The new range of electric mountain bikes from Orbea are aimed at luring beginners out of their daily lives and on to the trails.
Orbea’s marketing states: “The Wild owner wants to take advantage of pedal-assist to enhance the riding experience to cover more terrain or enjoy riding with a partner who is much stronger. Wild is for riders who want to spend more time outdoors and are looking for an escape from daily life.”
The accompanying information on Orbea’s Wild eMTBs then goes on about “drifting flat turns through pine needles, flowing through rock gardens like water”, so they’re clearly quite confident in the Wild’s capabilities then!
Rotated Bosch motor
Upon first glance it looks like any other aluminium framed, Bosch-motored, Boost hubbed, 27+ tyre eMTB but on closer inspection there are three main eyebrow-raising points of interest on this bike: the rotated motor, the 152mm crank arms and Orbea’s “E-MTB Geo” geometry.
The Bosch Performance Line CX 25km/h motor comes with a 500Wh battery and is housed in what Orbea called the “O2 Box”. This casing incorporates a fairly substantial looking metal armour plate designed to shrug off hits.
The Bosch motor has been rotated 45 degrees in the Wild’s frame. This is claimed to have a couple of benefits. Namely, improved ground clearance and short chainstays. Short chainstays are desirable to keep the bike’s handling nice and nippy.
Short 152mm crank arms
Regarding ground clearance, what about those 152mm cranks? A regular crank length is 175mm so the cranks fitted to Orbea Wilds are exceptionally short. This is principally to improve ground clearance – avoiding pedal strikes on rocks and roots and so on – but it is also apparently to do with a desire to “encourage higher cadence” (faster pedal revolutions) as it’s more suited to the motor.
eMTB specific geometry
The geometry of the Wilds has been dubbed “E-MTB Geo” by Orbea. Orbea state that “keeping engine and battery weight low and centred is paramount for fun handling.” The bikes appear to come with fairly short stems and suitably relaxed head angles.
There’s not a whole lot of precise detail about this geometry yet so it’s difficult to pass any comment at this stage. It does look like the Wilds come with pretty decent trail bike geometry allied to a particularly low bottom bracket height.