From Spain in custom colours… if you choose. The latest Orca from Orbea retails for $6,899 in Australia.

The Orbea arrived in a massive box. This may not sound like much but generally the bigger the box the more assembled a bike is. And this was the case for the Orbea. This is great news for shops (and mechanics): fast turnaround, no-fuss assembly… ready to sell.

The bike was packed very well, loads of foam, lots of buffering between the frame and parts and it paid off because there wasn’t a blemish on the bike.

A lot has been said about cable routing but there’s merit in a feature on bike packing.

There have been features about how to prepare a bike for travel and similar rules apply for manufacturers when they are sending product halfway around the world and hoping that it doesn’t get damaged in transit.

Out of the test quintet in #RIDE75, the most practical packaging was by Canyon but the Orbea was a close second. If a consumer direct model gets more traction then this is going to be a key element.

Neat drop-outs, well finished… and hand built in Spain. 

Managing Di2 cabling

The Orca was a pretty straightforward bike to put together; sure there were internal cables (again) but it’s essentially a classic road frame with no crazy requirements: standard brakes, no proprietary parts, a nicely shaped form – with a little bit of excess paint on the steerer tube, but nothing to get too worked up about… and it all came together easily.

The Di2 build made it even more of a breeze to strip down and put back together.

The cable routing on this bike is pretty cool, with snap in guides cabling can be changed around with ease (ie. if the buyer was changing from Di2 to mechanical it would be very easy).

Considering customers can select components as part of the My-O it makes sense that the bike is adaptable.

The Di2 cable/brake holder insert is a tiny part but it adds appeal by utilising the port on the top tube and the down tube entry points can be covered and essentially ignored. Both cables enter and exit the same holder, meaning making the cables neater is a breeze.

With some tidy heat shrink work you can barely even notice the electronic Di2 cables.

Big box, happy mechanic. The builds for #RIDE75 were done by Lachlan McKillop.

Down to the bottom bracket

Pressfit 30 is used on the Orca with step down adapters from FSA slimming down the bearings to work with the Shimano 24 spindle.

This is a bottom bracket set-up riddled with much controversy and one of the reasons that there are now options that eliminate adapters. All worked smoothly on the Orbea and, straight from the factory, it was obvious to me that the mechanics in Spain are also riders.

After a few episodes with a system like this (on another brand frame) I’ve found myself looking for solutions when there is even the slightest hint of noise.

A little bit of grease will go a long way to keeping the frame quiet.

Even if you hear something, I wouldn’t fret; it’s quite logical that, after a bit of use, there are some sounds but consider them a reminder to take the bike in for a service.

Funky fastening is all the rage on for seat posts of road bikes in 2017… and the Orca is no exception. This configuration is neat and does the job well.

Tidy frame, inside and out

Many bikes are built in the same factory as other brands, often in Asia. But Orbea tried that and opted for production of its high-end bikes back in Spain.

Where it’s made matters to some customers but Euro isn’t always best… some Italian frames have copped a lambasting in previous Build Reports because they tend to look neat on the outside but are rank on the inside with filings, errant paint, and other things that would be of concern to a customer.

Aside from the stray spray of green on the fork steerer there is nothing to worry about on this bike.

Lachlan and the Orca… 

Standout items that surprised

FSA and Vision components complement the bike very well. There are options with wheels choice but our bike arrived with aluminium options from Vision. They look great and the bearings feel amazing!

The rest of the FSA components matched up well during the Orca build and it offers that ‘matchy matchy’ look that’s so popular.

Most complete builds cut corners at some points and usually it is the tyres, with many riders having their own preferences anyway so it never seems a drama.

Orbea has gone for a top shelf tyre upon OEM spec: the Vittoria Open Corsa is used for this build on the Orca.

And Shimano Ultegra? This may be due for an upgrade but there’s no need. The groupset works well, builds easily and functions flawlessly. Love it.