Orbea's Research and Development arm debuts at World E-Bike Series event in Monaco


Research and development is where innovation happens, and pretty much every bike brand has a team dedicated to it. At Orbea, that group is known as the OOLab, which stands for Orbea Optimisation Lab. Partnered with Shimano, the group is on the hunt for marginal gains and paradigm shifts within the e-bike world.

According to the press release, “OOLab is Orbea’s flagship innovation project, where the brand can test ideas, develop knowledge and create future solutions beyond the usual product development cycle.”

Two Orbea riders – Damien Oton and Gabi Torralba – will riding bikes equipped with prototype and test elements and providing all-important real-world feedback and performance information. After all, there’s nothing like actual race conditions to test out a new piece of kit.

Orbea OOLab Race Monaco

In this outing for OOLabs, Torralba was testing a modified Orbea Rise M-LTD eMTB setup with Shimano’s EP801 motor, Deore XT Di2 drivetrain, with Free Shift and Autoshift technologies. This setup is designed to be light and efficient for e-bike racing and to be able to handle fast shifting under heavy load and high pressure.

There will be more racing and more testing over the coming season, with plans for OOLabs and test riders to include the World E-bike Series, the UCI E-EDR, and others – not all of which will be unveiled, the better to keep prototypes and innovations secret, we reckon.

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