An enduro bike with great geometry and a killer price, but is there a catch?
What attracted you to the Orbea?
One glance at the Rallon and I saw a bike that looked right aesthetically, with equally good numbers on the geometry chart. Factor in the competitive pricing for a 160mm-travel enduro bike and I was itching to give the Rallon a go.
Did you change anything straightaway?
No. But I actually changed some of the parts before the bike even arrived. I was able to do this because Orbea’s bikes are assembled and finished in Spain, which in turn gives you the option to swap or upgrade some of the components when ordering the bike. The choice wasn’t huge on the Rallon X30, but from the drop-down menus on the website I opted to swap the stock Formula C1 brakes for market-leading Shimano SLX. There was a £95 up-charge for doing so, bringing the total cost of the bike to £2,294.
Was the bike easy to set up?
Not as easy as it should have been. The main issue was that the SLX brakes came Euro style, with the front brake on the left, so my first task was to swap the brake hoses around. To do the job properly you really need a Shimano bleed kit and seeing as the bike isn’t supplied with one this delayed me getting out on the trails. First ride out I decided to flip the geometry chip that slackens the head angle and lowers the BB height. It took a couple of minutes to do and I’ve ridden it in that setting ever since.
“Of all the 160mm-travel bikes I’ve ridden, the Orbea has one of the best rear suspension systems”
How did it ride?
In a word — brilliantly. What looked right on paper turned out to be right out on the trail too. The frame proportions felt great and the bike was fast and fun to ride. Of all the 160mm-travel bikes I’ve ridden, the Orbea has one of the best rear suspension systems. Even specced with the most basic Fox CTD shock it felt incredibly active in all conditions, bar pedalling. I suspect the BOS-equipped version feels even better.
The Shimano gears and brakes have performed perfectly over six months of riding, and it was really only the front end that was a bit of a letdown — the Fox 34 CTD Evolution fork felt mediocre until a FIT cartridge was fitted. After that it did a much better job of matching the rear in terms of sensitivity and support.
Did anything break or wear out?
I’m not known as mbr’s snapper just because I take photos — any bike I swing a leg over usually gets returned with something broken or worn out, and the Orbea was no exception. Shortly after I blew up the Evolution series damper in the fork, the frame cracked just above the brake mount. Orbea had already issued a recall and I was promptly shipped a new seatstay assembly. Since replacing it with the modified version I’ve had no issues. My real bugbear however was the cheap Shimano QR rear hub. Not only were the cones forever coming loose, the rear axle snapped in half. Also, it’s never going to be as stiff as a bolt-thru design, and given the lack of tyre clearance on the rear, a more stout set-up would definitely help prevent the rear tyre rubbing on the inside of the seatsays when cornering hard.
If you could change one thing about your longtermer what would it be?
I’d have a 142x12mm rear end and the better hub that goes with it.
Even with all of the issues I had with the Rallon X30 I’d be happy to drop just over £2k on one. It’s a great bike considering the price but it’s the frame and rear suspension that make it so special and form a sound basis for upgrading. Just double-check the pricing of the upgrade options on the Orbea website as it’s cheaper to buy some parts like the RockShox Reverb independently.