399 / $3,999 / €3,799

Orca M20TEAM: Shimano Ultegra R8000, OMR disc frame

£2,999 / $3,499 / €3,299

Orca M20: Shimano Ultegra R8000, OMR disc frame

£2,399 / $2,899 / €2,699

Orca M30: Shimano 105 R7000, OMR disc frame

£1,999 / $2,399 / €2,199

Orca M40: Shimano Tiagra 4700, OMR disc frame

£1,799 / $2,199 / €1,999

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