The Orbea Alma is one impressively uncompromising fully rigid MTB
Despite all the recent talk in World Cup XC racing circles of popularity of full suspension and even dropper seat posts there will always be a place for a bike like this amongst the shaven legged end of the XC spectrum.
Although the Orbea Alma sports a rigid fork up front – the Orbea Spirit fork – there’s some eyebrow raising talk of huge tyre clearances. 2.4 x 29 tyres will be no problem. And so will 27.5 x 2.8 Plus tyres.
A cross country race bike with 29 x 2.4 at the back and 27.5 x 2.8 up front? Stranger things have happened.
Having said that, not all Almas are the same because of the way Orbea offer five frames in two wheel sizes. Small and Medium frames come with 27.5” wheels, Medium, Large and XL frames come with 29” wheels.
Both ends of the bike are Boost and bolt-thru.
As there’s none of the usual suspension gubbins to gab about there’s not an awful lot more to say about the Alma. But we shall try…
The top-end Alma OMR frame blends Toray T700, T800 and M40J fibres. Prepreg carbon sheets are laser cut to reduce excess materials and overlap.
The seat stays become thin is certain points along their length for a token nod to comfort.
The top tube is large at the head tube but quickly tapers and then features a bonus bend as it reaches the seat tube – this is claimed to offer a bit of give for comfort too.
Apparently these fine tunings make the 2017 Alma 10% more compliant than previous Almas.
Geometry has changed a bit too. A slacker head angle (69.3º/69.5º), steeper seat angle and lower stack height, shorter (420/430mm) chainstays.
Any other neat touches? Orbea’s ‘Chain Security’ bolt-ons for 2x and 1x systems look neat. The ‘Quick Adjust’ Digit SL seat post is Orbea’s version of a dropper. The Digit SL is 45g lighter than the previous Digit post.
Internal cable routing. Compatible with internal down tube or seatpost batteries for Di2 drivetrains. Carbon races are molded into the headtube for the lightest design possible.
While it may not be a bike that most of us would want to own there’ll be quite a number of rapid XC bods out there who’ll be loving this. Kudos to Orbea for doing something so full-on and uncompromising.