The new Orbea Orca prioritises comfort in the year of aero updates

Orbea has rung the changes with the new Orca OMR road endurance bike, featuring subtle edits over the range topping Orca OMX whilst retaining the familiar Orca outline.

Orbea’s Orca range of road bikes has been synonymous with race ready, high performance machines for several years. The brand expanded the range to include the obligatory aero bike in 2017 and tweaked the aero gains of the ‘standard’ Orca last year to bring in more integration and modernise the frame.

However, in a year where every new road bike has seen an aero update, Orbea has bucked the trend – taking the new Orca OMR in a different direction, by focussing more on the needs of the rider who prefers a little more comfort for long-distance efforts.

How does the Orca OMR differ from the OMX?

The differences between the top-end OMX and the new Orca OMR are subtle but should help to create a little more diversity within the Orca family.

The OMX/OMR moniker refers to the carbon layup of the frame with OMX being the lightest and highest quality and OMR, whilst still being made of high-modulus and high strength carbon fibres, is more economical and translates to a slightly heavier and less stiff frame characteristic. Orbea are quoting a frame weight of 1030 grams for the OMR in a 53cm size compared to 830 grams for the OMX in an equivalent size.

Dropped stays and a round seatpost aid the improved compliance figures.

Orbea claim the new Orca OMR frame is 10 per cent more compliant than the OMX version and 5 per cent more compliant than the current OMR frame. This comes down to changes not only the carbon layup but interestingly in changes to the tubing shapes.

In a time when all GC style road bikes are moving further down the aero route Orbea has taken the Orbea OMR the other way and reduced the aero profiling found on the OMX version instead bringing back a more rounded profile for the main tubes. It has also shrunk the size of the down tube slightly in order to improve compliance even further.

Orbea has also switched the seat post from a 30.9mm version to a round profile 27.2mm diameter post increasing compliance by 16 per cent over the existing version. Tyre clearances are equally modern with space for up to 35mm rubber at both ends.

The OC riser handlebar adapts the Orca OMR into a more ‘endurance’ based riding position.

The other change that will be difficult to spot is a tweak of the geometry over the OMX. In general tube dimensions and angles remain the same but the new OMR is now available with a brand new handlebar option that effectively increases the stack height by 20mm and reduces reach by 5mm.

These changes create a more comfort oriented riding position without having to resort to adding spacers or fitting a shorter stem. The new OC Rise handlebar looks similar to the Hoverbar Specialized developed for the Roubaix and is specced as standard on the three lower tier Orca OMR models and is an option for all other models.

The Orca OMR retains the same cable integration as the higher model thanks to the IC stem.

Prices for the new Orbea OMR start from £1799, first 3 models focussed on the ‘endurance’ rider but parts can be swapped/upgraded thanks to Orbea’s MyO customisation program. MyO allows you to change the colours, graphic options and spec of each model (amount of variations depend upon model range position)

All models are available to order via Orbea dealers or through Orbea’s website, alongside its MyO program.

This content was originally published here.

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