First Look Review : Pete’s Orbea Rise M-Team Custom.

Pete took delivery of a very fetching Orbea Rise M-Team in the Pyrenees and gives his opening impressions of the half fat ebike.

Orbea’s Rise is their answer to the latest run of light weight ebikes and Pete had a chance to take one into the high alpine of the Pyrenees to see what it was made of.

Photos by Pete Scullion.

Key features:

  • Fox 36 Factory 150mm fork
  • Fox Float X Factory shock
  • Shimano XT Di2 12-speed drive
  • Shimano EP801 RS motor
  • Orbea 504Wh battery
  • Shimano XT 4-piston brakes
  • OQUO Mountain Control MC32Team wheels
  • Fox Transfer Factory dropper

The Orbea Rise is essentially the ebike brethren of the Occam, offering up 150mm travel front and rear, rolling on 29″ wheels only. Power comes from a Shimano EP801 RS that was co-developed with Orbea, fuelled by Orbea’s own battery. 360Wh or 504Wh units are available.

This Rise M-Team has a few customisations courtesy of the MyO configurator, but is otherwise one down from the top tier carbon-framed Rise, the Rise M-Ltd. The range is strong, with five carbon models and four alloy. The H30 kicks things of at £4,999.00, with the M-Ltd coming in at £9,999.00. The M-Team starts at £9,299.00.

With some changes to the standard spec, this Rise M-Team comes with a Fox 36 Fatcory fork and Float X Factory shock, Shimano EP801 RS and a 504Wh battery providing the power, Shimano XT Di2 with FreeShift handles the drivetrain and XT 4-pots rein the forward momentum in. Dropper is a Fox Transfer Factory unit. Wheels are OQUO Mountain Control MC32Team wheels, shod with Maxxis DH rubber. Finishing kit is Orbea’s own OC numbers.


The Orbea Rise is available in Small, Medium, Large and XLarge.

Reach on the Medium is 450mm combined with a 419mm seat tube. Head angle is adjustable between 66 and 65.5 degrees, with the seat tube angle adjustable between 77 and 76.5 degrees. Chainstays are 445mm across the sizes with the wheelbase on the Medium sitting at 1205mm.

Opening moves

With the Rise sporting all the bells and whistles, I figured I’d need to do the usual sag, rebound, compression and brake lever adjust before setting off on. After getting the levers a little higher to suit my preferences, everything seemed pretty bob on, so I could concentrate on getting used to the feel of the bike.

Merida OneSixty Leaderboard 2023

The minimal Shimano controller was definitely welcome, as the opening sortie was on a high Alpine night ride, where the usual lights from screens and large frame-based power buttons really distract the eye. Whilst this isn’t something most will ever encounter, it’s nice all the same.

Landing in the same part of the World as the Specialized Levo SL, the Big S definitely sports a quieter motor, but the Shimano EP801 RS does pop 10Nm more out which isn’t insignificant. You can get a bigger battery in the Rise too, even with the range extender on the Levo SL. It all depends on what you’re looking for in this kind of bike.

With upgraded tyres on the MyO to the downhill options, I could afford to run the pressures a little lower than usual, maximising traction in both ascent and descent. The Shimano power units definitely favouring a high cadence to extract the most power, it was all about finding the right gear for the trail ahead and spinning away.

Whilst it’s a minor gripe and a massive first World problem, the XT Di2 shifting won’t do anything without the motor switched on. This just makes those minor gear changes that you make on a mechanical drivetrain require a little more thought than you might otherwise. I also didn’t have the time to fettle the FreeShift on the app like I did at the launch earlier in the year, so I found it a little overzealous. I’d usually start the following climb in far too easy a gear.

In addition to this, I found the application of the 60Nm available a little too sharp meaning getting going often ended in a wheelspin and the trying to keep the power on to allow the tyres to bite. Once cadence was up, there was no stopping me, but getting going on steep or loose ground demanded popping it into lower power modes.

As soon as the bike tipped downward, the Rise was ready to go. Unless I chose to really throw the bike about, it never felt like an ebike, but you’d get all the benefits when you needed to throw a little bit of power into the mix. Lively enough to be super engaging, stable on the high speed sections and swallowed the chunder when asked.

Arguably the only weak point, just like on the Wild I have on test here at home, is the rotor size. The Galfer rotors are grand, and on normal bikes, the 200mm rotors are more than sufficient, although arguably not better than the posh Shimano rotors of the same size. On an ebike though, and maybe only on the front of the Rise, a 220 rotor would help give greater command over the speed of the bike.

A fast bike is only as fast as its means of bringing everything to heel if it gets out of hand or the trail goes mega tech or tight all of a sudden. The power offered by the 200mm rotors isn’t confidence-inspiring enough for me. It’s an easy change though, and personally, I’d slap some Shimano IceTech rotors on there for the power and heat dissipation they provide.

You can check out the Orbea Rise over on their website here.